(ANSA) – KIEV, MAY 27 – The part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church still linked to Moscow claims to have cut all ties with Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine, declaring “full independence”.
“We disagree with Moscow Patriarch Kirill’s position … on war,” the church said in a statement after holding a council focusing on Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine, where it declared the “full independence and autonomy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church”.
The part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that remained linked to Moscow had so far formally sworn allegiance to the Russian Patriarch Kirill, who expressed clear support for President Vladimir Putin’s offensive in Ukraine. “The Council condemns the war as a violation of God’s commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill!’ and expresses condolences to all those who are suffering in the war “, reads the statement.
The council also appealed to both Ukraine and Russia to “continue the negotiation process” and find a way to “stop the bloodshed”.
The church’s spokesman, Archbishop Kliment, speaking with the AFP said the council underlined its “complete rejection of the position” of Patriarch Kirill “regarding the war”. “He Not only did he fail to condemn the Russian military aggression, but he also failed to find words for the suffering Ukrainian people,” he said.
Ukraine has been under the spiritual leadership of Moscow for hundreds of years, at least since the 17th century. The move marks the second Orthodox schism in Ukraine in recent years, with part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church already breaking away from Moscow in 2019 due to the annexation of Crimea to Russia and support for separatists in the eastern Donbass region.
Since the 2019 schism, there has been a deep rift within the Ukrainian Orthodox Church itself, between those who took their spiritual guidance from Moscow and those who separated, known respectively as the Moscow Patriarchate and the Kyiv Patriarchate. (HANDLE).
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