Ilia II, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia: "Russia started a war, and Kirill closed his eyes and mouth"
Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II supported Ukraine, which is experiencing a full-scale invasion by Russia, and condemned Russian Patriarch Kirill, who turns a blind eye to the war. This is stated in the address of the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, according to the Glavkom.
"Unfortunately, Russian-led hostilities continue in Ukraine, claiming thousands of lives. I want to urge our parishioners (both in Georgia and abroad) to pray together for peace. On Thursday, at 12:00 Tbilisi time, wherever you are (in the church, at work, at home or on the street), let us all call to the Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary with this powerful prayer:
"Open the door of mercy unto us, Most Holy Mother of God, even when unbeknownst to us, may You turn away from the enemy, for You are the life of a Christian, amen (repeat three times)," the statement said.
The Georgian Patriarch also stressed that Russia started the war, and only Kirill kept silent about it. "The whole Christian world, including the episcopate of Ukraine and several foreign bishops of the ROC, says the obvious: Russia has started a war in another country. And only the Moscow bishop closed his eyes and mouth wide," he said.
Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Kirill (Gundyaev) presented the icon to Rosguard Commander Viktor Zolotov and gave him his blessing on the war in Ukraine.
Several UOC-MP dioceses have already stopped commemorating Patriarch Kirill at all services. In particular, the Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Cherkasy, Rivne, Mukachevo, and Sumy dioceses stated this. In a statement on February 24, the head of the UOC-MP, Metropolitan Onufriy, condemned Russia's military actions against Ukraine. He called on everyone to pray for Ukraine, expressed support for the Ukrainian military, and called the war waged by Russia "Cain's sin."
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew does not deny the possibility of commemorating him without any additional canonical procedures for those who do not see other options for themselves, including joining the Local Church of Ukraine.
However, the governor of the Lavra, Metropolitan Paul, did not condemn Kirill and Russia. On the contrary, he said that Ukrainians did not heed the warnings and now are "facing the consequences." Before the war, another UOC-MP metropolitan, Anthony (Pakanych), urged Ukrainians not to be afraid of war and reconcile.
And the rector of the Svyatogorsk Lavra, which was bombed by the Russian occupiers yesterday, Metropolitan Arseniy, did not name Russia and Putin among those guilty of this crime.