Moscow Patriarchate is the invader's last stronghold in Ukraine, - the Head of the OCU to the Norwegian Ambassador

12.10.2022, 09:18
Ukraine and world
Moscow Patriarchate is the invader's last stronghold in Ukraine, - the Head of the OCU to the Norwegian Ambassador - фото 1
On October 11, Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All-Ukraine met with Erik Svedal, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Norway to Ukraine, at his residence – the Metropolitan House.

This is reported by the OCU website.

Archbishop Yevstratiy, deputy head of the Department for External Church Relations, and Mr. Leif Magne, representative of the Norwegian Church Abroad, also attended the meeting.

During the conversation, they discussed the history of the formation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and its activities in the context of the ongoing full-scale Russian aggression.

The Primate of the OCU told the guests about the circumstances of the stay of the OCU clergy in the occupied territories. In particular, Metropolitan Epifaniy noted that several of our priests have already been killed by the invaders, and some have been tortured.

In addition, the parties discussed our country's socio-political and interfaith situation.

"The Russian hybrid war against Ukraine has several components, including a spiritual one. The aggressor is doing everything possible to maintain its ecclesiastical presence in our state and has influence through this. The Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine is their last stronghold here. Given the obvious threat, we have banned pro-Russian parties and TV channels, but the Moscow Patriarchate remains the only organization that is actually institutionally connected with the Russian Federation. We consider this a dangerous component because many representatives of their clergy turned out to be collaborators, and in response to all our calls for a full-fledged dialogue, we receive only dismissive ultimatums and absurd accusations of allegedly seizing parishes. Obviously, this does not lead to interfaith peace and strengthening national security. Religious communities have a legal right to freely change their jurisdiction and actively implement this right, often precisely because of the position of their episcopate," the Primate of the autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church said.

"Ukrainians have clearly chosen a democratic vector of development, and we will fight for our freedom s long as it lasts. Thank you for the support of Norway during this difficult time. Although the enemy has chosen the tactics of terror and genocide, with God's help and our friends' assistance, we will definitely stand up and win. After Mariupol, Bucha, Izyum and many other developments, it is obvious that a just peace in Ukraine is possible only after victory," summed up the head of the OCU Epiphanius.