Myroslav Marynovych: It Is Still Not Too Late For Patrirch Kirill To Stop The “Sheep” From His Flock On The Territory Of Ukraine
In his presentation before the beginning of the Higher Church Council of ROC, the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus expressed his firm conviction that the only Church which, so to say, stood and stands today aside from politics in Ukraine , is “his Church”, meaning the – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate). This is a repetition of the traditional illusion of Moscow Orthodoxy, which in not expressing its warning voice for the protection of people, in order to lend its voice for the protection of people, who are being oppressed by the government, it supposedly, by doing so, places the Church “outside of politics”.
However, truly it is not only the forgetting of the ancient Kyiv appeal, formulated already by Volodymyr Monomakh: “Do not permit the strong to destroy a person!” It is primarily a distortion of the social mission of the Church and a disregard for the spirit of evangelical principles (especially in the parable MT 25:35-46). Because on the Maidan, the innocent, “our youngest brethren”, ended up under the batons of cruel Berkut [a special-purpose police force] .
I am glad that all other religious communities – with the exception of Patriarch Kirill’s Church—comprehend this. Their appeals for the protection of life and dignity of people, their readiness to be on the Maidan next to those who suffered, have grown into an enormous spiritual capital of Ukrainian society.
We have never heard from the Patriarch any censure, neither of the activities of Yanukovych, nor now of Putin’s actions. The whole world in one voice is talking about Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine, yet the Patriarch does not see or perceive this.
The Patriarch’s involvement can be also seen from other actions. Yes, the Patriarch does not hesitate to voice fears that in Ukraine the community of UOC (MP) will undergo persecution, although simultaneously he notes that until now “there has been no takeover of churches” However, the assurances that churches of UOC of the Kyiv Patriarchate will not be touched in Crimea, did not turn out that way. Also the Patriarch did not with a single word express due alarm, when as a result of direct violence from the Russian commanders in Crimea, at the beginning of March, five Greek-Catholic priests were forced to leave the peninsula in fear of their lives. He also did not react to the fact that these same assailants painted anti-Semitic slogans on the Jewish synagogue, which forced the local Jewish rabbi to leave Crimea.
However, this one-sidedness in pronouncing the sources of danger and the source of violence played a cynical joke on the Patriarch. Yes, he perfectly correctly states that “enemies of the Church are only those who come out against God, Divine law, and employ force in doing so… the use of force always leads to heightening a conflict.” Here if he could only write a censuring pastoral epistle to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, who does exactly that: he comes out against God’s commandment of love, embodied in the collegiality of all nations; he violates all conceivable international laws which support peace on this earth and therefore are a mainstay for God’s Law. Finally, it is he, Putin, who employs this with brutal armed power which also adds to the heightening of the conflict. Ukraine is not the one who is sending its soldiers to Russian territory – this is being done by the “armed to the teeth” “sheep” from the Russian flock of Patriarch Kirill -- on the territory of Ukraine.
And, in fact, it is still not too late for the Patriarch to stop them.