Patriarch Filaret to Patriarch Bartholomew: Moscow cynically lies about the events in eastern Ukraine
Patriarch Filaret of the UOC-KP sent a letter to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, in which he disavowed the accusations of the Patriarch of Moscow that a religious war was allegedly waged in Donbas and the faithful of the UGCC and the Kyiv Patriarchate destroyed the ‘canonical’ Orthodoxy. The head of the Kyiv Patriarchate also urged Constantinople to make proper assessment of the lies about Ukraine spread by head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill.
“For the first time since the reign of Nazi Fuhrer Hitler we are faced with the massive propaganda against Ukraine which is extraordinary in its cynicism and falsehood. By means of almost all its Russia is trying to convince the world in righteousness of its actions”, goes the document.
“The letter by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, in which he interprets the events in the Donbas as civil war and religious conflict, should be regarded namely as part and fruit of this propaganda”, he added.
The UOC-KP Patriarch gave a brief historical overview highlighting the events that had preceded the bloodshed in Donbas: the refusal of the then state leaders to sign the Association Agreement, Maidan, the shooting of the protesters, the flight of Yanukovych, the occupation of Crimea, the insurgency of Russian militants in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
“In fact, the events in Donbas are the result of armed aggression against Ukraine. The leaders of the so-called People's Republics, their mercenaries, weapons, funding, and information support - all of these come from Russia across the borders in the occupied areas. In other places of Ukraine, except the places where Russian mercenaries are present, there is no armed conflict or other forms of resistance, characteristic of civil and religious wars,” said Patriarch Filaret.
According to him, the Ukrainian troopers are representatives of all faiths and nationalities living in Ukraine. Therefore, the statement by Patriarch Kirill that armed ‘Uniates and schismatics’ were fighting in the Donbas against Moscow Patriarchate is also a blatant and cynical lie.”
“Unfortunately, there are rare cases when stocks of weapons were found in the churches or other religious buildings of the Moscow Patriarchate, the terrorists were provided with accommodation and meals, their criminal activities were morally supported by special public blessing to fight against Ukraine. Recently, the instances of use by terrorists of clerical outfit and documents for escape have been disclosed, the latter, to our knowledge, are being issued by one of the dioceses of the Moscow Patriarchate in Donbas,” he said.
“All this gives grounds for the Ukrainian servicemen to treat with special attention the travels of the priests who may in fact be disguised terrorists or their accomplices. I attest that in this regard our priests are also being caused inconvenience by the Ukrainian soldiers, which we try to bear with”, said the hierarch.
"On behalf of our bishops, clergy and faithful I’m writing to you with a request to give your opinion and reject the lies spread by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. We are asking you to pray for peace in Ukraine and liberation of our country from external aggression. I hope you won’t have the Orthodox Church involved in the campaign of extreme lies maintained by the Russian authorities and Patriarch Kirill against Ukraine,” said Patriarch Filaret.
It should be noted that on August 14, the official website of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church published a letter to the Primates of the Orthodox Churches by Patriarch Kirill, in which he accused ‘schismatics’ and ‘Uniates’ in destroying ‘canonical’ Orthodoxy in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The next day the letter disappeared from all websites controlled by the Moscow Patriarchate for unknown reasons.