Patriarch Kirill: ROC will never agree to independence of Ukrainian Church
The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) will never agree to independence of the Ukrainian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, said Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on Monday, at a ceremonial act in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior on the occasion of his 70th anniversary with the participation of the heads and representatives of all 15 Local Churches, RIA Novosti reported.
“I thank His Beatitude Onufriy (UOC (MP) - Ed.). For his courage and firmness in defending the holy Orthodoxy and for the preservation of canonical unity of the Church. Our church will never leave Ukrainian brothers in trouble and will not abandon them. We will never agree to change the sacred canonical borders of the Church, because Kyiv is the spiritual cradle of holy Rus, like Mtskheta for Georgia and Kosovo or for Serbia,” Patriarch Kirill said, turning to Metropolitan Onufriy.
The hall responded to these words with applause.
Speaking of the ecclesial division in Ukraine, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church said that “the sin of schism is healed not by violence and deceit, but through repentance and love in Christ.”
"The painful ulcer of the Ukrainian division inflicts suffering on the whole body the church, and its pain can be felt not only in Ukraine, but in the canonical territory of other local churches. The danger of division in the Church is clear to all of us,” the Patriarch said.
That is why, he added, “the anathema of the Russian Church imposed on former monk Filaret Denisenko was supported by all the Local Orthodox Churches.”
“I would like to express heartfelt gratitude to those Primates and representatives of local Churches who openly support the canonical Orthodoxy in Ukraine,” the hierarch of the ROC concluded.