ROC and Russian state leaders share responsibility for the abduction of Ukrainian children, - Ecumenical Patriarch
This was reported by LRT.
During a conference on intercultural and religious dialogue at the Lithuanian Seimas, the Patriarch said, "Church and state leaders in Russia have been complicit in the crime of aggression and share responsibility for crimes such as the shocking abduction of Ukrainian children."
"They have caused great suffering not only to the people of Ukraine, but also to the Russians, who are now more than 100 thousand dead, and are responsible for terrible atrocities," the first hierarch said.
The Ecumenical Patriarch said that since the time of the Tsar, the Russian political authorities have been trying to instrumentalize religion and use it for their own purposes. This is still being done now, as the Kremlin regime promotes the ideology of the "Russian World".
"Especially important in this aspect is Pan-Slavism-an ideology according to which all Slavs should unite under the leadership of Moscow. It is a deeply racist ideology of the XIX century, which found its religious expression in ethno-phyletism, which Constantinople condemned as heresy in 1872," said Bartholomew I.
According to the Patriarch, religion has become marginalized, and it is used to achieve geopolitical and political goals.
"The current crisis in Ukraine, which is taking place due to unprovoked Russian aggression, is the epicenter of a geopolitical earthquake. Europe is waking up from a deep illusion because it believed that the war in Europe was a thing of the past. Although Europe was not intellectually ready for this, it quickly adapted to the situation with the help of member states such as Lithuania," Patriarch Bartholomew said.
"This war will undoubtedly affect the development of Europe and the world. This crisis in Europe is connected with the biggest challenge in the Orthodox world," he said.
The patriarch of Constantinople said that after the war, it will be necessary to rebuild Ukraine not only physically, but also spiritually.
The chairman of the Council of European episcopal conferences, Archbishop Gintaras Grusas of Vilnius, for his part, said that the coloring of this war with a religious connotation is of great concern.
"We are particularly concerned that the narrative of the war is colored with a religious connotation. The militant sermons of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow stunned us, and at the same time, the position of many peacekeepers is comforting," he said.
According to the archbishop, if Christians were united, "just" wars would not be declared. There would only be peaceful justice.
Patriarch Bartholomew is on a visit to Lithuania after the decision to restore five Lithuanian clergymen to rank. Metropolitan Innokenty of the Russian Orthodox Church in Lithuania defrocked them last summer.
These clergy criticized the Vilna-Lithuanian Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church for not dissociating itself from Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, who supports the war in Ukraine.
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