Problems of Orthodoxy in Ukraine Discussed at International Conference in Yalta

27.02.2002, 14:08
An international scholarly conference on political science entitled “A New Aspect of Russian and Ukrainian Relationships: The Crimean Example” was held in the Livadiyskyi Castle in Yalta (Crimea, southern Ukraine) from 24 to 26 February 2002. Among its organizers were the Moscow City Administration, the Crimean Supreme Council and the Institute of CIS countries. One of the subjects discussed at the conference was the problem of Orthodoxy in Ukraine.

Before the solemn opening of the conference, Metropolitan Kiril of Smolensk and Kaliningrad of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), served at liturgy with Metropolitan Lazar of Simferopol and Crimea (UOC-MP) in the church of Livadiyskyi castle. Metropolitan Kiril is a member of the Holy Synod of the ROC and head of the Department of External Religious Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate. In his address to the conference participants, the chairman of the Crimean Parliament, Leonid Hrach, referred to the problem of Orthodoxy in Ukraine as being one of the factors fueling confrontation between Russians and Ukrainians. “Unfortunately, attempts to split up the Orthodox Church in Ukraine and take it away from Moscow still continue,” said Hrach. “Such a policy is particularly unfavorable for Crimea, because it has traditionally been the cradle of Russian Orthodoxy,” he stressed. In his statement at the plenary session, Metropolitan Kiril said, “Whatever borders divide the peoples of the former Soviet republics of the Soviet Union, our spirituality, culture and history unite us and remain our common home. If today Europeans talk of Europe as their common home, why can’t we say that our spirituality, culture and history make a common home for us as well?” More than 100 political scientists, scholars and journalists from Russia, Ukraine and Crimea took part in the conference. Source: press service of the chairman of the Crimean Supreme Council