Cyril accuses Kiev politics of invading in God realm
Patriarch Cyril (Kirill) of Moscow and All Russia launched an appeal to heads of the the United Nations and OSCE secretary generals and the leaders of France and Germany, drawing their attention to violations of the rights of bishops, priests and parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations said in a statement.
“The authorities of the secular state of Ukraine, who have been interfering in the affairs of the Church for quite a while, have recently moved to exert brutal pressure on bishops and priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which makes it possible to say that a large-scale persecution has begun,” Cyriil claims, according to TASS news agency.
Ukrainian priests will meet on December 14 to work towards an independent from Moscow church, following an Orthodox “schism”, in what Kiev authorities hope will mark a further step out of Russia’s influence.
The meeting will seek to realise a landmark decision by Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to recognise Kiev’s independence from the Moscow Orthodox Church.
October ruling sparked protests in Moscow claiming its rights on the part of Ukrainian Orthodox Church as an integral part of the Moscow Patriarch establishment, also claiming all the historic buildings and properties.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who is expected to attend the council, has made an independent Church a campaign pledge for his election campaign for the next mandate.