Saturday, 1 October 2022

War in Ukraine - Words of relevant religious leaders


In this article I will try to collect the statements and words of relevant relgious leaders regarding the current war in Ukraine. Please feel free to submit any statements you cannot find on here in the comments section, with links please. Any highlights in bold are my own, and intended to point out key passages. Over these two months the list has become very long, and unfortunately Blogger does not provide tools to make it more user-friendly. All statements are published in order of date, so a helpful tip can be to click on the link to the hierarch below the one you want to consult, and scroll upward.

Neste artigo vou juntar as palavras e declarações de líderes religiosos relevantes sobre a actual guerra na Ucrânia. Agradeço que submetam quaisquer declarações em falta nos comentários, com links, por favor. Quaisquer destaques nos textos são da minha responsabilidade, com o objectivo de sublinhar pontos chave. Todos os comentários de líderes internacionais serão postados em inglês. Para compreender melhor as dimensões religiosas deste conflito, leiam este artigo. Ao longo destes dois meses esta lista tornou-se muito extensa e infelizmente o Blogger não tem ferramentas que tornem a pesquisa mais fácil. Todas as declarações estão por ordem de data, por isso uma dica útil é, caso queiram ler as mais recentes declarações de um hierarca, clicarem no seguinte e andarem para cima.



  • Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Primate of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
  • Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, Russian Orthodox Church
  • Metropolitan Epiphanius, Primate of the Autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church 
  • Metropolitan Onuphry Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Moscow Patriarchate 
  • Metropolitan Hilarion - Former Chairman Dep. of External Relations of Moscow Patriarchate 
  • Metropolitan Anthony - Chairman Dep. of External Relations of Moscow Patriarchate
  • Volodymir Zelensky, President of Ukraine 
  • Bishop Markos Hovhannisyan, Ukrainian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church 
  • Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople 
  • Pope Francis 
  • Cardinal Parolin, Secretary of State of the Vatican 
  • Apostolic Nuncio to Ukraine 
  • Cardinal Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches 
  • Ukrainian Catholic Bishops Conference - Latin Rite 
  • Edward Kava, Latin Auxiliary Bishop of Lviv 
  • Conference of Catholic Bishops of Russia 
  • Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia 
  • Russian Orthodox Church Western Europe 
  • World Council of Churches
  • Chief Rabbi of Ukraine 
  • Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia 
  • Grand Mufti of Ukraine 
  • Grand Mufti of Russia 
  • Other Russian Islamic Figures and Organisations 
  • Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organisations 
  • Russian Priests for Peace 
  • Russian Protestant Churches
  • Archimandrite Seraphim (Pankratov) – Priest of the Sumy Eparchy, of the UOC–MP

  • Sviatoslav Shevchuk – Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

    Excerpts of speech at ceremony in Babyn Yar

    On such a day, in such a place, at such a moment, one wants not to speak, but to remain silent. Be silent and listen. To listen to what the Ukrainian land will tell us, what the land of Babyny Yar is talking about today, when we remember the 81st anniversary of the great tragedy that happened here. What is this place talking about today, what are these trees making noise about? Today, this is what the words engraved on the memorial tell us: "The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me." I invite all of you to be silent and listen to the voice of blood that calls out from this earth to the Creator, the voice of the blood of our brothers and sisters of the Jewish people – we must let this voice into our hearts today and embrace all those who were innocently killed.

    Today, the voice of blood from the Ukrainian land rises to the heavens: the voice of the blood of those innocently killed by the Russian occupier - children, women, old men, the voice of the blood of the sons and daughters of the Ukrainian people, who today protect Ukraine from the new misanthropic, essentially Nazi, ideologies that continue to kill. And speaking, then only to God, listening to this voice of the Ukrainian land and the voice of the blood of our innocently murdered brothers, fathers, and sisters.

    God of spirits and all flesh, You overcame death and destroyed the devil, and gave life to Your world. You, Lord, rest the souls of Your innocently murdered servants in a bright place, in a blooming place, in a calm place, from where all pain, sadness and sighing have fled. And all sins committed by them in word or deed or thought, as a good and man-loving God, forgive. Because there is no man who would live and not sin. You are the only one without sin. Your truth is eternal truth. And Your word is the truth. For You are the resurrection, the life and the repose of Your departed servants, Christ our God, and to You we send glory, with Your beginningless Father, and with Your Most Holy, and good, and life-creating Spirit, now, and always, and forever and ever. Amen. Eternal memory to them!

    29/09/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    Being yourself, being a person means having the opportunity and the right to do good. This type of freedom-loving and consciousness of calling to this freedom of the Ukrainian people has always been something terrible for any tyrants, invaders who came to the Ukrainian land. At one time, my great predecessor, Blessed Lubomyr, said the following phrase that "dictators are less afraid of hunger riots in their countries than free people, because the hungry can be bought, and the free can only be killed."

    (…)

    The whole world is surprised – Ukraine is in an unequal battle for the 8th month. Where does that power come from? Where does that inviolability come from? During this war, communicating with our soldiers, with those who were in Russian captivity, in Russian torture camps, communicating with our refugees, immigrants, with our monks and nuns, I somehow felt that there are certain principles and certain foundations of this stability. Perhaps we still can't understand everything until the end. But there is something that really gives us strength to stand. A fulcrum to lean on.

    We feel something that distinguishes the Ukrainian character from the peoples of other countries. And here we are not talking about any one ethnic group - we are talking about all residents of Ukraine. It is that we all have an innate sense and desire to be free. This is the consciousness that we are children of God, and not slaves of human illusions. And we understand that this is also our Christian vocation, the path to real, true, complete freedom. This is not about some kind of anarchy, the desire to do whatever one wants. This is a deep national understanding that freedom is the ability and right to do good. To be free for a person is to be a person. When someone steals a person's freedom, he steals his humanity, and thus destroys his humanity.

    Many of those who were in Russian captivity, in Russian torture chambers, somehow felt that even they, being with their hands tied and eyes closed, were freer, lived in a higher level of freedom than their executioners. And that is why the Russian occupier hates a free Ukrainian person, because this occupier is a slave. A slave to the human illusions of their dictators. He understands this in the depths of his heart.

    No one can take away a person's freedom. Freedom, personal freedom, a person can only give himself. He can renounce her, he can run away from her. Run away from responsibility without courage. The Ukrainian people demonstrated that we have the courage to be free.

    In those days, I remembered the phrase of a nun with whom we had known for many years, since the days of Soviet persecution, when we considered the free world in the west behind the Iron Curtain to be a free world. And when she heard that today some of the world politicians or various figures of the free world are so greedy for Russian money, and the price of Russian energy carriers can sometimes be more valuable than freedom, that nun said: "It seems the same is true among the rich in the West there are more hungry people who are bought than free people who are ready to appreciate and defend freedom”.

    God, You gave us our freedom as a calling to the fullness of the ability to do good. Help us fulfill this calling. God, help us to have the courage to be free. God, help Ukraine today to stand in this unequal battle. God, bless our Ukrainian army. God, grant our Ukraine freedom and Your blessed heavenly peace.

    28/09/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    Today, the Savior himself is crucified in the body of the Ukrainian people and from his pierced side reveals to us the source of life, the source of the Sacraments of Christ's Church, the source of eternal life. Today, Ukraine honors the sign, the symbol of victory over evil, the devil and his servants, all those who bring death today - honors the honest and life-giving Cross of the Lord and moves forward with its power.

    27/09/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    The glory that now emanates from the honest and life-giving Cross in Kyiv to the whole of Ukraine is something that we have not yet fully understood, but which touches us to the core. Because today Ukraine understands that the Lord's Cross is its sign of victory over the enemy. The enemy is waging a colonial war against us. And today we say from Kyiv that this is probably the last colonial war in Europe in the history of mankind. They want to erase us from the face of the earth, deny our right to exist as a people, just as the Romans once wanted to erase the very mention of Jerusalem.

    But it is the power of the honest and life-giving Cross that will be the victory of Ukraine, the moment when the humiliated will become exalted, when the Lord will dethrone the powerful and lift up the humble.

    27/09/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    Those words about the Lord's Cross, about God's love, which warms and saves, resurrects and gives hope, are life-giving for Ukraine in the conditions of war.

    Today, the whole world is wondering where we, our people, get the strength that allows us to resist the aggressor, who grinds his teeth against Ukraine and no longer knows what to do with us. Where do Ukrainians have the strength to resist? We give an answer to this question: Ukrainians love and feel that God loves them. Ukrainians are strong because they love their land, Motherland, their people, their children, women and elders.

    We are strong in our love, which we draw from the eternal source of Divine love, which is given to us through the honest and life-giving Cross. That is why it is so important for us in the conditions of war to understand that the Cross can be both the greatest humiliation and pain, and the moment of exaltation and glorification.

    The Cross of the Lord, on which we are crucified today as a nation, is the key to our glory and victory! This crucifixion of ours is God's word through Ukraine to the world and modern man about the victorious and saving power of God's love!

    26/09/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    Ukrainian troops are liberating the north and south of our Motherland, but every centimetre of Ukrainian land is sprinkled with the blood of our defenders.

    [Regarding freeing of Azov regiment POWs] We thank God for saving their lives. Now we have to surround them with attention, prayer and love in order to heal the wounds they bear on their souls and bodies after the brutality of the Russian occupier.

    22/09/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    This year we celebrate the Nativity of the Mother of God during the war. We see that this time is the space of death, in the face of which we all stare every day. We make every effort to resist it, we wage war against sin and death. This is a tireless and invisible battle – that's what the teachers of our Church say.

    What do we need to be fruitful in this struggle; so that, overcoming the kingdom of death, which the occupier brings to our land, we expand the space of life; so that the sterility of our nature in the conditions of war is resolved? We need the power of Divine grace, the fruitful power of the Holy Spirit, which is given to us through prayer and the intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos, who today, perhaps for the second time in the history of human hearts, is born among us.

    Therefore, celebrating this holiday, let us run to the Virgin Mary, who crushed the head of the ancient serpent that tempted our ancestors in paradise, who defeated death and who was free from sin from the very conception in the barren womb of righteous Anna. The birth of the Mother of God from Anna's frozen womb is a prophecy of the Resurrection of Christ, His exit in a glorified body from the sealed tomb, in the body that Mary gave Him.

    Let's rejoice in this holiday, because for us it is a celebration of the birth of our hope in the conditions of war! This is a celebration of the birth of a new action, a new power, a new reality for all of us! We should not just know about this holiday, but celebrate it, that is, let this event, which we remember today, become a part of our lives, solve the fruitlessness of personal efforts.

    21/09/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    Now, when we reflect on these events, rescue operations are ongoing in the city of Bakhmut in Donetsk region, where the enemy destroyed a high-rise building and many people were trapped under the rubble. Unceasing work is going on to save human life. What we see on the liberated territory of Kharkiv Region causes us great pain. Work on the exhumation of Russian victims near the city of Izyum continues. Terrible scenes of abuse, torture, torture, and mass murders are revealed. More and more alarming news from the occupied territories reaches us. The Russians intensify repression against the civilian population, carry out violent mobilization, catch men around the clock to force them to kill their brothers and sisters.

    20/09/2022 (Source)


    Words to Commissioner for Human Rights of Verkhovna Rada

    I carefully watched how you visited the de-occupied territories of Kharkiv region, in particular I listened to your speeches in the city of Izyum, where you were during the exhumation of our innocently murdered brothers and sisters. We were all moved by the "Our Father" prayer scratched on the wall in the Russian torture chamber. We can only imagine what those people endured, regardless of which Church they went to, which language they spoke. These are our brothers and sisters, and our hearts truly ache for them.

    20/09/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    We are often asked: do you, in Ukraine, have hope? And we say: yes, we have it, because God gives it to us, not man. We are a people of faith and in faith we receive hope. So we can go on, bravely, patiently endure our difficulties. And this hope moves us to victory over the Russian aggressor, to victory not only in war, but also over war, to victory, the crown of which will be peace in our Motherland.

    (…)

    Today, believing Europe kneels before the Holy Mysteries of the Body and Blood of our Savior and prays for Ukraine. Today is a day of vigil and prayer before the Most Holy Mysteries for peace in Ukraine. Christians living according to the Gregorian calendar today celebrate the Exaltation of the honest and life-giving Cross. Today, Europe, the believing world, sees a crucified Ukraine precisely in the crucified Savior. The Holy Father Francis, whom we are accompanying in prayer to Kazakhstan, invites believing Christians on this day to see the wounds of the crucified Savior precisely in the wounds of Ukraine.

    We feel the power of your prayer, which is the source of our hope that together we will defeat evil

    14/9/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    Terrible, terrible war crimes against humanity are also being discovered. About 200 war crimes are recorded every day. These are mass murders of the civilian population, torture, looting and all that really qualifies as a war crime.

    It breaks our hearts when we look at what the Russian occupier leaves behind on Ukrainian soil. Today, this is what can be registered: more than 900 health care facilities, more than 200 churches and religious buildings have been destroyed.

    (…)

    When we look today at what the enemy leaves behind - burned and destroyed cities and villages, burnt fields of wheat, plundered forests, mined chernozems, polluted ponds, rivers and water sources from which it is no longer possible to drink, then we understand that war is not only a crime against human life, but also against God's creation.

    13/09/2022 (Source)


    Words during a radio interview

    A new world will emerge through Ukraine, where evil will be defeated. Ukraine is the point from which a new world will emerge. A reboot of the world is in the air, and world politicians are already repeating this thesis in their own way - Europe will be renewed through Ukraine. But - is the world possible without evil, which is a part of it? For Ukraine today, this evil is personified, it is Russia, but in the world there are other totalitarian regimes, other manifestations of evil

    (…)

    What is happening in Ukraine today already has global consequences. It is not only about certain military, economic, geopolitical or other consequences, but about very deep moral foundations of human life as such. Because when we talk about good and evil, we are talking about moral principles without which a person cannot exist. What is happening in Ukraine today? Ukrainians have shown the whole world that there is something and there is someone worth giving even one's life for. That is, there are some objective truths - or values - that can be the meaning of life. And if that is taken away from you, life loses its meaning.

    Yes, there is good and there is evil. Perhaps it is so obvious to us in Ukraine today that we do not fully feel the context in which the rest of the world still lives. The world today lives in a post-truth context. That is why Russian propaganda so easily captures people's minds and hearts - "what's the difference?" If there is no objective truth, it means that there is no objective good and objective evil. And our behavior, our categorical "no" to Russian aggression is, as it were, a Copernican revolution for the modern world, when we, with our desperate position of disagreement with evil and untruth, proclaim to the whole world that there is good in the world!

    There is an objective truth. Maybe someone does not accept it, maybe someone is afraid of it. But there is something worth giving your life for. This was once called "higher values" in traditional philosophy – there is something that cannot be assessed only by the categories of consumer society. And if so, then it is possible to build such a life, such a personal and social space, where there would be more good and less evil. We see today that evil is not some abstract truth, evil really kills. When someone lives in the grip of evil, he becomes dangerous - for himself, for his neighbor, for society and for the world. On the other hand, we are today de facto provoking the world to have the courage to say it with our moral strength and position of "no to evil!" Because post-truth confuses the concepts of good and evil, and modern man is disoriented, he does not know where to go.

    Will we wait for a world in which there will be no evil? For Christians, it is also a matter of faith. We say: we await the resurrection of the dead and the life of the age to come. We build our earthly life as the image and likeness of the Kingdom of Heaven. Christians are those who spread the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth. When we live in the truth, we live, trying to do good and avoid evil every day, then we build that space, that world, where there is less evil.

    Therefore, I believe, that what is happening in Ukraine today is a certain moral revolution - primarily for the Ukrainians themselves. Today we are beginning to understand who should not have been elected to power. We begin to understand how our society had to be built in a different way, how we had to resist certain patterns of colonial or post-colonial society. Because this war that Russia is waging against Ukraine is a typical colonial war. That is, we begin to see. And I would really like for us not to lose this painful experience of war as a certain new opportunity to learn, perhaps even from our own mistakes. And that's why today we have to think about what Ukraine will be like when we win. I have no doubt that there will be victory. But already today we have to think about the society we want to have when we expel the occupier. We have to build that society.

    13/09/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    Modern man has many temptations to behave with the one whom the Lord sends, as these murderous vinedressers behaved. How often we see today in the life of individual states and even at the level of international relations, that the power of law is replaced by the right of the strong. What does someone who thinks he is strong do? He kills and destroys the weak, because he thinks that he can appropriate for himself what he should give to the needy and defenceless. However, having appropriated something, one loses everything. Christ says what will happen to those vinedressers: "He will destroy the furious, but he will rent the vineyard to other vinedressers who will give him fruit in due time" (Mt. 21, 40-41).

    Humiliating the weak in personal, spiritual or even public life in order to assert ourselves, we do the same as those murderous vinedressers. We appropriate God's property, the right to judge, distinguish or say who should live and who should die. It's as if we ourselves become arbiters who remove God from this world and say: now I will decide what is good and what is evil. However, later we lose everything we had until now.

    This word of God about violence in man's attitude towards God, I think, resonates in a special way in the ears of modern Ukrainians. Today we thank the Lord God for the fact that our God-blessed army is liberating Ukrainian lands step by step. Perhaps we were all moved by the footage of people with tears in their eyes coming out and hugging our soldiers, saying, "We've been praying for half a year for this day to come." In such circumstances, we see how this word of God is carried out in the history of our family. The one who wanted to deprive us of everything now risks losing everything. The invading enemy, in his colonialist urge, wants to kill Ukraine and appropriate our heritage. Trying to destroy us, he once again kills the very Son of God – the Savior.

    Instead, we should persevere in good, not be like those murderous vinedressers. For us, the cornerstone is Christ! If He becomes the foundation of our life, the basis of the construction and protection of our independent state, then the words will come true for us: "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone... This has come from the Lord and is amazing in our eyes" (Mt. 21, 42).

    We say today: Lord, come to our vineyard, to our people, make us wise so that we see You in the needy person whom You send to us today. In this dramatic time of the harvest, of the calamity of war, make us able to bring you the fruits of our life's vineyard. Give us a dignified reception of You, who comes to us in the person of one who does not have a home, because it was destroyed by the enemy, in the person of my relative or relative, or perhaps a migrant and a completely unfamiliar person, to whom I must transfer the fruits of labour in Your vineyard.

    God, come to us! Let us put You, like wise builders, as the cornerstone of our personal, social and state life. And then everything that happens next will be Your business, Your business. Because it is You who fiercely destroys the fierce, takes the vineyard from the usurpers and gives it to those who will bear fruit in due time. It is You who lift up the humble and rejected, and let the rich go empty-handed! (cf. Lk. 1, 52–53). Then, together with You, we will be strange to the whole world. Because it will happen from the Lord and it will be amazing in our eyes. Amen.

    11/09/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    The main news of the past day is the rapid de-occupation of the cities and villages of the Kharkiv region in the context of the brilliant counteroffensive of the Ukrainian army. Important large cities were liberated: Kupyansk, Izyum and many others. However we all understand that every release, every tear of joy of our people, which appears with the approach of the Ukrainian army, is sprinkled with the blood of our liberating soldiers... And on this Sunday, we pay tribute in prayer to those of our girls and boys who especially these days, at the cost of their own lives, they liberate the Ukrainian land from the occupier... Today, the Ukrainian flag is becoming a symbol of peace and freedom, for which we pray to God every day.

    11/09/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    This war continues to inflict deep wounds on our people and cause enormous humanitarian consequences. Neither the Ukrainians nor the international community have yet realized their size. However, even today, specialists note that 57 percent of Ukrainians are traumatized by the war. Many have so-called post-traumatic stress disorder. This cannot help but affect the mood of our society, all those processes that then affect relations between people.

    (…)

    Today we hear at such a high level that more than 2.5 million citizens have already been deported from the occupied territories of the south and east of Ukraine. Ukrainians are taken to the Far East, to Siberia. Among them are 38,000 children, most of whom were deprived of parental care, that is, deported without their parents. This is a big wound, a big pain for the Ukrainian people. Therefore, today we should especially pray for those who passed through the filtration concentration camps, and were therefore forced to leave their hometown or village at gunpoint.

    08/09/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    According to the reports we receive from the Ukrainian authorities, since the beginning of the war, 3,500 rockets have been fired over Ukraine. This is an absolute record in the history of modern wars. More than 7,000 civilians died and 5,500 were injured. This is only according to official data, in reality these numbers are much higher. Almost a third of the population of Ukraine became either refugees or forcibly displaced persons. Only in the past day, 14 Russian missiles were fired at the cities and villages of Ukraine, and 15 airstrikes were carried out. Kharkiv and Mykolaiv, Ochakiv and Voznesensk shuddered yesterday. The world has no right to get used to this war. This is an open wound of modern humanity. Let's pray together for modern humanity to be able to overcome this war!

    05/09/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    We are especially grateful to the Armed Forces of Ukraine for the fact that we are alive, that Ukraine is standing and that Ukraine is trying step by step to liberate its land from the bloodthirsty Russian occupier.

    (…)

    We see that the occupier is coming to steal. In particular, the evidence of the behaviour of the occupiers in the south of our Motherland in recent weeks is simply shocking. Enemies come and expel Ukrainians from their houses, and settle their families there.

    04/09/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    How many truly believing people do we have today who are ready to give everything in order to, first of all, be human, then to be a free people on their land. Because it is not enough to have freedom, one must also be free, to be able to dispose of that freedom correctly. Perhaps the enemy who set foot on Ukrainian soil lacked exactly this, such grace and strength, because he only calculated what Ukraine had, but did not understand who Ukrainians are. Therefore, we can say that with God's help there is and will be a believing Ukraine!

    04/09/2022 (Source)


    Thoughts of His Beatitude Sviatoslav about healing the wounds of the war in Ukraine

    (…)

    6. Don't let anyone get used to war!

    Sometimes we see that information about the war in Ukraine starts to bore some people. Technically speaking, the war in Ukraine ceases to be news on the front pages of newspapers and magazines, particularly in Western Europe or North America. Our task is to keep the wave going. Raise conscience. Maybe sometimes we have to be like the annoying mosquito that keeps us awake. Because when we come to terms with the fact that there is a war and that the Russians are killing civilians in Ukraine, it will become another tragedy that we have no right to allow. It would be an information disaster for modern humanity. And that is why our task is to awaken people's hearts with the word of truth.

    29/08/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of sermon on the feast of the Assumption

    What happened in Kyiv six months ago was difficult to predict and describe in words. And the fact that our capital has stood up, we feel today as the fruit of a special intercession prayer of the Most Pure Virgin Mary. In Kyiv, there is a thousand-year-old certainty and spiritual tradition: as long as Oranta - the Immovable Wall - stands in Saint Sophia, the enemy will not be able to overcome the city and it will stand. I thank the Mother of God for saving our souls from death!

    It is difficult to understand and express, but the Russian troops stopped twenty kilometers from the Patriarchal Cathedral. The front line really separated life from death. We heard explosions, even learned to distinguish the types of weapons used. Then, after the liberation of the now world-famous settlements: Irpenya, Buchi, Borodyanka, Gostomel, we saw mountains of corpses on their streets that no one had cleaned. We stood on the edge of the mass grave and watched the young people with their hands tied, thrown on top of each other. At that moment, we realized how cowardly and despicable the enemy is, who loots and takes everything he can, starting with small things, clothes and ending with household items. We saw the cowardice of traitors who drew up firing lists, handed over their neighbors to torture and death, counting on the "seat in power" of the occupiers or other privileges. We saw the cowardice of the adjusters of enemy fire, who called down the fire of enemy rockets on the heads of the inhabitants of their own cities and villages for Jewish silver coins.

    However, in those circumstances, we saw that, as a nation, we are winning and will win thanks to the generosity of Ukrainians. We saw the spiritual greatness of our soldiers, who generously gave everything at the cost of their own lives to save Ukraine. We saw the magnanimity and selflessness of doctors who performed extremely complex operations under the bombs. We saw the generosity and heroism of the rescuers who risked their lives to pull their brothers and sisters out from under the rubble of their broken homes. There, like nowhere else, you understand that the Ukrainian people will win because we are bigger in soul than our enemy, morally and spiritually higher than him. To win, it is not enough to have good and modern weapons, you also need to have an inner, spiritual advantage.

    That is why we have gathered here today, in this holy place, to give thanks that after half a year of war we are alive, we can be together, pray live for the victory of Ukraine and understand that the spiritual greatness of our people is rooted in God's generosity.

    I was impressed by the generosity of the Ukrainians in the first months of the war, when the Russians did not want to take the bodies of their dead soldiers. Then our people created a special network that enabled fathers and mothers on the other side of the border to find their murdered children. However, no one wanted to accept the latter.

    Today, our people in Kherson say that the Russians have turned this city into Buchenwald. The stench is felt over the city every day, because the occupiers in mobile crematoria day and night burn the bodies of "theirs", those whose names the invading country itself erases from history and sends not only to death, but also to eternal condemnation, shame and non-existence.

    28/08/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    The next principle of war prevention is a strong condemnation of the involvement in armed conflicts of children and adolescents who are recruited, regardless of their age. Unfortunately, this is happening in the occupied territories of Ukraine, which today are under the boot of the Russian aggressor. Children who are forced to fight or who make such decisions on their own, often without realizing the consequences, are deprived of education, upbringing and taught to kill... This is a terrible crime.

    The Church also strongly condemns terrorism. It cannot be justified in any way, because it carries a complete contempt for human life, which is always an end and not a means to an end, even if it is justified from a political point of view. And to declare oneself a terrorist in the name of God is profanation and blasphemy, contempt of God himself. Therefore, there is a right to defend oneself against terrorism. And today our Motherland is forced to defend itself against terrorism on various fronts.

    25/08/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    The enemy thought that in three days they would march in Kyiv with an unholy parade, but we are celebrating the Independence Day of Ukraine.

    24/08/2022 (Source)


    Prayer on Independence Day

    God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, on this day we stand together before Your face and thank You for the gift of freedom, for the gift of independence, for the gift of restoring the Ukrainian State. We ask You today: save, O God, Your people and bless Your inheritance, bless our people, our government, our army. Hear the cry, the cry of Your people of Ukraine. Give victory to the Ukrainian army over the unjust Russian occupier and aggressor. Bless our volunteers, doctors. Bless all those who save the human life given by You. Today we beg You for our brothers and sisters in the occupied territories, in the war zone. We beseech You for displaced persons and refugees, for all those to whom the war has inflicted deep wounds.

    Lord, You are our Savior, the only physician of our souls and bodies, save us today! In Your fortress, Ukraine is and will be Your invincible State!

    Today, under Your protection, Mother of God, we give our Motherland. Cover it with your honest omophorion. Mother of God, Oranto of Kyiv, pray for Your people! Amen.

    24/08/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    We see that in Ukraine, out of ten attacks by Russian weapons, only one hit is on military targets, and all the others aim to destroy and kill the civilian population. This only emphasizes the immorality of Russian aggression against Ukraine. Attempts to destroy entire national, religious or linguistic groups of people are a crime against God and all humanity. Those guilty of this must be brought to justice. However, we see that the truth always wins. The power of good and protection of peace is always stronger than the power of weapons and diabolical plans of an unjust attacker.

    22/08/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    Who are those who come to kill us, who torture our children, women and old men? These are people from those regions of Russia, where the criminal authorities stole the opportunity for integral and fair development, personal, of their family, people, even the part of the country where they live. The only way the Russian authorities offer them to survive, support their families, and find a means of livelihood is to go and kill. This type of recruiters, unfortunately, spread throughout Russia, even through the network of Orthodox churches, encouraging them with rewardsAnd the worst thing is that they give permission to kill with impunity and get rich by looting. And since these people were robbed of the opportunity to live and develop, they go to kill Ukrainians.

    (…)

    No one and nothing can justify the start of war in the modern world. She is always immoral. This is a tragic moment that can always be avoided. There is no excuse for those who use war as a tool to solve socio-political or international problems. Therefore, the conscience of every honest person calls him and the world to condemn the war. War can never be justified by means, methods, or goals. That is why it is so painful to hear that someone today, even among religious figures, justifies her.

    There are about 20 different wars going on in the world today. But in Ukraine it is something special and more dangerous, because it was started by a country with atomic weapons and threatens not only our country, but also the whole world. The war in Ukraine is a crime against humanity, a defeat for humanity, and hence the danger of involving the whole of humanity in a military adventure. Therefore, we must all do everything in order to stop the unjust aggressor, who condemns his own people to poverty and kills Ukrainians on their own territory.

    God, grant peace to modern humanity! God, destroy the plans of the aggressor, stop his murderous hand with Your divine power! God, support all the efforts that humanity is making today to nip in the bud the devil's plans to sow war in the bosom of modern humanity. God, bless Ukraine with Your just heavenly peace!

    21/08/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from sermon

    Today, together with Peter, James and John, contemplating the transfigured Savior, we ask Him: shine your face over our Motherland, because we want it to be good for us to be here in Ukraine; that Ukrainians do not have to leave their homes under Russian bombs or fleeing occupation by Russian tanks; so that they do not have to leave the Motherland, escaping from dangers. God, from Mount Taurus, show us this Easter perspective for the future of our people! We want to see our hope for victory in Your face and light.

    20/08/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    Violence is a sign of powerlessness. We can clearly see this in the relationships between people in society. Similarly, in the international arena, when some crazy dictator has no other arguments, no other opportunity to defend his position, because he knows that he does not have the truth and does not carry justice, then his last argument becomes war and violence. That is why it is so important for all of us to affirm justice and love, which will bring peace to our hearts, families, and society and give peace to the long-suffering modern humanity.

    20/08/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    Unfortunately, we see how today the war in Ukraine has become a challenge for international law. The Russian aggressor does not respect anyone: neither his own citizens, nor the rights of Ukraine, nor his state, cultural, and spiritual sovereignty. He despises international law and institutions. Therefore, what is currently happening in Ukraine is a matter for all humanity, because it undermines the very foundations, the foundations of international law.

    18/08/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    I am addressing you, mothers, with a special request: take care of the Christian and patriotic upbringing of your children! Learn the Ukrainian language, teach your children the true history of Ukraine — the history of suffering and struggle of our people. Take care of the Christian upbringing of your children. After all, if you do not give them real moral guidelines in life, then all the material things that you acquire for them, they will quickly spend.

    Today we surround you with attention and love and ask you to be active citizens of Ukraine and responsible for the future of your children and our Motherland. Look for work! Get involved in the active life of local communities and be sure that we will all help you in this. Because decent work, in accordance with your talents, profession, is one of the ways of showing your Motherland's respect for you, your skill, dignity, gift of motherhood. Together with you, we pray for your husbands, who may be far away today, but are so in need of our memory, attention, prayers, and support.

    12/08/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of daily video address

    During war, we can feel a certain devaluation of human life. Sometimes our conscience is dulled when we hear about dozens killed and hundreds wounded. But every person killed is a tragedy. This is the failure of humanity. This is the problem of all those who today talk about law, law, and international relations. Therefore, the ability to respect human life, the dignity of every person, respect their rights regardless of ethnic, national origin, religious or political beliefs is the cornerstone of the construction of any fair, dignified person in the country. May the Lord God help us to build a state worthy of us, where everyone can develop their talents and live a dignified life on this God-given land.

    (…)

    Dear Mothers, I express to you on behalf of our entire Church, the Ukrainian people, words of deep sympathy and assurance in prayer. We are with you in this painful moment. We honor the high price your child paid for the freedom and independence of our Motherland. Thank you, Mother, for understanding the value of your son or daughter's sacrifice. We want to wrap you in the warmth of love and pastoral care in order to help you survive the pain of a terrible and irreparable loss. The mothers of our heroes gather in different communities to mutually support each other, and our Church creates appropriate spaces for such mutual assistance.

    10/08/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of a sermon

    We have been experiencing this event about the multiplication of loaves in a strange way in Ukraine for almost six months. We lack everything to stand up to an unjust aggressor. But Christ is present among us, as then in a desert place among his disciples and apostles. Christ who takes care of his people, who is patient, Christ who has mercy on people and says: "They do not need to go away: you give them something to eat" (Mt. 14, 16). And we see that when we are in solidarity, when we share what we have, when above all we give even the last thing we have into God's hands, then nothing is lacking for anyone.

    Today we ask: Lord, You see the thirsty and hungry in Ukraine. You see those who suffer from war. You see that sometimes confused people feel like sheep without a shepherd. God, be between us! We place everything in Your hands: our resources, human, material, all others, ourselves and each other. Be among us as the One who breaks bread and feeds us! If necessary, even break our lives in order to multiply them and make your presence life-giving here, among us, in the body of our people. Let Your life-giving power, which multiplies everything, pulsate among us and be the secret of our tirelessness, endurance and victory. The Gospel says: "They all ate until they were satisfied and gathered the morsels that remained, twelve baskets full" (Mt. 14, 20). Lord, let it happen on Ukrainian land, let it be an icon of the feast of Ukraine's victory over the enemy, who today wants to rob us of everything and condemns us to a cold and hungry death. God, be with us today!

    08/08/2022 (Source)


    Thoughts on patriotism

    1. The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church is not a state, but a state-creating one. What is the difference?

    Statehood is a certain type of relationship between people, certain values, rules that become laws. And so it is the Christian faith that is the source of the thousand-year-old experience of state-building. And never vice versa! It cannot be said that the state is the source of the Church, that the state in one way or another creates various church institutions and structures. If we are talking about the state Church and the state-creating Church, then these are two completely different realities. The State-creating Church is the source of statehood. This is clearly visible from the history of our Church. Because it was precisely because of the existence of the Ukrainian Church that Ukrainian statehood was reborn and arose, and the desire of the Ukrainian people to have their own state was manifested. And the state Church is a cog in the state machine. And when we see that some Churches were tempted to become a cog in the state machine, then they alienated themselves from their people, became not the voice of God for the people, but the voice of this or that secular power. Our Church has never been a cog in some state machine, never a state Church, but has always been a people's, and therefore state-creating.

    2. How does the Church cooperate with the state?

    The Greek Catholic Church advocates the secularity of the state and partnership relations between the state and church and religious organizations. Everyone should be comfortable in such a state: Christians, Muslims, or perhaps those who currently do not participate in the life of any religious community. No belief or religion can be forced upon anyone. Because this is violence against his conscience. In order to understand this, centuries have passed. The church had to realize its role in society. The secularity of the state means that none of the Churches or religions can claim the role of the state. Therefore, especially in the conditions of a multi-religious state, which is Ukraine, I think that this is a very correct way of organizing our people in their state-building activities. But state secularism does not mean opposing state structures to church or religious organizations. After all, we have many common tasks, we must work together for the common good and the good of this nation.

    The Church never forces anything, never imposes anything on anyone, but is a mother and a teacher who speaks to the heart. And in this way we work for the common good.

    3. What happens if the state privileges one Church over others?

    This means that it made a bet on a certain Church and thus, de facto, interprets it as a state one. And according to Ukrainian legislation, the state authorities must treat all Churches and religious organizations absolutely equally. Whether they are small or large, powerful or weak, they have the right to exist and be treated equally. We all have equal rights. By the way, this is one of the foundations on which the life and activity of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations is formed: "We are all different, but we are all equal." When the state behaves like this with the religious environment, then there is no danger of nationalization of such a structure. There is another danger: when some Church offers itself to the state as a tool to achieve a goal, particularly a political one. This is very visible during elections. When some Church begins to support one political power and when that political power comes to power, then the representatives of a certain Church remind about it. This is also a dangerous sign when the crown and the mitre merge.

    4. What is patriotism?

    There are different types of patriotism. We talk about Christian as love for one's Motherland. Today, we don't always realize what that means. We use the word "love" so often that it loses its meaning. You have to learn to love. And love should always be active. And, it is obvious that love is the essence of what we are talking about as patriotism. Love creates heroes, and hate creates criminals. We clearly stated this in our message to this year's Synod of Bishops of the UGCC. A patriot is not necessarily the one who shoots, but necessarily the one who loves. The Church teaches its faithful to love. The Christian community is a school of love that explains that love does not mean taking what I like, but giving myself to someone in need. Give as much as I can. Even all of himself. True patriotism will never be seasoned with antagonism or hatred. Even to enemies. Christian patriotism must be distinguished from other types of so-called love for the Motherland, which, in fact, is national egoism. A chauvinist will also say that he is standing up for his country. But he wants to achieve the greatness of his state by humiliating others. Sometimes we say that protecting your own is a universal human rule. Even a heathen understands that it is necessary to protect one's home and property when a thief comes. What is Christian here? A Christian understands that it is not hatred and opposition to others that makes us able to fulfil our Christian task of protecting the Motherland, but the ability to give oneself. And this must be learned. Today, we very often say that there are sofa patriots who are ready to love Ukraine, but only on their sofa with a warm cup of coffee. And this is obviously a caricature of patriotism.

    5. Not sofa patriots...

    I am proud of my people. I am proud of Ukrainian patriots who are ready to defend their country without the slightest drop of hatred. They say: "We don't need someone else's, and we won't give away ours." We do not encroach on other people's property, but we love our own and are even ready to share ours." And, it is obvious that today until the end our enemy does not understand that he is not fighting with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but with the people. Today, Ukraine is defended not only by the President and the Commander-in-Chief, not only by state structures, but by millions of Ukrainians. Someone is on the front line, someone is working on the Ukrainian front. They risk encountering explosive devices or being targeted by a missile. You have to be a hero to sow in the fields of Ukraine, and now to reap what you have sown.

    You have to be a hero to give birth to children in wartime. Father and mother, who give life, are patriots! They understand that fatherhood and motherhood also have a patriotic dimension. When someone runs away from those burdens, does not give a future to the Ukrainian people, he has lost something somewhere.

    Let's remember our volunteers, who, without any hope of compensation or words of thanks, at the behest of their own conscience, work day and night to help refugees, to clothe those who lack clothes, to evacuate those who are in danger of death, to provide the Ukrainian army with all that that it needs.

    There is a whole mechanism of existence of Ukrainian society. However, the soul of this body that wields is love and Christian patriotism.

    08/08/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    Svyatopolk, who was called "wretched", killed his brothers in the struggle for the Kyiv throne. The Russian president publicly ridiculed the feat of these first Kyiv martyrs. And today, unfortunately, it is Russia that is once again committing the sin of the wretched Svyatopolk

    (…)

    I watch with emotion how many of our boys attack the military commissariats and are offended when they are not taken into the army, they feel guilty for being in the rear instead of at the front. Thanks to all of you, patriots of Ukraine! Be where the Lord God has called you! And bring Ukraine's victory over the enemy closer every day

    06/08/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    In just one day, Russia launched eight cruise missiles at Ukraine for a total of $100,000,000. We see how it becomes more and more difficult for the occupiers to explain to themselves and their own people why this senseless war is being waged. We see how much money the aggressor invests in destruction and death. Instead of developing their patriotism by investing in the well-being and better life of Russians, they cause great trouble, harm, and destruction to everyone: both to Russians in Russia and to the Ukrainian people.

    04/08/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    The world must condemn what happened yesterday to the Ukrainian prisoners of war as a special manifestation of inadmissibility, savagery and cruelty. Yesterday we saw footage of the terrible torture of a Ukrainian soldier, and later the news arrived that more than 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed in the town of Olenivka in Donbas. With what cynicism it was done! With what insidiousness, and therefore an attempt to frighten the world and demonstrate these crimes, all this was done! In the name of God, we condemn these atrocities, these crimes against humanity.

    I appeal to each of you to condemn the crimes of the Russians! If we, as people, do not distance ourselves today and say a sharp "no" to atrocities and torture, then tomorrow such behaviour, unfortunately, may spread to the whole world.

    30/07/2022 (Source)


    From a television interview

    In no case do I agree when someone talks about the danger of patriotism. Even more, we must teach our faithful to be patriots. Because how else can we hope that Ukrainians will respect the achievements of human civilization, the genius of the universal human spirit, if they do not love their own?!

    (…)

    That is, a patriot is not one who shoots, but one who loves. This should always come first. And the Church teaches its faithful to love. The Christian community is a school of love that explains that love is not about what I like. Love means giving yourself to someone in need. To give as much as I can, even all of myself.

    (…)

    Whoever does not have this sincere love for his Christian land, for his mother, for his children, for his home, he will never be happy anywhere, even on the whole infinite earth. This is the essence of Christian patriotism.

    (…)

    You have to be a hero to sow and reap what you sow today in the fields of Ukraine. You have to be a hero to give birth to children in wartime. That is, the father and mother who give a new life are patriots who understand that the true vocation to fatherhood and motherhood also has a patriotic dimension. When someone runs away from those burdens, does not give a future to the Ukrainian people, then somewhere along the way something got lost.

    29/07/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    Today, let's rediscover the value of Ukrainian statehood for our national existence. Our State is for us a matter of life or death. And we know that life will win. The state will be protected and strengthened. And life on the God-given earth will blossom and develop. 

    28/07/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from interview with Il Foglio

    Ukraine has been a victim of Russian aggression since 2014, but since February 24, we, Ukrainians, have understood that this is not just a war between one country against another, and even less a simple "military operation".

    Visiting Ukrainian cities that were occupied by the Russian army and then liberated, I saw the tragedy of mass graves – mass burials of civilians, I heard the testimonies of victims of rape by Russian soldiers, we were shocked by the terrible picture of executed people, left lying on the streets of our cities. Unfortunately, these are not isolated cases, but systematic actions of Putin's army against innocent Ukrainians. Mass graves were found in Bucha, Mariupol, Makarov, and perhaps others will be found; there were many cases of torture of civilians, including children; so far, about 300 minors have died at the hands of the Russian military. Just think that near the ancient city of Chernihiv, in the ancient Orthodox church, which is considered a historical heritage, the Russian army arranged a torture chamber! Residents of the villages of Yagidne and Lukashivka were tortured inside the church.

    Today, it is becoming more and more obvious, at least for us in Ukraine, that Russia's war against Ukraine has a clear ideological structure, which is called the ideology of the "Russian world".

    I would like to turn to the report of Timothy Snyder, a well-known researcher of the Shoah in the territory of the former Soviet Union. It was he who immediately reacted to the publication on the Russian website "Ria Novosti" of a document explaining the motives and orders given to Russian soldiers to carry out their mission in Ukraine. The comment entitled "What Russia should do with Ukraine" was written by Timofiy Sergeitsev, who explains what exactly Moscow means by denazification – one of the goals of the war in Ukraine declared by Putin. I invite the European community to carefully read this text in order to understand what the ideology of the "Russian world" consists of.

    Timothy Snyder called it Russia 's genocide handbook . He writes: "This Russian manual is one of the most frankly genocidal documents I have ever seen."

    In addition, I would like to note that many famous theologians of the Orthodox Churches of the world have condemned the ideology of the "Russian world" as a heresy of ethnophyletic religious fundamentalism, which has a totalitarian nature. Many prominent politicians identify it as a form of radical nationalism that seeks to spread throughout the world. The ideology of the "Russian world" denies the right of the Ukrainian people to exist, as the ideology of Nazi Germany once denied the Jewish people. In this way, a new authoritarian ideology is proposed, which was born in Russia, but thanks to massive propaganda, it will find its followers in the West, surprisingly.

    I can only testify that the occupiers are committing war crimes by carefully following every letter of these instructions. All this is accompanied by unprecedented cruelty towards the civilian population.

    The history of the Ukrainian people is a part of European history, we are a European people, which in recent history has once again confirmed its choice in favour of the principles and ideals of the European community. Unfortunately, today in Russia we are witnessing a synthesis of Soviet and imperial mentalities. And Ukraine today is a victim of this perverse reconstruction of the borders of "great Russia".

    In Russia, they always want to present Ukrainian society as being under the influence of the immoral West. This is how intolerance towards everything "not ours" is born, provoking and justifying violence to destroy all the "infected". Currently, the image of this "collective West" is being projected onto Ukraine, which seems to have to be fought. To revive the memory of the historical enemy to be fought, the word "Nazism" is used, which has lost its original meaning and today is usually applied to everything "Western" that is present in the identity of the people. That is why a Ukrainian is called a heretic Nazi.

    It is becoming more and more obvious that Russia has entered into a cultural conflict not only with Ukraine, but also with everything that we define as Western civilization. The process of zombification of the Russian population by the Kremlin regime gave rise to a very dangerous anthropological type of society. Imagine: mass graves in Ukraine become a reason for the joy of many people in Russia; no sympathy, no thought about the causes of this absurd war. Unfortunately, even at the highest level of the Russian Orthodox Church... Moreover, we hear the Christian justification of the Russian war against Ukraine and the glorification of war crimes and the ideology of violence.

    (…)

    In this case, as a Church, we must also declare "zero tolerance" for the criminal. I believe that we should stop talking about the conflict, we should talk about war crimes in Ukraine instead. We must stop trying to understand or protect the interests of the aggressor or to be mediators between the interests of the aggressor and the victim, therefore the reality and the truth, the objective truth of the events taking place in Ukraine. Zero tolerance for violence! If the interests of a state lead to war and condemn to death a people with a population of more than 40 million, then this is no longer an interest, but a crime. No reason can justify or explain this aggression in modern civilized society. 

    A crime against humanity is taking place in Ukraine: there is a cruel criminal and there is an innocent victim. Therefore, it is also important to find the right terms to describe everything that is happening in Ukraine. After all, even the word "war" in its traditional sense is no longer able to describe this tragedy. If anyone doubts, I invite you to come to Ukraine and see it with your own eyes.

    (…)

    Faith in the resurrection and love for freedom have always been the strength of our people, which protected them from despair, encouraged them to stand up and move forward. There is another folk saying: "They wanted to bury us forever, but it turned out that we are the seeds that give new life." Perhaps even now our people are fighting, standing up after so many waves of genocide precisely because the Lord resurrects us.

    (…)

    War is not a game. It seems to me that sometimes computer games are associated with the word "war" in the West. Unfortunately, those who plan wars have never experienced what war really is. After all, observing the realities of the war in Ukraine, we are faced with total destruction. Entire cities and villages became ghosts. And mass graves, which have no end. The question arises: is it possible to survive in such conditions? Does the world want to survive or fight? And one more thing: we know that one day of war costs Russia four hundred million dollars. Think about it, just one day. Who, by what diabolical logic, invests in death? What if we could use this money to build, save human lives, and create a better future in Russia itself? If these funds were to be invested in improving the living conditions of millions of citizens of this country? Instead of spending them so easily on killings... This means that war is always a crime, always madness, clouding of the mind. The more violent it becomes, the more obvious it becomes. The war in Ukraine is a crime against humanity.

    (…)

    We have all changed. Perhaps not everyone has yet understood that the world that existed until February 24 of this year is no more. Not Russia, not Ukraine, not Europe, not other countries. In one "click" we changed forever. And if relations between people change, then, obviously, relations between man and society, man and any community will change, and relations between Churches will also change. If we talk about the relations between the Churches in Ukraine, I must say that they have really improved, because we have united like never before in the name of protecting human life. We see that all differences, even some private selfish interests (which are sometimes cherished even by the Church) have now receded into the background, the existential question is now in the first place - how to survive together with our people. That's why we cooperate. Perhaps the ecumenical, doctrinal level, reflection will come later, which will be born from existential experience, but when it comes to organizing, for example, a green corridor to evacuate and save the lives of people who are in immediate danger of death, then everyone unites: Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, Muslims, Jews. We all cooperate to save ourselves and to save others.

    27/07/2022 (Source)


    Daily vídeo address

    Mykolaiv suffered a massive rocket attack that night. And yesterday we were shaken by an unprecedented disaster in Kharkiv, in particular, the picture of a father kneeling on the street of the city, holding the hand of his lifeless 13-year-old son, and praying. Many people asked themselves: God, why? How much more?

    21/07/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from sermon

    Free Ukraine, is torment for all those who want to enslave their people first of all, to put shackles on them. If Ukraine is free, then other nations of the former Soviet Union must be free as well.

    This is a spiritual struggle, an invisible struggle between good and evil. But this phrase is not a good metaphor. We see that God is calling us to freedom. And he gives it to us as he gave freedom to the Church and the people when He broke the prison of the nations – the Soviet Union and all those who were in slavery, in the shackles of that communist ideology, he called us to a free life worthy of human dignity, he called us to freedom.

    (…)

    Ukrainians said: we will never be slaves again, because we are responding to the call to freedom of our Saviour. We want to be free people.

    (…)

    We cannot be half human, nor can we be half free, because freedom is rooted in human nature. We see that wherever Russian weapons reach, blood is shed, innocent people are killed there. Therefore, this war turns into a complete war crime. But Ukrainians will never go back to live in graves.

    (…)

    Today we have come to the prayer room to pray for the victory of Ukraine, for the victory that will be the liberation of our land, the liberation of every person from the power of the possession of an evil spirit. We sacrifice everything so that our people will never return to slavery.

    17/07/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    It is difficult to call what is happening in Ukraine a war. These are, naturally, continuous war crimes that do not stop either day or night.

    But we are now here, in Zarvanytsia, and we will pray. Our prayer is for the victory of Ukraine, for our Ukrainian army, for our Ukrainian government. We will ask the Mother of God for the gift of just and true peace for the Ukrainian land, so that the thief will leave our house, so that the killings will stop, so that blood will no longer be sprinkled on the black soil of the Ukrainian land, our Motherland,

    17/07/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    We see how the pride of one dictator, in whose hands there are many means of destroying human life, can be a destructive force that tempts and leads the entire nation to sinful paths. This pride is the cause of murder, war, destruction and death of man.

    16/07/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    We know that more than seven million Ukrainians have already left Ukraine. And this process of demographic exsanguination of our Motherland, unfortunately, continues. But Ukraine stands. Ukraine is fighting. Ukraine is praying. Ukraine learns to win and wins!

    (…)

    The enemy is not at war with any state structures and not only with the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He has clear genocidal intentions and is fighting the Ukrainian people, putting the lives of Ukraine's 40 million population at stake.

    14/07/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    We see that some agree with the voice of Pope Francis, and some disagree, but everyone hears and notices him. Let us pray that among us, Christians of the new age, he will be the first to convert and, after his personal conversion, confirm the faith of his fellow believers. We pray that he will come to Ukraine as soon as possible to stand on the side of the suffering Ukrainian people.

    12/07/2022 (Source)


    Address to Ukrainian refugees in Poland

    We ask our saints: you, the sons and daughters of this people, pray today for our Church, for our people, who are bleeding. Pray for the Ukrainian State, which today shelters Europe with its breast from the war that is destroying Ukraine. Pray that evil does not spread, that Ukraine itself, with its holiness, strength, ability to sacrifice even life in faith for the sake of God's truth and the salvation of man, will be a shield that will cover the whole world from the apocalyptic beast that opens its mouth on modern man. All the saints of the Ukrainian people, pray to God for us sinners.

    09/07/2022 (Source)


    Opening sermon at the synod of Bishops in Przemyśl

    Because we, as the Church, found ourselves on the front line of the information war. At one time, Pope Francis remarked that every great war is connected with a great lie. Therefore, the voice of our Church, which testifies to the truth, by the power of the prophet John, is today called to carry out a prophetic mission in the desert of the modern world. That is why it is so important for us to experience this Synod, to feel the fraternal unity of our global Church, which unites all world Ukrainians in Ukraine and in the settlements! Because it is our Church that becomes a powerful voice to the world public, which once did not hear well and did not know who Ukrainians are, what they fight for, live and die for. Perhaps it is precisely our Church that should say that in today's cruel circumstances of military calamity.

    07/07/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of Sermon on the feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

    Christ says: "And when your eye is evil, your whole body will be in darkness" (Mt. 6, 23). Our Kobzar says about such an evil and lustful eye: "He is peering over the edge of the world with his restless eye to see if there is a country to conquer and take home with him" (Poem "Dream"). It is the eye of the occupier who comes to our land today and looks at all of us only from the point of view of what can be taken from us, enslaving and robbing us of all that we are. This is what it means to serve mammon. This god takes away man's freedom, instead instils in him fear of the coming day and, like a tempter, says: take today, because tomorrow may not be.

    03/07/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    We have already mentioned more than once that this war against Ukraine has a hybrid nature, that is, it is waged not only through weapons, bombs, missiles, artillery, tanks on the battlefield, but also through disinformation, lies, which the enemy spreads to the whole world. And we, as Christians, have to fulfil our duty here: not to listen to the voice of the tempter, not to enter into a dialogue with him, but instead to testify to the truth.

    (…)

    Pope Francis says that a great war is always connected with a great lie, and the first victim of war is always the truth. Therefore, no matter where we live, in Ukraine or in other countries of the world, no matter what we do, no matter what mission we perform, let us always listen to the voice of truth, the truth that sounds through the testimony of eyewitnesses, through the voice of the Church. Let's listen to God's truth, which speaks to us through the word of the Holy Scriptures, and with God's word, like a double-edged sword, we will defeat the attacks and temptations of the devil.

    02/07/2022 (Source)


    Interview with Open Church

    During the war, all masks were torn off, all traitors were unmasked. The whole depth of the heart of every good person was revealed. Then it was really possible to see who loves Ukraine, whether it is only good slogans, good words, only political ambitions or true love for our Motherland, which we live by every day.

    We not only believe in God's mercy, but are also its bearers. Therefore, if someone calls himself a Christian, but during the war he closes his heart to people in need, he is not moved by the footage of broken homes, wounded people, millions of refugees, then his Christianity is superficial, inauthentic.

    01/07/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    We see that Russian society is being tempted, that young men are being recruited to go and kill people in Ukraine. The war in Ukraine is not just justified, particularly for religious reasons, but presented as a good opportunity to earn something, even to steal something and bring it home.

    (…)

    We ask, Lord, help us with Your word, Your power to defeat the devil and his temptations! Help us to overcome the suggestions of the enemy, with which He wants to frighten, paralyze the will of all those who defend the dignity of man, his right to life and existence! God, bless the defenders of Ukraine, its children, all those who resist evil!

    01/07/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from daily video message

    The enemy mercilessly fires on all parts of Ukraine, where it can reach with its weapons. They are shelling towns and villages, including border towns, in Kharkiv, Sumy and Chernihiv regions. The so-called missile terrorism continues. The Russians are ruthlessly destroying agricultural, urban, and state infrastructure with rocket fire. In particular, a huge grain warehouse in Dnipropetrovsk region was destroyed yesterday. Everything that can save Ukraine, especially in winter, must be destroyed. At the same time, the Russians are brutally cracking down on anyone who wants to defend the Motherland

    30/06/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from daily video message

    But through the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which is faith we see that the Lord God not only sees Ukraine and has it in his original plan, but has prepared for us a special mission in the modern world, in the modern Church, in relation to man in the third millennium.

    Yesterday, Ukraine experienced perhaps the largest missile strike in its history by Russia. Russian cruise missiles flew to Kyiv, Chernihiv, Cherkasy, Odesa and Mykolayiv regions. The city of Kharkiv and Sumy region came under fire ... But Ukraine is fighting and thanking God and the Armed Forces of Ukraine that we have survived to this morning and can see the light of day.

    27/06/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from sermon

    I think it is obvious to all of us today that He sees Ukraine in his providence not only as we see it now, especially on this dramatic Kyiv morning – sick, wounded and crying. He sees Ukraine and us in it as we are bound to become – he sees in its victory over evil and an unjust attacker - a prosperous and free European state!

    It is obvious to all of us today that war is a denial of God's plan and God's wisdom. War is the greatest crime against God. War is the greatest madness, the greatest stupidity a person can commit. We feel that Ukraine's enemies are those who do not allow it to fulfil its sacred vocation. That is why their insane plans, which rebel against God's plan and vocation for our people, are doomed to shameful failure.

    Celebrating today the Day of the Laity in our Church, we ask: God, call us to follow us from the hell on earth in which we are today! We know that where You are, there is peace and security. We know that only those who fulfil their life vocation feel happy. Teach us to fulfil our family and professional duties in a Christian way, to fulfil our civic duty to protect and build the Motherland!

    27/06/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from sermon

    Consecrating this church, we see that in this event, in these sacraments that took place before our eyes, there is a great sign of hope for the Ukrainian people. For when the enemy kills, takes away life, in this temple God himself comes to revive, sanctify and give eternal life as it happened in Nazareth, at the moment of the Good News, when a new life began, Divine and human, by power and action. Of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    Today, when the enemy on our land is destroying everything, destroying, when he is waging a war of "scorched earth", we are building. You have to have a lot of faith to build temples during the war. We need to have a look into the future, which breaks through the clouds that have thickened over us and shows a ray of hope for the revival of Ukraine after the war.

    23/06/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of sermon on All Saints Sunday

    Today we celebrate International Father's Day and Medical Day. I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely congratulate parents who instill in their children a desire for holiness and Christian and human perfection. We especially pray for those dads who, with weapons in their hands and the cost of their own lives, protect Ukraine from the Russian occupier, giving their children a true example of true love. Thanks also to our doctors who save lives in the dramatic circumstances of the war. May all the saints accompany you in the conscientious performance of your professional duties, and may the Lord himself guide you with his hand and complement your medical art and your talent with the power of the grace of the Holy Spirit!

    19/06/2022 (Source


    Words during visit to Poltava

    By his love for us, the Lord God quenches human malice and sin. He transmits the same power to Christians. And when we forgive our offender, we defeat him. By forgiving, we defeat the evil that the offender has done to us. If we respond with evil to evil, then it only increases. And man himself will never be able to overcome evil as such. It's not in our power.

    Even today, when we see the enemy raping, killing, destroying, let our enemy not defeat himself on the battlefield of our hearts. If we can destroy the evil that the enemy carries in our hearts, we will defeat him. Because victory requires winners who are morally superior to our attackers.

    17/06/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from daily video message

    This gift [of the Holy Spirit] is extremely necessary for those who have a special responsibility, perform important service in the Church, the state and society. In my opinion, the mind as a gift of the Holy Spirit is very much needed by those who are trying to understand the causes and consequences of this full-scale Russian aggression. Because we see that today the whole world is trying to deceive, to pretend that what is desired is real. We see and know, experiencing the war on our own skin, that Russia's aggression against Ukraine is not provoked by anything. Anyone who thinks that some external cause has provoked military aggression in Russia is either a prisoner of Russian propaganda or is simply deliberately deceiving the world.

    Unfortunately, that part of the post-Soviet space that is today in the territory of the Russian Federation has its deep flaws and diseases since Soviet times. This post-Soviet revanchism, which today has emerged in the new face of extreme Russian nationalism, in the form of the ideology of the Russian measure, has clearly acquired genocidal features. And Ukraine is his first victim.

    That is why it is so important to understand the causes and consequences of this war. Unfortunately, the causes of this war lie in Russia itself, inside it. The Russian aggressor is trying to solve its internal problems with the help of external aggression. He projects his illnesses on others and blames the whole world for them.

    Today we pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit for politicians, diplomats, church and religious figures, so that the Lord God gives them the ability to see the causes and consequences of things, the depth of reality and the ability to distinguish truth from falsehood and falsehood.

    15/06/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts of Sermon on Pentecost Sunday

    Today we have to celebrate Pentecost in the circumstances of war. We know that the war has "nullified" all human relations. We all became different. We are afraid of the unknown future, because we do not know where our mad enemy will direct its lethal missiles tomorrow. Many parents have really serious difficulties in overcoming their children's anxiety.

    We need the Comforter so much in these military circumstances! Therefore, today we will kneel and call on the Holy Spirit as the only Comforter in unhappy circumstances and tell Him today: come and dwell in us!

    During the war, we all feel that we have become a wounded people, some physically, some psychologically and even spiritually… Today we are not fully aware of the wounds that Ukraine receives every day. Where will we get the medicine, the balm that will heal the wounds, will give us the strength to rebuild what the enemy shamelessly destroys every day? Therefore, we call on the Holy Spirit, whom the Son of Heavenly Father sends us today, and say to Him, "Come and dwell in us!" – because we know that He alone is the balm that can heal all our pains and wounds.

    We ask today: “Holy Spirit, come, renew us, give us strength, teach us to be bearers of truth! You are the Spirit of truth, so give us the strength to bear witness to the truth about You and Ukraine in its pain! Give us the strength to tell the truth, so that, in the words of the great Kobzar, "the whole world will hear what was going on in Ukraine, why it died, why the Cossack glory spread all over the world!" (To Osnovyanenko, 1839) ".

    May the Holy Spirit make us all spiritual disciples of our Saviour. May it descend into our hearts, write in it God's law of the truth of life, melt our petrification. May every place we live be enlivened and sanctified. May all that we touch with our thoughts, dreams, hands and deeds be revived. May the Holy Spirit descend on Ukraine today, tomorrow our tears and renew the face of the Ukrainian landAmen.

    14/06/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    It is becoming clear that the war that Russia has started against Ukraine is colonial in nature. They are once again trying to turn Ukraine into a colony, almost in the heart of Europe. This colonial war is accompanied by murders, rapes, robberies and, very sadly, Russia exports and sells on the international market everything that can be looted in Ukraine.

    Today I appeal to the world community, to the conscience of people around the world: do not buy loot in Ukraine! Because otherwise you become accomplices in the crimes committed by the occupiers when they came to Ukrainian soil.

    09/06/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    Ukraine is working, a sowing campaign has taken place. Our people are making every effort to feed Ukrainian bread to the sons and daughters of Ukraine, as well as to all those in need in the world. However, we already see that due to the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports, it is impossible to export Ukrainian grain. The global food crisis is already approaching and it is already beginning to worry the leaders of various states.

    We express our gratitude to Pope Francis for such a moving call not to use food grains as a weapon, because today the most vulnerable people suffer from it, not only in Ukraine but all over the world.

    (…)

    On this day, we want to pray for the Ukrainian government and all those in the world to whom the peoples and society have entrusted the leadership of states. Because we see that the worst sin of the government is war. When the government provokes wars, it shows its unbelief, rebels against the very plan of God for man, who is always peace. Authorities who do not care about the justice of life between people, their citizens and peoples make human life as such impossible. If the authorities commit crimes that are not initially visible, it leads to internal corruption of the state. We are talking about the sin of corruption, which erodes any institutions, even international ones.

    07/06/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    We also pray for our enemies, that they do not dry up their souls with crimes against the Ukrainian people. We pray for the grace of the Holy Spirit for all people.

    (…)

    Today we see that in Ukraine some are bearing fruit, and others are coming to show themselves as dry branches on this grape, although they call themselves Christians. It is a great scandal for the whole world that in Ukraine some Christians who are trying to appropriate the tradition of the Kyiv Church come from Moscow to kill other Christians in the Kyiv lands.

    06/06/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of interview on the Sunday of the Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea

    Jesus prays to the Father: "Now I come to you, and I say this when I am in the world, that they may have my joy in them" (Jn 17:13). Today, when Ukraine is crying, it is very difficult for us to talk about joy, because we are witnessing something completely different. We are constantly experiencing the pain and grief of loss. We lose our own and our own, sometimes even ourselves… However, in order for you to understand the fullness of joy that Jesus Christ speaks in his Hierarch's Prayer, I will tell you the story of a believing woman, a refugee from Donbass, told to me by my father from Kropyvnytskyi. This lady said that when she gets to another city, she first of all seeks her Church, because she knows that there are her own and she will not perish among her own. She was very happy when she found her family, her community, her Church. Of course, they helped her with everything they could.

    (…)

    True joy is finding your own. That woman lost everything: her home, relatives, the world in which she still lived. But she was happy, because she understood that she would gradually be able to find everything among her own. And this joy that Jesus Christ is talking about today is due to the fact that she managed to find her God in a foreign city.

    In these circumstances, it is very important for us to understand who is our own and who is someone else's. Where is the opportunity to know the true living God, where are those who know Him? It is important to reveal the community of Christ's Church in the life of our people. Because many foreigners come who pretend to be their own. They say: we are your brothers, your government and your fatherland ... Even in the church field they pretend to be their Church, but they behave like strangers who steal, kill, rape, burn even holy temples, steal everything from grain to things that are found in our homes.

    06/06/2022 (Source)


    Daily Video Message

    Ukrainians have been defending their land for a hundred days. For a hundred days, Ukrainians have been holding back the Russian invasion, which exceeds with all resources what we can oppose. At the same time, we are experiencing a hundred days of great manifestation of God's presence among us.

    03/06/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from Sermon on the Feast of the Ascension

    What does it mean to win? This is much more than deoccupying the territories that the enemy has taken away from us today. This is much more than restoring the integrity of our state. Our mission is to defeat the spirit of war and all those who serve it, who are enemies of God's plan for Ukraine, our Church and our people. We say today that the war in Ukraine is a struggle between good and evil. Perhaps this is our historical mission – to once again close Europe to the chest from the Asian invader, as it was here in Kyiv, during the reign of Khan Batu and other hordes who came to our land to take our lives and wipe the Kyiv state from the face of the earth. To pray for victory means to pray for the fulfilment of the historical mission of our people in the family of the peoples of Europe.

    Today we pray that each of us may fulfil our life's mission in a Christian way. Because the Lord God gives us a task that no one will do for us. If we run away from it, do not want to fulfil it, there will be emptiness. Each of us in our place today prays, defends the Motherland and is a witness to faith in God and in His saved plan for our people. That is why we pray and say on the graves of our fallen heroes that heroes do not die. It is the Lord God who revives them, makes them partakers of his Paschal sacrament. He is the key to their life and resurrection even after death.

    Today we ask: Lord, clothe us with power from on high! Thy Holy Spirit descended on us, as You did for Your apostles. For it is not by human power, but by God's power that victory over evil comes and God's plan is fulfilled. Come upon us, Holy Spirit, so that we may defeat the enemy, celebrate Your victory over evil! Grant us Your peace for our Motherland! And when the Lord sends us today everywhere, as the apostles and early Christians once did, from Kiev, the new Jerusalem, to all continents to the ends of the earth, let us make all your people disciples there and lead them to Baptism in them. ' I am the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit!

    03/06/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from an interview with Ukrinform

    Q. A large number of your faithful were very offended by the Pope. Offended by the Way of the Cross, the common cross of a Russian and a Ukrainian, offended by his intentions to see Kirill, because, obviously, it makes no sense. Don't you think that this behaviour of the Holy Father has greatly affected the authority of the Vatican?

    A. In the period you mention, I was in two realities. On the one hand, I personally communicated with the Holy Father, and on the other hand, I tried to read, listen to everything that was said and written about him, how his thoughts or intentions were broadcast through the media to the general public. And there is a big difference between one reality and another.

    The Holy Father personally as a person, as a Christian, as the Head of the Church, is very sympathetic to Ukraine. Not only does he understand what is going on, but he is even ready for certain unconventional, unrelated protocols of actions and gestures in order to stop the war. And if someone said that Pope Francis was pro-Moscow, it would offend him personally, because sometimes such thoughts are heard about him. Like, we don't understand you, such gestures or statements for Ukrainians look like direct or indirect support of the aggressor.

    The Holy Father is very hurt to personally perceive this type of interpretation of his words or gestures. On the other hand, we feel that the war in Ukraine is being waged in very different forms and on different fronts, the information war is part of Russian aggression and, in my opinion, the Holy See was involved by Russia in the information war, perhaps even to the end. without realizing it, he may not have been ready for it until the end. Here are some examples. Precisely in order to protest against Russian aggression, literally on the second or third day the Pope personally went to the Russian ambassador, this gesture was very unconventional, but who was the first to announce this visit? Moscow. And, obviously, informing about it, they put their content into this message and interpreted it in their own way. The fact is that the Pope went to protest against the war in Ukraine,

    - Was it a meeting with the ambassador to protest?

    - Yes. But since there was no timely communication from the Holy See, we were the first to learn about this gesture through the Russian media, and it was manipulated in favour of Russia.

    The second example. The Holy Father, looking for various ways to express his protest, disagreement with Russian aggression, had a televised conversation with Patriarch Kirill, where he clearly told him that we should be pastors, we cannot be altar boys of power. But who was the first to report this conversation? Patriarch Kirill. And the very fact of the conversation was interpreted as support for the Moscow Patriarchate, which is an absolute lie.

    And the third example, for me quite eloquent. We have all heard that the Pope is ready to go to Moscow. But only the first part of the phrase was conveyed, and the next phrase was as follows: because he is ready to do anything to stop Russian aggression. Instead, only the first part of the phrase was published, and the other was silenced.

    Indeed, we feel that there are some failures on the part of the Holy See on the information front, that it directly lacks a spokesperson who, in case of any doubts or misunderstandings, including various media manipulations, could refute Moscow's lies. But I think that step by step the whole truth shines in all its fullness, and this untruth will disappear like our fortune tellers, like dew in the sun.

    01/06/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from the Sermon during the 16th pilgrimage to Vyshorod

    [Mary’s] eyes are now weeping over the sons and daughters of Ukraine, as in the sad year of 1155, because today we are being killed, destroyed and burned, a war is being waged against us, which is called the "war of the scorched earth." Maria cries over those who are forced to leave their homes, their land, and once again goes with those whom the Russian invader forcibly takes to Russia. We know that there are already over a million prisoners who were forcibly removed from Ukrainian soil and then forced to kill Ukrainian citizens with weapons in their hands, carrying out the so-called mobilization in the occupied lands.

    Today our Mother, who sees the truth and whose eyes weep with Ukrainian mothers, sons and daughters of Ukraine, is with us. Sometimes it is so important for us in life to have someone who understands us. When we are in pain, we look for such a person. The son is looking for a mother, the daughter is looking for a father, the husband is looking for his wife, the wife misses her husband, who is defending Ukraine. How we need someone who would understand us without words, someone who does not need to explain anything, who looks deeper than the human eye sees! When the world does not want to understand, see and hear the pain and cries of Ukraine, we really need the presence of the Mother of God among us! And here, in Vyshhorod, we feel that the Blessed Virgin Mary sees, knows and understands everything.

    By a strange craft, the northern Kyiv region is today a place where many people from all over the world see. Having visited here, on the banks of the Dnieper, foreign presidents, prime ministers and church dignitaries – who heard about the war in Ukraine but were blinded by Moscow propaganda – could see mass graves and burned towns and villages, mountains of broken Russian equipment and hear horrible testimonies of the atrocities of the occupiers. They say that completely different people come back from here, those who saw them - they come back sighted!

    It is important that through this pilgrimage we return home to other people, that we live by our faith, be children of light, and never again become slaves to the darkness of sin. Let us return with hope, with faith, with the feeling that the Lord God is with us in our pains and sorrows and that He will lead us to victory! Let us return to persevere and say to the world, as the first apostles once said: “What we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at, and what our hands have touched, to you is eternal life, that your joy may be full ”(1 Jn 1: 1-4). This is the meaning of the Easter sermon of the Church.

    Today we ask the Blessed Virgin Mary, the first sighted, the first, who was not subject to original sin, to help modern humanity to see. We ask you to help everyone see the crimes of the Russian enemy and at the same time the heroism, strength and steadfastness of our people, and to help us see the victory of Ukraine.

    31/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from daily video message

    Those crimes that are being committed in Ukraine today are worthy of unanimous condemnation. Therefore, anyone who tries to justify, support or praise the actions of Russian criminals at the international, economic or even ecclesiastical level is in danger of being guilty of this very sin we are pondering today

    (…)

    God, we entrust to your hands the cities and villages of the Ukrainian Donbass. In Your hands we entrust the life and health of the defenders of Ukraine. In Your hands we entrust the lives of all those who found themselves in the occupied territories and no longer hope to receive help from anyone. God bless Ukraine!

    28/05/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    [In reference to a speech in which Patriarch Kirill, of Moscow, exalted Russian fighters in Ukraine as heroes of orthodoxy] The speaker did not clearly indicate what examples he meant, but today - when we hear the cries and groans of crippled souls in Ukraine, the voice of the blood of innocent murdered women, children and men calling from earth to God - from the heart of ordinary people a cry breaks out: God, save and preserve all people from such an Orthodox culture!

    24/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from the sermon on the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman

    When I visited this community less than two months ago, while Kyiv was experiencing the most difficult moments of the siege by the Russian army, it was nice to see that life and prayer were not interrupted here. I remember how Father Igor and I went down to the crypts of this cathedral and prayed at the tomb of Prince Askold, hearing the sounds of cannonade around Kyiv. We felt a sip of the living water spoken of today in the Gospels.

    On the same day, I visited the mayor of Kyiv. We talked about the role and place of Christ's Church even during the Russian siege of the capital. And he told me: “Today, more than bread and clothes, we need God's word, which inspires, strengthens, eliminates fear, gives strength to God-lovers, quenches our thirst for eternity. Who has access to this living water is invincible."

    Therefore, today, remembering our ancient 1140-year and recent 30-year history, we look to our future and pray for the victory of Ukraine, which will finally bring peace to our long-suffering people. We ask our Saviour: give us all a sip of this living water so that we will not be thirsty forever, teach us here in Kyiv to worship our Heavenly Father in Spirit and Truth!

    People all over the world admire the courage and faith of Ukrainians. I was asked: do you have any hope in Ukraine? I said we have, because we are Christians. And today, from this source of the Kyiv Mountains, we can and must quench the thirst for God of modern man in different parts of the world. Together with Prince Askold and our Heroes we pray: God, great, one, save Ukraine for us!

    23/05/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    Yesterday we heard from the President of Ukraine that, unfortunately, 50 to 100 Ukrainian servicemen die at the front every day, and the number of civilians killed is ten times higher. So, every day Ukraine receives a new heavenly hundred.

    (…)

    Today, Ukrainians, like no one else, see that war is a terrible crime, and by committing it, a person loses God's image and human dignity.

    23/05/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    The first on the list of other people's sins is to command to sin, to incite to sin. We see that during the war the enemy gives many criminal orders. He who commands another to kill, to rape, becomes a murderer and a rapist. He who sends an army to kill people in another country becomes personally responsible for the evil he has ordered others to do.

    21/05/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    We feel more and more that Ukraine is able to withstand this difficult, uneven battle. We feel that the Lord God is blessing our army because we are praying for it. He supports those who know how to love the Motherland and their loved ones.

    18/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from of speech to the participants of the National Conference on Health in Italy

    I was in the occupied cities and saw what the Russian soldiers left behind: now they are destroyed ghost towns, the bodies of innocent people were scattered in the streets, we prayed at mass graves where hundreds of people lay with their hands tied and shot heads. Among them are small children, women, the elderly. I never thought I would see such a thing.

    (…)

    I am constantly in touch with our priests and bishops, who remain faithful. Our Church, together with our Roman Catholic brothers, is a real field hospital in these regions. We are doing everything possible to send food and drinking water there.

    (…)

    One must have faith and trust completely in God, who comes to the rescue through the solidarity of many people. I want to thank the Italian Church for accepting many refugees. Help them learn your beautiful language, and they will help you discover the richness of the faith of our people. We want to share with you not only our pain, but also the richness of our hope.

    16/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from sermon on Fourth Sunday after Easter

    When I saw the mass graves in which the Russians dumped hundreds of murdered people, the army that is advancing on us and many times outnumbers the Ukrainian army, when we understand that Ukraine began to fight, as David once did with Goliath, in the first and during the most difficult moments of the war, we said to ourselves: “We have no one”.

    Nobody believed that Ukraine would survive. Even our so-called Western partners predicted that Kyiv would be taken in three days. But in three days Christ rose from the dead. And in those days when we felt that all of us had left, at one point Kyiv turned into a dead city. A lot of people left. Embassies of foreign countries were evacuated, shops were closed, even food could not be found.

    Then we cried out to heaven, “We have no one, God! We need Your mercy!” As a result, our capital turned into a great baptismal font, as in the time of Prince Volodymyr Kyiv, where our people received new life, where they were baptized into the death and resurrection of Christ. And at the beginning of this war, our Kyiv became the center of resistance. The Lord was with us.

    May the merciful Lord bless all those who are waiting for God's mercy. Because this is a story about each of us. We are all sinners who, being in the sea of our own sin, our own weaknesses, cannot heal ourselves. We need a person who would bring us God. Everyone who does mercy to another person becomes a messenger of God. Every time we show mercy to the victims of war, refugees, displaced persons, those who have lost relatives, housing, property, and a person who feels God's mercy on himself, he says: "God himself sent this man, God has not forgotten me".

    May the feeling of God's closeness in the most difficult circumstances of the war be for us the strength, hope, key and secret of our victory - the victory of Ukraine.

    15/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of daily video message

    We see that the war in Ukraine has a clear ideological component. In addition to the cities and villages of Ukraine, the enemy is destroying the souls, not only of Ukrainians, but of people all over the world, seducing them with lies, calling what is happening in Ukraine some negative statements or words associated with evil in the past.

    15/05/2022 (Source)


    Address of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC in Ukraine

    Today we are experiencing with unspeakable pain in our hearts the suffering of the native Ukrainian people caused by the unprovoked and unjustified full-scale armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. We, the bishops of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC in Ukraine, in our apostolic ministry remain faithful to the words of the Gospel Truth and to our vocation to be witnesses of hope in times of tribulation and trials.

    To fulfil a certain task on earth, the Lord gives man various gifts, talents and opportunities, but also provides a separate mission and mission to the chosen peoples. Just as God once chose the Israelites to enlighten all nations, so He constantly, and even today, entrusts special calling to different nations.

    We often asked ourselves: why, Lord, did you give us the gift of freedom, restore our independence 30 years ago, raise our Church from the underground? And today we see, experience and begin to understand the great mission of the Ukrainian people - descendants of Kievan Rus, heirs of Kievan baptism, courageous rulers and defenders of the Fatherland, followers of our martyrs Boris and Gleb, wise women, educators and prayers - followers of Princess Olga. And this vocation in God's providence is that in times of great turmoil and the threat of destruction not only of Ukraine but also of many other nations, the revived Kievan Rus rebelled and stopped the evil will of the aggressor, albeit at a high price. The price we continue to pay today on the altar for the liberation of our and other nations to stop the insatiable dragon,

    The vocation of our Church is to remain always with our people in order to fulfil the mission that the Lord has prepared for us, becoming a nation of martyrs-heroes who give their lives, protecting not only our relatives but all European nations and their freedom. The mission of our Church is to become like the Blessed Virgin Mary, who, standing under the cross of her Son, stared at His wounds with unspeakable sorrow in her soul and at the same time hope in her eyes. And her hope was not in vain: on the third day Jesus rose again.

    We express our sincere gratitude first of all to the Defenders of Ukraine. Your feat has already become an example for the whole world. Your sacrificial loyalty to your people and devotion to defending our state in the face of the challenges of a brutal and inhumane war testify to the depth of your love. The defender is a warrior with love in his heart: for his native people, for his land, for his parents and children, for all those who today need protection from the hellish force of cruelty and brutality of the Russian aggressor. Legal protection of life is both a human right and a duty. The innocent blood of our brothers and sisters in Bucha, Mariupol, Irpen, Kharkiv, Chernihiv and hundreds of other Ukrainian communities requires us to have the strength and courage to become defenders not only of life but also of humanity itself.

    Our Savior taught, "No one has greater love than he who lays down his life for his friends" (Jn 15:13). The sincerity of your love today gives our people hope for the revival of Ukraine, for the protection of their freedom and dignity. Only by the power of love will we be able to achieve the final victory of good over evil, truth over lies, human dignity over human meanness. Our victory also requires our common faith that when we courageously and honestly seek the Truth, defend the good, fight for justice, God is with us! We tirelessly entrust you to his care in our fervent prayers and supplications.

    Today we address our military pastors with special words of gratitude, fraternal support and recognition for faithful service. From the first days of Russian aggression and throughout the following years, the military chaplains of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church did not hesitate to sincerely respond to God's invitation to be "close" to men and women in military uniforms, sharing the difficulties of military service and the challenges of everyday life. During the years of armed Russian aggression, our chaplains have been tireless witnesses of hope, standing faithfully side by side with Ukrainian soldiers in battle trenches, military hospitals, rehabilitation centers, providing necessary support to their families, preserving the memory of fallen defenders and taking care of their families.

    The full-scale invasion of the Russian army into the territory of Ukraine coincided with the implementation of the provisions of the Law of Ukraine "On the Military Chaplaincy Service" adopted by the Verkhovna Rada. The law creates opportunities for effective professional organization of pastoral ministry among the Ukrainian army. At the same time, he demands that our pastors be of the highest level of initiation in the event of enlistment. Taking into account the challenges and needs of today, we appeal to the clergy of our Church in freedom of spirit and generosity of heart not to deny the Ukrainian soldier the tangible presence of God, which is evident in the prayer and sacrificial service of the military chaplain. May the words of our great pastor, Metropolitan Andrei, addressed to Ukrainian soldiers in times of trials and fierce struggle, will be your words today to our defenders: “You who are killed every day in battle, remember to keep your heart clean from sin, be ready to stand before the Throne of God and give up the work of a lifetime. Fulfil your responsibilities bravely! Victory is certain, but it is a sacred right!

    In particular, we appeal to our seminarians, encouraging them to pray and to spiritually recognize their vocation to serve the deep inner needs of the Ukrainian soldier in accordance with the rich and long tradition of our Church. This ministry requires special courage, which only mature Christian love is capable of, as a gift from our Heavenly Father, which allows us to understand "what hope He calls us to" (Ephesians 1:18).

    Families of servicemen and families of fallen defenders are waiting for a special testimony of hope today from the military pastor. The pain of separation, the uncertainty of the coming day, the feeling of loneliness and helplessness in the face of irreparable loss may take a long time for final healing. The military chaplain's mission remains to show personal responsibility - to "be close" to those most hurt by the war. Supporting the wounded and praying for the captives can help many Ukrainian families today to escape the destructive power of suffering and through their own pain, uniting with the crucified Christ and lovingly "bearing one another's burdens", finding the way to resurrection (Gal. 6: 2).

    As pastors of the Church of Christ, we feel obliged to appeal to the Russian military, soldiers and officers who have dared to take up arms against the Ukrainian people, killing innocents, leaving children orphaned, depriving many people of their homes and hope for the future. The blood of innocent Ukrainian children will testify against you in the Lord's judgment. Before it's too late, find the courage to lay down your arms and not carry out criminal orders. Do not allow murderous propaganda to obscure your mind and incite unjustified cruelty: "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (Jn 8:32). Repent and ask God for forgiveness for your crimes against humanity, so that He may grant you forgiveness of sins and hope for eternal life.

    In the face of terrible trials for the entire Ukrainian people, we invite our military pastors to sincerely serve those on whom the fate of our common future now depends. Dear fathers, military chaplains, your prayerful presence in the ranks of the Ukrainian army should become a source of spiritual consolation and a guarantee of tireless fraternal support. Your vocation is to show hope in the twilight of human suffering, to be faithful followers of God, who became man, to elevate man to participate in God's life. But we keep each one of you in our fraternal prayers and "remember the work of your faith without ceasing, the labor of your love, and the patience of your hope in our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess. 1: 3).

    The blessing of the Lord be upon you!

    13/05/2022 (Source) 


    Excerpts of video message on the Feast of Saint George

    A martyr is a witness to the Resurrection. Dying, submitting to torture and death, a martyr shows the world that the death we experience here has already been defeated and dismissed by Christ's Resurrection, as new life follows it... The martyr defeats his tormentors in a unique way. Those who crucified Christ thought that they would bury His word, His teaching, and His power forever. However, Christ overcame death by His death and defeated the tormentors.

    He who kills a martyr thinks he is defeating the one he killed. Yet the opposite happens, because the martyr is the winner, he defeats his tormentor. And today, praising St George, we speak about two features of his victory. The first is that he exposed the wickedness of his tormentors, and the second is that he sacrificed himself. These two factors are fundamental in his victory. That's why we call him a victorious Trophy-Bearer.

    Today we feel that the Great Martyr St George is fighting for Ukraine – he is on our side. Today, on Ukrainian land, with his spear, he is piercing and destroying this ancient snake that is trying to harm Ukraine. And so, the victory will be St George’s, for us.

    07/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts of speech to Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

    We know from the Russian president's statement that this war has two main tasks: demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine. Demilitarization means the final destruction of the Ukrainian state and its military potential in order to achieve the next task - the so-called denazification. And this clearly proves that Russia's main task is to destroy the Ukrainian people.

    (…)

    [Russian military action in Ukraine] can be called a textbook on genocide, according to which our people must be destroyed.

    (…)

    What happened in Ukraine is a terrible humanitarian catastrophe, as a result of which 10 million Ukrainians were forced to leave their homes and 5 million to leave the country, and in the occupied and later liberated towns and villages we saw such tragic phenomena as mass graves. Today these places are places of common prayer of Orthodox, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims.

    During the 70 days of the war, almost 100 churches, monasteries and religious buildings were destroyed. In this tragedy, religious communities have united as never before. Our All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations represents 95 percent of the religious community in Ukraine. During the war we issued 17 different appeals. On the night before the Russian attack, we appealed to the Russian president not to start a war. We, the representatives of Churches and religious organizations, have offered our mediation: if politicians and diplomats have not been able to avert war, we have offered ourselves as mediators of peace.

    We also appealed to the religious leaders of Belarus to make every effort to avoid the participation of Belarusian troops in the war against Ukraine. It is worth emphasizing that the representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate took an active part in the processing of these appeals and their transmission to Russian addressees. Due to many scandalous facts, this Church today feels marginalized and pushed out of the life of the Ukrainian people, although most of the destroyed churches belong to this denomination.

    (…)

    The first Sunday after the start of the war, Patriarch Kirill said that this war was metaphysical in nature and a war of values, and therefore not only justified, but had the task of defending Orthodoxy. The analysis of such a justification for the war shows us a great danger not only for the Russian Orthodox Church, but for Christianity as a whole, Unfortunately, the Russian Orthodox Church has become hostage to Putin's state doctrine, which was strongly condemned by authoritative Orthodox theologians a month ago.

    (…)

    The war in Ukraine poses two important challenges: first, we need to rethink the Church's social teaching on war and peace. The second task is to study the relationship between the Church and the state. We see a clear need to develop new and correct terminology to describe current challenges in these areas, and to have the courage at the ecumenical level to respond correctly to these dangers.

    06/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts of Easter Sunday Sermon

    (…)

    Christ is risen!

    Above the valley of tears, which today is our Ukrainian land, the cry of victory is heard from heaven: Christ is risen! Above the burned houses, cities and villages, heaven announces to us through its angel: Christ is risen! Above the burning Donbass and the south of Ukraine, where the war is going on and the positions of our soldiers are burning, the sky announces to Ukraine and the world: Christ is risen!

    (…)

    The Son of God wanted to suffer in order to touch the tears, sorrows of man and give him joy. He wanted to lie in the tomb to give life to all those who had long since rested there and were waiting for Him. Easter is a celebration of the victory of life. After all, we see: everything that invades Ukraine has already been defeated, because Christ is risen!

    Today marks the second month of Russia's bloody war against Ukraine. During that time, a new cry of victory was born. When we want to share the joy of stopping our enemy, we say, “Good afternoon! We are from Ukraine!". And today we want to declare to the whole world: “Christ is risen! We are from Ukraine!".

    The very fact that we are celebrating Easter in Kyiv, in the Patriarchal Cathedral, is a miracle of God that we could not have hoped for sixty days ago. We see how the Resurrection of Christ becomes the strength, hope, joy of those who defend Ukraine, fight and pray for its victory.

    (…)

    The enemy-attacker thought that on the third day he would celebrate his wicked parade of victory in Kyiv, but on the third day Christ was resurrected. The attacker thought that he would capture Ukraine in three days, capture what he saw, but now he is defeated by what he missed. He overlooked the people's strength, people's resistance, the people's will to live God's God-given freedom on God's land. That is why we say today: Christ is risen! We are from Ukraine!

    We know that this morning the wounded Odesa mourned and that our enemy on these Easter holidays on the weapons of murder – bombs, rockets, shells – wrote sarcastically: "Christ is risen!". And we write these words on Easter eggs, on Easter bread, which we put in a basket and consecrate. And we will tell everyone, including our enemy: Christ is risen! We are from Ukraine!

    As we celebrate this Passover, we ask Him to be resurrected, our Saviour, to turn our tears of sorrow into tears of joy. Resurrect Ukraine, give us victory, give us the opportunity to joyfully celebrate and live not only on Easter, but every day. And today our Saviour comes to take us by the hand and bring us out of the hell into which our enemy wants to drive us.

    I read with emotion a prayer that a soldier wrote on his helmet: God, if I am killed on the battlefield, take me to heaven, because I have already been to hell. We say: Lord, You who bring all the dead out of hell by the hand, You who came from the dead to give life to all, take us by the hand and bring us into the Easter joy that descends to each of us from heaven today.

    I want to congratulate you, our army, with the triumphant cry "Christ is risen!", because thanks to you, our dear military brothers and sisters, we celebrate Easter in Kyiv and other cities and villages of Ukraine. Thanks to you, your life, today we can enjoy the freedom in Ukraine and fight for it. May the Lord God help you to complete the high mission of protection of the Motherland, which is handed over to your hearts and hands by your people.

    Words of Easter joy and greetings are addressed to those who do not have the opportunity to celebrate in the temple, who have nowhere to bring their Easter baskets. Words of prayer flow to the Lord God for our faithful in the occupied Donbass, as well as in Kherson, Berdyansk and Melitopol, which are under occupation in southern Ukraine.

    I pray for the defenders and children of Mariupol. There, in the dungeons of Azovstal, there are children who have not seen the sun for a month and a half ... Lord, how You entered the depths of the dungeon and came out victorious, how You passed through the stone of the sealed tomb, come to them, take their hand and get out the dungeon into which they were driven by the enemy of Ukraine.

    Congratulations to the wounded servicemen who are currently healing the wounds of Ukraine that they wear on their bodies. While visiting them, I did not see a single sad face. They asked: pray that we get better as soon as possible. May this Passover prayer be a separate, strongest remedy for their wounds and enable them to return to full physical and spiritual health as soon as possible.

    I say special prayers for those who have been forced to leave their homes and share the bitter fate of a refugee or even an emigrant. Today, about ten million Ukrainians do not have the opportunity to sit down for Easter breakfast. May our support, our prayer, our warmth flow to them. Wherever we are, let us open our hearts to our brothers and sisters who are on the road, let us serve them all we can.

    24/04/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts of Good Friday Sermon

    (…)

    Hearing this word of God about the suffering of God in man, about the death of the Son of God in the human body, I think before the eyes of each of us appear pictures of the Ukrainian Golgotha. We are being killed today, and Christ himself is being killed in us.

    In the wounds of Christ we see the wounded, mutilated bodies of the sons and daughters of Ukraine. In His suffering we see the grief of corpses, the rivers of blood and the sea of tears that flood our once flourishing cities and villages. In this funeral procession with the shroud around our cathedral we see the lifeless bodies of our soldiers, whom our cities and villages meet on their knees. In this tomb of the Savior we see the mass graves of Bucha and Borodyanka. We still see the bodies of Ukraine's daughters and sons being found in Chernihiv, and the enemy continues to kill Ukrainians in the martyr city of Mariupol.

    But today the word of God tells us that Christ's wounds are healing for us. Therefore, He wanted to be wounded to touch our wounds with His wounds. He wanted to be unjustly condemned in order to set us free and break the debt obligations that the devil had written down as our death sentence. Today, the Son of God lies in the grave next to the tortured, shot sons and daughters of Ukraine, in order to give life to those in the graves.

    On Easter Friday, we honor the Savior's life-giving death because we know that by giving the Spirit on the cross into the hands of the Father, we wanted to give it [the Spirit] to man so that he could find the rest of life again. Today we heard the words of Christ on the cross: “My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me? (Mark 15:34). He made his cry the cries of hundreds of thousands of people who have not yet been rescued from the rubble and who have been calling for the rest, asking for help. However, the occupiers did not allow to save those people. And we are just discovering their lifeless bodies today… How horrible their death was!

    However, by placing our Christ in the tomb, we know that He will not stay there long, but will rise on the third day, and with His death comes the hope of resurrection. We know that He is going to hell today to lead all the dead by the hand and bring them to Heavenly Father's house, where there is "neither sickness nor sorrow, but there is life without end." On this Easter Friday of this tragic year, when Ukraine is going through its Golgotha, we kiss the wounds of Christ and ask: Lord, save, heal, revive us! We know that You will rise from the tomb that will be sealed today, and Your resurrection will be the joy and victory of Ukraine. This is what You told us in the words to Your disciples at the Last Supper: “You will weep, weep, and the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your sorrow will turn into joy ”(Jn 16:19). We know that from the moment of Your burial, everything begins to change.

    Lord, turn our sorrow into joy by the power of Your passion and Your Resurrection! Turn the tears of Ukraine into joyful singing that will glorify life in You! Today, under Your cross, Your Church sings: "Let us worship Your passions, Christ, and look forward to glorifying Yours on the third day of the Resurrection." Amen.

    22/04/2022 (Source)


    Full sermon on Easter Thursday

    Good Thursday during the war. These days we have heard many times how people of all ages, believers and non-believers, scientists and scholars alike, have asked you, dear fathers: where is God when bombs fall on us? Where is God when we are killed? Where is God when our houses are burned, our cities and villages are destroyed? Where is God when the weakest are mocked? Where is God when man dies? Each of you has tried to answer these questions by listening to God's word, looking for some thought and answer in Scripture. I believe that today we have a unique moment to hear what Christ himself will answer us.

    It so happens that when a person suffers, when he is wounded, when his world, his life is broken, then the deepest secrets of his heart are revealed. When difficult or tragic times or circumstances come, all false images that a person has invented about himself and believed in are broken. When a person suffers, the depth of the human being is revealed.

    Having taken on the abyss of human patience, Christ enters into his passions. He himself becomes a suffering man – he becomes the one who was sold by the nearest disciple for thirty pieces of silver, whom society rejected and unjustly sentenced to crucifixion. The Saviour Himself wants to die and lie in the grave. In His crucified, torn body we see, on the one hand, the depth of man's cry for God, and on the other, the mystery of God himself.

    Today we sat down with Jesus Christ for the Last Supper. We have all seen her gestures more than once, we repeated them ourselves. Let's listen to them again today, let's look at them.

    The first gesture of the Eucharistic meal is broken bread, which symbolizes a broken life, a wounded human body. When we break bread, we see all its entrails: freshness, mold or staleness. The Savior shows Himself present in the flesh just on the brink of broken human life. When one asks today where God is, Christ Himself says that is where there is the most human pain and suffering. Where the greatest wound is, the Eucharistic bread of His Last Supper is most deeply broken.

    The Divine Master today gives his disciples a cup of his blood. This bowl is another deep gesture. To drink a common cup is to become something one, with two one body, life, and it also means to accept something that you have invented and chosen for yourself. He will pray for this cup before his passions in the Garden of Gethsemane, saying: "Father, if you want, give this cup away from Me, but let it be not mine, but yours." (Luke 22:42). Christ drinks the cup of human suffering, torment and death. This means that He shows the fullness of the Divine life where man thinks that there is no God: in the cup of suffering man receives an open space of living communion with God, access to participation in His divinity. When we ask, God, where are You, let us hear His voice in the midst of war: I am here!

    We humans need to see, feel His presence. God is where man cries and suffers. That is why today in Ukraine he is being sold again, crucified, killed and thrown into mass, mass graves, which became a great tragedy of the war. He is in his broken bread and with his wounded people.

    Today we celebrate the Feast of the Establishment of the Priesthood of Christ. The possibility of God's presence in the midst of the greatest pain, wounds, suffering, and humiliation reveals to us the meaning and purpose of the vocation to the priesthood. Because every priest asks: where am I called, up or down, right or left? We see that Christ is calling us as deeply, low and far as this world humiliates, wounds and kills man.

    The gesture of washing our feet reveals to us the meaning of the priestly ministry. God leans over a wounded, bewildered man. He himself wants to touch her wounds and heal her with his wounds. Therefore, we participate in the priesthood not of man, but of God himself, who is eternal. The wounds will heal, by the power of the grace of the Holy Spirit the war will end ... God forbid that we all deeply experience the conditions of the answer to the question: what does it mean to be a priest for the Ukrainian people during its Calvary?

    I returned from Chernihiv yesterday. I saw the wounds of this ancient Ukrainian city. He had the opportunity to embrace our fathers, monks, who bow there over the wounds of their people. He could embrace those who gather their sheep in the midst of destruction.

    He also visited our heroic Slavutych, which is located twelve kilometers from the Belarusian border. The ministry of our brother there is a perfect and true image of the priest of Christ of the third millennium, who showed people God, did not leave them in difficult times. Asked where God was when the bombs fell, they felt that if their priest was next to them, so was God.

    Therefore, today it was worthy and righteous for me, dear fathers, to kneel and wash your feet. You have experienced the horrors of war in the bosom of our Kyiv Archdiocese, starting from here, from the Patriarchal Cathedral and its crypts, where we warmed, treated and fed hundreds of people who believed that the Church would save them when the bombs fell. Thank you for that!

    It was worthy and righteous for me today to kneel before you, the fathers who went to serve the Divine Liturgy in the metro. Apparently, in the thousand-year history of Kyiv, this has never happened before. You shared your experiences with me, in particular, how much people felt the light of hope, that they are not alone in their grief.

    It was dignified and just for me to kneel and wash the feet of those fathers who washed the feet of their fellows who had to temporarily leave the burning cities. You opened your home to them when they were on the road empty-handed, you fed them, received them, washed their feet in the way they needed.

    It was worthy and just to wash your feet today, fathers, who have shown that the Church is with her people, that she not only speaks of good, but also does it. For it is in your hands that Christ has today healed the wounds of the people. This holy anointing, which we consecrated here in the Patriarchal Cathedral, will spread to all the cells of our church body: from Kyiv to Australia, South and North America and Europe, wherever the war has scattered our people.

    It is through your priestly ministry that the motto of our Patriarchal Council is being carried out today: "Your Church is always and everywhere with you." Always and everywhere – whether you are in a safe Western Europe, or in burning Kharkiv, or in wounded Chernihiv, or in occupied Kherson. Blessed is the priest who never feels unemployed and whose eternal seal of the priesthood encourages him to work, pray and sacrifice for his people.

    Congratulations to you, Fathers, on this great holiday, on behalf of all your Church as its Head. I bow my head before the episcopate, the clergy, the deacons, the seminarians for the heroic testimony of God's service to the Ukrainian people, which you are doing in these tragic times.

    Blessed are the people who have such priests and feel that the power of God is revealed to us in its fullness precisely when we need it most, when we feel most wounded, abandoned and powerless. His strength is manifested in our suffering and helplessness. I think this is the word of the Holy Eucharist that Christ gives us at the Last Supper today, this Holy Thursday.

    May the Lord God bless you all! Thank you also to your wives, families, because you are not alone under the bombs. Thank you to all who pray for their priests and bishops.

    I ask all our faithful to congratulate their priests on this day. On Holy Thursday, make them feel that you need, respect, love and support them. Then we will truly have the courage to enter into these passions with Christ, not to run away from them.

    The Apostle Paul tells us not to be ashamed of Christ crucified. Why? Because it is in Him that we have our strength and victory. It is He who will lead us to the Resurrection.

    Today we experience passions as the Church and the people. The passions are followed by the feast of Easter, which will be our victory in the war. May our Lord and Saviour lead us to victory! Amen.

    21/04/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    Who knows, maybe this Easter you and I will sing for the last time "Christ is risen!"... And as if preparing for the Easter holidays for the last time, let's be vigilant, let's be careful. After all, to hear means to be vigilant to the purity of your heart. Those who have not yet begun Confession or Communion, hurry to the Sacraments of God. For blessed is he whom the Lord will find insomniac, and unworthy is he whom he finds sleepy.

    19/04/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from Palm Sunday sermon

    Today is a holiday of victory, strength and immortality. We feel this especially in Ukraine during the war. Because war is a trap of death. How important it is for us not to be accustomed to tears, grief and death! In the midst of the darkness, the despair of war, today our Lord Jesus Christ triumphantly enters Kyiv, Ukraine, as he once entered Jerusalem. He will come now, during the Divine Liturgy, to give us the opportunity to partake of His holiness, power and immortality.

    We feel that Ukraine will win not only by human efforts, although they are also needed. We feel that there is a God in our struggle with us! He supports us and our enemy is already afraid of us. We saw the harbinger of victory here, in our Patriarchal Cathedral, in the first days of the war. When the officers of our territorial defence caught the first saboteurs, powerful Russian paratroopers, they told me: "We will win, because we saw fear in their eyes!".

    Christ comes to eliminate our fear of the enemy, his various armies and weapons, and to give us his strength. We see that we stop being afraid. We feel the foretaste of victory in the Easter procession of Christ himself, who goes to voluntary suffering, will be sentenced to death, crucified and buried, but by his own power will overcome death and rise from the grave on the third day.

    It is tragic that many cities in Ukraine are now surrounded by deadly enemy troops and we cannot go to them to bring our people the long-awaited life-giving help. Today we especially pray for our Mariupol. So many efforts have already been made, including international ones, to open a humanitarian corridor to bring relief, life and salvation to its heroic defendersToday we ask: Lord, where we, the people, cannot enter our brothers and sisters in the occupied territories, where we cannot open the green humanitarian corridors, enter. Strengthen the heroic defenders of Mariupol with your strength and victory. Comfort our people in Kherson and in other territories, which today need Your presence and strength so much.

    Today we greet Christ the Conqueror with our green branches and ask: To fill each of us with Easter joy with your victory over sin and death. We open our lives to You today. We spread the clothes that cover our plans and that symbolize only our human confidence in this uncertain time. After all, we know that You will cover us with Your power, victory and glory. Today Ukraine greets its tsar, the only one to whom it sings: "Hosanna in the highest!".

    May God's blessing descend on each of us! May the power of God enter the heart of everyone who fights for the victory of Ukraine! May God's holiness become the way of life and existence of every Ukrainian, because this holiness will overcome the evil and sin that the enemy brings to our land! May the power of the Resurrection, to which we are heading, defeat the deadly enemy who came to sow death, so that in just a few days we may welcome here, in our Patriarchal Cathedral, the Resurrection of Christ, the Risen Christ, who will finally show all victory over life and death. Amen.

    17/04/2022 (Source)


    Easter greetings to Catholics who follow the Gregorian calendar

    To be a Christian means to believe in the Risen One. To be a Christian means to be a partaker of His Resurrection, to be a bearer of His joy and light. Today Ukraine is sad, but it celebrates Easter. Many people from all over the world ask me: do you have hope there in Ukraine? I say: Obviously so, because we believe in the Resurrection. Congratulations to all of you on this great holiday of hope! Christ overcame death by death and gave life to those in the tombs. This victory of the Risen One is and will be the victory of Ukraine. Happy holidays to you, God's blessing to your families, to our beloved Motherland! Christ is Risen!”

    17/04/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    I want to thank all the journalists who are coming to Ukraine these days to show the world the cruel, difficult truth about the crimes of Russians on our land. Many of them were killed and wounded. May God pay a hundredfold to all media workers who help modern man to know the truth and then follow it.

    Today I especially want to thank all the witnesses of Russian crimes who have the courage to testify and speak about it.

    God bless Ukraine! Bless the prophets of our time who speak to the conscience of modern man and reveal to him the eternal truth about God present among us. God, bless Ukraine, which lives and dies for God's truth today!

    15/04/2022 (Source)


    On Ukrainian Radio, speaking about reconciliation

    Today, during the active phase of this unjust war, especially when we are all waiting for another offensive by Russian troops on Ukraine, such things are impossible in principle. After all, to put up with it, you need to be alive. When the active phase of such a deadly war continues, it is untimely to talk about it. They must first stop killing us – only then can we talk about the next step.

    And the next step, obviously, should be to convict the offender and establish justice. All crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine must be condemned by an international tribunal. Today we qualify them as genocide. Therefore, until the criminal is exposed and his crime is condemned, it is untimely to talk about some next step.

    When the Russian aggressor is convicted, the next step may be the beginning of a process of reconciliation. And it will be a long process. Because the process of reconciliation means healing wounds. And without sensitivity to the victim of this unjust aggression, we have no right, on the Christian side, to speak of reconciliation.

    15/04/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    Today we see how stolen property from Ukrainians is traded in Russia and Belarus. I want to remind everyone that the one who buys what is stolen or looted is an accomplice to the crime. The stolen thing becomes coal in the hands of the one who holds it, and burns those hands. Such a people, such people are thieves, will never have God's blessing and will die in poverty.

    We saw how the occupiers around Kyiv, in Chernihiv region, prepared people for famine, did not give them the opportunity to work, forbade them to go to the fields that were mined, and just cynically killed livestock. We have seen the war crimes of looting, blatant robbery, when all property was taken from killed and wounded Ukrainians, when a person's life was less valuable in the eyes of the occupiers than what they could steal from this person.

    We ask the Lord God to bless Ukraine with prosperity and wealth, to give us the strength to rebuild everything destroyed, to give us the strength to feed the children of our people, to give us the strength to work on our land, which is ready to give us generous fruit. With our strength, vitality, respect for other people's property, we want to win our victory as well.

    God bless Ukraine. Bless all those who know how to respect others and have their own. God bless our army, which protects the life and well-being of Ukraine. God bless Ukraine as the breadbasket of Europe, as the spiritual treasure of the whole world

    14/04/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    We are now exposing the heinous crimes of sexual violence as a weapon against civilians, innocent people. Hundreds of cases of rape of women, men and children ... Yesterday our President told about a case of rape of a baby. We ask ourselves: God, how can we remain human in the midst of that hell?

    During the war, we see that sexuality is not used for love, but for war. Who would have imagined that sexuality could be turned into a weapon of humiliation of another, weaker person and an instrument of violence. We understand that only by God's power we can prevent distortion of our human way of communication and life.

    God bless our men and women. Bless our spouses. Bless those who, even during the war, cultivate marital love, fidelity, inseparability of married lifeBless all those who are not afraid to have children even during the war. Lord, save all those who turn the gift of your sexuality into an instrument of war and sexual violence. God, save Ukraine from sin, from hatred towards those who despise us. Give us the strength to love. God, bless our army, bless our heroic Ukrainian people.

    13/04/2022 (Source)


    On the proposal of having a Russian and a Ukrainian woman carry the cross together, on the 12th Station of the Way of the Cross in Rome

    I consider such an idea untimely, ambiguous and such that it does not take into account the context of Russia's military aggression against Ukraine. For the Greek Catholics of Ukraine, the texts and gestures of the XIII station of this Way of the Cross are incomprehensible and even offensive, especially in the context of the expected second, even bloodier attack of Russian troops on our cities and villages. I know that our Roman Catholic brothers share these thoughts and experiences.

    12/04/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    Speaking with people here in the Kyiv region, one can feel that many people, many men in even territorial defence, are afraid that victory over the enemy will come without their participation, and after the liberation of the Kyiv region and the Chernihiv region, they are begging, begging to go where there are battles.

    In our military enlistment offices there are queues of people wishing to defend their homeland. The people stood up to defend their homeland.

    11/04/2022 (Source)


    Statements during interview with Espresso TV

    Looking at the atrocities they committed in Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and how they treated churches. Moscow Patriarchate in this area, we cannot call them Christians.

    (…)

    I do not want to judge or evaluate anyone, but if the actions testify to a person's faith, then we do not recognize the Christian position by the actions of the occupiers.

    (…)

    For us, the real truce will be the victory of Ukraine, when we get rid of the occupier. We pray and think about it, we live and serve for it. I believe that such a victory and such a peace, a just peace, will come,

    11/04/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    During that prayer I asked myself, I asked God, ‘God, what does it mean to love You and love one’s neighbour?’ Standing at this mass grave, seeing the lifeless arms of our murdered brothers and sisters, I realized an important thing. To love one's neighbour means to be bound together with them - to feel that we are human, belonging to the same human race. And there, where he or she lies resting in the mass grave, I can rest there as well. We have a common vocation, a common fate. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we belong to the same human race.

    But let us love God, who is the source of life, not death. We ask our loving God that we may truly feel our oneness with our brothers and sisters, even to learn to love our enemies. And to love the enemy means to stop his murderous hand, to take away his weapons, not to give him the opportunity to kill. Let us ask, that in the circumstances of hatred and murder, we know how to love God and our neighbour, and remain human.

    08/04/2022 (Source)


    Words spoken during visit to Irpin, Bucha and Hostomel

    It’s very difficult to even speak. Their blood cries out from this place, from this earth, to heaven. And a Christian heart, a good ear, must hear that blood’s cry. Why has this happened? For what? It’s clear that these are young people, whose lives were taken. We came here to pray for their eternal peace.

    07/04/2022


    Sermon on Feast of Annunciation

    War is bad news, the worst thing that can happen to a person, to a country, to a nation, to the whole world.

    Is it possible to celebrate the Annunciation, surrounded by bad news about the war? If so, what does that mean for us? At this time, when the enemy has trod on our land and made us cry, God is saying "rejoice"! Is that possible?

    Rejoice, - not because you already have a human solution to resolving grief, but because God himself is embodied in your history, even in your grief and in your weeping.  Today in Ukraine, God weeps with us in order to take away our weeping, and to share with us his ultimate eternal joy.

    (…)

    We saw how the enemy army began pressing on to Kyiv, and it is as if nature itself had begun to fight against them. The Ukrainian land itself, the rivers of Ukraine, and even the radiation in the Chornobyl zone... The power of Most-High is strangely manifest in the struggle of Ukraine, which is fighting against evil

    07/04/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    Yesterday we learned that Russia brought mobile crematorium trucks – together with its artillery, missiles and heavy weapons – to Mariupol, where throughout the day and night, they burn the innocent civilians killed.

    Only during World War II in Majdanek, Auschwitz, and other famous Nazi concentration camps, has Europe witnessed this type of crematorium near civilian cities. The smoke of crematoria again rises to heaven from the Ukrainian land.

    07/04/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    Today in Ukraine, the sin of Cain is being committed. The innocent blood of Abel is crying out from the Ukrainian land to the heavens. Today the Lord is crying out to our murderers, to the Cains of the third millennium, saying: “What have you done? The blood of your brother is crying out to me from the earth.” 

    I call upon the whole world to hear the voice of blood crying out from the Ukrainian lands to the heavens, the voice of the blood of those innocently killed civilians, women, children, and elderly.

    We believe that the Lord God will receive these innocent victims as a sacrifice of redemption for our sins and so that there might be peace in our homeland. These tens of thousands of innocently killed people will one day stand at the Last Judgement as witnesses and accusers of our murderers.

    02/04/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    We see that the struggle of Ukraine, the struggle of the Ukrainian people against the Russian aggressor, has all the hallmarks of a spiritual struggle. Every great war is accompanied by a great lie. And it is done in the same way to capture, imprison, occupy our minds and our hearts, and to paralyze our will.

    Spiritual struggle is characterized by the fact that the devil, first of all, tries to instil in us his thoughts in various ways, his propaganda, his intimidation. Then, the next stage, a person begins to dialogue with that sinful proposition, with that sinful suggestion. And from this begins the struggle within our minds, our hearts, the street battles within the human person with the evil that is trying to capture us. And then, if we continue to succumb, then comes the consent of our will to evil, and comes the internal, sinful occupation, enslavement, passion, sin.

    In order to win this internal struggle, first of all, one must realize that one cannot have a dialogue with sin, with the devil. It must be rejected and conquered, as Pope Francis recently proclaimed in Sunday’s catechesis. In order to resist hostile ideology, in order to expel the devil, first of all from our minds, hearts, then from our homes and from our land, we must first be aware of the lie. And so we must resist, with all our strength and will. And then will come the eradication, liberation, then there will come freedom.

    Today, in particular, in the days of Lent, I call on all to wage an internal spiritual struggle with the devil and his servants. If you feel that certain news that you read or see on television is news that tries to captivate your mind, will, or feelings, trying to become the inner occupier of your person, know that this propaganda is a suggestion of evil. And then let us resist. It is so important to realize that we can overcome, not by our own strength, but by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit.

    01/04/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from video-conference with the Pontifical Oriental Institute

    In Russian-controlled territories, our compatriots have their passports confiscated, issued temporary documents, and sent to Sakhalin Island in Russia's Far East, as far as Japan's coast, without the right to leave for the next two years. This reminds us of the deportations of Josef Stalin.

    (…)

    Russian bombs are constantly being planted in this city. In one month of the war, 1,300 missiles were shot at Ukraine (30 were dropped on Syria in 11 years of the war), and 200,000 Russian soldiers entered Ukraine.

    31/03/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    More and more we begin to feel the immediate consequences of this war. A war that leads to mass murder. We see how the enemy ruthlessly destroys our cities and villages, executes peaceful civilians, has regard neither for the spiritual nor the cultural heritage of the Ukrainian people.

    We are just beginning to see more profoundly the consequences of this war. War always brings destruction. Whole cities and villages have turned into ghost towns. Where there was once a flourishing intellectual, spiritual, and civic life, today there are fires and blustering wind. War always brings hunger, impoverishment of the people. You and I must be ready to overcome these consequences in one way or another.

    (…)

    Everyone is looking for reasons: How is it so? Where does the strength of Ukrainians come from? Why do they give their lives so courageously?

    We can say this today: Ukraine is defending the truth, fighting for the truth. She fights for the fact that human life has its dignity, it is priceless. And just to destroy it or make it a tool, a hostage in the politics of certain political criminals is unacceptable.

    30/03/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    Do not be afraid to do good! Do not let the devil intimidate you, lead you astray from the path of Christian and universal righteousness! Today, Russia is threatening all those who want to do good to Ukraine. Do not be afraid! Do not be afraid to do good! Do not be afraid to be in solidarity with those who are suffering! Since good has its power and always wins. Let us combat the fear of the devil and it will leave us.

    (…)

    However, Ukraine is standing. Ukraine is struggling. Even more, the Ukrainian army is liberating our cities and villages, and our people amaze the whole world with their courage and ability to fight. We really feel that this war is a patriotic war, although senseless and undesirable one. But we are protecting and defending our people and Homeland

    29/03/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    Everyone who respects God's commandment "Thou shalt not steal" yet sees the Russian occupier looting today, robbing ordinary people, taking away the last things and dooming people to starvation, must side with Ukraine. Everyone who respects God's commandment "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife" and sees this occupier humiliating and raping the women of Ukraine in the eyes of their children cannot stay neutral but must side with Ukraine.

    (…)

    Make your choice! Take the side of an innocent victim of the unjust aggression, not someone who has conceived of imposing their rules on Ukraine and the whole world and is threatening with the Third World War!

    28/03/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    We used to talk so much about unity – about church unity, national unity, even political unity – about unity, as if it were some kind of dream.  And today, this dream has become a reality.  We see how the country is united in the goal of defeating the enemy that is pounding Ukrainian soil.  We see that everyone feels the mandate of his own conscience, to stand, endure, and be victorious.

    When we say ‘our country’, we mean all of the inhabitants of Ukraine, regardless of their national, ethnic, church, or religious affiliation, or even if they live within the borders of Ukraine, or beyond them.  We feel that victory is a joint effort.  And in this national unity we sense a foretaste of victory

    27/3/2022 (Source)


    Sermon during prayer service


    (...)

    Ukraine's victory is the victory of good over evil, the power of God over the cruelty and lust of the invader. Victory is already beginning, and we can feel it, experience it, even during this prayer.


    A special tradition of such prayer is preserved in Kyiv. Apparently, everyone knows the ancient princely belief about the Kyiv Oranta, which is also called the Indestructible Wall. Our Lady of Oranta is an ancient mosaic of the 11th century, which depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary in full length with her hands raised in prayer. It is an icon of the prayer of intercession. As long as the Kyiv Oranta stands, as long as the Immovable Wall is between us, God is in the middle of his city, as it is written in the apse of St. Sophia Cathedral, as long as the city stands, the people and Ukraine stand.


    We feel that the Blessed Virgin Mary stands today in prayer over Kyiv and the mountains of Kyiv, and it is in this prayer that we join her. Before Her eyes, which have been looking at us from eternity, various events in history have taken place. We know that during the destruction of Kyiv during the invasion of Khan Batu, the whole city was destroyed, but Oranta in Hagia Sophia remained as a living unconquered root, the core from which everything is reborn. She saw the invasion of the city of Moscow princes, communist invaders Vorobyov and many others, but always incessantly raised his hands in prayer over his people.


    By joining the Immovable Wall in this prayer, we prepare for a special event to be held on Friday. According to the petitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which she proclaimed in the early twentieth century in Fatima, Pope Francis together with the bishops of the Catholic Church around the world will dedicate Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Mother of God asked to pray for the conversion of Russia, because otherwise the evil that will come out of it will destroy other countries. Earlier it was said that we should not talk about the Fatima revelation, so as not to offend Russia, but now the Holy Father wanted to pay attention to this request of the Virgin for consecration to defeat the evil that comes to our lands from that part of the world and Europe.


    Dedication of Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is something we know. At one time, Prince Yaroslav the Wise, having built the Cathedral of St. Sophia and created a mosaic of the Immovable Wall, dedicated his city, his people and his State to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. And when the war in eastern Ukraine began, on April 6, 2014, we restored this dedication of our people and State to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the enemy was stopped by the power of God's truth and His light. We believe that this dedication of Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, carried out in the unity of all bishops of the Ecumenical Church under the leadership of the successor of the Apostle Peter, will be the highlight of victory over evil, the devil and his servants.


    May this evil be defeated in the north, south, west and east of Ukraine. We know that the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a symbol of Her holy and pure will, which she showed when she said "yes" to the Archangel Gabriel. " Let it be to me according to your word " (Luke 1:38). At that moment, the Blessed Virgin Mary crushed the head of the devil, an apocalyptic beast that is raging again, attacking Ukraine from Russia.


    May this dedication be the moment when the head of this serpent, by the power of prayer of the Mother of God herself, the Immovable Wall of Kyiv, will be raised again in Ukraine! We believe in this and we pray for it. We say: "Holy Mother of God, save us!" 


    24/03/2022 (Source)


    Words spoken during consecration of Ukraine to Mary

    Each of you will tell your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that it was a moment of victory; the moment, when we put the destiny of Ukraine into the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary

    (…)

    Russia was entrusted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary because the Mother of God asked for this act to be made, since from that land evil would spread throughout the world and destroy nations, bring suffering to people. We are praying for our enemies so that the Lord stops their murderous hand. And here, in Zarvanytsia, in communion with the Holy Father, we entrusted our Ukraine to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Her Immaculate Heart, because we know that today She, the Mother of God, is with Ukraine, with our suffering people. Today, our destiny is in safe mother’s hands

    25/3/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    The Ukrainian fight, the war in Ukraine, poses deep moral questions before the world, which say that one can never call evil good, and good evil. Therefore, we say that today the war of Russia against Ukraine has a great spiritual dimension. It is a great opposition of the newest manifestation of good – the God's truth, and evil – the devil and his angels.

    (…)

    It is never possible to reach an agreement, to cooperate with this evil that is coming out of Russia today. And that is why we must pray for its conversion, for the eradication of that evil, so that it, as the Mother of Fatima said, does not destroy other states, does not become the cause of another world war. As Christians, we have a duty to pray for our enemies

    25/3/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    Today, I especially want to address Ukraine and the world, all statesmen of the world’s nations, to the leaders of religious communities, churches, denominations. The greatest pain of Ukraine is the city of Mariupol.

    Remember, a few weeks ago we said that we were struck by these mass graves of civilians, which we saw for the first time since World War II and Stalin’s repressions. So, today I want to tell you that the city of Mariupol is covered with the lifeless bodies of hundreds, thousands of people who have no one to bury them.

    So today I want to raise my voice in the name of this heroic, dying city: Let us save it! Let us defend life! Today, this city needs humanitarian corridors. It needs even the international community to help break through the siege and bring humanitarian goods, which we have, to those who are slowly dying of hunger today.

    Last week, these people survived on snow that was melting and could thereby have drinking water. Today there is no more snow in Mariupol. Let us save this City of Mary! Let us do everything to save this city, which really is today a place of clash of good and evil, a place where the fate of Ukraine, Europe, and the world is decided.

    24/3/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    Today I would like to express my special thanks for a very unique event that took place on Monday, literally the day before yesterday, in Jerusalem. At the initiative of the international Elijah Interfaith Institute, an international, interfaith, inter-church prayer for peace and victory of Ukraine in this war took place in front of the Cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem. The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Pizzaballa, personally took part in this prayer. Representatives of the Melchite Greek Catholic Church, various Protestant, Anglican, and other communities, intellectuals, leaders, religious figures of the Jewish community, Islamic thinkers, and religious leaders took part. I would like to thank you very much for the fact that this prayer took place and a corresponding declaration for an end to the war in Ukraine was signed. 

    (…)

    Let us pray together. Let us pray before the cathedrals of the Russian Orthodox Church throughout the world for peace in Ukraine. We shall see that the Lord God will hear our prayers and this war will be won. May the Lord God bless all of us.

    23/3/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    In the temporarily occupied territories real crimes against humanity are being committed. We receive daily news about humanitarian catastrophes, murders, looting, rape. But even there, in the south of Ukraine, peaceful people are protesting against the occupying power – people are protesting against rapists and murderersPeople show that Kherson and other occupied cities are Ukraine. They want to live in an independent Ukrainian free state.

    21/03/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from the Sermon on the Second Sunday of Lent

    This word about God's mercy, about God's movement towards man, sounds especially in our ears during the war. Because war is a time of cruelty. This is a time when charity seems empty. During the war, the word about hatred and anger is more understandable, that the enemy must be destroyed in order for him to leave our land. Indeed, when the enemy comes to kill us, there is no other way to stop him than to act with the same military force to repel the murderous hand of the assailant. But in this great tribulation, when God's mercy seems to be a distant or naive Christian belief, we now feel the full force of God's word, which "breaks" into the space of hatred and death, sown with sin.

    Today we ask: God, have mercy on Ukraine! On the one hand, we are now asking the world to close the skies over us with deadly Russian missiles and bombs, but on the other hand, we, as Christians, must ask God to open the skies over Ukraine for God's mercy.

    In order to win, you need to believe – we realize that. Because faith gives strength. We must believe in God, who is able to overcome our paralysis, which does not allow our body, in particular state or national, to act effectively and resist external aggression.

    We need the closeness and mercy of the Lord God. God's mercy heals, and war is always wounds, mutilation, and suffering. That is why this Sunday the Church proclaims the good news that God is coming to us even as we experience pain, rift, and death. He sees our suffering and has mercy on us.

    Today, every Ukrainian must accept God's mercy. Because we are now in danger of death. We do not know what will happen to us in a minute, what a deadly face of war we will see, even after leaving this temple. That is why it is so important, according to the traditional teaching of the Church, that we live in God's grace, be reconciled to God, have no grave sin on our conscience, and be ready to die at any moment. We must hurry to confession.

    (…)

    May God's mercy be the strength of Ukraine. May God's mercy, which unites us with God, give us the inner living, healthy strength to overcome. May God's mercy heal the wounds of Ukraine inflicted on us today by the enemy. Let these words: "I say to you: Arise, take up your bed and go to your home" (Mark 2:11) – be the words of God that will give us the victory of Ukraine: take yours, get up and be at home, in your homeland, God to you, this Ukrainian land!

    20/03/2022


    Daily video message

    Do not close up to the pain of Ukraine! Because one day the Lord God will tell you: I was wounded in Ukraine, and you turned your face away from me.

    19/03/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    Today it is 17 March 2022 here and we are experiencing already the twenty-second day of war. We are beginning the fourth week of this great horrible and unjust aggression against Ukraine. But every morning I am able to tell you that Ukraine is standing, Ukraine is fighting. As our national anthem states, “Ukraine’s glory and freedom has not perished! Still upon us, O Ukrainians, fate shall smile!” But when we speak of our homeland, our Ukraine, which is standing, which is fighting, I see before my eyes the image of a woman.

    A woman as a symbol of Ukraine. A woman who bears the unbearable burden of war, who amid the grief of death keeps vigil over life.

    A woman who builds and defends the future. Every day when we talk to people who come to our parishes, especially in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Odesa, we see first of all women.

    Women who care for the elderly and feed their children. When we care for our people who are hiding in bomb shelters, we see first of all women. The woman is today the symbol of the strength and courage of Ukraine. Perhaps it seems odd: courage and woman. It used to be that courage was always associated with a man, but here we see the female strength that gives Ukraine hope.

    Today we especially give thanks and pray for our girls, our women in the Armed Forces of Ukraine who today with arms in hand defend their homeland. Today we especially empathize, we especially think about and pray for the women who are victims of this war in occupied territories. In our villages in the Kyiv region, women are becoming the first victims of the occupation, victims of violence, victims of humiliation, victims of rape. A image has circulated throughout the world of the so-called “Kyivan Madonna,” a young woman who is breastfeeding her newborn child on the steps of a bomb-shelter in Kyiv. But we behold today the face of women who are forced to flee her homeland with her children and travel abroad. Today we hear about more than three million refugees. Until this time Europe, especially Italy, has seen women who travelled for work.

    The Holy Father called them heroines who once more brought the Christian faith and Christian values to Italy families. Today Europe has seen mothers who hold their children by the hand, rescuing them from war, but their parents turn back to defend their land with arms. Who can fully comprehend the pain of a woman, a mother, who mourns the death of her son killed in war? Or a woman who has lost her husband, brother, or sister?

    But most of all we are amazed by women who stand in prayer before God. Women who are like the Kyiv Oranta, the Unshakeable Wall, who day and night with upraised arms prays for her city, prays for her country.

    Today the woman is the symbol of hope for Ukraine, a symbol of fearlessness, a symbol of victory of life over death, a symbol of the fact that Ukraine will stand even through such inhumane circumstances.

    Today we pray to the Immaculate Virgin Mary, preparing for this consecration of Ukraine and Russia and her Immaculate Heart, which Pope Francis announced. We would like to dedicate women and the women of Ukraine to the protection of the Immaculate Theotokos.

    17/03/2022 (Source)


    Comment on the announcement of the consecration of Russia and Ukraine to Our Lady

    The Ukrainian people have long been waiting for this spiritual event. Since the beginning of the Russian aggression in 2014, Ukrainian Catholics have asked to carry out this act as a necessary condition to prevent the outbreak of war and all the dangers coming from Russia.

    (…)

    With the beginning of a full-scale war, our faithful from around the world have asked to fulfil the words of the Blessed Virgin in Fatima.

    (…)

    We are grateful to the Holy Father for responding first of all to Mary's call at the proclamation of Fatima on July 13, 1917, and to her children's request to defend Ukraine and stop the mistakes of Russia, which promotes war and persecution of the Church. Today we are witnessing the fulfilment of the words of the Mother of God, who said: The righteous will be persecuted, the Holy Father will suffer, many nations will be destroyed.

    16/3/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    God is with us. Today he is on the side of Ukraine and all those who suffer innocently. The Lord is always on the side of the victim of unjust aggression. Therefore, believing in such a God, I believe in the victory of Ukraine

    (…)

    The Church teaches that we have the right to defend our homeland. Moreover, it is a natural right and a sacred duty. We are not talking about the right to kill, but about the duty to defend ourselves. The defence must be proportional to how the attacker attacks us

    15/3/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    In such circumstances, there can be no neutral position. Because he who is silent, who does not condemn this war, becomes an accomplice in the crime, the aggression of killing peaceful people of Ukraine, so thank you to all those who together with Ukraine are fighting for the right to peaceful existence

    14/03/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from interview with Radio NV

    I am impressed by the position of the Russian Orthodox Church, its structures in Europe, which assess the war in a completely different wayIn particular, I was impressed by the position of the representatives of the Munich hierarchy, who condemned Russia's aggression against Ukraine and appealed to their faithful Russians to accept refugees from Ukraine. They are organizing a fundraiser for our refugees to help us

    We see that the truth is being manipulated by Russia itself, the Church is being used for its military propaganda. I think this is unacceptable. But the whole free world, Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant, strongly opposes this position. I know that dozens of letters have been written to Kirill demanding an immediate end to the war.

    The Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate supports our statehood, we see clear messages given by His Beatitude Onuphrius.

    13/03/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from the sermon for the first Sunday of Lent

    Get out of your comfort zone and defend your land, do everything you can where you are, so that the truth may prevail. If you are a warrior – defend the country, if you are a teacher – teach children, if you are an entrepreneur – do everything to make your business work, give profit to the state and work to the people. If you are a doctor, treat the wounded. If you are a spiritual person, pray for your Motherland, for your Ukraine.

    Today, the Ukrainian people are asking where God is when the enemy kills Ukrainian children? Where is God when Russian bombs and rockets fall on our heads every night? Where is God when the enemy bombed even the Svyatogorsk Lavra in Donetsk region? Where are you, God? I think this is a deep cry of prayer of the Ukrainian people to our God and Creator.

    Christ suffers today in the body of Ukraine, suffers as the Head of that Body, the Church of Christ.

    13/03/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    War is always a failure for humanity. War is always a moment of shame, a moment in which man's dignity is humiliated. 

    When we strive for peace, everything is possible. When war breaks out, we can lose everything. In Ukraine, today, we are seeing great contempt for human dignity. With war, man loses his humanity, especially he who starts war, he who starts war diminishes himself in his humanity. He who kills his neighbour, before all else, destroys the humanity within himself, destroys his own dignity. 

    As Christians what can we do to counter this contempt for humanity during the war in Ukraine? Firstly, we must do the works of mercy, we must do all we can to show respect for human dignity. 

    Today we pray for the Ukrainian army, which defends and reaffirms this dignity. We pray for the civilian population of Ukraine, for our refugees, for those who find themselves in cold cities, and sieged towns without water, food or heating, we remember them and we want to help them. 

    Today we fight for humanitarian corridors and for a way to save people respecting their dignity, regardless of what language they speak, what nation they belong to, what Church they are part of. Today in Ukraine there is a war for human dignity.

    We know that to bury the dead is one of the works of mercy. We are now faced with the fact that the Russian aggressor who has transgressed upon Ukrainian soil does not respect the bodies of its own dead. He does not want to pay the due respects to his dead in Ukraine. And our own volunteers, our good people, want to return the bodies of the Russians who have been killed, but nobody will take them back to bury them with dignity. 

    Today, in Ukraine, we see mountains of bodies, rivers of blood and a sea of tears. Our heart aches to see thousands of people buried without a prayer, without Christian respect, in mass common graves, with no identification. Only in Mariupol, according to official numbers, close to 1.500 civilians have died during these days and been buried in mass graves. How important it is for us today to show respect for the bodies of our dead, be they military or civilian. Our people kneel before the bodies of our dead soldiers when they are returned to their cities, towns and families. 

    Today I ask all our priests all across Ukraine, to celebrate Divine Liturgies and pray for the souls of the dead, as a sign of our respect for those who have died on Ukrainian soil as a result of this horrible and inhumane war.

    12/03/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    Ukraine is healing the wounds of war, rescuing and embracing her children who are suffering. It really seems that this war is becoming a war primarily against the civilian peaceful population. Even according to official statistics, in these days there have been more deaths among civilians – women and children – than among the military. We mourn the children of Ukraine who have become innocent victims of this war. 

    We amaze the whole world with our strength which gives us the possibility to believe in victory. The great majority of people in Ukraine believe that Ukraine will be victorious. 

    Our soldiers constantly ask us: Pray for us. I want to pass on this request of the Ukrainian army, in whose hands lies the fate of Ukraine, to all of you who hear me. Pray! Pray for our Ukrainian army, which today is defending peace in Ukraine, Europe and the world

    Today I wish to sincerely thank all those who, at the international and inter-religious level, are doing everything to stop the war. I thank the Orthodox brethren, particularly in Germany and Western Europe, the Russian Orthodox Church abroad, which is trying to serve refugees and which is appealing to the church hierarchy in Russia for the need to end the war immediately. I thank the WCC which is doing everything to stop this war. I thank the Catholics and Protestants of France who with a particular appeal, are doing everything to stop the bloodshed in our land. 

    11/03/2022 (Source)


    Ecumenical prayer for peace in Lviv

    O God, Father almighty, Lord, Only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ and You, O Holy Spirit—one Divinity and one Power! Before Your eyes today we present the sorrow and pain of Ukraine. Mountains of corpses, rivers of blood, and seas of tears. We prayer for all those who gave up their lives for the homeland, for our army, for the sons and daughters of Ukraine, who shield lives with their own bodies in the face of the enemy. We pray for all those innocently killed peaceful people of Ukraine: women, children, the elderly. We pray for the victims of Mariupol who are being buried in massive common graves without Christian burial and honour. Receive our prayers for their eternal repose!

    10/03/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    Today, my conscience, the conscience of every Christian, forces us to take a voice to say a sharp word “no” to the whole world, to protest against the mass murder of people in Ukraine. In particular, in the last minutes we saw mass killings in the besieged city of Mariupol.

    Yesterday we saw horrific footage of the bombings of the maternity hospital, as well as mass graves, mass graves, in which there are hundreds of lifeless bodies. And today we must tell the whole world "no" to the massacres in Ukraine.

    We are telling the whole world today: stop the mass killings!

    10/03/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    Today, that miracle over the Dnieper is created by our Ukrainian army, stopping the invasion of the northern neighbour, who stepped on our land, bringing destruction and death, trying to destroy the freedom-loving Ukrainian people (…) We are working a miracle for the people, who are showing their love of freedom to the whole world. And it amazes the whole world.

    [To the international community] Do everything you can to stop this madness! Because today, before our eyes, Ukraine is being crucified. There is no night when bombs do not fall on the heads of civilians. Let's stop the war together! Let us together be instruments, instruments of God's peace in our time!

    08/3/2022 (Source)


    He [Pope Francis] clearly said that this was not an operation, but a war. The war, first of all, is against civilians, civilians [For Pope Francis’ words, see below]

    (…)

    Today we ask the world community to close the skies over Ukraine, because Russian cruise missiles kill the most people in our lands

    07/3/2022 (Source)


    From the sermon on Forgiveness Sunday


    We can say from the spiritual point of view that Lent is a struggle, or rather a war. It is a struggle between good and evil for what is real and does not pass away.

    (…)

    Today in Ukraine there is a war for the hearts and minds of the people – a struggle that affects all humanity, all people and encourages everyone to make their choiceThe internal battlefield is crucial. If in the mystery of the evangelist and which the Father sees, evil prevails, man will be the source of war around him in the outside world, will provoke the new battlefields, where entire nations will perish ... Then that battlefield with its disgusting face and devastation will break out by force and cause great suffering to people. As evil prevails inside a person, in his heart, he will become the cause, the source of evil around him and will not be able to resist it in the outside world.

    At the end of this Gospel passage, we hear that when it comes to victory, it is not the outer world but the inner world that comes first. What does it take to win this war? What does it take to destroy the enemy, to defeat evil?

    The Lord gives us a special "secret" weapon. He says the secret of victory is forgiveness. This may surprise us: what is it like to think about forgiveness during the war? From a human point of view, in times of war we should talk about hatred – hatred of those who attack us. However, if on the inner battlefield, which is our heart, we act under the influence of hatred, then we are already defeated by evil. That is why today's Gospel speaks not so much of man's forgiveness as of the key to victory over the devil, which is first and foremost forgiveness that comes from God.

    (…)

    Today we say: God, forgive my sins. May Your victory dwell in my heart. And God's victory is always the victory of good over evil, truth over untruth, peace over war. Entering the time of repentance, we begin to learn to overcome. It is so important for us to know the secret of victory and to have a power over which our enemy is powerless.

    Therefore we ask: Lord, as You have forgiven us, so we want to forgive all those who have forgiven us. This is the position of the winner. Today it is very important to defeat the enemy on the inner battlefield. Then we will overcome it, defending our cities and villages, our Motherland.

    To defeat the enemy who came to our land, you must first be spiritually and morally superior, stronger than him, in any case not to imitate his behavior, position, language and insults! By affirming the victory of good over evil, we become warriors of light and defenders of peace, and thus gain that true treasure of the eternal and just. That is why Christ says: "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Mt 6:21).

    Today, this most important treasure that we, as a nation, need is the treasure of the victory of good over evil. That must be our greatest wealth, which will be in our hearts - the Truth of God, in which is His all-conquering power.

    We also ask: Lord, give us the weapons with which we can defeat the devil and all his angels. Give us the weapon with which we can win not only the war, but also the war itself and all those who cause it and brought it to the land of Ukraine.

    Today we especially pray for our army, for those who really defeated the enemy on the battlefield of their own hearts, because it is out of love for the Motherland that they overcome those who attack us with greater, from a human point of view, strength.

    "Gather up your treasures in heaven" (Mt 6:20) is a great call to all of us. Because war is always destruction. War is always a waste of resources. Evil, hatred and sin dry up and exhaust the soul, bleed and weaken a person. Instead, God's forgiveness, received and transmitted, mercy and love for God and neighbor revive and renew the mental and physical strength of man, give him the ability to endure the struggle to the end and gain an advantage over the enemy. Therefore, in the field of spiritual struggle, one cannot lose or scatter, but on the contrary – to obtain and collect such treasure, which "neither moths nor worms destroy and where thieves do not break through walls or steal" (Mt 6:20).

    Today Christ asks us to gather... When we overcome evil, we overcome destruction, we gather real, eternal treasures, over which Russian tanks and cruise missiles are powerlessOur Taras Shevchenko tells us about these treasures, who at one time emphasized the importance of telling the world about "what was going on in Ukraine, why did it die, what Cossack glory became for all over the world !?" (Before Osnovyanenko, 1839, St. Petersburg.) These are the treasures of our ancestors, which are still our common national treasure and inspire us to victory.

    God, give us the victory of Ukraine! Give us victory over the enemy! Give peace to our Motherland. And most importantly – give us victory over sin and death in our hearts, so that with You and in You was our treasure. Amen.

    06/03/2022 (Source. Edited for clarity)


    Daily video message

    We pray for the enemies who came to our land to kill. We pray that the Lord God will stop their murderous hand. God bless Ukraine! God, save your children! God, forgive our sins and grant Ukraine victory!


    06/3/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    To you, dear children, daughters and sons of our people, I say: we are waiting for you back home, when there will be a peaceful sky over UkraineYour mother Church will accompany you, help you where the hardships of war will take you.

    (…)

    I want to thank and bless the Ukrainian army, our soldiers, girls and boys who defend peace in Ukraine, thanks to whom today, on the ninth day of the war, we are still alive, thanks to which Ukraine wins, Ukraine stands, Ukraine fights.

    (…)

    Today we feel that Archangel Michael is fighting for Ukraine with the whole heavenly army. We are praying today: Archangel Michael and all the heavenly army, all the heavenly forces fight for Ukraine, overthrow the devil who attacks us, kills us, brings destruction and death.”

    4/3/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    Together we are a nation that builds and defends peace in Ukraine and the world, at the price of our own blood.

    Truly the words of Christ are being fulfilled. “No one has greater love than this: that someone would lay down his life for his friends.” We see that not hatred, but love conquers. Love gives birth to heroes, but hatred to criminals.

    That is why I encourage all of us: let us learn to love in this tragic time. Let us not be taken captive by hatred. Let us not use the language of hatred. The one who hates the enemy is already overcome by him. We will conquer with the power of love, for our homeland, for God, and for our neighbour.

    Let us pray not only for peace in Ukraine, but let us pray for our enemies, for their conversion, for the conversion of Russia, as Our Lady of Fatima requested of us.

    01/3/2022 (Source)


    Beloved and God protected Ukrainian people!

    Once again, our homeland is in danger!

    The treacherous enemy, despite his own obligations and assurances, breaking the basic norms of international law, as an unjust aggressor set foot on Ukrainian soil, bringing with him death and devastation.

    Our Ukraine, which the world rightly called "bloody lands", which so many times was sprinkled with the blood of martyrs and fighters for the freedom and independence of its people, calls us today to stand up for our homeland, our dignity before God and humanity, our right to exist and the right to choose our future.

    It is our inherent right and a sacred duty for everyone to protect their land and their people, their state and everything that is most dear to us: their family, their language and culture, their history and their spiritual world! We are peaceful people who love children of all nations with Christian love, regardless of origin or beliefs, national or religious affiliation. We do not encroach on someone else`s property and do not threaten anyone, but we do not have the right to give our own to anyone! At this historic moment, the voice of our conscience calls us all as one to stand up for the free, united and independent Ukrainian state!

    The history of the last century teaches us that all those who started global wars were the ones who lost themand the idolaters of war brought only destruction and decline to their own states and peoplesWe believe that the Lord God is with us at this historic moment! He, in Whose hands lies the fate of the whole world and every person, in particular, is always on the side of the victim of unfair aggression, on the side of the suffering and enslaved. It is he who declares his Holy Name in the history of every nation, catches and throws down the powerful of this world by their own pride, the conquerors by the illusion of their omnipotence, the proud and bold by their own self-confidence. It is he who grants victory over evil and death. The victory of Ukraine will be a victory of God`s power over the baseness and insolence of man! This was always the case, so it is now and so it be!

    Our Holy Martyr Church has always been with her people, it remains here for them and stands by! This Church, which has already known death and resurrection, as the Body of the Risen Christ over whom death has no power, was bestowed by the Lord to his people in the baptismal waters of the Dnieper. Since then, the history of our people and their Church, the history of their liberation struggle, the history of the embodiment of God`s word and the manifestation of his spirit of truth in our culture have been intertwined forever. And at this dramatic moment, our Church, as our Mother and Teacher, remains with its children to protect them and serve them in the name of God! God is our hope and from Him will be our victory!

    Today we solemnly proclaim: "We will lay down our souls and bodies for our freedom!” Today, with one heart and mouth, we pray: "Great and one God, save Ukraine for us!

    Holy Righteous, Martyrs and Confessors of the Ukrainian land, pray and intercede for us before God!

    The blessing of the Lord may be upon you!

    24-2-2022 (Source)


    Kirill - Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia

    Excerpt from sermon

    Once again, I would like to say that today is a time when we must especially ask ourselves this life-changing question: "What am I doing?" Because what is happening today in the expanses of Holy Russia certainly darkens the hearts of many. I will not speak about myself, but with these thoughts, with this suffering, I lie down, get up and spend the whole day, because I am the Patriarch not only of Moscow, but of all Russia. But at the same time I believe that by the grace of God this misfortune will pass, that it will not undermine the deep foundations of our coexistence, which keep the people of Holy Russia, living in Russia and in Ukraine, united. I believe that the Lord will bow down in mercy and the internecine strife will cease. And where today is perplexity, suffering and sorrow, our human love to each other should appear. And in response to this love, God's love for our united people, for those who live in Russia and Ukraine, for those who live in different parts of the world.

    (…)

    My parents survived the Leningrad siege, and they told me about how God's churches in Leningrad were filled, how hungry people, almost dying, flocked to the churches, despite the shelling, despite the weakening of all physical strength. The churches of Leningrad were overcrowded during the blockade, and perhaps this prayer saved the city. I don’t want to compare the current times with what Leningraders experienced during the hardest years of the blockade, but in a sense, a fateful time has come today! Because many are rebelling against Russia, and many are dizzy in the desire to destroy Russia, its identity, its independence, its freedom. And today we must especially strengthen ourselves in the faith, fill our churches, pray for the authorities, for the army, for our relatives, loved ones, pray for the Orthodox Church, which in these difficult circumstances maintains the spiritual unity of Holy Russia.

    And may the Lord help us! Once again I want to say that we have lived with you to a fateful time, and in a fateful time we should renew our faith, sharpen our consciousness and our memory, look differently at much of what we looked at yesterday without much attention and special care. Then our spiritual mobilization, to which I now call everyone, will also help the mobilization of all the forces of our Fatherland. And it will undoubtedly help in the end the complete reconciliation of Russia and Ukraine, which constitute the single space of the Russian Orthodox Church.

    You can imagine the state of me as the Patriarch of All Russia, when today a brother kills a brother. Probably, someone from the bearers of extreme political views will say: here, pacifism is preaching at a time when ... Not pacifism, but with these words I simply testify to our common duty before God - to pray for an end to internecine strife, to do everything in order to fraternal relations between the two parts of united Russia have been restored, and we also pray that the Lord will deliver, especially our youth, from the fact that their lives are cut short in this internecine strife. And in order for it to be so, it is necessary, it is necessary that the fighting cease.

    And may the Lord help us, the saints of united Russia, the reverends of the Kiev Caves and the reverend fathers of numerous monasteries, including the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, in the expanses of great Russia! Let us trust in their prayers, because their souls are grieving and suffering today over what is happening. And let us hope that by common efforts, without going down the path of dangerous compromises that could harm united Russia, we all simultaneously moved along the path of reconciliation and the restoration of that spiritual unity that was formed in the depths of the united Russian Orthodox Church.

    May God's blessing abide over all Holy Russia, over those in authority, over spiritual leaders, over warriors and over all those on whom the peaceful and prosperous outcome of this very dangerous clash between two fraternal peoples can depend. May the Lord keep us all and strengthen us in faith, love, unanimity. Amen.

    27/09/2022 (Source)


    Prayer for Holy Russia

    Lord God of strength, God of our salvation, look in mercy on Your humble servant, hear and have mercy on us: behold, those who want to fight against Holy Russia, hoping to divide and destroy her one people.

    Arise, O God, to help Thy people and give us victory by Thy power.

    Hurry to your faithful children, jealous of the unity of the Russian Church, strengthen them in the spirit of brotherly love and deliver them from troubles. Forbid those who tear apart in the darkening of minds and hardening of hearts Thy robe, which is the Church of the Living God, and overthrow their plans.

    By the grace of Thy power, guide for every good and enrich with wisdom!

    Confirm the warriors and all the defenders of our Fatherland in Your commandments, send down the strength of the spirit to them, save them from death, wounds and captivity!

    Deprived of shelter and in exile of beings, bring them into houses, nourish the hungry, strengthen and heal those who are ill and suffering, give good hope and comfort to those who are in confusion and sorrow!

    Grant forgiveness of sins to all those killed in these days and who died from wounds and illnesses and create blessed repose!

    Fill us even in Thee with faith, hope and love, raise peace and unanimity in all the countries of Holy Russia, renew love for each other in Your people, as if with one mouth and one heart we confess to You, the One God in the Trinity glorious. Thou art intercession, and victory, and salvation to those who trust in Thee and we send glory to You, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and forever and ever. Amen.

    25/09/2022 (Source)


    Full sermon

    “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). To death! Only Begotten Son, Divine Son! And why was this terrible divine Sacrifice required, the scale and significance of which cannot be grasped by the human mind? Almighty God gives Himself up for execution, which was used to execute criminals, outcasts of human society, who really committed terrible, dangerous crimes.

    When one thinks about this ineffable divine Sacrifice, it is difficult for the human mind to grasp the entire divine plan. But it is quite obvious that the Lord gives Himself, suffers and dies in a human way, not for something that would be completely incomprehensible to us and inherent only to Him, who has immense knowledge about Himself. He gives us the opportunity to understand that if God in His Son gives His human life for the sake of other people, for the sake of the human race, then sacrifice is the highest manifestation of a person's love for his neighbors. Sacrifice is the greatest manifestation of the best human qualities.

    We know that today many are dying on the fields of internecine warfare. The Church prays that this warfare will end as soon as possible, that as few brothers as possible kill each other in this fratricidal war. And at the same time, the Church is aware that if someone, driven by a sense of duty, the need to fulfill an oath, remains true to his calling and dies in the line of military duty, then he undoubtedly commits an act that is tantamount to a sacrifice. He sacrifices himself for others. And therefore we believe that this sacrifice washes away all the sins that a person has committed.

    The war that is now going on in the vastness of Russia is an internecine strife. And that is why it is so important that as a result of this battle there should not be a wave of bitterness and alienation; so that the fraternal peoples are not divided by an impenetrable wall of hatred. And the way we all behave towards each other, what we will ask the Lord in our prayers, what we will hope for, will to a large extent define not only the results of the battles, but also what will happen as a result of all this. God grant that the current hostilities do not destroy the single spiritual space of Holy Russia and, moreover, do not harden our peoples. May all wounds be healed by the grace of God. So that, by the grace of God, everything that today brings grief to many and many will be blotted out of memory. So that what will replace the current situation,

    And this can only happen if we live with faith in our hearts. Because faith destroys fear, faith grants the possibility of mutual forgiveness, faith strengthens relationships between people and can really transform and is transforming these relationships into brotherly, cordial and kind. God grant that it be so that everything that now darkens the souls of many ends. God grant that during this internecine strife, as few people as possible die or get injured. God grant that there be as few widows and orphans as possible, fewer divided families, fewer broken friendships and brotherhoods.

    The Church, which carries out its pastoral ministry among the peoples of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and many others in the vastness of historical Russia, today especially suffers and especially prays for the speedy cessation of internecine strife, for the triumph of justice, for the restoration of fraternal communion and overcoming all that, having accumulated over the years, and eventually led to a bloody conflict. We believe that all the saints who shone in the Russian land—in this case, using the already accepted expression “in the Russian land,” we mean Russia, the whole Russian land, Holy Russia—today, together with us, offer up prayers to the Lord that so that peace is established on earth, so that the reconciliation of the fraternal peoples comes and, most importantly, justice triumphs, because without justice there can be no lasting peace.

    May the Lord keep us all and help us all to walk our Christian career with dignity, despite the difficult life circumstances that today are the reality of our earthly existence. With the prayers of the saints, whose names we glorified today, may the Lord help us all to be strengthened in peace, love, unanimity and purity.

    25/09/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from a Sermon

    Today our Fatherland, Rus’, historical Rus’ is going through severe trials. We know what is happening in Ukraine. We know what danger hangs over the Ukrainian people, which they are trying to reformat, to make a state that is contrary to Russia, hostile to Russia. It is very important that in our hearts there is no feeling that there is an enemy. We must pray today that the Lord would strengthen the fraternal feelings of the peoples of Holy Russia, so that the unity of our Church becomes even stronger and stronger, which is really a guarantee of peace in the expanses of Russia - which is why the collapse of our country began with attempts to break the Church, create schisms and separation. The enemy knew that this point should be hit. And although we have suffered losses and a dangerous, sinful, graceless schism has arisen in Ukraine, but at the same time the Orthodox faith is preserved there, and our brothers and sisters, archpastors and pastors are united and, I believe, continue to pray together with us around the throne of God to stop the internecine strife and to restore peace in the expanses of historical Russia.

    Today is connected with the memory of the great victory of our people, their spiritual feat, with the memory of how spiritual authority influenced the formation of courage and heroism. I mean, first of all, the blessing of St. Sergius of Radonezh given to Dmitry Donskoy. How all this formed the true spiritual strength of our army, which won the historic battle.

    This is an excursion into history from our ecclesiastical point of view. This point of view is not present in secular historical science, but in vain, because it is this approach to history that highlights the most important thing – the spiritual dimension in the life of people and the state, without which victory, in the conditions of the fading of faith and spirit, becomes impossible. Therefore, today we pray to the Lord again and again that He would pacify Russia, stop internecine strife, so that Holy Rus’ would be reunited – in the sense that no strife and division would torment the heirs of that very united Holy Russia. And today, when we remember the victory of our people in the Battle of Kulikovo, we ask that a true victory come without special battles and bloodshed, which would return to us spiritual unity, peace, prosperity and mutual love.

    21/09/2022 (Source)


    Message to the participants of the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions

    I cordially greet all of you who have gathered on the hospitable land of Kazakhstan to participate in the work of the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.

    The current forum is dedicated to the role of religious leaders in the spiritual and social life of people in post-pandemic times. There is no doubt that today humanity is going through one of the most difficult periods of modern history. Added to the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic are food, energy and economic problems caused by attempts to build a world without moral values. Over the past two decades, these attempts have led not only to the loss of the concept of justice in international relations, but also to fierce confrontation, military conflicts, the spread of terrorism and extremism in different parts of the world.

    Today, as never before, it is difficult for people to navigate the flow of information, to resist ideological suggestions, to maintain a sober mind and peace of mind. We have witnessed the distortion of historical facts and unprecedented manipulation of mass consciousness. This is because there is less and less love, mercy, compassion in society. Increasingly, we hear and read in the public space words filled with hatred towards entire peoples, cultures and religions.

    The path of dictatorship, rivalry and confrontation chosen by some rulers of this world is leading humanity to destruction. And under these conditions, it is faith that can sober people up, return them to the path of dialogue and cooperation, because in traditional religions the fundamental moral principles of human existence remain unshakable.

    Taking this opportunity, I would like to express special gratitude to the authorities of Kazakhstan for the fact that, at their invitation, authoritative religious leaders from all over the world were once again able to gather in the capital of the Republic. The possibility of dialogue in the current difficult circumstances is a very valuable resource, an important step towards solving existing problems. I am sure that the peacemaking dialogue of religious leaders, coupled with their influence on the minds and hearts of people, can and should contribute to overcoming the challenges of our time, harmonizing international relations, and establishing a just world order.

    I wish the participants of the Congress meaningful and useful communication, mutual understanding and agreement, in which God help you all.

    14/09/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of a sermon

    Today is such a time – a time of anxiety, even very disturbing. And we must pray that all dangers will pass our Motherland, that those who dream of crushing Russia as an independent, truly independent state will be left with nothing. Such states can be listed on the fingers of one hand, all others in one way or another depend on the world centres of power; but Russia does not depend on any centres of power that are outside its sovereign territory. This is a great privilege, but it is also a huge cross, because there are always those who would like to bring such a rich, strong country as Russia into the orbit of their influence.

    We know that the world is restless, while Russia continues its truly sovereign historical existence, and if we look at our history, we will understand that this sovereignty was largely determined by the strength of the spirit of the Russian people, the strength of the spiritual influence of the Church on our Fatherland. We know what an enormous role the Church played in the liberation of Russia from foreign forces. We know that it was the Church that inspired the soldiers for the historical battles, as a result of which the Motherland remained sovereign and free. We know how the saints prayed for the country, for the army, for the Grand Duke, and then for the Tsar.

    Today, the time has come when we should especially pray for our Fatherland, for our President - what difference does it make what the head of state is called! for our army. So that the country has the strength to maintain its true independence from the most powerful forces that today dominate most of the countries of the world.

    Russia has a special historical path. When everything is safe, calm, we somehow think a little about it; but when troubled times come, you begin to become especially aware of the world-wide fateful mission of Russia. So it was in antiquity, and so today this special mission is returning and placed on the shoulders of our people.

    Today we prayed to the holy noble Grand Duke Daniel and his father, the holy noble Grand Duke Alexander Nevsky, who, by virtue of their position, combined both the head of the state and the head of the army. But how difficult it was! After all, where there is an army, there is a sword, and where there is a sword, there is death. And what spiritual strength one had to have, how one had to be aware of one's moral and spiritual responsibility to remain a holy man while leading a country and an army and having a sword at one's hip! The Grand Dukes Alexander Nevsky and Daniil of Moscow, whom we remember today, managed to combine this political and military mission with holiness. But, probably, such a combination is a guarantee that a country with such leadership will never commit war crimes. Because if at the head of the Fatherland, at the head of the army is a saint, and maybe not a saint, but a believer, Orthodox, baptized, aware of his responsibility before God, Church and country, the country is guaranteed against all kinds of military adventures, the country can be sure that the sword at his hip will be drawn only when it is morally, morally and even spiritually justified.

    And today, I want to say again, we live in a very difficult time, and therefore our special prayer is for the head of our state, for Supreme Commander Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, who has a special responsibility, as well as for all military leaders and those who are in authorities. So that the Lord would make wiser, strengthen, enlighten, protect from sins and mistakes and at the same time inspire actions that would bring protection to our Fatherland from all external, even perhaps the most dangerous and terrible threats.

    12/09/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    Today, as in the days of St. Peter, the Russian Church is threatened by many dangers. Then it was the nomads who attacked the Russian land, robbed it, killed people, destroyed the economic opportunities of the country, but even today, as we know, not everything is calm in the world. And in a sense, a very special service, undoubtedly by the will of God, is now being given to this city and our country. Because the strength of modern Russia is capable of resisting many forces, including those fighting with God and with Christ. Those forces that are directed and direct their sting at hurting a person in such a way that he loses the ability to distinguish between good and evil. The concept of sin disappeared from the political lexicon, because instead of distinguishing between good and evil, a new model of behaviour arose, focused solely on the choice of the person himself, when he himself determines what is good for him and what is evil. But when a significant part of the so-called civilized world takes up these ideas, our country, as it was in times past, retains its ability to resist this terrible temptation. And we must observe the ability and readiness to distinguish good from evil, guided not by momentary political interests, not by human ambitions, but exclusively by the moral law that God has put into our souls, into the very nature of man. And God grant that the Mother See of Moscow retains the opportunity to remain an island of freedom in this stormy world, so that it is here that a healthy spiritual resistance is formed to any attempts to mix good and evil and completely abandon the fact that sin is called sin, and virtue is virtue. God grant that with the prayers of St. Peter, laid the foundation of church life in our Mother See City of Moscow, the Orthodox faith was strengthened in our people, love for the Fatherland was strengthened, the ability to resist the temptations and intrigues of tempters was strengthened, so that our faith would remain alive, the independence and freedom of our Fatherland would be preserved. And if so, then there is hope for salvation.

    Through the prayers of St. Peter, Metropolitan of Kyiv, Moscow and All Russia, may the Lord preserve the Russian land, may He strengthen the brothers who now live in different states - Russia, Ukraine and Belarus - in unanimity and awareness of special responsibility for our common destiny, and in which in a sense for the fate of the world. And we believe as long as the blessing of St. Peter remains over Russia, over our people, over our Church, and through his prayers we will retain a great ability to distinguish right from left, good from evil, sin from holiness. Through the prayers of St. Peter of Kyiv, Moscow and All Russia, may the Lord protect the Russian land, may the Lord help overcome disagreements, most often provoked from outside, which today threaten the unity of our entire people. May the Lord preserve, through the prayers of St. Peter, our people in unanimity and Orthodox faith. Amen.

    06/09/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon on the feast of the Donskoy Mother of God

    Today such times have come when we should especially ask the Lord for help to our Fatherland. Indeed, there is a struggle between good and cosmic evil. Why do we say so? Because the justification of sin is the work of the devil. The devil needs to destroy the mediastinum between good and evil, to confuse concepts, and this is exactly what is happening today! People do not distinguish what is good and what is evil, because powerful propaganda forces are working all over the world, forming such a worldview. This is what the dark force stakes on: if people cease to distinguish between good and evil, then they will belong to evil, without any compromise.

    What prevents the final victory of evil? He is opposed by the Lord Jesus Christ, His Divine power, manifested in the faith of His followers, His disciples. And as long as there is an unshakable faith among His disciples and followers that the Lord is the master of history, that the fate of the universe is in His hands, that faith in God is an indispensable condition for the survival of human civilization, then the human race will also be preserved.

    In this sense, our country has a special mission today. We are one of the few who call evil evil and good good, who do not allow powerful propaganda forces to mix these concepts so that a person does not distinguish between good and evil. In fact, a terrible idea is being imposed on us that there is no good and evil, but there are models of human behaviour, and everyone has the right to choose the model that suits him. And if this model contradicts God's will, God's moral law, the one that Israel found on Mount Sinai, the one that was brought to the world by Christ the Saviour, then what should we do? Well-bred, intelligent people do not answer such a question, but less well-mannered and intelligent people directly say what they think of us. Therefore, what is happening today is really part of a very important struggle, cosmic struggle between good and evil. And God grant that through the prayers of the saints who have shone forth in our land, our people, in spite of any temptations, temptations, influences, retain the Orthodox faith, faith in the Lord and Saviour, in the Protection of His Most Pure Mother, and therefore the ability to distinguish good from evil, the ability to be truly free people. For you are called to freedom, brethren, says the apostle (Gal. 5:13).

    Bearing in mind all this, let us keep the Orthodox faith as the greatest shrine and treasure. And to those who have not fully believed yet, I make an appeal: the times have come when you can’t pretend that nothing is happening, when you need to make an ideological choice, on which depends not only the personal life of the one who makes this choice, but the very existence of our Fatherland.

    Praying before the miraculous image of the Don Mother of God, remembering the great heroic events of our national history, connected with the struggle of our people for freedom and independence, we will be worthy of our great ancestors. In the present conditions, let us just as strongly hope for the Intercession of the Most Pure Mother of God, we will also lift up our fervent prayer to Her image, we will also love our Fatherland and also be ready to defend it, if necessary. And we believe that the Lord will be with us, because the truth is on our side. Someone may be surprised and say: why so? The answer is simple: because we are trying to live according to the truth of God, according to God's law, according to the commandments; and if, humanly, out of weakness, we violate them, then we do not renounce these commandments as the basic law of human life. And as long as it is so, our Fatherland will be preserved.

    01/09/2022 (Source)


    Message of condolences on the death of Daria Alexandrovna Dugina

    Dear Alexander Gelevich!

    It is with deep sorrow that I received the news of the tragic death of your daughter.

    Darya Alexandrovna was known in Russia and abroad as an active public figure, a bright journalist, and a talented scientific researcher. Being the successor of your work, she, despite her young age, managed to achieve significant success in her chosen field, earn the gratitude and respect of her colleagues.

    In the days of severe trials associated with the loss of family and loved ones, for us, the words of the Holy Scripture sound like a consolation: “if we live, we live for the Lord; if we die, we die to the Lord; therefore, whether we live or die, it is always the Lord's" (Rom. 14:8).

    May the merciful Lord of Heaven and Earth rest the soul of His newly-departed servant Daria in the abodes of the righteous and create eternal memory for her.

    21/08/2022 (Source)


    Message to the organizers and participants of the 1st International Anti-Fascist Congress

    I cordially greet all the participants of the Congress, which is taking place within the framework of the Army-2022 International Military-Technical Forum.

    The fight against fascism has become, unfortunately, one of the most acute and topical topics in recent times. The Russian people, who paid a huge price for the victory over the evil of Nazism, have a particularly reverent attitude towards this topic. After the end of World War II, it seemed to many that the "brown plague" was finally and irrevocably destroyed, because it is impossible to forget the horrors and incalculable suffering that the ideology of hatred, national and racial superiority brought to humanity.

    However, for several decades now, we have been watching with concern how, with the support of certain malevolent forces, obvious and indisputable facts are being revised, how a world of fakes and lies is being created before our eyes, the purpose of which is not only to distort the history of the events of the 20th century, devaluing the contribution of our country in the eradication of fascism, but also to sow the seeds of distrust and enmity between people, to pit entire fraternal peoples against each other. All this, of course, is the work of the devil, who, as Christ testifies in the Gospel, was a murderer from the beginning and did not stand in the truth, for there is no truth in him – he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).

    For the people of Russia, the memory of the Great Patriotic War and the sacrificial feat of their ancestors is truly sacred: it has become an integral part of the national cultural code and our identity. We know from our own bitter experience how dangerous experiments are to forget the past. That is why the Russian people do not get tired of testifying to the whole world about what an insidious evil humanity faced in the last century and what catastrophic consequences the neglect of danger and frivolous flirting with fascism can lead to.

    Of course, the disease of nationalism can strike any nation, especially if its spiritual immunity is weakened by proud self-exaltation, the rejection of historical memory and the ideals of good neighborliness, peacefulness and mutual respect. But how important it is to prevent the growth of this cancerous tumor, which will inevitably bring death to the entire healthy body! How important it is not to allow feelings of hatred, pride and cruelty to settle in our hearts!

    Today, the universal responsiveness and all-humanity of the Russian spirit, about which F.M. Dostoevsky wrote, are revealed in new circumstances. Defending the historical truth and protecting the suffering brothers in blood and spirit, our people are fulfilling a difficult and very responsible mission: they return to the world the values ​​that they, in their madness, are trying to refuse. These unshakable values ​​are fidelity to God and traditional moral principles, adherence to the ideals of brotherhood and love, mercy and spiritual nobility.

    In order to carry out this fateful mission, the rallying of society is especially necessary, strong faith is needed, combined with hope in the wise Providence of the Almighty. God grant that we all have the strength, wisdom and patience to adequately cope with the difficult test of time and bring closer the establishment of a lasting and just peace for all peoples.

    Calling on you the blessing of Christ, I wish the participants of the Congress good health and help from the Lord in good deeds.

    20/08/2022 (Source)


    Sermon on the anniversary of the Baptism of Kievan Rus’

    Today we live in a time when among the peoples of historical Russia the enemy of the human race has sown and nurtured the seeds of discord. This has happened before in our history, for the unity and peace commanded by God are always a target for evil forces. But a Christian should not be afraid of the menacing phenomena of the times, remembering that the Church of Christ has constantly faced and will face the hostility of theomachic forces trying to extinguish the light of truth.

    We firmly hope that the faith of Christ will help us heal the wounds of divisions inflicted on the unity of peoples who have come out of the common font of Baptism. And today, remembering the feat of Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir, who baptized and united her, may each of us turn fervent prayers to this saint for overcoming mediastinations and enmity, for the reign of a lasting and just peace in the expanses of historical Russia. Amen.

    28/07/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from sermon

    Maybe that's why they rise up against us because we are different? Faith disappears everywhere - I mean the Christian world - or is deformed so that nothing remains of it. Because in the appendix to the Gospel, people arbitrarily include such an interpretation of texts, such an ethically incorrect interpretation, which today really leads to the decline of moral, spiritual life in countries that were considered Christian. For us, this is not a reason to say: "We are different, we are better" - this would be completely wrong, this would be a sinful conclusion from the analysis of the situation. But for us, this is a reason to say: "We are different, and God grant that we have the strength to remain different." Not from the point of view of some kind of political confrontation, especially in the military sense, – we are talking exclusively about the moral, spiritual and religious dimension of our life.

    21/07/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of sermon

    Today we are living through different times. Today Russia is a powerful state, and hardly anyone will try to deprive us of our freedom and independence by force of arms. But in our evil age, there are many other ways to crush people, deprive them of their national identity, deprive them of their faith, deprive them of a sense of patriotism. We know that today many forces are working to influence our people and our country in this way. Why? Because we continue to be different. In "enlightened" Europe, faith in God is banished, educated people are ashamed to admit that they are believers, and this is a fact. And in our country, which has gone through years of godlessness and persecution, the faith of Christ is strengthened in people. God grant that it be so. So that our authorities, and the army, and our intelligentsia, and all our people keep faith in the Lord, the Orthodox faith,

    Today we have gathered here precisely in order to pray again and again for our Fatherland, which is passing through a difficult time in its history. May the Lord help Russia and all historical Russia to preserve faith, preserve piety, preserve the ability to keep in your mind, in your memory the great spiritual feats of those representatives of our people who became famous as saints. And among them, one of the foremost is the humble Elder of Radonezh, the Monk Sergius, who became the soul of our people, a great saint of God, undoubtedly for all of us and today praying for Holy Russia and the Orthodox faith.

    18/07/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    And if we are all with God, if we live according to God's law, if we find the strength in ourselves to fight our passions, vices, sinful thoughts and not very good deeds, then the Lord will really be with us. And today we really need God to be with us, and here, on the western border of Russia, this is especially felt. Many are rising up today against our Fatherland, but we know that the Fatherland has done nothing wrong to anyone. And they rebel not because we are bad, but because we are different. This otherness of Russia arouses feelings of jealousy, envy and indignation, but we cannot change ourselves. Of course, many wanted, as they say now, to reforming us, but it did not work out, although such huge efforts and funds were invested in the reformation of Russia. And she, as she was, is, in essence, Holy Russia, inheritance of the Most Holy Theotokos. God grant that it be so in the future, and it is especially important for me to tell you about all this, my dear ones, who live on the western border of Holy Russia.

    May the Lord protect the Kaliningrad land, our people and the whole Russian land from every enemy and adversary. But the most important thing is that the Lord keep our hearts pure and the faith in our hearts. If so, then we are not afraid of any enemies, and first of all, our internal enemy is not afraid, which inclines us to sin, vice and deviation from God's law. May the Lord protect Russia, the land of Kaliningrad, the Church that lives here, and all of you, my dear Kaliningraders.

    03/07/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from Sermon

    Once again I want to say that my words may seem incomprehensible to someone, strange, but these are not my words! I am telling you the words of God, this is God's law, and as a Patriarch I am obliged to speak about this law in order for the life of the individual to be integral, for our families to be strong, and hence for all our people to be strong. And how we need today this consolidation, the concentration of our entire nation in the face of enormous external dangers! We must be strong, but a strong man cannot be weak in his personal life. Everything is connected, one with the other, from childhood to the grave. That is probably why the Lord, having bowed His mercy to us, gave us the opportunity to build temples today. Nowhere, neither in Europe nor in America, new churches are being built, people no longer need them. They are closing, repurposing, and sometimes, instead of temples, dance floors and other entertainment facilities appear. And we, to the horror of the very world that cannot understand us, are building God's temples. We are the Russia of the 21st century. Isn't this a miracle of God? We, who have gone through all these persecutions, through all this godless ideology, we as a people have risen and are b

    May the Lord protect the Kaliningrad land, our people and the whole Russian land from every enemy and adversary. But the most important thing is that the Lord keep our hearts pure and the faith in our hearts. If so, then we are not afraid of any enemies, and first of all, our internal enemy is not afraid, which inclines us to sin, vice and deviation from God's law. May the Lord protect Russia, the land of Kaliningrad, the Church that lives here, and all of you, my dear Kaliningraders.uilding churches, and a feeling of love for the Fatherland is growing in us. And we see how our young guys are now defending Russia on the battlefield. Our priests, who take care of our warriors, tell me about amazing examples of courage, self-sacrifice, the ability to lay down their lives for their friend. Where is it from? Not from a high salary, not from the encouragement of the authorities, not from the desire to advance in the service, but from an inner moral feeling, brought up by the Orthodox faith. 

    19/06/2022 (Source)


    Happy Russia Day message to Putin

    Your Excellency, dear Vladimir Vladimirovich!

    Please accept my heartfelt congratulations on Russia Day.

    This holiday unites our fellow citizens, for whom the value priorities are love for the Fatherland and Russian traditions, the desire to work for the good of the native country and the readiness to remain faithful to it in various trials.

    It is gratifying that today an important area of ​​state policy is the preservation of the people, which includes, among other things, the maintenance of social stability, the preservation of a rich cultural heritage and the protection of Russia's sovereignty.

    I am grateful to you for your unwavering attention to the mission of the Moscow Patriarchate. I am convinced that the cooperation of the Church, government agencies, public institutions and all people of good will can contribute to strengthening the unity of our country and the spiritual health of our contemporaries.

    I wish you full strength of mind and body, peace, well-being and God's inexhaustible help in serving in the responsible post of President of Russia.

    With deep and sincere respect

    12/06/2022 (Source)


    Journal of the Holy Synod of June 7, 2022

    (…) about the development of the situation after the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church held in Kiev.

    RESOLVED:

    1. To note with regret the continuing pressure on the bishops, clergy, monastics and laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from representatives of the Ukrainian state authorities and the extremist part of Ukrainian society.

    2. To express support to all the bishops, clergy, monastics and laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church who, realizing the need to observe the canonical system, strive to adhere to the order determined by the Diploma of His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia dated October 27, 1990 and the canonical norm of commemoration at the services of the Patriarch Moscow and all Russia (see Dvukr. 15).

    3. Recall that the decision to change the status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church can only be made within the framework of the canonical procedure, including the decision of the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church. Emphasize that unauthorized actions to change the status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church may lead to the emergence of a new schism within it. The Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church also drew attention to this, pointing out in its statement of May 12, 2022 that any discussions regarding the life of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church should take place within the canonical field and should not lead to new divisions in the Church.

    4. To call on all bishops, clergy, monastics and laity to pray for the preservation of church unity.

    07/06/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from the sermon of the Sixth Sunday after Easter

    Today we remember the terrible events in the history of our Fatherland. Firstly, the decision to divide Russia, which was taken by the then leader Lenin. Prior to that, enemies tried to divide united Russia, and the princes of Kyiv, then the princes of Moscow, tsars, emperors defended the unity of the country. But then such a gentleman or comrade came and liquidated a single country, creating independent states on the territory of historical Russia. Since everything that the revolutionaries did was connected with the deception of the people, then what this person did also carried deception. On the one hand, he signed all these decrees that independent states were created on the territory of Russia, but very soon little was left of his decision. But there was a solution! The supreme ruler has decided to destroy his country, and we know that the consequences of that terrible decision still affect the fate of all of us - people living in the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus, and other places. Of course, many have got used to it, many even consider that all this is good; how many heads - so many minds. But the great country, the stronghold of Orthodoxy, the force that balanced all other forces, weakened through these terrible historical decisions. However, not so much that it is no longer considered at all, and therefore today we are face to face with new problems, which are again connected with the fact that dangerous attempts are being made to weaken our Fatherland. And we believe that the Lord will not allow this through the prayers of the holy saints, through the prayers of all the saints, starting from the fathers of the Kiev Caves, the fathers who labored in all Russian monasteries, and especially the new martyrs and confessors of the Russian Church.

    (…)

    Today, of course, we cannot but grieve over what is happening in fraternal Ukraine. Undoubtedly, the same spirits of wickedness in high places took up arms against our Church, striving not only to divide the Orthodox people of Russia and Ukraine, but to make sure that an abyss lay between us. And not just an abyss, but that a ditch be dug, like those ditches that are used during a military operation, so that the enemy does not pass through. I am deeply convinced that since all these efforts are not from God and not with God's blessing, this goal will never be achieved. Because, despite any changes in the borders between states, the Church of the united people that emerged from the Kyiv Baptismal font, like the people themselves, will undoubtedly keep in their hearts, in their memory, in their pious customs the great heritage of their ancestors, coming from the prince Vladimir to this day. Today, some forces, allegedly acting for the benefit of one of our peoples, are digging these ditches, thinking that by doing so they will ensure happiness and well-being.

    I want to say again and again: we fully understand how the Ukrainian Orthodox Church suffers today. We are sympathetic to the fact that His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry and the episcopate should act today as wisely as possible so as not to complicate the life of their believing people. We treat all this with understanding, but we also pray that no temporary external mediastinations destroy the spiritual unity of our people. And we ask the Lord that the spiritual values that our pious people have formed under the auspices of the one Russian Orthodox Church, and which are rooted in the souls and hearts of people, bear their fruit of standing for the unity of the Church and for God's truth.

    29/05/2022 (Source)


    Resolutions of the extraordinary meeting of the Synod, to discuss the decisions taken by the council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)

    1. Express all possible support and understanding to the arch-pastors, pastors, monastics and laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is subjected to unprecedented pressure from representatives of schismatic structures, local authorities, the media, extremist organizations and the nationalist-minded part of the public.

    2. To call on the fullness of the Russian Orthodox Church to fervent prayers for strengthening the strength of our brethren in Ukraine, for granting them courage and God's help in the daily feat of Christian witness.

    3. To state that the status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is determined by the Diploma of His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia of October 27, 1990.

    4. To note that the additions and amendments to the Statute on the Administration of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church adopted by the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church need to be studied in the prescribed manner for their compliance with the aforementioned Charter and the Charter of the Russian Orthodox Church, according to which such additions and amendments must be submitted for approval to the Patriarch Moscow and all Russia.

    5. Emphasize that Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, deeply empathizing with all those affected by misfortune, has repeatedly called for doing everything possible to avoid casualties among civilians, and for all members of the Russian Orthodox Church to purely pray for the speedy restoration of peace and provide all possible assistance to all those affected, including refugees, people left without shelter and livelihood.

    6. Express regret over the fact that in a number of dioceses of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church the commemoration of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia is being discontinued, which has already led to divisions within the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and which contradicts Canon 15 of the Two-Time Council.

    7. To testify that the entirety of the Russian Orthodox Church prays for the preservation of church unity and for the speedy cessation of bloodshed.

    29/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of a message to performers in a charity concert for refugees from Donbass

    Now, in the era of aggravation of conflicts and contradictions, the multiplication of hatred and anger, it is especially important for believers not to forget their calling to be peacemakers, to show kindness and love, responsiveness and mercy.

    26/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of sermon on on the day of memory of Saints Methodius and Cyril Equal-to-the-Apostles

    Today we are going through a very difficult time. It is a sorrowful time when external forces are trying to break the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church; when enormous efforts are being made to tear our Church in Ukraine away from the fullness of the Russian Orthodox Church. We know in what difficult conditions our brothers are working there today, and I pray every day, and I urge you to pray that the Lord would give them the strength to remain faithful. Loyalty to one’s hierarchal oath, loyalty to the unity of our Church, so that everyone here, and everywhere, remembers that attempts by secular forces to invade the inner life of the Church, to break unity, are not being made for the first time. Throughout almost the entire history of the Church, there have been schisms and divisions, when external enemies found adherents and supporters within the Church,

    We believe that the same will happen on Ukrainian soil, and therefore we pray that the episcopate of the Ukrainian Church, our brothers, retain their fortitude, courage, ability to resist external pressures, and at the most difficult moment remember how we all resisted the most dangerous external pressures during the times of atheism, and withstood, kept our Church immaculate from all temptations, all kinds of slander, all dangerous ideas, proposals, and even demands that came from the authorities, and thus preserved faith among our people. Today, I especially pray that the forces of evil do not shake the unity of our Church, which means the firm standing of our people in the faith of Christ, the ability to maintain unity and solidarity in the bowels of the Orthodox Church.

    24/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of speech at the plenary session of the 20th International Educational Readings

    The teacher must constantly learn so that the subject he teaches does not lose its attractiveness for students. What does it mean to keep learning? The teacher knows very well the topics that he should teach, but the teaching of religion is always tied to life, and apart from life it is a dry and useless subject. Therefore, examples from life, reference to life situations will help children perceive Christianity contextually, that is, in connection with the fact that they know what is familiar to them in the context in which they themselves exist and act. Scholastic teaching, in my opinion, is not one that strictly follows certain patterns, but one that is divorced from life. Teaching is one thing, life is another. So, the teaching of the Fundamentals of Orthodox culture can in no case be divorced from our life, so you should always fill it with wonderful examples. Of course, from the lives of saints, but also from the lives of our wonderful contemporaries, from the lives of heroes who gave their lives on the battlefields. After all, even today there are so many heroes, so many who sacrifice their lives, their health, defending their homeland. All these examples can and should also help children understand how important the spiritual power of a person is. Because not a single heroic deed is performed rationally - this is what you need to remember! — but always irrational. It is rational to hide, run away, hide, but a person, driven by the power of the spirit, gets up and goes towards death. It seems to me that this topic is very important, including for arousing interest in spiritual life in children, so that they understand that the Christian, Orthodox faith is really a great power.

    (…)

    I have repeatedly said that there were no easy times in our history. And now the Russian world is once again becoming an outpost of Christian civilization. Our prayers today are for those who selflessly keep the faith in the expanses of historical Russia, for the clergy performing the feat of sacrificial service to their neighbours, for doctors and volunteers, for all those who courageously defend the truth of God in difficult conditions, testifying to goodness and justice.

    Today, the unity of historical Russia is especially important. “By unity and love we will be saved” - this message was addressed to the people by St. Sergius of Radonezh, the 600th anniversary of the acquisition of the relics of which we also celebrate this year. This call of the Hegumen of the Russian land resounds through the centuries even today, especially in connection with the attempts of the forces that act against the interests of the Russian world to break this world, to push parts of this world against each other, including in a real physical conflict, in a war. We know what is happening in fraternal Ukraine, and therefore my prayers are for His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry, for the episcopate of our Church, for the clergy and, of course, for the pious believing Ukrainian people, who today defend the values of the Orthodox faith in the most difficult historical circumstances.

    23/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of sermon on the day of memory of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker

    Through the prayers of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, may the Lord preserve the Russian state, may the Lord preserve our land from all sorts of enemies, may it strengthen our Church in unity, and all of us, my dear ones, in the Orthodox faith and in the ability to overcome all fears and all despondency. Amen. Christ is Risen!

    22/5/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from the speech by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill at the X Parliamentary meetings in the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation - On the 350th Anniversary of the Birth of Peter I: Secular Peace and Religiosity.

    (…)

    At that time, this cultural communication was built largely taking into account common Christian values. However, in modern times in the West appeared and then became widespread, in my opinion, dangerous ideas based on the denial of the Christian heritage and on the acceptance of moral relativism as a kind of principle on which relations between people should be built. Unfortunately, over the past centuries, these ideas have only intensified and led to the fact that the European society began to revise the unshakable Christian values, which led to the establishment of arrogance and pride, to the destruction of trust between countries and peoples.

    And today Russia does not close the “window to Europe” once cut through by Peter, and does not isolate itself, but this window remains open only for mutually respectful dialogue, and not ideological dictate and bossy shouts from outsideParticipation in this dialogue should not injure our self-consciousness and deprive us of legitimate pride in our country, in our history, in our culture.

    (…)

    Now a few words about Ukraine.

    It is impossible to talk about the situation in Ukraine, and even more so to give it any assessment, outside the historical context. As you remember from national history, in the XII-XV centuries our country existed in the form of many disparate principalities – fragments of a once united and strong state. Under these conditions, the Church remained the main force holding the nation from final disintegration. Our Church countered the tendencies of chaos and conflict in Ancient Russia with the ideal of a common life based on love, brotherhood, peace and mutual trust. This principle in the XIV century was proclaimed by St. Sergius of Radonezh, who called on his compatriots "by looking at the Holy Trinity to overcome the hated strife of this world." The monk made a huge personal contribution to overcoming the disunity between the principalities, realizing

    It is no secret that over the past few centuries, divisions among the peoples of historical Russia have been artificially provoked, including from outside. In this regard, a landmark event was the conclusion of the Church Union of Brest in 1596, an agreement according to which part of the clergy of the Orthodox Metropolis of Kyiv joined the Catholic Church. This act, aimed at destroying Orthodox unity, solved a very specific political problem for the Western powers.

    During the Time of Troubles, civil confrontation brought the Orthodox Cossacks of Zaporozhye under the banner of the Polish interventionists. This historical precedent of the division of the peoples of Russia, alas, was not the only one. It is worth remembering the betrayal of Hetman Ivan Mazepa, who, during the Northern War between Russia and Sweden, went over to the side of the Swedish King Charles XII. The majority of Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians have always perceived Mazepa precisely as a traitor to Russia, and not as a personal enemy of Peter I. Unfortunately, in recent years, Hetman Mazepa has been consciously rehabilitated in Ukraine, many historical facts have undergone a radical reassessment, and if you call a spade a spade, — were distorted or completely forgotten.

    The revolutionary events of 1917 and the ensuing civil war in Russia were in no small measure the result of the expansion of Western teachings about a new structure of social and political life. This is a vivid example of the fact that even the most seemingly attractive ideas that come from outside cannot be treated uncritically. "Equality, brotherhood, freedom" turned people's heads. And Berdyaev wrote wonderfully, simply destroying this very idea of ​​"equality, fraternity and freedom." According to him, where there is freedom, there can be no equality. Equality is on the lawn, which is mowed, but there is no freedom. And the meadow at the edge of the forest is the realm of freedom, but there is no equality there. These wonderful words led to a very important rethinking of the revolutionary events - first of all, among our emigration, and then in our country.

    During the Great Patriotic War, the peoples of our country united in the face of a common threat. The mitigation of persecution against the Church made it possible to rely on the faith stored in the hearts and survive. For modern Russia, the memory of wars, and especially of the last major conflict on a global scale - the Great Patriotic War - is truly priceless and helps to realize the undeniable significance of unity.

    The tragedy of the Great Patriotic War, which claimed the lives of 27 million of our brothers and sisters, of whom 18 million were civilians, must never be forgotten by the peoples of historical Russia. That is why any attempts to justify not only the inhuman Nazi ideology itself, but also all its supporters and accomplices look so unacceptable. Such attempts can only cause deep moral rejection and justified indignation. Attempts to rehabilitate, in particular in Ukraine, those who were associated with the German Nazis, to perpetuate their memory – all this is a sign of contempt for the victims of the Great Patriotic War, including the victims suffered by the Ukrainian people.

    The collapse of the USSR and the emergence of national states inevitably raised the question of the relationship of fraternal peoples in the new historical realities. Deep folk ties that have developed at the level of kinship relations, joint activities, centuries-old history, and most importantly – a common faith, culture and language – have led to the preservation of church unity, stretching over new state borders. The Church respects the borders and sovereignty of states, but for her political divisions are of secondary importance, the main thing is spiritual unity, good neighborliness and mutual understanding between people.

    Now a few words about the divisions that began in 2014. The fratricidal division that began in Ukraine in 2014 is experienced by the Church as a tragedy. I would like to remind you that from the very beginning of the conflict, the Church in Ukraine and Russia has been unceasingly offering prayers for peace and invariably calling people to overcome divisions. Throughout the eight years of armed confrontation, the Church organized many charity events in support of those who found themselves in trouble, lost their homes and were forced to flee from military clashes. As you know, with the mediation of the Church, the exchange of prisoners of war took place more than once.

    I remember how difficult it was to organize the first such exchange. There were fears on both sides, but by the grace of God, it was the participation of the Church in this exchange, the initiative that came from the Church, that helped to remove those fears, suspicions, tensions that accompanied this action, unprecedented for that time.

    I am convinced that the division of the peoples of historical Russia, which has come down to a bloody conflict, as before in history, is the result of the intervention of external hostile political forces. It is well known that the colonial powers, guided by the principle of "divide and conquer", also created points of military tension and internecine conflicts in other regions of the globe. Today, this shameful rule, unfortunately, is also used to escalate Russian-Ukrainian hostility.

    Yes, quarrels also happen between siblings, but it turned out to be possible to bring it to fratricide through targeted propaganda of aggression and lies. I said earlier that the peoples of Russia and Ukraine, who emerged from the common Kyiv Baptismal font, are united by the Orthodox faith and bound by a common historical destiny, cannot be considered the culprits of this situation. They do not and cannot have an interest in the conflict.

    Our flock is both in Russia and Ukraine, and we fervently pray for the restoration of peace, for the Lord to overthrow the plans of an evil external force that feeds hatred. One cannot but say that the schism of Ukrainian Orthodoxy is yet another link in this vicious chain of divisions. The actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which legalized the schism, are worthy of historical comparison with Uniatism. The ultimate goal of this project is the reorientation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in such a way that it can no longer serve the unity of the fraternal Russian and Ukrainian peoples.

    The political goal of creating all these autocephalies, all these schismatic associations is to weaken the influence of the Orthodox Church, the one Orthodox Church of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, using ideological clichés to incite enmity and create new myths that would alienate one people from another.

    Yes, military clashes really accompanied the entire history of mankind after the fall. As one of the sad manifestations of sinfulness, military clashes, in all likelihood, will accompany human history and beyond. However, even in situations of armed conflict, a person can and should preserve his dignity and care for the dignity of others. Exclusion of prohibited methods of warfare, protection of the civilian population, observance of international humanitarian law, respect for the prisoners and the wounded - this is what I, as the Patriarch of All Russia, call on the parties to the conflict and ask them to do everything possible to avoid civilian casualties.

    I am convinced that the right lessons should be drawn from what is happening in Ukraine, giving an assessment of the experiment that was carried out on the Ukrainian people after the collapse of the USSR. The tragedy that has happened again forces the Church to raise its voice in the name of protecting national languages and culture. No one in the world should be disadvantaged just because he speaks or thinks in "the wrong" language.

    From the lips of certain politicians and in the media, there are often calls for widespread infringement of the rights of the Russian-speaking population living in the former Soviet republics, now independent states. The so-called "cancellation of Russian culture" in the West has become evidence of the sad moral state of society. An attempt to eradicate the culture of a particular nation is the apogee of hatred. Worse – only an attempt to physically destroy the people who have become objectionable.

    Our society felt a connection with European culture even in the difficult times of the Cold War and the struggle of ideologies. Western classical literature, music and painting have always been highly valued by our compatriots who perceive European culture as an integral part of the rich Christian civilizational heritage. So we continue to perceive it now, despite everything that happens. I hope that those who are now “fighting” with Pushkin and Dostoevsky, who are boycotting Tchaikovsky competitions and refusing to perform Rachmaninoff, will sooner or later come to realize the shamefulness and madness of their actions.

    But still I would like to talk about the future, and say it with hope. Despite the fact that hostilities are not over yet, today it is necessary to work for the restoration of peaceful life in Ukraine and Donbass. I am confident that our prayers will be heard and a long-awaited and lasting peace will reign. I have no doubt that Russia will make the necessary efforts to create this peaceful life, in which the main principle will be the preservation of unity among peoples based on mutual understanding.

    Civilizational and value differences between Western countries and Russia are inevitable and at the moment seem difficult to overcome, but they should not be an obstacle to peaceful coexistence, to an equal and mutually respectful dialogue of cultures.

    I would like to share with you my thoughts on what conclusions could be drawn from the current situation. I think we are called to a deep rethinking of the vector of social and state development of the last decades. It is important to focus not on what some external observer thinks about our further development, but on how to build the future of the country based on our historical experience, national and spiritual culture, our Christian heritage. We do not need isolation from the outside world, but we need a renewed understanding of sovereignty. Sovereignty not only political, but also cultural; sovereignty that would extend to many areas - from economics to law. We are turning the page of national history, this is a fact, and we need great creative forces.

    17/05/2022 (Source)


    Sermon on the Day of Saint George

    We won that terrible war, and we thought, like many others, that everything would end there and there would be no more wars. How much can you kill each other, how much can you suffer, how much can you destroy? This was the hope of the whole human race, and the United Nations was created to prevent possible wars – and nothing happened in the end. Thank God that there has not been a global war so far, and we will pray that it will not happen in the future, but how many people died in local conflicts! Therefore, today, realizing what a difficult situation is developing in Europe, how difficult the situation is developing around our country, we must intensify our prayer to the Lord, His Most Pure Mother, the Patroness of the Russian land, and to Great Martyr George - the saint, so closely, deeply, ontologically connected with our Great Victory in the Great Patriotic War. We must ask the Lord to show His mercy over our country, to protect it from external and, I will add, internal enemies. Today is the time of special consolidation of all our people. We must all be together, we must be aware that we are going through a difficult, dangerous and, in a sense, fateful period in our history. And we will turn our prayers to St. George the Victorious, to all the saints who shone in the Russian land, so that our country will remain free, independent in the full sense of the word from all world centers of power, because only in this way can a great Orthodox country exist, also with a large pious Islamic population, who proved their loyalty to Russia with their lives and their victims. This amazing combination of feat, courage, and faith of our people gives even today hope for our victory, for getting rid of any enemies who want to encroach on our country, on our landLet us pray to St. George, on the day of whose memory our people won the Victory in the most terrible war in all of human history, that he, undoubtedly accompanying us in that desperate and terrible struggle for the survival and salvation of the people and country, will be with us today, with our people, with our army, with our authorities. But, first of all, that Saint George before the throne of God would pray for the Russian land.

    08/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from the sermon on the third Sunday after Easter

    It so happened that our country almost never waged aggressive wars. There were two cases that can give us an example and say: “But what about the First World War? And before it, the Balkan war? After all, you went to the Balkans, and Samsonov's army moved to East Prussia - that means you are aggressors. Not at all! Our army went to the Balkans not in order to expand the territory of our country, not in order to enrich the country with rich booty, not in order to subjugate other peoples, but in order to save the Bulgarian people from five hundred years of slavery. And name another country that has sacrificed thousands and thousands of its sons in order to help another country the way we helped the Bulgarians!

    And the First World War? Serbs became the main goal and target of Western forces. And this well-known provocation in Sarajevo - everything was aimed at ensuring that Serbia, an Orthodox country close to Russia in spirit, but living surrounded by Western countries, ceased to exist. The West did not want to have this courageous Orthodox people loving Russia among its peoples, and provoked the First World War. And Russia entered this war not in order to acquire land for itself, not in order to enrich itself, not in order to gain power over others, but in order to save the fraternal Serbian people.

    So, the two wars about which we can be accused of having gone first are the defense of the Bulgarians and the defense of the Serbs. These goals were not related to mercantile, material, political or geopolitical interests - Russia was exhausting itself, Russia was sacrificing itself in order to help others. That is why we call our army Christ-loving - because what power, other than internal spiritual strength, can explain the great feat of our soldiers in those two wars!

    And what happened during the Great Patriotic War? A terrible enemy attacked a country that had not gone through the best period of its history – the 20s and 30s. Each of us who has studied history knows how difficult, difficult and even terrible these years were for the people. But then the war came, and all insults were forgotten, all the repressed were ready to go and defend the Fatherland. And how many people, whom only yesterday the authorities considered enemies of the people, have become ardent defenders of the Motherland! Where does all this come from? This is from our spiritual roots, this is from our national identity, which really stems from the spiritual values of our people. And even in a godless time, these values could not be dismantled and destroyed, because they became part of life, part of the soul of our people.

    And today, in this military temple, we pay tribute to all those who are now defending our Fatherland at various frontiers. We believe that even today our army needs spiritual strength, support and, most importantly, the prayers of all our people no less than in those times that I recalled. And the army must remember that we love it, remember and pray for those who are defending our Fatherland today.

    I would like to appeal to the servicemen who are present here, and through them to our entire army. Remember, brothers, that on how you carry out your military duty, on how capable you are of defending the Fatherland, and even, I’m not afraid of these words, to lay down your soul for your friends, according to the commandment of God, the freedom, independence, independence of our Fatherland will depend. Independence from even the most powerful forces that today practically rule the world, but do not rule our country, and hence all the problems. And may the Lord enlighten all of us - the army, the people, the youth, the elderly, our intelligentsia, and the workers, and those who work in the countryside - and help us to realize what an important historical moment we are going through today, how we need our prayers and help our army, navy, all our armed forces. How we should be all together today - not threatening anyone, not attacking anyone, but being absolutely ready to repel any aggression against our people and our country. May the feat and example of our great commanders - saints Alexander Nevsky and Dmitry Donskoy, wonderful military leaders Suvorov,

    And here's something else I would like to say. Russia does not wish harm to anyone, does not want to capture and occupy anyone, does not want to drain resources from anyone, as most of the rich and strong countries of the world do, economically occupying weak and helpless countries. We do not need all this, we are self-sufficient, but we need only one thing - our true freedom, our independence from these world centers of power, which today, unfortunately, are becoming hostile to Russia. We must consolidate all our forces, both spiritual and material, so that no one dares to encroach on the sacred borders of our Fatherland.

    And my words are not what our opponents would like to characterize as "another militaristic speech of the Patriarch." It's all nonsense! My relatives and friends died during the war or died in the Leningrad blockade. I was born right after the war - in 1946, I remember post-siege Leningrad. On all of us, on that first post-war generation, lay the stamp of sorrow, sacrifice, loss, destruction. I walked to school along Maly Prospekt of Vasilevsky Island and saw the skeletons of destroyed houses - they had not yet been demolished, they stood as a terrible reminder of the Leningrad blockade. And these skeletons were very close to the house where my mother lived with her eldest son, still a baby, when aerial bombs exploded a hundred meters away. We all remember this, and therefore today we especially pray and must all work together, so that the Lord protects our Fatherland from every enemy and adversary, so that our people unite, overcoming all disagreements and differences of opinion and life positions that are natural for human society. Today, everything must be put aside and we must be united in the most important thing - in our readiness to show love for the Fatherland in a real way, both in deed and in word, and in the ability to protect our people and our country.

    I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to those who are present here today, but most of all I would like to once again thank the authorities and our army, which today, in conditions of practically military operations, is serving, defending our Fatherland. And again and again, emphasizing the importance, beauty and valor of the military feat, I urge everyone to pray for peace, that the Lord would avert all military actions, that the Lord would reconcile peoples, nations and states, so that peace would become the property of the entire human race. Because the Lord has called us to peace, not to war.

    08/05/2022 (Source)


    Patriarchal sermon during the Paschal commemoration of the dead in the Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin

    Grand Dukes and Duchesses - those who bore on their shoulders the burden of enormous responsibility for the historical existence of our country, our Church, our people. Many of them, of course, are with the Lord. Someone is glorified, someone is not glorified, but today, praying for them, we turn to them with a request to pray for the Russian state, for our country, so that our sacred borders are impregnable, so that we always have enough wisdom, strength and honour to protect them if necessary. We also appeal to them so that love for the Fatherland never dries up, especially in the minds and hearts of the young generation that is coming after us.

    I think it will be so, everything will be preserved, and first of all, perhaps, through the prayers of those who lie in this cathedral, as well as through the prayers of the host of saints who shone in the Russian land, and through the prayers of our Church, which goes along its historical path and, despite the dangers and difficulties of the path and the slyness of this age, carries the word of truth about God, about His Divine Providence, about the salvation that was brought by His Son and our Lord Jesus Christ. And we believe: as long as faith is preserved, love for the Fatherland and the ability to defend one's people and one's country will be preserved with it.

    We don't want to fight anyone. Russia has never attacked anyone. It is amazing that a great and powerful country never attacked anyone - it only defended its borders. God grant that until the end of the century our country will be like this - strong, powerful and at the same time loved by God. We ask the Lord that He does not reject His love from our people and from our Church, that He would enlighten the authorities, that in faith, piety and wisdom He would strengthen our people, that He would give us the strength to work, live and, if necessary, fight for the free and independent life of our people and our country to be preserved. And may the saints help us, who shone in the Russian land. May those who rest their bodies here help us with their prayers, but we believe that many of them stand before the Lord with their souls. With the prayers of all, the entire Church, heavenly and earthly, all those who has departed from us, and who lives on our land, may the Lord protect the Russian land from internecine strife and from the invasion of foreigners, and may it strengthen the Orthodox faith - the only spiritual force that can really hold our people together. And we believe that the Lord will not leave us with His mercy and grace, including in the current difficult time of the summer of His goodness.

    03/05/2022 (Source)


    Full text of the commentary by the Communications Service of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate on the interview given by Pope Francis to the Italian publication Corriere della sera.

    It’s regrettable that a month and a half after the conversation with Patriarch Kirill, Pope Francis chose the wrong tone to convey the content of this conversation. Such utterances can hardly further constructive dialogue between the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches, which is so necessary at the current time.

    This is what Patriarch Kirill actually said in his conversation with Pope Francis, which took place on 16th March: “I thank you for the opportunity to hold this meeting. When we met in 2016 in Cuba, I said to you that we were meeting at the right time and in the right place. And although our communication is being held through the use of long-distance technology, I still believe that we are once more talking to each other at the right time. With your permission, I would like to share with you my perception of the present-day difficult situation. Of course, we live in different informational expanses: the Western media has either remained silent or said practically very little on those facts which I would like to draw your attention towards.”

    Patriarch Kirill further noted that the conflict had begun in 2014 with the events of Maidan in Kiev, as a result of which there was a change of government in Ukraine. He drew special attention to those events in Odessa and their consequences: “There was a peaceful meeting in the city of Russian speakers who were defending their right to their own language and culture. This peaceful gathering was attacked by Nazi groupings who beat them up and struck them with sticks. People sought refuge in the nearest building which was the Trade Union House. At that moment something terrible happened: the building was locked and then burnt to the grounds. People tried to flee by jumping from the second and third floors, and of course they sustained terrible injuries as they hit the ground. Those who stood by the windows decided not to jump as they were being fired upon from below. We watched all of this as it happened live on the television. This terrifying lesson from Odessa influenced the decisions of the population of south-east Ukraine in defending their rights.”

    Patriarch Kirill further reminded the Pope that at the end of the Soviet period Russia received assurances that NATO would not expand a single inch eastward. However, theses promises were not kept and even the former Soviet Baltic republics became members of NATO. An extremely dangerous situation had risen as a result in that the borders of NATO were now within 130 kilometers of St. Petersburg and the time it takes for a rocket to reach the city is a few minutes. Had NATO received Ukraine into its membership, then the time it would take for a rocket to reach Moscow would also be a few minutes. Russia could not and cannot permit this.

    In conclusion the Patriarch emphasized: “Of course, the present situation causes me great pain. My flock is on both sides of the conflict and most of them are Orthodox people. Part of the opposing side are also among your flock. I would like therefore, leaving the geopolitical aspect to one side, pose the question of how we and our Churches can influence the situation? How can we act together to bring peace to the hostile parties with the single aim of establishing peace and justice? It is very important in these conditions to avoid further escalation.

    The response by Pope Francis was reported accurately by Vatican News in its release of 16th March: “Pope Francis thanked the Patriarch for the meeting, motivated by the desire to point out, as shepherds of their people, a path to peace, to pray for the gift of peace and for a ceasefire. The Pope said, in agreement with the Patriarch, that ‘The Church must not use the language of politics, but the language of Jesus.’ Pope Francis added that ‘we are shepherds of the same Holy People who believe in God, in the Holy Trinity, in the Holy Mother of God: that is why we must unite in the effort to aid peace, to help those who suffer, to seek ways of peace, and to stop the fire.’”

    The statement also noted that the “Pope and the Patriarch stressed the exceptional importance of the ongoing negotiation process.”

    04/05/2022 (Source)


    Easter greetings to President Putin

    Your Excellency, dear Vladimir Vladimirovich!

    Christ is Risen!

    Please accept my heartfelt congratulations on the great and life-affirming feast of Holy Pascha.

    Sharing the Easter message and testifying to the unity in the faith of millions of Christians, the Church calls on her children to do good deeds for the good of their neighbours and for the glory of the Fatherland.

    I would like to express special gratitude to you for your continued attention to the service of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as for supporting its cultural, educational and other socially significant initiatives. I hope that the fruitful cooperation of the Moscow Patriarchate with state authorities and public institutions will continue to contribute to the preservation and consolidation of the people, the moral and patriotic education of young people, the creation of peace and civil harmony, and the preservation of the rich historical, spiritual and cultural heritage of our country.

    I wish you strength of mind and body, God's generous help, and blessed success in your difficult and responsible service in the high office of the President of the Russian Federation.

    With deep and sincere respect

    24/04/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts of sermon on Monday after Easter

    (…)

    Today, too, our people especially need internal unity. Things that are developing around our Fatherland are not easy, you are aware of this as well as I am. And therefore, our people today must especially rally around the historical centre of all Russia - around the city of Moscow, realizing that our strength is only in unity. And as long as we are united and strong, as long as we keep faith in our hearts, as long as we are inspired by the great example of our predecessors, then Russia will be invincible. Victory is always not only a physical victory, not only a victory of the weapon with which the warrior meets the enemy, but it is always a victory of the spirit. And today, many would like this spirit to disappear. And in order for it to be so, it is necessary to sow confusion, create new idols, draw attention to new pseudo-values. But we must keep ours, if you like.

    Our pious heroic ancestors, including those who built this cathedral, knew and understood everything well, and therefore the cathedrals were built like fortresses, realizing that at some point, it might be necessary to defend behind their walls, that and happened repeatedly in the history of our Fatherland. Suffice it to recall the heroic defence of Smolensk, when the enemy passed through the fortress walls, and only one cathedral remained as the last fortress and refuge for the defenders of the city. And they did not want to surrender the cathedral - the temple was blown up and buried under the arches of its defenders, who remained undefeated. Let all these wonderful heroic examples inspire us today to defend the Fatherland, to defend our true independence from the powerful centres of power that exist today on earth. May the Lord keep us in true freedom.

    All this is directly related to the preservation of the Orthodox faith in the hearts and minds of our people, and therefore my word is addressed today not only to those who stand in this church, and even not only to the children of our Church. My word today is addressed to all our people, especially to those who, by tradition, by the faith of their ancestors, belong to the Orthodox Church: it is time to return to our spiritual home in order to have the strength that can help us, including in the struggle for our true independence and our freedomMay the Lord guard our land, may the Lord guard our people, may the Lord bless the path of those of our brothers and sisters who have been baptized but have not yet really entered the Church. May the Lord keep our army, our authorities and all those on whom the defence of our Fatherland especially depends today.

    In this historic cathedral of All Russia, we, strengthened by the wondrous example of our ancestors, today raise a special prayer for the Orthodox faith, for the preservation of the unity of our Church, for the preservation of the unity of our people, for the freedom and independence of our Fatherland. And may the Lord help us to live in this way, to arrange our relations with each other, so as not to darken the Lord in any way, but so that our life helps our prayers, so that they are heard and so that the mercy of the Heavenly Father extends over our land, over our Fatherland, as it stretched throughout a thousand years of history, especially in the most dangerous, critical moments of this history. May the Lord keep our land, our people, our Church, authorities and army for many and good years!

    24/04/2022 (Source)


    Sermon on the fourth Sunday of Lent, during a liturgy in the main temple of the armed forces

    We sometimes think that money gives strength. Indeed, money can sometimes give strength, and when the money runs out, then the power ends. And sometimes money ends under tragic circumstances, and as a result, a person suffers more than he rejoices. You can not rely on money and wealth in the hope that they will help you climb the stairs up. If we create wealth within ourselves, if we form a rich inner world that is not subject to external influences, then we can remain poor, but be rich inside. And how many such wonderful examples are known! Many of the poor materially, but rich inwardly people have become, for example, great scientists. Recall that the remarkable scientist Lomonosov came from Pomors, lived in his youth in the north, was a completely poor person, but what heights did he achieve, becoming the first Russian academician,

    (…)

    I am very glad that today I had the opportunity to celebrate the Divine Liturgy in this beautiful church, in the presence of our servicemen. Today, our Fatherland is going through a difficult time. Today, again, the name "military man" is associated with being not only in a peaceful state, but also being on the battlefield. Fortunately, our Fatherland does not often face the battlefield, but the arrival of young people in the Armed Forces who aspire to become officers, who strive to devote their lives to defending the Fatherland, does not dry out. And if in peacetime this can be explained by some kind of privileges or material considerations, then in wartime service in the Armed Forces is a real feat, and this is exactly the time we are experiencing now. The service requires readiness from everyone who has taken the oath to defend the Motherland, not sparing their lives.

    Today the word "independence" is often applied to almost all countries of the world. But this is wrong, because most of the countries of the world are now under the colossal influence of one force, which today, unfortunately, opposes the force of our people. And since this is so, since there is great strength, then we must also be very strong. When I say "we", I mean, first of all, the Armed Forces – but not only. All of our people today must wake up, wake up, understand that a special time has come, on which the historical fate of our people may depend.

    That is why today I celebrated the Divine Liturgy right here, in this church, in order to meet first of all with representatives of our Armed Forces, to address them, and through them to our entire army, to the navy, to all the defenders of the Fatherland, so that they realize the historical importance of the present moment. I want to say again and again: we are a peace-loving country and a very peace-loving, long-suffering people who suffered from wars like few other European nations. We have no desire for war or for doing something that could harm others. But we have been so educated by our entire history that we love our Fatherland and will be ready to defend it in the way that only Russians can defend their country.

    When I say these words, I do not say any empty compliments. I start from the history of our people, from the history of our Armed Forces. After all, we broke the back of fascism, which, undoubtedly, would have defeated the world, if not for Russia, if not for the feat of our people. May the Lord help us today too, so that we, being peaceful, peace-loving and modest people, are at the same time ready – always and under any circumstances – to protect our home.

    Of course, when I say all this, I do not cease to feel anxiety for all the people who live in those places where military clashes are taking place today. After all, all these are the people and peoples of Holy Rus’, all these are our brothers and sisters. But, as in the Middle Ages, wishing to weaken Russia, various forces pushed the brothers against each other, plunging them into internecine strife, so it is happening today. Therefore, we must do everything we can to stop the bloodshed and avoid the danger of internecine strife with all its consequences. But at the same time, we must be faithful - when I say "we", I mean, first of all, military personnel - to our oath and readiness to "lay down our lives for our friends", as the word of God testifies.

    (…)

    To all of you, my dear ones — Bishops, fathers, brothers, sisters, military personnel, military leaders, our youth — I once again cordially greet and congratulate you on this Sunday and wish all of us to maintain strength of mind, the ability to pray for the Fatherland, and for ourselves, the ability to always maintain inner strength, which can be translated into different life situations, including multiplying the power of our Armed Forces. May the Lord keep our land, our Fatherland for many and good years! Amen.

    03/04/2022 (source)


    Excerpt from the Sermon on the Second Sunday of Lent

    We see how the story of the paralyzed man, whom people brought to the Saviour, is actualized in our history. In all these historical subjects, on which I dwelled today, the grace of God was undoubtedly present. But there were also specific people whose names we remembered.

    So today, when our Church is going through a difficult period, at least in recent history, when many forces are trying to break the united body of our Church, when people on Ukrainian soil are suffering grievously, we must, like St. Sergius, like Patriarch Hermogenes, like Patriarch Tikhon, first of all, pray for the spiritual unity of the heritage of St. Prince Vladimir. That, despite the political boundaries that lay on the body of historical Rus, the peoples living on this earth always recognize each other as brothers and sisters, so that the system of common values ​​never collapses, so that the sword of one brother never rises against another.

    Today's Gospel reading about how people brought the paralyzed Saviour to their feet and the Lord healed him, doesn't it help us to understand what the Russian Church is? The One Church that came out of the Kiev Baptismal font, which is in Russia, and in Ukraine, and in Belarus, and in many other countries, is it not similar to those who brought the paralytic to the Saviour? After all, someone must pray for our united people, whom they want to make paralysed! Someone must defend God's truth that we are really one people who came out of the Kiev Baptismal font! I know how the opponents of this people will now shout there, in Ukraine: “Again, the Patriarch says that we are one people.” But the Patriarch cannot say otherwise, because this is historical and God's truth. And the fact that today we live in different countries, does not change this historical truth and cannot change it. We know that other peoples, including those in Europe, often lived in different countries for a long time, but never lost their common national identity. And in relation to our people, I will say: we have not lost the single Orthodox faith.

    And may the Lord help us, as a paralytic, to gain strength, and may all those who are likened to unknown people who brought the paralytic to the feet of the Saviour, all those who are ready to work today to preserve the spiritual unity of our peoples, to preserve the unity of our Church, not hesitate and not doubt the rightness of the chosen path, just as those who brought the paralytic to the feet of the Saviour did not hesitate. May the Lord protect the land of Rus’, the peoples who today inhabit this land, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, because all of us, representatives of these three peoples, are also connected by a single Slavic culture and practically a single history. May we never forget our common roots, may we always pray for each other. And the most important prayer should be that the devil does not allow that terrible moment when a brother raises his hand against a brother. Therefore, we must all pray for peace, for the well-being of the holy Churches of God, for our united people, who today live in different countries, but who came out of a single Kiev Baptismal font, which is united by a common faith and a common historical destiny.

    With the prayers of the holy saints of God, starting with Prince Vladimir, who stands at the beginning of the whole host of Russian saints, Princess Olga, the faithful Boris and Gleb, the monks of the Kiev Caves and all the saints who are included in the wondrous single tradition of Russian Orthodoxy, may the Lord keep in spiritual unity our people and our Church, the great guardian of the spiritual culture and Orthodox faith, which formed the united people of united Holy Rus’.

    20/03/2022 (Source. Edited for clarity)


    Address to the Supreme Church Council

    Today we are to make a number of decisions according to the agenda, but besides that to exchange opinions on the developments, in the first place, on what is happening in Ukraine and how it affects the inter-Orthodox and inter-confessional relations. I will share information about my video meetings with the Pope of Rome and the Archbishop of Canterbury, when we discussed in detail primarily the problems of the security of people in Ukraine, as well as the relations between the Orthodox and Catholics as also linked with the Ukraine issue. All this is important for our relations with the Catholic Church, with the Anglican community and certainly for the Patriarch’s bilateral relations with the Primates of these Churches. I think the meeting, though remote but a real, face-to-face, was positive for both the preservation of good relations between our Churches and for the formation as far as possible a common attitude to the situation in Ukraine.

    I would also like to say that the events in Ukraine demand that we make not only a serious analysis from the ecclesial perspective, but also our prayers, and to stress once again that the Russian Church, despite the very negative political context, is called today to preserve the spiritual unity of our people – the Russian and Ukrainian peoples – as one nation which has come out of the Kievan baptismal font. Without doubt, this unity is exposed to certain dangers in the situation of hostilities, and if we speak of an external factor, then the internet space, the information space, has also become a battlefield, and in this space there is much disinformation, downright lie, provocative statements, which can arouse negative feelings among people, prevent a speedy resolution of the conflict and reconciliation. In this context, I consider as especially important what is happening today in our Church – in the Russian Federation, in Ukraine, in Byelorussia, in other countries. I believe that the stand taken by the Church can become a real peace-making factor for making a positive impact on the developments in Ukraine, a country fraternal for us. We should be especially zealous in lifting up prayers for peace and should certainly accompany our prayers with concrete actions. And the most concrete and important action today is to render assistance to those affected by this conflict – in the first place, refugees, who have found themselves in the territory of the Russian Federation.

    (…)

    Most of all, it is the work of prayer and indispensable efforts to preserve good relations between peoples who have found themselves involved in this conflict. The Church cannot be a bearer of any other signal than a peace-making one because our flock is everywhere, on the either side of the barricades.

    (…)

    I would like to say once again that a considerable attention was certainly given to what is going on in Ukraine as well. Once again, I would like to stress the importance of the fact that my personal remote contacts with both the Pope of Rome and the Archbishop of Canterbury have revealed a high level of consent and understanding. And, perhaps, the most important impression is that our interlocutors have not moved away from us, nor have they become our enemies, and this means that the political context, by God’s grace, have not destroyed the relations we have developed with our brothers or, as they say today, partners, despite the resounding criticism from a certain part of our church community. You remember all those calls to withdraw from the World Council of Churches, to discontinue bilateral relations; we were told that it was a betrayal of the Church, etc. Well, now we can see that if all this had not existed then our Church could have become fully isolated and we could not have the least opportunity to convey to our partners our understanding of the situation, our view of the developments. And, which is the most important thing, we would not have chances to see in these partners those who regard the stand of the Russian Orthodox Church with understanding. Therefore, we have existentially received a convincing validity of the policy of developing relations with Orthodox and non-Orthodox Christians, which our Church began to pursue in the post-war years. Of course, our participation in the work of the World Council of Churches was a very important factor of developing these relations and creating an atmosphere of confidence, which helps us so much in this situation.  

    18/3/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from sermon on the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy

    [Following a description of the iconoclasm period, patriarch Kirill speaks of the] dependence of the Church on the secular authorities, which manifested itself in this whole story with iconoclasm! The emperor, who did not believe in icons, came and ordered everyone not to believe in icons. Empress Theodora came, who believed in the rightness of the Church and icon veneration, and everything returned to its place. This dependence of the Church on an external force, dependence on those who have political power, is the most dangerous dependence. All members of the Church are law-abiding people, we pray for the authorities and the army. But at the same time, every Christian reserves the right to choose – in the event that the authorities become godless and force the Christian to renounce the faith or, as was the case with iconoclasm, fall into heresy and force their subordinates to follow it.

    It would seem that all this is already in the past. Not at all! My heart bleeds when I think about what is happening in Ukraine. Is it not the same as once in Byzantium? Power comes and, for political reasons, does not consider it possible that the majority of Orthodox believers belong to the Russian Orthodox Church, the Moscow Patriarchate. The persecution of these people begins. They are accused almost of treason, they are pressured not to go to the Church, which is insultingly and blasphemously called the "Church of the Occupiers." And, of course, there are people, as it was during the time of iconoclasm, who immediately go in the wake of state power – no matter what happens, no matter how the priest is deprived of a good parish, no matter how the bishop loses his pulpit, no matter how they accuse aiding the occupiers,

    To all those who “waver along with the fluctuation of power,” it must be said: but after all, our Church has gone through the trials of this very wavering and has survived, despite persecution and oppression. And today, starting from our own historical experience, we must say: we respect secular authorities, but we reserve the right to be free from interference by authorities in the internal life of the Church. We hope that this will be the case on Ukrainian soil, although today even the commemoration of the name of the Patriarch in the temple for some becomes impossible for fear for of the Jews (John 19:38).

    We do not condemn anyone, but with my grieving heart I want to understand such people. At the same time, I realize that if someone is unfaithful in small things, then he can be unfaithful in big things (see Luke 16:10). Therefore, today my prayer is that our people in Ukraine will preserve the Orthodox faith, so that they will not be afraid of the pressure of those who suggest that they go into schism and thereby show loyalty to the authorities. We pray and will continue to pray for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, so that the Lord would enlighten and strengthen our episcopate, our clergy, so that no shameful, insulting nicknames that today the bearers of radical views impose on our Orthodox people, accusing them of some kind of complicity almost to the occupiers, so that all this filth did not darken their souls. It must be remembered that we all belong to the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church – the same Church as in Moscow, and in Kyiv; our Local Church, martyr and confessor. And God grant that we all preserve unity, regardless of any external pressures and any efforts of forces alien to the Church, to destroy the spiritual unity of our peoples. When someone, out of fear, refuses to commemorate the Patriarch, then this, of course, is a sign of weakness. It doesn't offend me. But this is dangerous for the spiritual life of those who deviate from the truth in small things. Today we do not commemorate the Patriarch, because it is scary, but tomorrow someone may demand more. But this is dangerous for the spiritual life of those who deviate from the truth in small things. 

    May the Lord keep our Church on Ukrainian land, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry, the entire episcopate, for whom we pray, with whom we are together in these difficult days. We believe that the Orthodox faith and the Orthodox Church will not suffer damage from the ongoing political processes, which we hope will soon pass. May the Lord protect our Church, strengthen our people and help all of us, Russian Orthodox people. I repeat: when I say “Russians”, I mean the words “where did the Russian land come from” from The Tale of Bygone Years. I pray for everyone who lives in Ukraine, in Belarus, in our Russian land, that we all be united in spirit and maintain unity in faith. May the Lord help us, and about this today, on the day of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, our special prayer is to preserve unity in faith, unity in spirit, remembering that we have the same saints, one spiritual tradition, often common spiritual fathers, monastics – one people of God. Sorrow will pass, but it is very important that this sorrow does not weaken our inner spiritual strength. If we endure, then our Russian land will be preserved, which now includes Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and our Church, whose children live in different states almost all over the planet. And we believe that the Lord will be with us if we preserve the purity of the Orthodox faith, the guardians of which we especially remember on the first Sunday of Great Lent. Amen. 

    13/03/2021 (Source. Edited for clarity)


    Response to letter from the World Council of Churches

    (…)

    These days, millions of Christians all over the world in their prayers and thoughts turn to the dramatic developments in Ukraine.

    As you know, this conflict did not start today. It is my firm belief that its initiators are not the peoples of Russia and Ukraine, who came from one Kievan baptismal font, are united by common faith, common saints and prayers, and share common historical fate.

    The origins of the confrontation lie in the relationships between the West and RussiaBy the 1990s Russia had been promised that its security and dignity would be respected. However, as time went by, the forces overtly considering Russia to be their enemy came close to its borders. Year after year, month after month, the NATO member states have been building up their military presence, disregarding Russia’s concerns that these weapons may one day be used against it.

    Moreover, the political forces which make it their aim to contain Russia were not going to fight against it themselves. They were planning to use other means, having tried to make the brotherly peoples – Russians and Ukrainians – enemies. They spared no effort, no funds to flood Ukraine with weapons and warfare instructors. Yet, the most terrible thing is not the weapons, but the attempt to “re-educate,” to mentally remake Ukrainians and Russians living in Ukraine into enemies of Russia.

    Pursuing the same end was the church schism created by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in 2018It has taken its toll on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

    As far back as 2014, when blood was being shed in Kiev’s Maidan and there were first victims, the WCC expressed its concern. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, the WCC General Secretary at the time, said on March 3, 2014, “The World Council of Churches is deeply concerned by the current dangerous developments in Ukraine. The situation puts many innocent lives in grave jeopardy. And like a bitter wind from the Cold War, it risks further undermining the international community’s capacity to act now or in the future on the many urgent issues that will require a collective and principled response.”

    That was also when an armed conflict broke out in the Donbas region, whose population was defending their right to speak the Russian language, demanding respect for their historical and cultural tradition. However, their voices went unheard, just as thousands of victims among the Donbas population went unnoticed in the Western world.

    This tragic conflict has become a part of the large-scale geopolitical strategy aimed, first and foremost, at weakening Russia.

    And now the Western leaders are imposing such economic sanctions on Russia that will be harmful to everyone. They make their intentions blatantly obvious – to bring sufferings not only to the Russian political or military leaders, but specifically to the Russian people. Russophobia is spreading across the Western world at an unprecedented pace.

    I pray unceasingly that by His power the Lord help establish the lasting and justice-based peace as soon as possible. I ask you and our brothers in Christ, united in the Council, to share this prayer with the Russian Orthodox Church.

    Dear Father Ioan, I express my hope that even in these trying times, as has been the case throughout its history, the World Council of Churches will be able to remain a platform for unbiased dialogue, free from political preferences and one-sided approach.

    May the Lord preserve and save the peoples of Russia and Ukraine!

    10/03/2022 (Source)


    Patriarchal Sermon on Wednesday of the First Week of Great Lent

    In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit!

    The time of Great Lent is a time of repentance and prayer. For what? To free ourselves from the captivity in which we fall, committing ungodly, sinful deeds. We are captured by sin. A person does not even notice how this happens – somewhere he told a lie, somewhere he distorted the facts, somewhere he answered inappropriately and offended the interlocutor. It is from such small conflicts that alienation grows, people become enemies. And sometimes conflicts are fomented by a third party who has an interest in two people quarreling – this happens all the timeEveryone, probably, went through such a temptation when you realize that you, having nothing bad in your heart towards another person, suddenly become an enemy in his eyes. And then it turns out that someone worked and inspired the one

    Such domestic conflicts are very well known to all of us, and since they are most often based on lies, we must remember who the father of lies is. The devil is the father of lies, and his goal is to destroy human souls, to push people into conflict, because conflict liberates passions. What a person would never say or do in a calm state, he begins to say and do if he comes into conflict with his neighbour, if he sees an enemy in him. Then some kind of animal, natural element is liberated in a person, and we know what terrible forms conflicts take. Families are falling apart, people are dying, but this has to do not only with interpersonal relationships, but also with conflicts between peoples, between countries.

    Now we are going through a conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Let's think about what really can divide us? We are practically one people, bound by historical fate, we all came out of the Kiev font together, we are united by faith, our saints, common hope, the same prayers. What can separate us?! But the enemy of the human race - through specific people, through specific associations of people - throws lies into the relations between our peoples, and on the basis of this lie a conflict developsAnd we know that this is not just a quarrel between neighbours, but a conflict in which states are involved, that is, institutions that have the legal right to use force, forcing their citizens to obey if they violate the laws, or forcing other countries if they see there is a threat in them, to ensure that this threat does not exist.

    In other words, today two fraternal peoples have entered into a conflict – but in fact one, the Russian peopleLet me remind you again and again of the words of The Tale of Bygone Years, our historical chronicle, which tells “where the Russian land came from”, and then comes the story of Kyiv. Russia is one country, one people, but this people turned out to be very strong, and the neighbours, frightened by its strength, began to do everything to divide this people, to inspire parts of this people that you are not at all one people. And we know to what a terrible climax the consequence of this suggestion is now reaching, when someone does not see a brother in his brother, but sees an enemy. And it's terrible that there are some religious organizations (I can't even dare to call them religious) that raise the need to fight against the fraternal Russian people to the shield of their preaching.

    The Church, which measures time not in days, not in months, not in years, but in centuries and millennia, in its historical experience keeps the memory of the many conflicts that have been since ancient times – in Ancient Rome, Byzantium, the Old Russian state, the Russian Empire, modern states on territory of historical Russia. The Church remembers these conflicts and knows what dire consequences they have always led to. And today, with all their might, the enemies of both the Russian and Ukrainian peoples from the outside are trying to instill that you are not brothers, but you are enemies, and you must fight each other. And after all someone succumbs to this temptation! And we, of course, regret and mourn the fact that political forces have arisen on our close, native Ukrainian land, which, using the idea of ​​an enemy in relation to the Russian people, are shaping policy towards Russia today.

    Let's not talk about those who set fire to this war – God will judge them, and He will punish themToday we need to talk about ourselves, and I call on all of you, my dear ones, first of all, to intensify the prayer that all military confrontation between Russia and Ukraine will stop, so that our people will once again be able to realize the existence of common spiritual roots and common spiritual strength, which is our undivided Church, residing in Russia, in Ukraine and in other countries. This is indeed a guarantee of salvation, a guarantee of the future world, but that is precisely why she is being persecuted there today, on Ukrainian soil, by those who are not interested in peace. Therefore, we must pray especially for His Beatitude Vladyka, Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, for the Ukrainian episcopate, but also, of course, for our Church.

    But here's something else I'd like to say. Where the devil is, there is always a lie. Even today – what a huge amount of lies are being spread! There was even such a newfangled word "fake" as a synonym for lies. But this is an ordinary devilish lie, because it is lies that are used today to deepen the gulf between two peoples, to make them enemies; and we must be very vigilant to everything that is being said in connection with the mournful conflict that has arisen in the Donbass.

    Our Church is both in Russia and, I hope, in Ukraine, because we have common values, common ideals, a common Christian conscience, after all. We cannot act otherwise than to pray for peace and try to reduce the degree of confrontation, the degree of emotional political discussions, often overstepping the bounds of decency. We must do everything to pacify and pacify our hearts so that the enemy of the human race does not manage to destroy our spiritual unity, around which the religious and cultural life of our united people, Russians and Ukrainians, was formed.

    Of course, the topic related to Russian-Ukrainian relations has now become a part of big politics or, as they say now, geopolitics. And one of the goals of this geopolitics is the weakening of Russia, which has become a strong, really powerful country. But how disgusting and vile to use the fraternal people to achieve these geopolitical goals! How terrible to set these people against their brothers! How terrible it is to arm him so that he enters into a struggle with his brothers of the same blood and of the same faith! All those who do this in the form of propaganda that has massively attacked Ukraine, in the form of concrete actions, in the form of creating prerequisites for the expansion of the military conflict - all these people are enemies of both Russia and Ukraine. They are against our unity, against our spiritual roots, regardless of whether they call themselves believers or non-believers.

    May the Lord help all of us — Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, all peoples who came from the same root, came out of the Kiev Baptismal Font — to maintain our spiritual unity, to prevent the division of our Church. By the way, those who sought to divide the peoples began by dividing the Church, creating some schisms in UkraineThis started in order to break the spiritual unity, but by the grace of God this unity is preserved.

    Today I especially prayed for His Beatitude Onuphry, for the episcopate, for the clergy, for the believing people of Ukraine, so that the Lord would save them from the wiles of the evil one, keep them in the understanding that any war between Orthodox brothers who belong to one Church is the work of the devil, not God'sAnd therefore, our one Church, whether in Russia, in Ukraine, in other countries, must today pray for peace, for an end to internecine strife, as St. Sergius did, as our Russian Church did when the Russian princes entered into internecine strife, destroying each other. So today we will not follow the path to which we are called, provoking the involvement of the Church in the conflict, but we will follow the path of St. Sergius and pray for the unity of Holy Russia so that no forces can divide our people.

    May the Lord bless our land – historical Rus’May the Lord save us from divisions in the Church, may He help us overcome all those divisions that are generated not by differences in faith, but by the influence of political forces on certain church circles. So that all this remains in the past and that we all, with one mouth and one heart, can glorify the holy and magnificent name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and, guarding ourselves with the Cross, drive away any enemy, demonic power from our common life and from our fate. Amen.

    09/03/2022 (Source. Edited for clarity)


    Excerpts from the Patriarchal Sermon on Cheesefare Week after the Liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

    (…)

    We know that this spring has been overshadowed by grave events related to the deterioration of the political situation in the Donbass, practically the outbreak of hostilities. I would like to say something on this subject.

    For eight years there have been attempts to destroy what exists in the Donbass. And in the Donbass there is rejection, a fundamental rejection of the so-called values that are offered today by those who claim world powerToday there is such a test for the loyalty of this government, a kind of pass to that “happy” world, the world of excess consumption, the world of visible “freedom”. Do you know what this test is? The test is very simple and at the same time terrible – this is a gay paradeThe demands on many to hold a gay parade are a test of loyalty to that very powerful world; and we know that if people or countries reject these demands, then they do not enter into that world, they become strangers to it.

    But we know what this sin is, which is promoted through the so-called marches of dignity. This is a sin that is condemned by the Word of God – both the Old and the New Testament. Moreover, the Lord, condemning sin, does not condemn the sinner. He only calls him to repentance, but not to ensure that through a sinful person and his behaviour, sin becomes a life standard, a variation of human behaviour – respected and acceptable.

    If humanity recognizes that sin is not a violation of God's law, if humanity agrees that sin is one of the options for human behaviour, then human civilization will end there. And gay parades are designed to demonstrate that sin is one of the variations of human behaviour. That is why in order to enter the club of those countries, it is necessary to hold a gay pride parade. Not to make a political statement “we are with you”, not to sign any agreements, but to hold a gay parade. And we know how people resist these demands and how this resistance is suppressed by force. This means that we are talking about imposing by force a sin condemned by God's law, and therefore, by force to impose on people the denial of God and His truth.

    Therefore, what is happening today in the sphere of international relations has not only political significance. We are talking about something different and much more important than politics. We are talking about human salvation, about where humanity will end up, on which side of God the Saviour, who comes into the world as the Judge and Creator, on the right or on the left. Today, out of weakness, stupidity, ignorance, and most often out of unwillingness to resist, many go there, to the left side. And all that is connected with the justification of sin, condemned by the Bible, is today a test for our faithfulness to the Lord, for our ability to confess faith in our Saviour.

    Everything that I say has not just some theoretical meaning and not only a spiritual meaning. Around this topic today there is a real war. Who is attacking Ukraine today, where the suppression and extermination of people in the Donbass has been going on for eight years; eight years of suffering and the whole world is silent – what does that mean? But we know that our brothers and sisters are really suffering; moreover, they may suffer for their loyalty to the Church. And so today, on Forgiveness Sunday, on the one hand, as your shepherd, I call on everyone to forgive sins and insults, including where it is very difficult to do this, where people are at war with each other. But forgiveness without justice is capitulation and weakness. Therefore, forgiveness must be accompanied by the indispensable preservation of the right to stand on the side of the world, on the side of God's truth, on the side of the Divine commandments.

    All of the above indicates that we have entered into a struggle that has not a physical, but a metaphysical significance. I know how, unfortunately, Orthodox people, believers, choosing the path of least resistance in this war, do not reflect on everything that we are thinking about today, but humbly follow the path that the powers that be show them. We do not condemn anyone, we do not invite anyone to come to the cross, we just say to ourselves: we will be faithful to the word of God, we will be faithful to His law, we will be faithful to the law of love and justice, and if we see violations of this law, we will never put up with those who destroy this law, blurring the line between holiness and sin, and even more so with those who promote sin as an example or as one of the models of human behaviour.

    Today, our brothers in the Donbass, Orthodox people, are undoubtedly suffering, and we cannot but be with them, first of all in prayer. It is necessary to pray that the Lord would help them to preserve the Orthodox faith, not to succumb to temptations and temptations. At the same time, we must pray that peace will come as soon as possible, that the blood of our brothers and sisters will stop, that the Lord will incline His mercy to the long-suffering Donbass land, which has been bearing this mournful stamp for eight years, generated by human sin and hatred.

    (…)

    And let us pray that all those who are fighting today, who are shedding blood, who are suffering, will also enter into this joy of the Resurrection in peace and tranquility. Because what joy will there be if some are in the world, while others are in the power of evil and in the sorrow of internecine warfare?


    Prayer for the speedy restoration of peace, pronounced by the Patriarch on Forgiveness Sunday

    O Holy and merciful God, Lord Jesus Christ our God, through the prayers of the All-Pure Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, the holy Grand Duke Vladimir and Grand Duchess Olga, the holy New Martyrs and Confessors of our Church, Our venerable and godly fathers Anthony and Theodosius, wonderworkers of the Kievo-Pechersk monastery, Sergius, hegumen of Radonezh, Job of Pochaev, Seraphim of Sarov and all the saints; make our prayer favourable for the Church and for all Your people.

    From one baptismal font, in the days of holy Prince Vladimir, we Thy children have received grace: establish in our hearts a spirit of brotherly love and peace for ever!

    To the foreign people who desire to be at war and to fight against Holy Rus', – forbid them and overthrow their plans.

    Through Thy grace incline those who hold power to goodstrengthen the soldiers, that they keep Thy commandments; provide homes for the homeless; nourish the hungry; strengthen and heal those who are in affliction and suffering; give hope and comfort to those who are in confusion and sorrow, and give forgiveness of sins and a blessed repose to those who have been killed in battle.

    Fill us with faith, hope and love that we may confess to Thee, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, with Thy everlasting Father, Thy Holy and Life-giving Spirit, in one word and with one heart, for ever and ever. Amen.

    06/03/2022 (Source. I had considerable difficulty obtaining a good translation of this prayer. I take full responsibility for the final result, obtained through a mix of automatic translations and edited for clarity. The original can be read in the link provided. If anybody detects mistakes, please let me know in the comments. A few changes were made since I first posted it, following suggestions from a Russian speaker. The most significant being replacing "Holy Russia" with "Holy Rus'")


    Excerpt from a Sunday homily

    Today we also need unity – the unity with our brothers and sisters in UkraineWe are aware of the difficult circumstances encountered today by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. I especially prayed today for His Beatitude the Primate and certainly for the whole episcopate and all the faithful people of Ukraine; and I call you to lift up these prayers too. God forbid that the present political situation in fraternal Ukraine so close to us should be aimed at making the evil forces that have always strived against the unity of Rus’ and the Russian Church, gain the upper handGod forbid that a terrible line stained with the blood of our brothers should be drawn between Russia and Ukraine. We should pray for the restoration of peace, for the restoration of good fraternal relations between our peoples. A guarantee of this fellowship is our united Orthodox Church represented in Ukraine by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church headed by His Beatitude Onuphry. We prayed for them today as well. We prayed that the Lord may give them strength and wisdom to repulse the attacks of the evil one while serving their people in faith and truth promoting peace by all possible ways.

    May the Lord preserve our Church in unity. May the Lord protect from fratricidal battle the peoples comprising the one space of the Russian Orthodox Church. It must not be allowed to give the dark and hostile external forces an occasion to laugh at us; we should do everything to preserve peace between our peoples while protecting our common historical Motherland against every outside action that can destroy this unity.

    Today we lift up a special prayer for His Beatitude Onuphry, for our Church and for our devout faithful. May the Lord preserve the Russian land. When I say “Russian”, I use the ancient expression from “A Tale of Bygone Years” – “Wherefrom has the Russian land come”, the land which now includes Russia and Ukraine and Belarus and other tribes and peoples. That the Lord may protect the Russian land against external enemies, against internal disorders, that the unity of our Church may strengthen and that by God’s mercy all the temptations, diabolical attacks, provocations may retreat and that our devout people in Ukraine may enjoy peace and tranquillity – these are our prayers today. And I ask you all to mention His Beatitude Onuphry in your prayers in church and at home, to mention our brothers and sisters in Ukraine and to pray for peace.

    27/2/2022 (Source. Edited for clarity)


    It is with deep and heartfelt pain that I perceive the suffering of people caused by the events taking place.

    As the Patriarch of All Russia and the Primate of the Church, whose flock is in Russia, Ukraine and other countries, I deeply empathize with everyone who has been touched by misfortune.

    I call on all parties to the conflict to do everything possible to avoid civilian casualties.

    I appeal to bishops, pastors, monastics and laity with an appeal to provide all possible assistance to all victims, including refugees, people left without shelter and livelihood.

    The Russian and Ukrainian peoples have a common centuries-old history dating back to the Baptism of Russia by the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir. I believe that this God-given community will help overcome the divisions and contradictions that have arisen that have led to the current conflict.

    I call on the entirety of the Russian Orthodox Church to offer up a deep, fervent prayer for the speedy restoration of peace.

    May the all-merciful Lord, through the intercession of our Most Pure Lady Theotokos and all the saints, preserve the Russian, Ukrainian and other peoples, which our Church spiritually unites!

    24-2-2022 (Source)

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    Epiphanius – Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (Kiev Patriarchate)

    Words during visit to Kharkiv

    Today we once again prayed for our victory. Little by little, Kharkiv region has been practically liberated and the boot of the occupier no longer tramples this land. Here, our soldiers showed an example of fortitude and indomitability. Even in such close proximity to the border, defenders of Ukraine withstood the onslaught of the enemy. Although our struggle is still ongoing, morally we have already won, because the whole world believed in our victory. Therefore, we believe that the Lord will end the suffering of the Ukrainian people with a just peace when we finally defeat the aggressor.

    (…)

    We are convinced of our victory, because the truth is on our side. We protect our families and our native land - what the Lord gave us as a gift. So we are obliged to preserve this gift. With prayer, we believe that the Lord will help us defeat the aggressor and cut off this evil that has invaded our home.

    I thank each of you, because thanks to your sacrificial feat, Ukraine does not give up and defeats the enemy. Kharkiv is the city of heroic defenders of Ukraine. You persevered and set an example for others. So may the Lord give you strength and inspiration and inspire your indomitable spirit

    29/09/2022 (Source and source)


    Excerpt of Sermon on Feast of the Martyrdom of John the Baptist

    It so happened that today is the 200th day of our successful resistance to large-scale Russian aggression. At its beginning, both enemies and friends believed that Ukraine would be able to withstand this onslaught for only a few days, at best – a few weeks. Before us then, in February, at the beginning of March, we faced a choice similar to that of John the Baptist: personal safety or truth? Cease resistance in order to save your life at the cost of slavery to the evil empire, or fight, knowing which way is the price of freedom?

    We, as a people, chose truth and freedomWe do not want to exchange them for a deceptive peace – just as the prophet John did not want to exchange his faithfulness to the call to testify to the truth for the preservation of his own temporary life and a high position with Herod.

    John's example inspires us also as a Local Church to be witnesses of the truth. Look at Cyril of Moscow – and you will see what the Forerunner would have turned into if he had remained silent about the ruler's crimes or even approved of them. And how many times over these years and decades have we been offered to come to terms with the untruth of Moscow's rule over the Ukrainian soul. If we agreed to serve the "Russian measure", as Cyril serves and all those who continue to consider him their patriarch, then we were promised both church unity and support from the powers of this world, as the Moscow Patriarchate had and even now continues to have.

    But we choose the truth. We do not want, neither for ourselves nor for our people, the price of peace to be the restoration of Kremlin slavery. The Lord blessed our people with independence and statehood, blessed us to have our Local Orthodox Church. So would it be wise, correct and worthy to renounce all this for the sake of the Cain's embrace of Moscow?

    Will we all die? Yes, unfortunately, sooner or later our time will come to leave this world. It does not depend on us. But it depends on us whether we really live or just exist.

    When we serve God, when we walk the path that leads us to the Kingdom of Heaven – then we truly live, because only in the Lord is the source of true life. That life that fills our existence here with meaning and opens eternity for us. And if we choose to preserve life, but the price of this is untruth and indulgence in evil, then we will preserve our existence for a while, but we will lose true life, because we will lose union with God.

    Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, I wish all of us to be inspired by the example of the saints, to hold on to the truth, to know the will of God in order to fulfil it and through this have eternal life.

    Today, together with all our people, we rejoice at the success of our soldiers who are liberating Ukrainian cities and villages from occupation. We bless them, we pray for them that the Lord will help overcome evil and lead us all to victory and a just peace.

    We ask for eternal blissful life and rest in the Kingdom of Heaven for the soldiers who gave their lives for the sake of freedom and peace for Ukraine. We pray for healing for the wounded. May everyone who increases truth and goodness be justly rewarded, and may God's merciless judgment come upon the newest Herod and all his liars and servants. Amen.

    11/09/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of sermon during joint liturgy in Greece with Ecumenical Patriarch

    Your Holiness!

    You dedicated your life and service to the unity of the Church. In order to witness it, you made every effort to successfully hold the long-planned Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, the preparation for which lasted for many decades. You have successfully resolved issues that have troubled the Orthodox Church for a long time, restoring communication and unity for the Church in Ukraine and for the Church in North Macedonia.

    For your courage and determination, you have to suffer many unjust attacks from those who loved the pride of this world more than the humility of Christ. Like the proud brother from the parable, they themselves are ready to stay outside the parental home, if only not to be together with their brother, who is condemned instead of rejoicing in the restoration of unity. So they break the sacred unity of the Church, they refuse to communicate not for the sake of truth, but for the sake of asserting their power over other brothers.

    They rely on power, wealth, and other things of this world. But we can remind them of the word from the Scriptures: "You say: I am rich, I have become rich, and I have no need of anything; but you do not know that you are wretched and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" (Rev. 3:17). However, we prayed for them together today and asked the Lord for mercy for them, so that they would leave their stubbornness and return to unity in love and truth.

    (…)

    Today, among other things, we prayed for a just peace for Ukraine, for the victory of truth and the end of the war. On behalf of the entire Church of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, I thank Your Holiness and Your Beatitude, I thank the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Greece for their prayers for Ukraine, for spiritual and material support, for humanitarian aid for victims of Russian aggression, for caring for forced refugees.

    In its history, Hellas itself suffered a lot from foreign conquerors, from those who wanted to destroy its identity, its culture, wanted to keep the Greeks in slavery. Therefore, you understand our desires and our feelings very well. We, Ukrainians, are fighting for our freedom, for our Church and our state against foreign tyranny, and we believe that with God's help we will win this fight.

    04/09/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of sermon in Greece

    Your invitation came to us at the beginning of March this year – in terrible and dark days for Kyiv, for Ukraine and for the whole world, when the Russian tyrant sent his troops to seize our capital and destroy our state. When I was reading your invitation, I could hear from time to time the sounds of explosions and gunshots that sounded already on the outskirts of our city. I heard the sound of a siren warning of the danger from Russian bombs and missiles.

    And in the midst of all these signs of war, from you, His Holiness, we received, like a ray of sunshine, an invitation to the divine service and solemn events that will now take place here. In those days of spring, we did not know what could happen to us in one hour or the next day, but the sign of your brotherly love in Christ deeply touched my heart. In your invitation, I saw a symbol of God's blessing and a sign that the enemy who came with war to our land will not succeed in his evil plans, and we will have the opportunity to accept your invitation and share with all of you, and especially with Your Holiness and Your Beatitude the joy of joint prayer and worship.

    03/09/2022 (Source)


    Speech by representative of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church at the World Council of Churches

    Priest Rostyslav Dudarenko, 45, was the parish priest in the village of Yasnohorodka, some 40 kilometers west of the Kyiv. He was assisting civilian volunteers manning a checkpoint at the entrance of their town. When Russian soldiers began to shoot at unarmed civilians, Fr. Rostyslav raised a cross over his head as he tried to protect them. Then he was shot. It was March 5, 2022, two weeks after Russian Federation started an unprovoked full-scale war against Ukraine.

    In the last six months, thousands of civilians were killed, including 376 children, 15 millions became refugees and the unprovoked full-scale war continues as we speak.

    Dear participants and guests of the Assembly!

    Dear brothers and sisters!

    First, I wish to express my gratitude for your decision to invite representatives of various Churches of Ukraine to join you today and to allow us to share our pain.

    The Christian history of Ukraine stretches back to the age of the Apostles, when the Apostle Andrew first brought the Gospel to our lands – in Crimea and along the Dnipro River.

    For more than a thousand years, ever since the baptism of the inhabitants of our capital, the City of Kyiv, requested by the ruler of the ancient Ukrainian state, by Saint Prince Volodymyr, the vast majority of our people have held on to their Christian Faith.

    According to recent sociological data, over 80 percent of Ukrainians identify themselves as Christians, and, of these, almost two-thirds, more than 50 percent identify with the Local Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which I have the honor to represent here today.

    Unfortunately, despite this ancient and unique Ukrainian Christian tradition, despite the variety of Christian confessions that have long existed in Ukraine, Ukrainians have for decades not had a voice of our own in the World Council of Churches. They talked about us without us.

    Thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak on our own behalf today and for your support!

    The tragic events of the war which Russia initiated and brutally wages against our people, clearly demand a change. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine has already applied for full membership in the World Council of Churches, and, on behalf of millions of Christian faithful, united in more than 7,000 parishes, we ask you to support our request.

    For more than three centuries, the Russian Empire and then the Soviet Union tried to erase the uniqueness of the Ukrainian people. Our language was banned for use and study, our Church was annexed and used as an instrument of Imperial policy.

    One of the themes of the current Assembly is uniqueness and identity. For centuries, Imperial Russia wanted to deprive the Ukrainian people of our identity. An acknowledged goal of the current war that Russia is waging on Ukraine is the same – “de-Ukrainization of Ukraine”. Russia continues, as it has for centuries, to use all the tools and rhetoric of colonialism with a goal of eliminating us.

    But we are successfully fighting for our freedom, for our independent future. Truth is on the side of the Ukrainian people. And where there is truth, there is God, and where there is God, there is victory.

    It is impossible to say everything that I want and need to say in a short speech, but I pray that during the days we are here, and in the years to come, there will be many opportunities to listen and respond, to answer all questions and cooperate with everyone.

    The parable of the good Samaritan came to mind at the beginning of our gathering. This parable is a call to be merciful to someone you don’t know, but who needs help and protection. Today, Ukrainians are the ones attacked by robbers. Many of you do not know much about us, and to some of you we are strangers, as the Samaritans were to the Jews. But we, the Christians of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people in general, need and ask for mercy, prayers, and practical help from each one of you. Do not pass by our suffering and our pain, as the priest and the Levite of the parable!

    We are deeply grateful to everyone who has already shown and continues to show the kindness of the Samaritan to Ukrainians. Especially, thank you for praying for just peace and the victory of truth in Ukraine. Please – continue to pray; the prayers of the righteous can move mountains.

    We thank you for the humanitarian aid, for your help to Ukrainian refugees. So much is needed now, and so much will be needed in the future to rebuild after the war. We are open to cooperation and will be grateful for any support.

    And what you can do to help Ukraine now is be witness to the truth, and fight for it. We are grateful to the leadership of the World Council of Churches for their public support since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale aggression, in particular through your appeals to the Russian Patriarch Kirill. No one has the right to bless aggression, no one has the right to justify war crimes and acts of genocide. We hope that the Assembly will be able to find appropriate words and actions to continue to be witnesses to truth.

    We are grateful for the visit of the Council delegation to Kyiv and believe that our more intensive dialogue will be useful, dialogue which is not for the sake of platitudes or allowing the justification of evil with propaganda, but for affirming those principles of truth and of love for peace which are fundamental to this Council.

    On behalf of our Primate, His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphaniy, and the millions of Ukrainian faithful Christians, I convey our greetings; may God bless us all with the good fruits of our labour in His name!

    02/09/2022 (Source)


    Words during memorial service

    Unfortunately, this cruel and terrible war continues to this day and daily takes many lives of our brothers and sisters who protect us. We pray for them, showing our love for them in return for the love they showed to us, to our God-given Ukrainian land, defending our territorial integrity.

    (…)

    We must continue to pray for those who have gone to eternity. And for those who are currently defending our land, we offer prayers for health. And also – for all their relatives, may the Lord strengthen them, give them the strength to continue to work worthily and do everything to bring our victory closer. May the Lord rest the souls of fallen heroes in the Kingdom of Heaven. And from us to them a low bow, honour and eternal memory.

    29/08/2022 (Source)


    Sermon on occasion beginning of the new academic year in the capital's theological academy

    Today, with prayer, with a request for God's blessing on work, we begin the new academic year of our Academy. In the more than thirty years that have passed since its revival, our spiritual school has faced many challenges. However, no one could have predicted that we would have to organize training and work at the academy in wartime conditions.

    We are grateful to God and our brave defenders for saving Kyiv from the Russian occupation. Thanks to this, we can start the new school year in our native walls. However, all of us, and especially you, dear students, must not forget that every day of this year has a very high price - the price of blood and lives that our defenders give at the front so that Ukraine has a present and a future.

    This day is also the Day of Remembrance, when we honour the soldiers who died in the war against the Russian aggressor. The Wall of Memory reminds us of them. They gave their lives to protect the Ukrainian people and our future from those evil designs of enslavement and de-Ukrainization of Ukraine, which the enemy prepared for us. What kind of plans are these – we can clearly see from the example of the atrocities that the invaders committed and continue to commit in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

    Among the victims of Russian aggression are our teachers and graduates. In Buchi, our longtime colleague Oleksandr Ivanovich Kislyuk was killed by the occupiers. Graduates of our Academy, my fellow students Abbot Platon (Morgunov), priests Maksym Kozachyna and Rostislav Dudarenko, as well as our graduate soldier Oleksandr Tsykun, died while performing their pastoral duties. I propose to honor their memory and the memory of all those who died in the struggle for freedom and independence of Ukraine, all innocent victims of Russian aggression. We sing "Eternal Memory" to them!

    In the conditions of the war, the need of both our Church itself and society for educated, modern, responsible shepherds – patriots of Ukraine – became particularly acute. Chaplain service, without which one cannot imagine the new Ukrainian army, and humanitarian work in the broadest sense of the word – moral, spiritual and material assistance to those suffering from war – have become a daily task for almost every one of our priests. At the front and in the rear, in free Ukraine or under temporary occupation – everywhere there is a special need for spiritual work and a request for prayer and various support.

    We do not know exactly when the war will end. But we believe that with God's help it will end with the victory of Ukraine. Our common task is to bring this day closer with prayer and work, fulfilling our duties and our vocation with dignity.

    You, dear students, after completing your studies, will perform your service already in the conditions of the new Ukraine, which will need healing from the wounds of war. Wounds are not only material, but also spiritual. They will turn to you for support and comfort, for comfort and hope. Therefore, gain knowledge and experience, increase your theological treasure and practical skills in order to have the ability to adequately respond to today's challenges.

    The year we are about to embark on will certainly be challenging. In order to ensure the work of the Academy, to provide for your needs, the Kyiv Metropolitanate has to invest significant resources at a time when opportunities for everyone have sharply decreased. But we will do everything that depends on us, so that this academic year the Academy will pass with dignity. At the same time, I appeal to you - the students and the teaching corporation - with a request and appeal to take a responsible approach to the challenges that lie ahead of us, understanding that the Church and our pious people place great hopes on the Academy.

    In addition to educational and practical training of future pastors, the Kyiv Academy has always been and will continue to be a center for the development of theological and church science. The challenges of aggressive secularism, the decline of public morality, the spread of anti-Christian and anti-natural ideologies – all this requires a worthy theological and intellectual response. We should continue to discover the true history of the Church and Ukraine, debunk Russian myths that have been created and imposed for centuries. After all, it is the ideology and mythology of the "Russian world", the distortion to the satisfaction of Moscow's imperial delusion of both theology and the practice of church life - all this is part of the hybrid war that evil and delusion are waging against truth and freedom. So I wish success to the professor-teaching corporation and to you, our students.

    In conclusion, I would like to draw your attention to one more aspect that poses new challenges for you. Despite the efforts of our opponents to keep the Ukrainian Church in artificial external isolation, the walls erected around us are crumbling before our eyes. Already now, the possibilities of our interaction with other Orthodox Churches and in general with the Christian world have changed significantly. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine is entering a new level of inter-Orthodox and inter-Christian contacts and work. We have already applied for full membership in the World Council of Churches and the Conference of European Churches, and our contacts with the Catholic and Protestant world are expanding. All this obliges our Academy, and especially you, dear students, to pay more attention to the study of languages ​​and other subjects that will be useful in establishing and conducting our foreign work.

    I wish you, father rector, the entire professor-teaching corporation and you, our dear students, a successful and fruitful new academic year. May God's blessing, prayer and intercession of our patrons – Archstrategist Michael, apostle and evangelist John the Theologian and saint Peter Mohyla, Metropolitan of Kyiv, Galicia and All Russia, and all the saints, be with you!

    29/08/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from sermon on the feast of the assumption of Our Lady

    It is with special feelings that we meet this holiday of the current year, when the enemy continues to bring grief, suffering, ruin and death to our land. Because in the darkness of evil it is the light of hope for victory. Among the ruins, it becomes a testimony of a miraculous recovery. When death chooses the best, when the innocent perish – the Assumption reminds us that separation from them is temporary, because resurrection and eternity await us all.

    Assumption also reminds us of the reward for the righteous and the just retribution for the sinners. For those who have shown the highest degree of love for their neighbours, sacrificing even their lives for their sake, imperishable crowns await. And for murderers and murderers, for enemies of the truth, according to the word of the Saviour, a place of eternal torment has been prepared, as a just retribution for serving the devil.

    28/08/2022 (Source)


    Speech at the prayer service for Ukraine

    Today we celebrate the 31st anniversary of the restoration of the state independence of Ukraine. The restoration itself – because the foundations of our state were laid in ancient princely times, it grew and strengthened over centuries through the struggle and work of many generations of the Ukrainian people. More than a thousand years ago, Ukraine-Rus accepted Baptism, completing the path of conversion to the true faith, the beginning of which was laid by the sermon of the Apostle Andrew the First-Called and his blessing.

    So, on this day in August 1991, a new state was not created, but the old state – Ukraine-Rus, was freed from the imperial shackles and Kremlin tyranny.

    For centuries, our people suffered in captivity. During this time, hundreds of thousands of courageous fighters for the freedom and independence of Ukraine died on the battlefields or were murdered in prisons by the enemy. Millions were exterminated during the Holodomor-genocide and repression. So our Independence was chosen at a high price, the price of blood and martyrdom. It was chosen so that the Ukrainian people, together with other free peoples of Europe, could build their happy future. So that we can praise God in our native Ukrainian language. To be able to nurture and multiply our ancient Ukrainian culture, enriching it and passing it on to new generations. So that we know our true history, honor our real heroes.

    The same enemy who held us captive for over three hundred years wants to take us captive again. Eight and a half years ago, Russia started a war, temporarily seized Crimea and part of Donbas. Exactly six months ago, a full-scale Russian aggression began, the goal of which is to destroy our very identity, to de-Ukrainize Ukraine.

    Our common duty is to fight against this evil, to protect the truth, freedom, independence. And an integral part of this struggle is a spiritual struggle. This is prayer and works of mercy, this is the spiritual care that the Church provides through the chaplains to our brave soldiers-defenders, this is support for refugees and forced migrants.

    Also, our contribution to the victory over Russian aggression consists in working for the victory over the heretical and soul-killing ideology of the "Russian Peace". For years and decades, this ideology was imposed on our people, including covering it with the church robes of the Moscow Patriarchate. With God's help, almost four years ago, the ancient injustice was abolished, the spiritual occupation of Ukraine was finally condemned, and the single Local Orthodox Church of Ukraine was established, which received the Tomos on autocephaly from the hands of the Ecumenical Patriarch. Our common task is to further develop the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and establish church unity, helping our Orthodox brothers and sisters to finally free themselves from the delusion of the "Russian world",

    Morally, the Ukrainian people have already won, but we still have to win victory over the aggressor, expel the invaders from our native land, and establish a just peace. Today we will pray for this here, in the spiritual heart of our Local Church, uniting in prayer with millions of our brothers and sisters in Ukraine and around the world.

    So let's pray to the Lord for victory, for a just and lasting peace! Let's pray for our courageous soldiers, the newest heroes who protect us at the front. May God protect them and help them in the battle for truth and freedom. Let us pray for the peace of the souls of those who gave their lives for Ukraine, for the innocent peaceful citizens of our country, murdered by the Russian invaders.

    Let's pray for the healing of the wounded, for help and God's care for refugees and displaced persons.

    Let us pray for our brothers and sisters who meet this festive day under conditions of occupation, in the shackles of captivity and unjust imprisonment. May the Lord guard and protect them, protect them from the malice of soul killers and lead them to freedom.

    Through the prayerful intercession of the Most Pure Mistress of our Mother of God, Archangel Michael and all the hosts of heaven and all the saints of the Ukrainian land, may the Lord grant us to meet the next festive day of the restoration of Independence in peace.

    God the Great, the One, save Ukraine for us!

    24/08/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a letter to Metropolitan Savva of Warsaw, of the Polish Orthodox Church

    This unfortunate situation worsened in connection with the prejudiced attitude of a significant part of the clergy of the Church headed by Your Beatitude towards the clergy and faithful of the OCU, who were forced to find themselves as refugees in Poland, escaping from the suffering and threats of the war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine. With pain, we receive evidence of numerous examples of how the hierarchs and clergy of the PAOC not only refuse co-service to the priests of the OCU, but even refuse them communion, treating them as non-Christians.

    Therefore, being "driven in one place, they go to another", finding fraternal help, support and understanding in the Catholic Church, which provides them with a place for religious services and church activities.

    In this regard, we do not understand the complaints of the hierarchs and clerics of the PAOC to the Ecumenical Patriarchate about the contacts of the clergy of the OCU with the Catholic Church. If Your Eminence or the clergy of the PAOC should ask us something, we are ready for a fraternal dialogue. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine is an autocephalous Local Church, and not a part or structure of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, so please put all questions concerning the OCU first before us.

    19/08/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of sermon on the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross

    The two main virtues that this celebration reminds us of – sacrificial love and indomitable faith – are especially important in the struggle of our people against the invasion of foreigners. Just like the ancient northern king, who wanted to force the people of God to renounce the truth, the current northern tyrant seeks to force the Ukrainian people to renounce themselves, to renounce the truth handed down to us from our forefathers, and to worship the idols of the "Russian world". But faith in the truth of God, self-sacrificing love for the native land, for the neighbors, makes the spirit of Ukrainians indomitable, and therefore our people – invincible.

    Let true faith and sacrificial love be for us the hammer that breaks the shackles of slavery to evil and untruth, that destroys all the plans of the enemy. And as the Lord defeated the devil through the Cross, as the Maccabees defeated the wicked king through unbreakable faith - so we, if we preserve love and faith, will achieve victory with God's help

    14/08/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of sermon on consecration of a church in the village of Solonka

    Now, in times of great sorrow and suffering for the Ukrainian people, brought to our peaceful home by enemies, consecrating this temple and rejoicing, we thereby also affirm our faith in the victory of God, in the victory of goodness and truth. We believe that just as this temple was built from stones, metal, wood and other things thanks to the work of many, so, with God's help, we will rebuild and make our common home, Ukraine, even better than before the war.

    Although it was not easy to complete the work of construction and at the beginning it seemed immeasurable, but now what was once only the first brick has been completed. So is our Ukraine – although it is not easy to build it, to win victory over the enemy and a just peace for it, but with God's help, what our people are working on and suffering for will be crowned with success.

    So I congratulate you, dear brothers and sisters, and I wish that until the end of the age, prayers will be offered in this blessed place for Ukraine, for the single Local Autocephalous Orthodox Ukrainian Church, for their peace and prosperity. And that each new generation of parishioners of your church here is spiritually transformed, grows from the earthly to the heavenly, is filled with the grace of God and reaches the abode of the Heavenly Kingdom, shining with righteousness.

    09/08/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of the statement on the 1034th anniversary of the baptism of Ukraine

    This true faith in God, this self-sacrificing love for our neighbours, for our native people, inspires us and in the present dark times, a new horde has invaded.

    With great pride, with powerful weapons, with a deluge of lies, the enemy came to our land, brought war to us. But there will be neither success nor victory for him.

    The tyrant of the Kremlin imagines himself to be the new Volodymyr, but in fact he is the new Svyatopolk the Wicked and the new Cain, an insidious fratricide and an envious man, whose deeds are condemned by God, whose memory will be damned forever and whose fate is with the devil, whose servant he is. Because he stood not only against the Ukrainian state and against our people, but he stood against the truth itself. As the antichrist, he sows evil and death among the innocent, but although he has temporary success, he will be overthrown. Because he stood together with those subject to him against God's truth and fought with the Most High.

    Ukraine is reborn in torment and pain, but if we continue to hold to the true faith, embody in our lives God's law of sacrificial love for our Creator and for our neighbours, then no weapon and no deception will be able to break our spirit, which makes the Ukrainian people invincible.

    As in the past times of our ancestors, we now stand at the forefront of the struggle for the Christian world. And on this festive day, we turn to our father Volodymyr, to our co-apostolic ruler and enlightener, and to all the saints of Rus-Ukraine: pray to God for Ukraine-Rus, for your native land, pray to the Lord for us, your children! May the victory over the enemies and their unrighteousness come near by your prayers, may a just peace come soon in all of Ukraine.

    28/07/2022 (Source)


    Letter to the Patriarch of Constantinople

    Your Holiness!

    In accordance with the decision of the Synod of Bishops dated May 24 of this year, I am asking you to initiate at the pan-Orthodox level a review and condemnation of the activities of the Moscow Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev and the ethnophyletic and racist doctrine of the "Russian peace" that he preaches.

    On February 24, 2022, the Russian Federation insidiously, without a formal declaration of war, launched a full-scale military aggression against Ukraine. The war, unleashed by Russia in the center of Europe back in February 2014, is being waged with the aim of destroying Ukrainian statehood and is striking with exceptional brutality. A true genocide of the Ukrainian people is taking place before the eyes of the whole world. The aggressor is destroying peaceful Ukrainian cities, shelling hospitals and schools, raping and torturing women and minors, killing and maiming children. Among those killed by Russian troops are clerics of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, religious teachers of other faiths. Almost 200 religious buildings, mainly Orthodox churches, were completely or partially destroyed as a result of Russian shelling.

    Russia is a country that for centuries linked its identity with Orthodoxy. And yet, over the past decades, the Christian faith in Russia has been subjected to paganization — it has been insidiously replaced by a civil religion that is apparently based on the Orthodox tradition, but alien to the spirit of the Gospel and the content of the Orthodox faith of the Holy Fathers. Many soldiers of the Russian Federation who invaded our country identify themselves with Orthodoxy. However, the actions taken by the occupiers testify to them as criminals who have lost a living connection with Christ and His Church.

    Each murdered child, each raped woman, each destroyed residential building and temple is not only a war crime, but also an act of renouncing Christ, as a result of which the criminal finds himself outside the blessed fence of the Church. However, the moral responsibility for the committed crimes rests not only on the direct perpetrators, but also on their ideological inspirers – Moscow Patriarch Kirill and like-minded hierarchs who for decades propagated the ethnophyletic and racist doctrine of the "Russian peace" and are now blessing the attack on Ukraine.

    Many associated certain hopes for the revival of church life with the election of Metropolitan Kirill (2009) to the patriarchal chair. However, today, when twelve and a half years have passed since Kirill took the Moscow chair, it is quite obvious that the announced reforms did not take place, and the only real achievements of the 16th Patriarch of Moscow were the concentration of power in the hands of one person with the complete degradation of real church collegiality and complete dependence of the Church on the Russian state.

    Metropolitan and later Patriarch Kirill was never a standard of the confession of the Orthodox faith. Some of the theological statements of Bishop Kirill – for example, the identification of the Third Hypostasis of the Holy Trinity with "Divine energy that eternally originates from God the Father" – even caused controversy and temptation among clerics of the Russian Church. His almost complete indifference to theological issues prevented Kirill from completely falling into the space of heresy. The situation changed when the hierarch, whose attention had long been focused on geopolitical issues, decided to join the creation of the doctrine of the "Russian peace" — a nationalist ethnophyletic theory about the special role of the Russian nation and state in the world and in the Church.

    On March 13 of this year, on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, the Declaration on the "Russian peace” was published, under which more than 65 Orthodox theologians from different countries of the world initially put their signatures, the number of which has now increased to fifteen hundred. As stated in this Declaration, "Russian measure" is a non-Orthodox, heretical doctrine, close to the doctrine of ethnophiletism, which was condemned at the Council of Constantinople in 1872. "We reject the heresy of the "Russian peace" and the shameful actions of the Russian authorities regarding the war against Ukraine, which is caused by this despicable doctrine, which has no justification – for the connivance of the Russian Orthodox Church, as deeply non-Orthodox, non-Christian actions" – noted the Orthodox theologians who signed the Declaration. Similar assessments were expressed in another public document - the Open Address to the Heads of the Orthodox Churches. This Appeal was signed by 437 clerics of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine, who appealed to the heads of the Orthodox Churches with a request to give the doctrine of the "Russian measure" an assessment from the point of view of the Orthodox doctrine and, in case of condemnation of this doctrine as heretical, to bring Kyril Gundyaev to canonical responsibility, depriving his right to occupy the patriarchal throne.

    Sharing most of the statements contained in the mentioned Addresses, we also want to draw Your Holiness' attention to another heretical aspect of the doctrine of the "Russian world", which significantly distorts Orthodox anthropology. It is about denying the rights of peoples to historical self-determination or historical fatalism, which is inherent in the doctrine of the "Russian world" in the interpretation of Patriarch Kirill. According to the mythological historical concept of the latter, Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians allegedly belong to the common civilization of the "Russian world" and as such have no moral right to further historical self-determination. The choice made in the past allegedly obliges them to be a part of the "Russian world" or the Russian state for life.

    The denial of the freedom of entire peoples is combined in the worldview of Patriarch Kirill and his associates with a racist theory in its spirit, according to which Russia and the "Russian peace" are something fundamentally better and higher than other nations, and Russia's historical neighbors - Ukrainians and Belarusians - have the right to existence and future exclusively as a part of Russian reality. The principled denial of the right of the people of Ukraine to full canonical church independence (autocephaly) and their own state existence looks quite logical within the framework of this racist concept, which divides peoples and states into "real" and "artificial".

    At the same time, it is important to understand that the ideology of the modern ROC contains a threat not only for Ukraine, but also for the entire Orthodox world. "Just as Russia invaded Ukraine, so the Moscow Patriarchate, headed by Patriarch Kirill, became an invader in the Orthodox Church, for example, in Africa, causing splits and strife" – it is noted in the already quoted Declaration of Orthodox theologians. It is important to be aware of the connection between the doctrine of the "Russian peace" and specific church decisions initiated by Patriarch Kirill in recent years — from the severance of Eucharistic communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate (10/15/2018) to the creation of the "Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa" (12/29/2021) and active support armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine (2022). Starting at least from October 2018, all actions of Patriarch Kirill are subordinated to a specific political goal. He seeks to radically increase the presence of the Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia, to weaken the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Greek-speaking Local Churches as much as possible, and in this way to impose hegemony and the dictates of the Moscow Patriarch on the Orthodox world.

    In the current situation, it is extremely important that the Catholic Church properly reacts to the challenges coming from the paganized Russian Orthodoxy. As the Gospel testifies, "every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit" (Mt. 7:18). Acting according to this principle bequeathed by our Saviour, the Church should unanimously recognize that the tree that bears the "fruits of war" today is poisonous, that is, condemn the doctrine of the "Russian Peace" as heretical.

    We call on Your Holiness and the Heads of the Local Orthodox Churches to also consider as soon as possible the activities of Patriarch Kirill, related to his opposition to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and many Local Orthodox Churches, and, if this activity is recognized as containing signs of schism, to bring Moscow patriarch to canonical responsibility.

    In view of the above, we ask Your Holiness and the Blessed Heads of Local Orthodox Churches to canonically qualify several decisions of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, adopted during 2018-2021, which, in our opinion, do not correspond to the principles of Orthodox ecclesiology and threaten Pan-Orthodox unity:

    the decision to break (unilaterally) Eucharistic communication with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Church of Cyprus and the Church of Greece;

    the decision to create — contrary to canonical tradition and the sixth rule of the First Ecumenical Council — church structures of the Moscow Patriarchate on the canonical territory of the ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria.

    On behalf of the bishops of our Church and the numerous victims of Russia's war against Ukraine, which the Patriarch of Moscow openly and unequivocally publicly approves and supports, we appeal to Your Holiness and the Heads of Local Orthodox Churches with a request:

    condemn the doctrine of "Russian peace" and recognize it as heretical;

    classify the actions of Patriarch Kirill in the canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Alexandria as schismatic;

    to deprive Kirill Gundyaev of the right to occupy the Moscow Patriarchate.

    With sincere brotherly love in Christ, we ask Your Holiness and the Blessed Heads of the Local Orthodox Churches to continue to offer their prayers for the suffering people of Ukraine and to grant the request expressed in this letter - objectively, in accordance with the creed and sacred canons of the Holy Orthodox Church, consider the activities of the current head of the Russian Church.

    27/07/2022 (Source)


    Statement of the Holy Synod regarding the protection of the right to freedom of conscience

    Confirming the immutability of the position of the OCU, set out in the previous Statements of the Holy Synod and the Kyiv Metropolis of the UOC (OCU), with this statement we once again wish to certify that the right of religious communities, by the decision of their general meetings, to change their subordination, to leave the structures subordinate to the Moscow Patriarchate, and to enter of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, and also corresponds to the generally recognized understanding of freedom of religion.

    This right cannot be limited or cancelled under the pretext of martial law, because one of the key reasons for Russia's war against Ukraine is the spread of the ideology of "Russian peace". The structures of the Moscow Patriarchate have contributed to the spread of this ideology in Ukraine for decades, so they bear part of the moral responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

    Sociological polls record a sharp drop in the level of support for the structures of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine and a simultaneous increase in support for the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Therefore, the change of religious communities in their subordination, their departure from the power of the Moscow Patriarchate is an objective and irreversible process. More than 600 communities have voluntarily overcome this path since the beginning of the great Russian aggression, and new ones are added to this number every day.

    The concern of representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate over the loss of subordinate communities is understandable. But it is strange and incomprehensible to us the efforts of a fairly significant number of people in power, including those from bodies that should be concerned about the law and order and security of the state, both in the centre and at the local level, to artificially obstruct this process.

    The Holy Synod considers such interference illegal, immoral and categorically unacceptable. Ukraine should be protected from the "Russian world", and not contribute to the preservation of its remnants and metastases.

    The Holy Synod appeals to everyone on whom it depends, with a call to urgently take appropriate measures to stop the practice of obstructing Orthodox communities in the matter of their exit from the power of the structures of the Moscow Patriarchate.

    We emphasize once again that any initiatives aimed at directly or indirectly depriving religious communities of this right and turning them into de facto serfs are known to be unacceptable to the OCU.

    At the same time, we testify once again that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is open to dialogue with all interested parties, including the official representatives of the religious association of the UOC (MPvU), regarding the determination, on the basis of international norms and the legislation of Ukraine, of specific mechanisms for the realization by religious communities of the inalienable right to change the center of its subordination.

    27/07/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    Although more than a millennium separates us from the time of Saint Olga's earthly life, we still enjoy the good fruits of her work and service. And we believe that at the time of the current influx of foreigners, she, as then, serves her native people, among the multitude of Ukrainian saints, praying to God for the victory of truth, for the liberation of all corners of our Motherland from the captivity of the enemy.

    Therefore, on the day of her glorification, we turn with a special feeling to our princess, to the mother of Ukrainian statehood and to our patron saint: Equal-to-the-Apostles Olga, pray to God for Kyiv – your capital, for Ukraine-Rus, your state, and for our people, who are now is suffering grievously, so that we can be freed from the invasion of foreigners and, according to God's commandment, build our home in peace and love! Amen.

    24/07/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of sermon

    All of us and the whole world are now witnessing a special kind of demonization. Because the war unleashed and waged by Russia is not only a historical reality, a collection of evil deeds of many people led by the Kremlin tyrant, but also a spiritual reality, which can be evaluated as a manifestation of obsession, demonic rage and a thirst for murder. The devil, as the Lord Himself testifies, "has been a murderer from time immemorial and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of himself, because he is a liar and the father of lies" (John 8:44). Didn't the frank, cynical, deliberate lie with which the bloody Kremlin flooded its country and is trying to drown the whole world in it reveal the action of the evil spirit, the state, the father of lies? Doesn't the ferocity, cruelty, and mercilessness with which the Russian killers destroy our people point to devilish malice as the source of these satanic deeds?

    Perhaps for non-believers or for those blinded by fables about the "Russian measure", this connection does not seem obvious. However, it seems quite obvious to us. And this leads us to the conclusion that the fight against Russian aggression should consist not only in physical resistance to the attacker, but also in spiritual resistance. This resistance is our heartfelt, sincere prayers, our own fulfilment of the Lord's commandments, which in their essence boil down to the call to sacrificially love God and love our neighbour.

    Not everyone can defend Mother Ukraine with a weapon in hand. But each of us, Christians, not only can, but also is obliged to protect it from the devilish embitterment of the Kremlin tyranny with the weapon against the devil's race, which the Lord has given to all of us - prayer and God-pleasing deeds.

    And we believe, we are sure, that just as the fiercest devils were cast out by the Lord, as we hear about today from the Gospel, so the current diabolical embitterment of the Russian aggressors will be overcome, defeated, and they themselves will be driven out of our home.

    May this day come near by the will of God! Amen.

    17/07/2022 (Source)


    Statement on preventing religious communities from leaving the power of the Moscow Patriarchate

    The Kyiv Metropolitanate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is seriously concerned about the growing number of reports of numerous facts of direct or covert interference by persons in power in the issue of the exit of Orthodox religious communities from the power of the Moscow Patriarchate.

    Information is coming from many regions of Ukraine that on the ground some civil servants and representatives of bodies called to protect law and order and security are interfering in the process of voluntary adoption by Orthodox communities of a decision to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the structures of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine. They prevent the holding of general meetings of such communities, interfere with the registration of community statutory documents by local administrations. The facts of direct pressure on active parishioners and priests and their intimidation, in particular through the use of tools of criminal proceedings, are recorded.

    The right of a religious community to freely choose the centre to which it wants to be subordinate is guaranteed by the Law of Ukraine on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations (Article 8). Impeding the exercise of this right is a significant violation of the basic principles of one of the fundamental human rights – freedom of religion and belief. Ukraine's struggle against Russian aggression cannot serve as a justification for violating Ukrainian legislation and internationally recognized principles of freedom of religion.

    The data of sociological studies indicate a sharp drop in the trust of our fellow citizens in the structures of the Moscow Patriarchate – 3/4 of those who identified themselves with this religious association at the beginning of the year have lost trust in it. Against the background of open cynical support given to Russian aggression by the head of the Moscow Patriarchate, Kyril Gundyaev, and the institutions subordinate to him, taking into account the long-term broad and consistent support of the structures of the MP in Ukraine to the ideology of "Russian peace", the propaganda of unity with Moscow, as well as reports of numerous facts of collaborationism on the part of clergy of the MP with the Russian occupiers - the desire of the Orthodox faithful in Ukraine to completely and finally break with the Russian Orthodox Church is quite understandable.

    Therefore, the process of voluntary change by Orthodox religious communities of their subordination is absolutely objective. And numerous cases of obstruction of this process, in our opinion, are connected both with the personal preferences of those in power, and with the desire to save the structure of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine from the final decline, to use its weakness and dependence in their own interests.

    The decisions of the bodies of the religious association of the UOC (MPvU) on changes to the charter, which hid the institutional connection of this association with the Russian Orthodox Church, did not actually change the essence of the matter. After all, in the very first paragraph of the updated statute, the current status of the religious association of the UOC (MPvU) is recognized as based on the letter of the previous Moscow Patriarch Alexy II, which clearly states that the UOC is part of the Russian Orthodox Church. So, despite the statement of the representatives of this association and some civil servants about the alleged "complete independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Russian Orthodox Church", in reality only masking and concealment of this dependence took place. This state of affairs is confirmed by the consistent refusal of the leadership of the UOC (MPvU) to dialogue with the OCU, putting forward obviously unacceptable conditions, which is fully consistent with the position of the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in this matter.

    It can be stated that the main current task of the UOC religious association is to preserve the number of parishes at any cost. Persons endowed with power are also involved in the performance of this task through personal favour, and possibly through corruption schemes, as evidenced by the trends mentioned above.

    The Kyiv Metropolitanate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine appeals to everyone on whom it depends, with a call to urgently take appropriate measures to stop the practice of obstructing Orthodox communities in the matter of their exit from the power of the structures of the Moscow Patriarchate.

    We would like to emphasize that any initiatives aimed at directly or indirectly depriving religious communities of this right and turning them into de facto serfs are known to be unacceptable to the OCU.

    At the same time, we certify that the Kyiv Metropolitanate is open to a dialogue with all interested parties, including official representatives of the religious association of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (MPvU), regarding the determination, on the basis of international norms and the legislation of Ukraine, of specific mechanisms for the realization by religious communities of the inalienable right to change the centre of their submission

    Kyiv Metropolitanate of the

    Ukrainian Orthodox Church (OCU)

    15/07/2022 (Source)


    Words during a meeting with the director of the Babi Yar memorial

    The enemy seeks to cause us as much damage as possible, and not only physical damage. But we are not a nation that will fall. We have historical examples of mass shootings carried out by the Nazi invaders, and now we are direct witnesses of the atrocities committed by their followers – the Russian occupiers. However, with God's help, we will certainly endure, remaining warriors of light and will not allow the evil of war to capture our hearts.

    14/07/2022 (Source)


    Address to the International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion and Belief - London

    This morning, while we were having breakfast, Russia again fired missiles at several cities of Ukraine. Blood has been spilled again, there are wounded and dead.

    Therefore, for me, freedom is not only a generalized theological, legal or philosophical concept. Freedom is something for which the Ukrainian people pay a very high price every day.

    This is the price that the people of Great Britain paid for their freedom more than eighty years ago. Then dark times came for the British, when the whole force of the tyranny of Nazism fought against them. But the people of Britain, along with others who value freedom, won. I also believe in victory for Ukraine. Because the truth is with us. And where there is truth, there is God and victory.

    In this part of our meeting, we focused on how violations of religious freedom can signal a deterioration in the overall state of human rights.

    I would like to remind the audience that in Russia, after a certain period of relative religious freedom more than ten years ago, various restrictions were gradually introduced at the level of laws. Let me remind you about the so-called "Yarova law", according to which any religious activity actually requires permission from the state. In fact, under the current Kremlin regime, the system of control over religious activities that existed in the Soviet Union was restored. Only now, instead of fighting religion, it is being used as a tool to spread the ideology of the "Russian world".

    Russia tries to present itself as a defender of traditional religious values. In fact, due to restrictions on freedom of religion, due to the use of religious organizations as a tool of totalitarian policy, the Russian authorities do not protect religious values, but compromise them.

    Using the example of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, we know very well what the false "values" that the Kremlin carries with it are. The communities of our Church, like the communities of most religious organizations in occupied Crimea, in the occupied parts of eastern and southern Ukraine, are under constant pressure. If you are not loyal to the Russian state, you will face its opposition and persecution there.

    The way the Kremlin began to restrict religious freedom along with other freedoms is a clear example of an early warning about the deterioration of human rights. And we all see the bloody consequences of such a policy.

    As during the communist persecution of religion in the Soviet Union, the international community's uncompromising attention to freedom of religion is very important for Putin's Russia now. Monitoring, giving publicity to specific facts of crimes against freedom, constant demands on the authorities to adhere to generally recognized legal standards are what we can and must do together.

    Thank you for your attention and I ask all of you to continue praying for peace and freedom for Ukraine!

    05/07/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from sermon at the Cossack Tombs

    And how gathered here we see, and we pray for our native land, for our defender soldiers, that the Lord will strengthen them in the fight against the Russian aggressor, we pray for the prisoners and their release, we pray for the peaceful inhabitants who suffer from the invasion of foreigners – yes the holy lands of Ukraine unite in prayer for this! We are gathered on earth, and they are in heaven, but we pray together and believe that according to the word of Scripture, this prayer has great power.

    Today we also honour the new martyrs and confessors of Christ's faith, who suffered from the ungodly during the persecutions of the last century. We have not forgotten how hundreds and thousands of laymen and priests, monks and hierarchs were tortured, sent to distant lands for hard labour, and repressed. Thousands of churches and monasteries were turned into ruins or spoiled by turning into clubs or business premises. From the hands of the persecutors and tormentors, the martyr's blood flowed in rivers, and the Ukrainian land was soaked with it. However, as in the ancient times of pagan persecution, this blood of martyrs became the seed of faith, which sprouted a religious revival, the restoration of freedom for the people and the Church. Like grain, these confessors of faith fell into the ground, but their feat, like an ear that sprouted from the grain, bore great fruit. This fruit is our church independence and our state independence.

    Thanks to the feats of the best sons and daughters of our people, we have the opportunity to pray in our native Church in our native language, we have the opportunity to build our state, and not live in the slave yoke of the "Russian world." And we have gathered at this sacred place for all Ukrainians to thank them all – those who fought for the truth, for the Orthodox faith, for their native land on the Berestey field and on all other battlefields, and all those who fought not with a sabre or an iron sword, but with a spiritual sword – prayer and the word of God – he also fought against evil and sin on the lands of Ukraine-Rus.

    Our gratitude, our unity, our awareness of responsibility for the priceless gifts that the previous generations of the Ukrainian people have given us and that we must multiply and pass on to our successors oblige us to gather here every year on this day. And it is with special feelings that we do this now, when once again rivers of Ukrainian blood are being shed by the enemy-foreigner on our land. When the northern horde came in full force to blossoming Ukraine to impose its yoke again, and to destroy the disobedient. Our soldiers with weapons in their hands are defending the Motherland from this invasion, and we have gathered here to raise the sword of God's truth, the spiritual sword – the word of the Lord, and a prayer to direct this sword against the devil and all those who do his evil will.

    And let this prayer, the prayer of many voices, in which the living here and the living in heaven unite, let it rise day and night to the Throne of God. And we believe that the Lord, who brought us out of the latest Babylonian captivity of the "Russian world" to the promised land of dignity and freedom – He, our Lord and King, will protect Ukraine-Rus. With His anger, may the righteous God strike down the regiments of foreigners, as the fierce Egyptian pharaoh was struck down and the proud Assyrian Sennacherib. May He send angels led by the patron of our capital, Golden-topped Kyiv, Archangel Michael, to help the Ukrainian army.

    Russia is a colossus whose head shines like gold, but whose feet are made of clay. Therefore, it swells with imaginary greatness, but does not stand firmly on its feet, but wobbles and falls. And our Ukraine, like a small David before the giant Goliath, stands strong, having true faith in God and being inspired by love for neighbours.

    The enemy is still raging, still throwing his rockets, bombs and shells at our cities and villages. But every such rocket, bomb and projectile, every drop of innocent blood shed by the Russian aggressor increases the measure of his curse. As Cain was cursed for killing his brother Abel out of jealousy, so all those who turned their weapons against peaceful Ukraine follow Cain's curse. Let them know that if it is not human punishment, then God will certainly fulfil them for all the evil that they do. And if they want to avoid torment in the flames of hell, let them repent and stop their murderous work and get out of our land.

    And we, standing on our native land, which is soaked in the blood of heroes and martyrs, will offer our strengthened prayers today, so that the Lord will bring victory for Ukraine and a just peace. May he bless our soldiers, may he help the wounded to heal, may he free the captives from shackles, may he take care of all those who suffered from the invasion of foreigners. We ask our God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, we ask the Most Pure Virgin Mary the Mother of God, we ask the entire army of angels, all the saints of the Ukrainian land and all the saints of God – graciously provide everything that the suffering Ukrainian people need now!

    Amen!

    26/06/2022 (Source)


    Speech in a church which recently joined the autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church

    The enemy is trying to destroy us, the enemy is trying to do everything so that we do not exist as a separate Ukrainian nation, so that we do not have our own independent Ukrainian state. But we all united together and testified that we will defend the Ukrainian land given to us by God to the end. And when you and I are gathering here, in this holy place, in the temple for prayer, there in the east of Ukraine, at this time, our residents are dying, our newest heroes are dying, soldiers who defend our peaceful sky. Therefore, today we offer prayers for our soldiers, for our heroes, who do not spare the most precious thing – their lives.

    25/06/2022 (Source)


    Speech during visit to a church

    In this special time of trial by a terrible war, which daily takes away our best sons and daughters, we must fight for the truth to prevail. We do not seek someone else's, but we will defend our God-given Ukrainian land to the end. Now we are fighting not only for our future, not only for the future of the Ukrainian state, but we are also fighting for Europe, we are fighting for those values ​​that are characteristic of each of us. We aspire to live in a free, independent Ukrainian state. Therefore, we will certainly overcome the aggressor, pass these tests and become even stronger.

    25/06/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from sermon on All Saints Sunday

    So even now, when our people are once again forced to defend their homeland with weapons in their hands from invaders and murderers, we with special feelings before this miraculous image turn to the Blessed Virgin and ask to protect, from all evil, civilians suffering from the invasion of strangersWe ask for gracious protection for our courageous warriors-defenders, thanks to whose feat and sacrifice we can pray and work in relative peace and tranquility. We ask for a speedy healing for the wounded. We ask for relief from the shackles of captivity and a speedy release from occupation for those over whom the enemy is temporarily in power. We ask for a speedy victory over evil and untruth for Ukraine and a lasting just peace. Holy Mother of God, save and have mercy on all who turn to Your intercession! Amen.

    19/06/2022 (Source)


    Speech by the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church at the event "Religious Communities of Ukraine and Russia's Full-Scale War"

    Dear participants of the meeting!

    You have heard and know a lot about the war in Ukraine from the media, but we, the representatives of the religious community, have come to share our own testimony with you. We are witnessing the suffering of the Ukrainian people as a result of unprovoked aggression. We know from our own experience how you feel when it is unknown whether your own life will end today, the lives of those you know personally. Will your home be destroyed, will the place of prayer and worship be destroyed? We want the peoples of Europe not to know from their own experience what we know, what the Ukrainian people know.

    Therefore, together we must stop the evil of Russian aggression, so that this aggression does not move further into Europe. And this threat is absolutely real, especially for the Baltic States and Poland. Absolutely real! These countries and the whole of Europe, as a common space of freedom, are under threat. It should be understood that Putin's goal is not Crimea, Donbas or Kyiv. Its goal is to destroy a united Europe, to return to the past, when our continent was divided and part of it was under the totalitarian control of Moscow.

    It is symbolic that we meet today in Berlin, a city that has experienced in its own history both the tragedy of the totalitarian rule of Nazism and Communism and the tragedy of the division by the Iron Curtain. A little more than a kilometer separates us from the place where the "Berlin Wall" passed. That is why the words about the value of democracy and freedom sound special here.

    We are fighting for democracy and freedom not only for ourselves but for the whole of Europe. And we should not think that if Putin succeeds, the wall will pass somewhere in our lands. This wall may reappear here in central Europe. Only together, by joining forces, will we be able to defeat and stop this evil and prevent a new division of Europe.

    The Ukrainian people have a strong spirit and will to fight. We were given a few days before the defeat, and we have been fighting for more than three months - and we will continue to fight. After all, we know what to expect from the Russian occupation - the whole territory that Putin will seize will become "Bucha", will become "bloody land".

    That is why we are asking for all possible help from the democratic world in general and from the European Union and Germany in particular. The more aid is provided and the sooner it arrives, the sooner we will be able to repel the aggressor and regain sovereignty over our territory.

    As religious figures, we ask all believers of all faiths to pray, because prayer is so important. We thank you for humanitarian aid, for financial aid, for caring for our refugees. But we also support Ukraine's request for more assistance through increased sanctions and weapons.

    We completely reject the logic of "pacification" when offering to "give" the quality of Putin's territory in exchange for a promise of peace. Such logic never leads to peace! The experience of the "Munich Conspiracy", when Hitler was given the Sudetenland in exchange for a promise of peace, shows that the aggressor's appetite for victory is only growing. Especially since there are no uninhabited territories in Ukraine. People live on all lands. Are we being offered to hand over our citizens to the totalitarian rule of Russia? This approach is completely unacceptable in today's world.

    We, the representatives of the religious community of Ukraine, demonstrate unity in the face of war and aggression, show that there are no religious, national or other internal reasons for the conflict. The reason is only external – Putin's desire to restore the "Russian Empire" and restore the "Yalta system" of division of Europe and the world.

    In 2013, we, as representatives of the religious community of Ukraine, showed full support for the course of European integration of Ukraine. And the thing we have blessed has happened: Ukraine has an Association Agreement with the EU, has a visa-free regime, has public support for European integration not only among our people, but also among the peoples of Europe. The issue of granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for EU membership will be resolved soon. We would like to show our support for the candidate status and bless this good cause.

    After all, Europe is not just a common economy or travel without borders. First of all, Europe is a common value, a space of peace, dignity and freedom. Ukraine is an integral part of this space, we pay a high price for the values ​​of peace and freedom. But the price of defeat, according to Bucha and Mariupol – is much worse. Germany and Europe know this from their own history, from the history of World War II.

    We are open to dialogue, to communication, to cooperation in order for the truth to prevail and for true, just peace to prevail in Ukraine.

    Thank you!

    12/06/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from sermon on the Seventh Sunday after Easter

    As in ancient times, so now we see the struggle of truth and untruth. And those on the side of untruth were not only outspoken pagans, atheists or persecutors – among the false teachers were those who are trained in theology, and monks, and church hierarchs. But when they gather, or still gather, not to know, testify, and affirm the truth – no matter how magnificently they call themselves – it will not make the untruth they will tell true. Both the Pharisees and the heretics had their meetings where they disagreed. Therefore, it is not the outward form of the assembly, but the manifestation and fruits of the work of those gathered that show whether such a gathering and its teachings are in accordance with the Divine Revelation, with the truth, or distort them.

    05/06/2022 (Source)


    Statement of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) following the recent events in the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine (UOC)

    Having studied the information available as of May 30, 2022 on the results of events held in Kyiv on May 27, 2022, namely – "meeting of bishops, priests, monks and laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church; Holy Synod of the UOC, the Council of Bishops of the UOC, the Council of the UOC", not many officially published documents, the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine notes the following:

    The Orthodox Church of Ukraine welcomes and supports all efforts aimed at the final elimination of the power of the Moscow Patriarchate over the Church in Ukraine as non-canonical, imposed by force and harmful to Ukrainian Orthodoxy. This power is dangerous for the very existence of Ukraine due to the Russian government's use of ROC institutions and their influence on Ukraine as an instrument of hybrid aggression.

    Unfortunately, no documents have yet been published to show that the UOC religious association (Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine) adopted such decisions that significantly changed its status compared to the “independence and autonomy in governance” granted to the UOC by the ROC in 1990. And this status of "independence and autonomy in management" fixes the presence of the UOC in the ROC and its dependence on the Moscow Patriarchate.

    The new version of the Statute on the Administration of the UOC, as well as the documents of the Holy Synod, the Council of Bishops of the UOC of May 27, 2022, have not been published. The statements of the ROC representatives and the decisions of its Synod show that from the ROC point of view the UOC religious association remains in its composition, and changes to the UOC Management Statute can enter into force only after their "approval" by the ROC head.

    Thus, based on publicly available documents, there is no reason to claim that following the events of May 27, 2022, the UOC religious association really ceased to be an integral part of the Russian Orthodox Church, as it has been to this day.

    Despite the mention of the Kharkiv Cathedral in 1992, the 30th anniversary of which coincided with the date of the current meeting, the participants in their documents did not mention in any way how the bishops' promises to achieve "canonical autocephaly of the UOC" are being fulfilled and will be fulfilled. Despite the canonical and moral bankruptcy of the very idea of ​​subordination of the Church in Ukraine to the Moscow Patriarchate, which is quite obvious to the society and the vast majority of Orthodox in Ukraine, the meeting on May 27, even in such a form as in Kharkiv 30 years ago, did not prove its attitude to autocephaly, much less declare its actual achievement or even aspiration.

    It should also be recalled that the UOC Council on November 1-3, 1991, unanimously supported the need for autocephaly of the UOC. Will the decisions of the current UOC Council in the part that contradicts Moscow be just as forgotten and ignored? Are there any guarantees of their implementation? The lack of official publication of documents and conflicting statements by officials raise doubts about the real consequences of the May 27 meeting.

    The Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church expresses its joy at the agreement in principle reached by the UOC religious association on the need for dialogue between the two Orthodox jurisdictions in Ukraine. For our part, we reaffirm that such a dialogue must begin without preconditions or ultimatums. We look forward to concrete proposals from the other side on the first steps in the dialogue and the appointment of those responsible for the dialogue.

    We regret the decision of the meeting on May 27 to approve all previous decisions by which, following the divisive actions of the Moscow Patriarchate, the UOC (MPVU) jurisdiction severed ties with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Church of Cyprus and the Church of Greece. This, as well as the form of commemoration of the Primates at the liturgy chosen by Metropolitan Onufriy last Sunday, de facto confirmed the dependence on the decisions and position of the Moscow Patriarchate.

    We are disappointed that the meeting on May 27 did not find enough words to condemn Russia's aggression against Ukraine and to support the struggle of the Ukrainian army and the people against the occupiers, did not condemn the position of Russian Patriarch Kirill, but only "disagreed" and demanded to change this position. The expressions chosen in the text of the decrees are too short and soft in comparison with the tragedy that our people are experiencing. There was also no word of condemnation and dissociation from the ideology of the "Russian measure" – a heretical ethnophiletic doctrine and a cornerstone in justifying Russia's war against Ukraine.

    "By their fruits ye shall know them" (Matt. 7:16), the Scriptures teach us, so limited information and contradictory statements are not enough for the final conclusions, as they are today. Therefore, we look forward to the concrete good results of the decisions of the meeting on May 27 and support all those who will contribute to their achievement.

    On behalf of the Holy Synod – Epiphanius, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine

    31/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from sermon on sixth Sunday after Easter

    Everything we have thought about today resonates with the current events in which we live now. Does not our Church remind you of the blind man to whom the Lord has opened his eyes? As he received the gift of healing, so we miraculously, in spite of many circumstances and resistance, received the blessing of our autocephaly, received the Tomos, and were proclaimed the Local Sister Church for the whole Orthodox world. And our brothers, who also profess the Orthodox faith, live side by side, trying in every way to find an excuse to deny this obvious action of God. They have stuck to their own rules and regulations, and therefore do not want to admit things that are quite clear and obvious to many.

    Instead of abandoning long-standing disputes and finding a way to create a single Church together, as defined by Christ's teachings, Orthodox Traditions, and canons, they repeatedly seek justification for remaining divided.

    But we, as loving brothers, must act according to the word of God: “We, the strong, must suffer the infirmities of the weak, and not please ourselves. Each of us must please our neighbor for good, for instruction. For even Christ did not please Him ”(Rom. 15: 1-3). Guided by this, we call again and again on our brothers who remain subordinate to the Russian Church to dialogue. This call was recently confirmed by our Council of Bishops. We do not set the preconditions for such a dialogue – it should start as if from scratch, without prior requirements or even more ultimatums. And if our brothers have the good will to do so, we are confident that with God's help we will succeed. For when the eyes of the heart are open to the knowledge of the truth, the Lord always helps to know it and to be established in it.

    Dear brothers and sisters!

    Today we honour the restoration of St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral and congratulate our capital, Kyiv. Restoration from the ruins of this church, which is destined to play an important role in the recent history of Ukraine several times, is one of the signs of God's blessing for our Church. What seemed incredible became a reality. What was only a dream came true. And this should inspire us to continue the struggle and work. After all, we believe that the current dream of achieving victory over the aggressor and a just peace, the dream of overcoming divisions among the Orthodox – also, with God's help, will become a reality.

    In the special conditions of the war imposed on us by Russia, we celebrate the current Day of Kyiv. And we thank God, we thank our courageous soldiers-defenders who saved our capital from the invasion of the latest embittered horde. May the Lord continue to protect our Kyiv from the invasion of foreigners, and may His Archangel Michael be a quick helper for all who fight evil.

    29/05/2022 (Source)


    Sermon on the feast of St. Epiphanius of Cyprus

    We have gathered today for this worship service primarily to thank God and ask His blessing for further struggle and work. And during the war, when for three months now our courageous warriors-defenders, all our people have been successfully resisting the great and brutal Russian aggression – we have a special reason for prayerful gratitude.

    We thank the Lord for inspiring our hearts in the struggle. Thank you for the real historical miracle of preserving a free Ukraine, because you all know how various experts and politicians gave our state a maximum of three or four days to resist and predicted a quick defeat. And we became like the people of Israel in the face of Pharaoh's army, when before the might of arms, before the strength of man, before the number and fury of the enemy, another, invisible, but much greater force – the power of faith and truth, the power of sacrifice and hope in the Lord. The words of the prophet Moses, which we say in our prayer for Ukraine, for victory, remind us of this: "Be of good cheer, stand and see salvation from the Lord, for the Lord is fighting for us."

    And we, thanks to this inner strength of spirit, thanks to the Divine support and inspiration, did not retreat, did not break, did not give up. Thank God for this, and thank you to everyone who has made and continues to make efforts to continue the struggle for the truth.

    Unfortunately, every day as a nation we pay a great and terrible price of destruction, and most importantly – the price of the lives of our best sons and daughters, our newest heroes who sacrifice themselves at the front for freedom and future for Ukraine. Innocent civilians and children are suffering and dying. Millions of people became exiles, forced to leave everything to escape the onslaught of Russian assassins.

    During these months, Western correspondents have repeatedly asked me: isn't it better to stop the resistance, reach an agreement with Russia, give in?

    The answer to this is in the bombed Borodyanka, in the torn Bucha, in the destroyed villages and towns of Kyiv and Chernihiv regions. The answer is in the ruins of Mariupol, a peaceful, prosperous, beautiful city that Russian murderers have turned into hell, into a mass grave. The answer is in bombed Kharkiv, in the erased Volnovakha land, the answer is in the bloody square of the Kramatorsk railway station, where Russian barbarians killed civilians fleeing the war. The answer is in the eyes of children who have lost their parents and parents whose children's lives have been taken away by Russian weapons.

    We are paying a terrible price now, but the historical experience of the Ukrainian people shows that Russian captivity and occupation will turn into an even worse catastrophe for us. The massacre in Bucha is a modern proof of this. Millions of Holodomor victims are a reminder of that. If we do not fight the "Russian peace" to victory now, it will kill, maim, destroy, and enslave everything and everyone to whom and where it reaches. And the price of captivity, defeat will be incomparably greater.

    Yes, in fact, every day we hear the sirens of the air alarm, two months ago we directly heard here, albeit distant, but loud explosions on the northern outskirts of Kiev. And today the sunrise was marked by the howling of sirens. But the Lord did not give us this day to live in fear or captivity, but for good deeds, for prayer, for mutual support.

    Yesterday in St. Sophia we had a meeting of the Council of Bishops and offered a prayer of thanksgiving in front of the image of the Virgin Oranta, the Prayer Book, the Immovable Wall. It would seem that this is a common thing for us, we regularly go to the Councils and joint services. But our Council, our common worship yesterday and today - in fact it is another sign of God's blessing, His blessing, His miracle! Those who survived the first weeks of the war in Kyiv, who saw how instantly the capital became empty, who started the morning and did not know if it would live until the evening – is it no wonder that we again have the opportunity to gather, pray, communicate right here in the heart of Ukraine, in our spiritual shrines?

    We thank God for this miracle and this mercy! We thank our soldiers for their protection and victory in the defence of Kyiv! Realizing all this, we must understand that every day of our lives and work under a peaceful sky, no matter where we are in Ukraine, is paid a high price. Our defenders are fighting for this now at the front, and we have a duty to fight for freedom, for truth, for freedom, each in his place, where we are and because of the service to which we are called.

    One of the main directions of this struggle now is the opposition to the ideology of the "Russian measure", the fascist, murderous doctrine, wrapped in a brilliant feud of sermons by Kirill Gundyaev and his associates. Yesterday at the Council we ourselves condemned this ideology, which through the Moscow Patriarchate is already spreading as a heretical doctrine of ethnophiletism, ie the division of the Church on the basis of nationality, which is placed above all else. For the sake of the Russian spirit, Kirill is ready to renounce even the Holy Spirit and blaspheme Him, denying the action of grace, breaking political unity in the Eucharist solely for political reasons. We ourselves condemn this and appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Primates of the Local Autocephalous Churches to condemn the spiritual crimes of Kirill and deprive him of his throne. For he cannot hold the chalice with the Eucharist and the shepherd's staff

    We have called on our brothers and sisters, who remain under the Moscow Patriarchate here in Ukraine, to engage in dialogue and unity. How much more blood must be shed, how many temples destroyed, how many lies uttered by their "master and father" Kirill to understand: Moscow you do not have! She is an evil stepmother, she is a slave owner, a bloody lady who tortures slaves for pleasure!

    Leave uncanonical subordination to her! Follow the truth, the church order, hear the voice of God's people, who demand to break the shackles of spiritual slavery "Russian measure"! Our hearts are open to you, we are ready and willing to build a single Local Ukrainian Orthodox Church together with you! Both the Synod and the Council of Bishops addressed a corresponding appeal to our brothers – I urge them to listen, not so much even to us, but to the voice of truth!

    Dear bishops, fathers, brothers and sisters! God has helped us to come to this day, to receive this joy of spiritual communion and unity in the Eucharist. We believe and pray that he will help us continue to defend Ukraine until victory, when a real, just peace prevails. We pray and will do everything in our power to establish the unity of the Local Church. I thank each of you for your support, for your love, for your joint work. I am especially grateful to those who now continue to work in the church field under occupation, living, as Christians once did among pagans, under daily threat.

    I believe that as we were able to reach this day, so we will reach the day of victory. After all, we can say about ourselves in the words of the Apostle Paul: “We are oppressed everywhere, but we are not oppressed; we are in hopeless circumstances, but we do not lose hope; we are persecuted, but we are not forsaken; overthrown but not destroyed ”(2 Cor. 4: 8-9). For the power of grace that overcomes our human exhaustion, inspires us to work and struggle - we thank God, to whom be glory forever!

    25/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from the report at an extended meeting of the Council of Bishops

    The Orthodox Church of Ukraine was and remains the largest religious association in our country, primarily in terms of the level of self-identification with it of our fellow citizens and public trust. Taking into account the data of various opinion polls, we can say that about 75% of Ukrainians identify themselves as Orthodox believers, the vast majority of whom recognize their affiliation with the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. This was the case before the great Russian invasion. The tragic events of the war significantly affected the self-consciousness of the Ukrainian people, opened the eyes of many to what the ideology of the "Russian measure" really is, which was imposed from Russia for years to justify aggressive plans.

    Unfortunately, we do not yet have a more complete sociological picture, but we can already say about the main trend: during the war, the self-identification of the Orthodox in Ukraine changed dramatically. If before the open offensive 38% of respondents belonged to the PCU, 15% to the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine, and 22% called themselves "just Orthodox" – such is usually the majority in eastern and southern Ukraine – then in March 52% identified with the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, 11% as "just Orthodox" and only 4% as followers of the Moscow Patriarchate. In other words, three-quarters of those who considered the Moscow Patriarchate their Church at the beginning of the year rejected it in March.

    Sociology also shows that in the first month after the widespread attack, more than two-thirds of respondents called for a complete severance of church ties between Ukraine and Moscow. There is every reason to believe that this trend has only intensified in the coming months.

    So, if we take into account the above facts, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is already 13 times bigger than the Moscow Patriarchate in our country in terms of support and self-identification of the faithful. This, and not the mythical "persecution" that MP spokesmen in Ukraine have been talking about for many years, is the main reason why communities are leaving the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate and joining a single Local Church.

    (…)

    Since the great aggression of Russia against Ukraine, about 400 religious communities, 120 clergy and 2 monasteries from the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate have joined the UOC. Why do I say "approximately"? In preparing this report, we have collected relevant data in the dioceses, but they are constantly changing: meetings of religious communities are reported daily and their decision to break away from dependence on the Russian Church.

    So far, the total number of UOC communities is about 7,600, and the number of clergy is about 4,900.

    Unification process

    To the extent that this depends on us, we must do everything possible to ensure that the unification process in Ukrainian Orthodoxy takes place consciously, in accordance with the law, with the prevention of possible provocations. We do not support violence against the clergy, the faithful, or the property of the Moscow Patriarchate communities solely on the basis of their jurisdiction. At the same time, when one of the supporters of this religious association is guilty of collaborating with the aggressor, in the service of the interests of the enemy – such should be prosecuted in accordance with the law for specific violations.

    Here I believe it is necessary to quote the words from the statement of the Holy Synod of 16 January 2022: "Considering the particular importance of church matters for the security of Ukraine, we appeal to the state and local authorities and to the civil society for support in the process of achieving church loyalty among the Orthodox, To contribute to a quick response to the influence of the fascist ideology of the "Russian world" and to the inevitable adoption of necessary decisions that would put an end to the use of the MP in Ukraine as a tool of hybrid aggression.

    We are convinced that church unity and the independence of the Orthodox from Moscow's influence are an integral part of Ukraine's victory in the current war for its freedom and independence. So, we should act now, not sometime in the future, make decisions, not make vague promises, take responsibility, and not expect steps from someone else."

    Opposition to the heresy of the "Russian measure"

    In light of this, we support initiatives aimed at eliminating Russia's direct influence on religious associations in Ukraine. What is it about? Russia's war against Ukraine is a hybrid, it has different dimensions. Ukraine is defending its territory, protecting its economy, energy, information sphere, and political space. We ban the activities of pro-Russian parties, TV channels, banks with Russian capital, etc. A logical question arises: isn't the religious sphere a space of Russian hybrid aggression against Ukraine? The answer is obvious: not only is it such a space, but it has been a priority target for the Kremlin's hybrid attacks for decades.

    People should not be forbidden to believe, because by doing so the state would violate the foundations of democracy, which includes freedom of religion. However, the state can and should limit, at least until the time of complete deoccupation of the territory of Ukraine, the possibility of the Moscow Patriarchate's influence on church life in Ukraine.

    We are all witnesses of how the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Kirill Gundyaev, deceitfully "blessed" the Russian army for the war against Ukraine. There is no doubt that the Moscow Patriarchate and its head are fully integrated into the Kremlin's system of power and propaganda, its instruments. Therefore, it would be absolutely right for the state to protect our fellow citizens who remain under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate from being used by Russia as an instrument of hybrid aggression. Just last night, he once again discussed this with the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada, where the relevant hearings are to take place at the end of the month. He stressed in the conversation that we should not violate the basic principles of religious freedom. But Ukraine should not wait for the challenges that arise in the religious sphere in the conditions of war, to expect that everything will be resolved as if by itself.

    In connection with this topic, I would like to submit two proposals to the Council and ask for your support.

    The first. You know that under the terms of the Tomos on Autocephaly, it is the duty of the Primate to commemorate the names of other Primates of the Orthodox Churches after the Diptych. I have faithfully performed this duty since receiving Tomos. But Russia's open attack, the numerous sacrifices and sufferings of our people, and the deceptive blessings and support given to Kremlin war crimes by ROC leader Kirill Gundyaev made it impossible to commemorate his name. If even among the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine a certain number of bishops and hundreds of priests refused to do so, it is all the more incomprehensible to mention the name of Kirill as the Primate of the ROC. So, from the first service after the beginning of the open Russian aggression, I stopped doing this and ask for the support of the Council in my decision.

    The second proposal. The reason for my earlier decision is not only moral but also theological. Patriarch Kirill is one of the creators of the ideology of the "Russian world", its propagandist and popularizer. This ideology itself, in my opinion, falls under the condemnation of the Council of Constantinople in 1872 of ethnophiletism as a heresy. Accordingly, Kirill Gundyaev, as its co-creator and propagandist, should be condemned if he does not renounce this heresy and does not find the fruits of repentance.

    That is why in my letters to the Primates of the Churches on the occasion of Easter, I wrote: “I am convinced that not only [Russian war] crimes, but also the words and actions of Moscow Patriarch Kirill, who supported the war against Ukraine from the pulpit. those who considered him their pastor should be condemned by the fullness of Orthodoxy. You cannot hold the Chalice and the shepherd's staff with your hands on which there is blood."

    Therefore, I propose on behalf of the Council of Bishops to appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Primates of the Local Churches to bring Kirill Gundyaev to canonical responsibility and deprivation of his throne, in particular on the basis of spreading heretical ethnophiletic doctrine of "Russian peace" and spreading schism among Orthodox creation of dioceses of the ROC within the Patriarchate of Alexandria.

    The state of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine

    It is reported that in the near future the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine plans to hold a meeting to discuss its own future. This meeting does not even have their internal status of a council. However, it is envisaged that it may be declared a council and try to change the status of its religious association in order to distance itself from the ROC.

    Is this possible and in what form? We will not guess and wait for this meeting and its decision. There were high hopes for the meeting of the UOC Synod, which took place in Kyiv two weeks ago. Everyone knows that no significant decisions were expected there. Therefore, the announced meeting on the fruits of labour may resemble the proverb: "from a big cloud – a little rain."

    It is symbolic that exactly three decades ago a meeting of UOC hierarchs took place in Kharkiv. Then they also promised to seek "canonical autocephaly." At the same time, Moscow promised to "consider these requests." All these promises have remained words, moreover – empty. Therefore, both believers and Ukrainian society expect from the representatives of the UOC-MP not the next promises, references to bizarre plans to ask for autocephaly in Moscow – it was already asked thirty years ago, where is it? – and not the expectation of "proclamation of autocephaly by all Primates", because it is impossible to realize this desire.

    Orthodox and society, as confirmed by opinion polls, expect from the UOC-MP real steps to separate from the non-canonical power of the Moscow Patriarchate and achieve unity with the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

    I suggest that our Council address the hierarchs, clergy and faithful in the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate, who will gather in Kiev, with the following proposals:

    1. Start a formal dialogue without proclaiming preconditions. During the service of the blessed memory of Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan) there was a dialogue between the UOC-MP on the one hand and the UAOC and the UOC-KP on the other, although there was no Tomos and its fruits at that time. Now nothing but subjective reluctance on the part of the UOC-MP can explain the lack of dialogue.

    2. To call on the UOC-MP to recognize the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of October 2018 in the case of appeals from Ukraine regarding non-canonical decisions of the ROC. By this decision, the hierarchs and clergy of the UOC-KP and UAOC were recognized in canonical dignity. A similar decision was recently made by the Ecumenical Patriarchate regarding the hierarchy of the Ohrid Archbishopric in Northern Macedonia. On the basis of this decision, the Eucharistic communion between the Ohrid Archbishopric and the Serbian Patriarchate, which was interrupted 55 years ago, was resumed through co-operation, although issues of jurisdiction remain the subject of dialogue.

    The UOC-MP should revoke the decision to sever its communication with the Ecumenical Patriarchate and a number of Local Churches, and to follow the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to recognize the canonicity of the OCU hierarchy, following the example of its longtime sympathizer, the Serbian Patriarchate. It has been repeatedly pointed out that the current lack of agreement between us on matters of jurisdiction should not be an obstacle to co-operation and unity in the Eucharist.

    3. Encourage our confreres to follow the Tomos on Autocephaly, which stipulates that all dioceses, monasteries, parishes and other Orthodox church institutions must be under the jurisdiction of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The existence of the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine, as well as any other way that provides separate from the PCU existence of Orthodox church structures in our country – a canonical anomaly, a violation that must sooner or later be corrected.

    All bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine in 2018 were invited to participate in the Unification Council. Unfortunately, only two accepted the call of the Ecumenical Patriarch. However, the Council has taken place, and now those who wish can join in its decisions and benefit from its good fruits. If before 2018 there was no single Local Church in Ukraine and recognized by the Universal Orthodoxy, now it is, it is impossible to "re-create", but we must proceed from what is forever engraved in history.

    The Ecumenical Patriarchate has the same position. During this time we have discussed these issues many times, and we have always heard the answer: the Unification Council took place, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine received a Tomos on autocephaly, so all those who want to follow the canonical order should not seek an alternative but unite with it. The Ecumenical Patriarchate does not intend and will not create any alternative jurisdiction in the canonical territory of the OCU.

    I propose to spread the Appeal of such content from our Council so that the hierarchs, clergy and faithful of the UOC-MP know our position.

    (…)

    Challenges of wartime

    Returning to the Church's response to the effects of the war, two important tasks need to be emphasized. The first is to continue to support the Ukrainian people in the fight against Russian aggression and to help its victims. May the Lord give a hundredfold to all benefactors and donors for the mercy shown to the needy.

    Despite the objective hardship, which we ourselves feel well, the Metropolitan Fund of the OCU has launched a program of assistance in rebuilding and rebuilding destroyed housing. Assistance in the form of construction materials for a significant amount for the affected residents of Chernihiv will be provided in the coming days. It is clear that this is small compared to the scale of the destruction, but it is our duty to do what we can in the best of circumstances.

    The second task is to take care of the spiritual care of refugees, especially those who have found themselves abroad. We have taken some steps in cooperation with the hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Greece, but there are many difficulties. So where the local competent Orthodox church hierarchy responds to the needs of Orthodox Ukrainians, we solve problems together. But there are sad examples of our priests and faithful who have been in exile being despised by local representatives of the Orthodox Church, who are treated according to Moscow standards. We do not intend to interfere in their canonical competence, but we also consider it wrong to leave our flock unattended, so we will look for ways to solve this problem.

    (…)

    24/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from the sermon on the fifth Sunday after Easter

    All these considerations are not only of general importance, but also a very modern and practical dimension. You all know that in addition to the grief and suffering brought to us by the war, the current tragic events have prompted and encouraged many Orthodox in Ukraine to seek unity, abandon former prejudice and enmity, forgive insults and unite in the Local Orthodox Church for the truth and good of the people of Ukraine as defined by the Tradition, canons and Tomos on autocephaly. For decades, we, brothers and sisters in the Orthodox faith, as if those Jews and Samaritans, were separated. But Christ calls us to seek understanding, peace and unity, not to be biased, but open and loving.

    Therefore, we call on all our Orthodox believers in Ukraine to dialogue, to unite around Christ and around Kyiv – the mother of Ukrainian-Russian cities, to jointly build a single Local Church, whose autocephaly is proclaimed throughout the Orthodox world through the Ecumenical Patriarch's Tomos.

    Our doors are open to all Orthodox who have good will and desire to serve God and the Ukrainian people. Our hearts are open, we want past misunderstandings not to determine our future. And we believe that with God's help and joint efforts we will be able to achieve the unity of the Church in Ukraine. Let us pray for this, let us work for it - and may the Lord bless our good work with success!

    22/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from sermon on Fourth Sunday after Easter

    It is useful for Christians to remember this truth always and at all times, but especially in this time of war, sorrow and suffering. Now the Ukrainian people are suffering. But if we do not lose faith in God, if we fight for freedom, for truth, for good and freedom – then we will definitely win. Our enemy is strong, insidious and ruthless. But is there a greater power in the world than the power of God? Is there a trick in the world that can surpass the Wisdom of God? Are there impudence and ruthlessness that would not allow God's will to be done?

    Therefore, understanding this, we will continue to fight, to do what is up to us, to achieve the victory of truth and good, and the Lord will do the rest then and in the best way.

    15/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of sermon on the third Sunday after Easter

    We call again and again for God's blessing on all volunteers, donors, and benefactors who, in difficult times for the Ukrainian people, serve the needy and care for their neighbours. Even a donated bottle of drinking water or a hryvnia [Ukrainian currency unit] will not go unnoticed by God when done with love.

    However, as always, where there are good deeds, there is a devilish temptation. We know that not everyone involved in humanitarian aid, its collection, customs clearance, transfer and distribution, does so honestly. Unfortunately, we have heard about the theft or misappropriation of aid, extortion, etc.

    Therefore, on behalf of the Church, I want to warn everyone: God sees every deed, sees the heart of every person. And if He gives a great reward even for a small sacrifice, then for appropriation, theft, deception, the Lord will surely punish the guilty.

    Marauding and embezzling aid are grave sins, and even if human law cannot detect all criminals, everyone should remember that God's justice will be achieved by retaliating against everyone guilty of such evil. Therefore, whoever is tempted by the devil with such gain, beware, avoid this sin, because the retribution for it will be difficult.

    Dear brothers and sisters!

    Today, together with the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition and the entire civilized world, we honour the victory over Nazism in World War II, remember the fallen soldiers and killed civilians. For decades, it seemed to us that an evil like Nazism could not be repeated in Europe. But next to us, in the neighbouring country, whose people suffered a lot in that war - now the evil of Nazism has grown. Covered with false propaganda, grown on a grapevine, nurtured by a fierce hatred of truth and freedom, a desire for war and bloodshed, Russian fascism is now doing the devil's work, sowing ruin and death.

    Our grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought against Nazism in that great war and defeated it. We are convinced that even now our people and the entire civilized world, which is struggling with Russian aggression, will defeat the Kremlin's empire of evil with God's help.

    So today, on the day of remembrance and commemoration of the victory over Nazism, we will offer prayers for the peace of the souls of those killed in the last war. But we will also pray for our soldiers and for all those who suffer from and fight against the latest Kremlin fascism. To those who perished in the current war for the freedom of Ukraine, we wish the Kingdom of Heaven, and to our defenders – success in the struggle and a speedy victory over the aggressor.

    08/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of sermon on the feast of St. George

    God and the great martyr George also support us in this struggle, of which we shall emerge victorious. And these trials will make us stronger spiritually. That is why we need to fight, pray and do everything in our power to preserve this great gift of freedom, to establish it and pass it on to the next generations.

    With God's help, we will defeat the enemy, we will defeat the newest antichrist Putin, who decided to destroy our Ukrainian people, to commit another Nazism against it. But our hands must not fall, we must continue to be spiritually strong.

    Therefore, knowing the history, analysing it, taking lessons from it, we must fight to the end at this time. We will defeat the enemy, we will restore our territorial integrity, we will return the occupied territories and in our united, independent, Ukrainian, democratic, European Ukraine we will build a common future. And this future is now in our hands

    06/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from sermon of second Sunday after Easter

    The task before us is to continue the work of affirming the unity of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. You and I, as faithful to the Local Church, know that grace works in it, that it is the true Church, an integral and equivalent part of the body of the One, Holy, Conciliar and Apostolic Church with other Local Churches. And among our Orthodox brothers and sisters in Ukraine, who are not yet in church communion with us, there are doubts - are we really the Church? Does grace work here? Are the sacraments performed here saving?

    How should we deal with these doubts? We must follow the example of the Saviour. For those who have a sincere intention to know the truth and doubt for the sake of truth, not betrayal of pride or self-confidence, we must help to know the truth just as the Lord helped Thomas to know the truth. The Saviour did not condemn him for his doubts, but spoke to him, giving explanations and evidence that convinced Thomas.

    But for those who, like the leaders of the people of Israel, Pharisees and scribes, have doubts about the truth of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, not because of the truth, but because of stubbornness, self-deception and pride – we do not intend to prove or try to convince them at any cost.

    Those who want to know the truth – we are always open to them, we are ready for dialogue, explanations, exchange of views and search for understanding. And whoever seeks only numerous excuses to reject the truth, let the will of God be done over them, as over modern scribes and Pharisees.

    01/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts of Message to Primates and Hierarchs of Orthodox Churches on Easter

    Christ is Risen!

    (…)

    This year, Orthodox Christians in Ukraine celebrate the Resurrection of Christ under extraordinary circumstances, immersed in the pain, grief, tears, suffering, destruction, violence, and death brought to our peaceful land by the army of Russia. On the Eve of the Great Fast, the ruler of that country issued orders to attack Ukrainian cities and villages, to kill our brothers and sisters.

    These crimes against the peaceful people of Ukraine continued into and through Great Lent and to this day. Their now infamous symbols include Bucha, a thriving peaceful suburb of Kyiv where hundreds of civilians were executed in the weeks of Russian occupation, and Mariupol, a large, beautiful city named after the Mother of God, which Russia has turned into twisted ruins and graves for thousands of innocents slain.

    I am convinced that not only these crimes, but also the words and actions of Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow, who from the ambon supported the war against Ukraine and consequently led those who trusted him as their shepherd to their deaths, should be condemned by the Fullness of Orthodoxy. No one with blood on their hands may hold the Chalice or the shepherd’s staff.

    However, amid the darkness and suffering of war, the light of Christ’s Resurrection gives us confidence in the victory of truth, of life, and of love. We are grateful to all those who, through prayers for peace in Ukraine, humanitarian aid, care for refugees, or words and actions condemning Russian aggression, have shown and continue to show their fraternal love.

    (…)

    24/04/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from Good Friday sermon

    These days, the tomb with the image of the Saviour's body cannot but remind us of other tombs, over which here in St. Michael's Cathedral, and in all corners of Ukraine with tears and mourning, we bow, offering prayers for soldiers who gave their lives defending the homeland from Russian aggression, escorting civilians killed by alien murderers to their last earthly journeyThousands of these graves, and how many more – without a grave, in mass graves, in the yards of their own houses destroyed by Russian shelling, under the rubble or in torture chambers… Above all of them we shed our tears, for them the heart beats. But this Shroud, this tomb, this symbol of the Saviour's sacrificial voluntary death, which we now bring to the midst of the temple for worship, is a sign of our conviction that every death we mourn now is only temporary.

    Christ overcame death by His death, and all we mourn today have eternal life through that victory. Neither the tombs nor the mass graves will hold them when the time of resurrection comes – like the stone and the seal they did not hold in the tomb of the risen Son of God.

    Therefore, by mourning the Saviour before the Shroud, mourning thousands of innocent victims, mourning our fallen heroes-defenders, we will overcome sorrow and grief with hope for the approaching resurrection and eternal life that Christ, who died on the cross and rose from the grave, gives us.

    22/4/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from Easter Message

    Today, when we greet each other with the Lord's Passover, with Easter, the enemy continues to shed the blood of the innocent on our earth. Despite the sanctity of Holy Week and the Resurrection of Christ for all Christians, Russian troops not only did not stop their crimes, but they, as if inspired by Satan himself, multiplied bloodshed. Throughout Lent, Russia, which considers itself a stronghold of true Christianity, has destroyed our cities and villages, killed innocent people, and destroyed everything it could. Isn't this alone, aren't all these poisonous, deadly fruits of the "Russian measure" sufficient evidence that it is not God's blessing but the curse on the cause of Russia, its rulers, its troops, its inhabitants poisoned by lies?

    For us, for all those who suffer innocently from the empire of evil even today, on the day of Easter, the resurrection of Christ is a joyful reminder of God's imminent victory over sin and lawlessness, of the victory of good and truth. And for the enemies who broke into our Ukrainian home, for the murderers and murderers who not only did not stop the bloodshed, but only increased it, even in these holy days, Christ's resurrection is a reminder of just retribution and merciless punishment for all the unmerciful.

    When the Saviour was crucified and buried in the tomb, the hearts of the faithful were filled with suffering and pain, but the resurrection of Christ turned weeping into joy, drove away sorrow, and strengthened hope. So it was in ancient times, so it is today – by celebrating the Passover of Christ, glorifying the risen Lord, we receive spiritual strengthening in the midst of the sufferings and horrors of war with confidence in the victory of truth and goodness, in the victory of eternal life over hell.

    On this day of glorification of the great, eternal victory with special feelings, we send Easter greetings our courageous warriors-defenders, prayerfully wishing them blessings from the Risen Christ, victory in the fight against enemies, God's help in service and gracious protection. We ask the Lord for protection and protection for all civilians suffering from Russian shelling. We pray for all the wounded in the war who are suffering in body and soul, and we ask the Lord to heal them.

    May God's blessing be upon those who sacrificially and lovingly serve their neighbours, who help the needy, care for the exiles, who speak out against untruth and in various ways, but do one thing: fight darkness and evil.

    On this holy day, heartfelt congratulations and wishes of indomitable spirit, state wisdom and strengthening of strength in work for Ukraine - for our President, Government and parliamentarians, for community leaders, for all those who with dignity bear their responsibilities to the Ukrainian people in this time of challenges and tests.

    In our celebration, we remember in prayer our enslaved brothers and sisters, those who now live under the rule of the occupiers, and those who are in the chains of captivity or unjust imprisonment. May the Lord help you in this difficult time and bring the day of your deliverance and freedom closer.

    With the Resurrection of Christ, I cordially greet all Orthodox Christians of Ukraine – the fullness of the local Ukrainian Orthodox Church – and those who are temporarily out of communion with it. Let the war, the main cause of which was the poisonous idea of the "Russian measure", urge those who still hesitate to reject the Moscow spiritual yoke, follow the Thomos and the canonical order, and unite around the Kyivan throne in a single local Orthodox Church.

    Congratulations on Easter to all who believe in the risen Christ, and all the world’s Ukrainians!

    Despite the pain and suffering, destruction and sorrow that the war has brought to our home, nothing can take away the common joy that the Resurrection of Christ brings us today in the darkness of night and at the dawn of a new day in the new Ukraine. From heart to heart we share this joy, multiply it, announcing the great victory over sin, evil and death, because truly

    Christ is risen!

    22/4/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of sermon on Palm Sunday

    Dear brothers and sisters!

    Our time, when we live among the sufferings and dangers brought to the Ukrainian land by enemies from the north, is a special opportunity to feel the importance of the truth. After all, the war that Russia has imposed on us and the whole world did not begin with the use of weapons, not with missiles and bombs – it began with deception, untruth, lies. For years, decades, this delusion sounded, the untruth about the past and present spread. Some multiplied and spread this delusion, others either agreed with it or stood aside, believing that it did not concern them.

    You know, dear brothers and sisters, that our Church, as the Local Church of the Ukrainian people, has for years and decades witnessed the truth about the evil intentions behind the ideology of the "Russian measure." From our own past and from the experience of the present, we knew very well that behind the veils of beautiful words, great services, and loud initiatives, Moscow hides evil plans to restore the tyranny of a rotten and overthrown empire.

    That is why, despite opposition from all sides, we fought firmly and uncompromisingly for the church independence of Ukraine. Because we have seen and know well how Moscow has used and continues to use its ecclesiastical influence as an instrument of spreading untruths, as a way of spiritual enslavement.

    She herself made the Church of her own people a servant, deceptively blessing lies, enslavement, murder, and all the other evils of war through the leader. But the evil empire did not stop there, because with its delusion, like a web, it has for decades confused everyone it can reach. Politicians and even entire states, religious figures, intellectuals and artists, journalists and business people – everywhere we can see those who have fallen into the web of Moscow's untruth.

    How can we resist this? The Lord is setting an example for us: we must fight through the testimony of truth. Evil is called evil, not an alternative point of view. War is war, not conflict. Rapists, looters and murderers are criminals, and what they do is genocide of the Ukrainian people, for which there should be responsibility without statute of limitations.

    Christ came to bear witness to the truth, not to reconcile truth with untruth. He commanded us to love our enemies – but He did not command us to love the evil they do, or to close our eyes and look away, by our inaction giving evil the opportunity to spread.

    And of those who see the mission of Christians only in correcting the consequences of evil, without confronting its true causes, the Saviour said well: “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot; oh, if you were cold or hot! But because you are warm and not hot or cold, I will cast you out of my mouth” (Rev. 3: 15-16).

    Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, both the present remembrance of the Lord's entry into Jerusalem and all the trials brought to our home by the war motivate us to know the truth, to follow the truth, to witness the truth, to be hot and not warm or even warmer. spiritually cold. For otherwise darkness will envelop us, untruth will catch us in its net, evil will poison the soul. But knowing all these tricks, we will courageously fight temptations – and as Christ overcame evil and death, so we will be victorious with His help.

    17/04/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of prayers offered during visit to Makarov

    We have just offered our prayers to God for victory in this terrible war. We believe that the Lord supports and helps us. And during this time, we felt His mercy, despite the fact that we experienced many sorrows. But we pray that He will give us the strength to continue to fight and resist the enemy, we pray that the Lord will rest the souls of His resting servants in the Kingdom of Heaven, those who gave their lives for the faith, for the will of Ukraine.

    It is difficult, of course, but there is consolation in God, consolation in prayer, so we must continue to pray and become more spiritually strong and move forward to complete victory in this terrible war on the part of Russia - the aggressor who is trying to enslave us not only physically, but also spiritually, because the Church stands in the way of spreading the ideas of the so-called "Russian measure". But we will fight and become a stronger, united Ukrainian nation, which will continue to rebuild its independent Ukrainian state on the principles of truth, justice, democracy, freedom.

    15/04/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of words to members of the territorial defence

    Unprincipled evil has come to Ukraine – an insidious enemy who, justifying himself by completely fictional and absurd reasons, is committing terrible aggression. Russian invaders spare neither women nor children, leaving only destruction and death. And it was to prevent them and stop this bloody evil that you joined the ranks of defenders of the Motherland. So, I wish you courage, strength and steadfastness, may the Lord bless and preserve each of you. The whole world was convinced that Ukrainians had taken up arms to protect their neighbours and their homes. So, our struggle is forced, legal and true. And the Lord sees this and will certainly help us.

    12/04/2022 (Source)


    Sermon on fifth Sunday of Lent

    Dear brothers and sisters!

    Today I came to Chernihiv to share with you the joy of common prayer and worship. After terrible weeks of siege by Russian troops, daily shelling and bombing, you have returned to this ancient and glorious city and to the entire Seversky Krai, if not to final peace – because an embittered and insidious enemy remains close – then to freedom. Chernihiv paid the terrible price of hundreds of lives taken by Russian murderers, the price of great destruction and suffering, for preserving its freedom. But your victory, the victory of the defenders of Chernihiv and its inhabitants, who bravely defended this princely and Cossack city, saved many more lives, stopped the onslaught of the enemy horde in its movement to the capital, broke the Kremlin's plan to quickly destroy our statehoodThe enemy was preparing both Chernihiv and Kyiv, and still prepares for the whole Ukrainian people the fate of Mariupol, the fate of Bucha, the fate of Yagidny and Novoselivka and other cities, towns and villages of our Motherland, where he entered. Seeing the suffering, destruction, brutal violence and spread of death that Russia brings to every corner of Ukraine that can still reach, we understand even better that only the fight against the aggressor, his expulsion from our land can bring us a just peace.

    As a sign that in this struggle with us, with the Ukrainian people, not only the strength of weapons, not only the courage and sacrifice of our heroe-defenders, not only the support of all people of good will, but also the strength and mercy of God, we perceive the signs revealed at this terrible time here in your city, in this temple. Through the miraculous preservation of the icons of His Blessed Mother and the saints, the Lord is a confirmation of what we always believe: He is with us in this struggle, because we fight for truth and goodness against demonic resentment and tyranny. And if the Lord is with us, then who can resist Him? Therefore, we believe that our people will overcome all current challenges and Ukraine will achieve victory.

    For this we offer our prayers, for this we fight and work. And may God bless us all with success!

    10/04/2022 (Source)


    Sermon on the Feast of the Annunciation

    Yesterday I was where hell seems to have opened its doors. Bucha, Irpin, Gostomel – the suburbs of our Golden-Domed Kyiv, which for many generations were synonymous with natural beauty and comfort, a place of rest, a place of comfortable life – have now become a place of horror, full of ruin, pain and signs of death.

    In the midst of all this, the strength of this spiritual struggle is felt with particular sharpness. Because what you see around you is not only the fruit of the anger of the Russian barbarians, the dark hordes that came to our peaceful land to sow destruction and death. What the Russian invaders of Bucha, Gostomel, Borodyanka turned them into, what the until recently prosperous Mariupol and peaceful Volnovakha, majestic Kharkiv, ancient Chernihiv, dozens of cities and hundreds of villages of our Ukraine have been turned and continue to be transformed into – all these devastation and ruins and all shed torn lives are a manifestation of demonic resentment.

    Our people are not only fighting with the Russian army today for their will, for their freedom, for their future. This war is part of a greater struggle – we are fighting demonic evil, the darkness of slavery and death. And our realization that at the moment of the Annunciation He came into the world, the One who became the conqueror of the devil, Who Himself overcame death and gives all who believe in Him the power to overcome and overcome evil and the head of evil – this realization gives us the ability to celebrate today.

    After all, we know that no matter how powerfully evil manifests itself, it will surely be defeated by the power of truth and love! Life will defeat death. Even the dead will be resurrected, because the Lord will resurrect them, giving them eternal life. Ruin, suffering and pain – although severe and terrible, are temporary. And the victory that the Son of God gives us when we believe in Him and follow Him is an eternal victory, it is an infinite life, it is a joy that no one and nothing can take away.

    This is the Good News, the Gospel, which is proclaimed by the very incarnation, the coming into the world of the God of the Word – this is the message of victory over evil. And this message gives us the strength to continue to fight, live, create, resist evil. It gives us strength by the light of hope, love, good deeds – to drive away the darkness that the devil and his servants, the invisible and visible servants, bring into this world.

    The Annunciation is only the beginning of salvation. And the liberation of Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Sumy regions is only the beginning of Ukraine's victory.

    The Son of God, incarnated by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, has passed his way of sacrificial service – and our people still have a way of struggle and trials ahead of them. That is why we are now praying with special compassion for the places where this struggle is going on and for those who are fighting evil.

    We pray for Mariupol – the city of the Virgin Mary, for its inhabitants, living and dead, for its courageous defenders, and we wish them all mercy from God and everything that each of them needs. We ask the Lord to protect and bless the victory of our defenders, courageous Ukrainian soldiers, so that they can bring peace to Donbas, Kharkiv and Kherson regions and to all corners of our Motherland as soon as possibleAnd we, trusting in God, believe that as the Savior walked the path of suffering but won, so we, the Ukrainian people, will winBecause our struggle is for truth, freedom, for good, against tyranny, against delusion and evil. And where there is truth, there is God and victory.

    And may the realization of these truths inspire us in these dark times to overcome pain, fear, despair and defeat the devil and all his wiles.

    Amen.

    07/04/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of speech to representatives of parishes in Kyiv

    Today, Ukraine is defending itself on all fronts from Russian aggression. Therefore, it is necessary to break all the shackles, including the spiritual ones, which are connected with the aggressorAlmost every day, communities decide to join the local Ukrainian Orthodox ChurchThis process is inevitable. We have an indisputable canonical right to have our own autocephalous Church in our independent state. And when Ukrainians continue to belong to the Moscow Patriarchate this is an anomaly, both according to the canons and the regulations of Tomos, to the structure, whose bless them to kill.

    04/04/2022 (Source)


    Sermon on the fourth Sunday of Lent

    (…)

    our reflections could be completed, if not for the special circumstances of the time that motivate us to continue. Apparently, the vast majority of you have already heard and know about yesterday's announcement, which is undoubtedly joyful for us: thanks to the courageous defenders of Ukraine and with God's help, the whole Kyiv region was cleansed of the enemy, Russian aggressors were expelled from it. At the same time, yesterday brought us terrible news that we are not yet able to fully comprehend – in the liberated towns and villages of northern Kyiv, Irpen, Bucha, Gostomel and other, until recently flourishing and cozy corners of our region, were found the bodies of many victims of Russian violence. The killed civilians lie near their homes and in mass graves. People with tied hands. Men, women, children. Those who tried to escape and who remained in their homes. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of innocent people were tortured in the weeks of Russian occupation. No military necessity could motivate this, as the civilians did not pose a threat to the occupiers.

    Mass killings of civilians are a sign of genocide. The Russians did not come to release the Ukrainians. Everything that can be seen now in Kyiv region, Mariupol, cities and villages of Chernihiv region, Sumy region, Kharkiv region, Donbass, southern Ukraine, testifies: the Russian tyrant, people who support him and their army came to our land to "liberate" Ukraine from Ukrainians. They continue the black, diabolical work of Tsar Peter's troops, which cut and burned Baturyn. They are doing the same thing as the Russian-Bolshevik gangs that shed rivers of blood during the so-called "red terror." They are the successors of Stalin's crimes, the perpetrators of repression and the Holodomor genocide, which were planned in the same blood-red Kremlin to destroy the Ukrainian people.

    Therefore, on behalf of millions of our faithful, on behalf of our suffering people, on behalf of the raped, tortured, shot by Russian invaders, whose blood cries out to Heaven, we raise our voices again and again, calling on the international community to do everything immediately to stop and to punish the tyrant and the state that became in his hands an instrument of genocide of the Ukrainian people. You have the power, you have the weapons, you have the moral duty to do so, to help the Ukrainian people defend themselves – and to protect you! Protect humanity itself!

    In conclusion, I would like to address once again those who, unfortunately, have not yet understood the truth or do not want to understand it: the ideology of the "Russian measure" is the same as the ideology of Nazism. It justifies violence, murder, war and genocide, and must therefore be rejected and condemned in the same way as condemned Nazism, its ideologues and its crimes. The co-creators and leaders of this criminal ideology are the head of the Moscow Patriarchate Kirill Gundyaev and his associates. Together with his subordinates, he not only kindled this fire in every possible way, but also openly blessed the executioners and murderers with false lips on behalf of God and the Church for their dirty work.

    To condemn these crimes, to condemn the violation of human and divine laws is not just a right, but a moral duty of every person, and especially of Orthodox Christians. After all, this is not about discussing the intricacies of canon law, theological controversy or historical discussions. It is about good and evil as such and about everyone's own choice: are you with God or with the devil? Kirill Gundyaev has already made his choice in favor of the affairs of the antichrist. I urge those who still have him as their shepherd – open your eyes, look at the poisonous fruits of his teachings, stay away from the lawless, do not be his accomplices!

    Yesterday we prayed for the peace of all who have died, and especially for the peace of the souls of our fallen defenders and civilians killed by the Russians. Today, remembering the horrific testimonies of crimes in Mariupol, Bucha, Irpen and other until recently peaceful parts of Ukraine, we again ask for the dead Kingdom of Heaven and blessed repose in the homes of the righteous. Amen.

    3/04/2022 (Source)


    Sermon on third Sunday of Lent

    All these reflections, all these meanings and images that the Church gives us every year in the middle of the fasting path – because next week we will have the middle of Lent and time is running fast! – All this resonates in our hearts with special force now that the war is going on.

    Have we, as a state and a people, done something against Russia that deserves the cruelty and murder we suffer from the troops of the neighbouring people? We did not do anything like that, we did not have any evil plans against our neighbours, we just wanted to live in our own house as free people. Do our heroic warriors, who are now giving their lives for Ukraine and its better future, deserve to die? Did the civilians of Mariupol, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Bucha and Gostomel, Sumy and Volnovakha, and tens and hundreds of other towns and villages in Ukraine, who are now being tortured and killed by Russian aggressors, sowing destruction and death, do something evil and worthy of punishment against Moscow? They didn't do anything like that! But they are suffering. They suffer as the martyrs, persecuted by pagans and atheists, suffered. Suffering like the Saviour on the cross is unjust.

    Without faith in God, without faith in eternal life, in the victory of good over evil, such suffering, such injustice is difficult and impossible to survive without breaking. But our faith in Christ crucified and risen gives us, gives the Ukrainian people the strength to overcome these sufferings. We took our cross, we took the common cross of Ukraine –and we carry it to the Calvary of Suffering to defeat evil and achieve the Resurrection.

    Therefore, our heroes do not die, but go to eternity with glory! Therefore, the shed blood of the innocent is not in vain, but like the blood of the martyrs, it gives eternal crowns to those who have not betrayed love of neighbour. And on the heads of the tormentors this blood gathers, according to the figurative expression of the Scriptures, like burning coals, overflowing the cup of the Lord's wrath, which will be poured out on the wicked.

    Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, although the heavy cross has fallen on us, we must bear it with dignity, follow Christ – and then we will achieve victory. Spiritual victories and victories over the evil brought to our home by the Russian aggressor. Victory, the proof of which is that the crucified Christ is risen. We believe that by the power of God's truth and mercy, by the power of love, sacrifice and faith of our people, Ukraine, which is still wounded, tortured and crucified by its enemies, will be resurrected.

    28/3/2022 (Source)


    Statement on the 1 month anniversary of the war

    Our successful resistance to open Russian aggression has been going on for a month now. But in fact this is part of a struggle against Russian imperial tyranny, which began more than a century ago. We are completing the work we started back then - we are creating a Ukraine free from the shackles of Moscow. Ideological shackles, political shackles, religious shackles.

    (…)

    During this month of open aggression, as well as all the previous eight years of Russia's undeclared war against Ukraine, our Church has constantly emphasized that the truth is on the side of our people and our state. And where there is truth, there is the Lord. And where the Lord is, there is victory!

    We believe in God, so we believe in victory, we bring it closer to unity, mutual support, sacrifice, which is manifested in the defence of the state with weapons in hand and in the service of others. We are also approaching victory with fervent prayer, which flows every day, every hour, in our temples, pouring from hundreds of thousands and millions of hearts to God and the saints. This prayer is for the Ukrainian army and our state, for those who suffer from the shelling of Russian murderers, for refugees. Our prayer is for victory and a just peace for Ukraine. Our prayer is for eternal peace in the Kingdom of Heaven for the souls of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians whose lives were taken by Russian assassins.

    Our prayer is also for the unity of the Orthodox Church. I reiterate the call of the Holy Synod to the brothers and sisters who are still subordinate to the Moscow Patriarchate: let us unite around Kyiv, let us unite in the Local Orthodox Church of Ukraine! Don't wait until you are given permission or instruction from Moscow - the missiles and bombs that the Russian military is now dropping on you with the deceptive blessing of Russian Orthodox Church leader Kirill are already the answer to the "Russian measure." This answer is your shelled, burned, destroyed temples. This answer is Kirill's silence on the crimes of the Russian army in Mariupol, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, and dozens of other cities and villages in Ukraine.

    Dozens of communities, a number of monasteries in different regions of Ukraine have already voluntarily and consciously fulfilled their canonical duty and followed the Thomos of autocephaly. Make your choice in favour of the Church and Ukraine, in favour of the truth. The doors of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and our hearts are open to all of you!

    Dear brothers and sisters! Morally, the Ukrainians have already won. And thanks to the indomitable spirit and support of the free world, we will expel the enemy from our land. I call on the courageous Ukrainian army, on the President and the government, on the state and local authorities, on all the heroic Ukrainian people, God's blessing!

    God the Great, the One, save Ukraine for us!

    24/3/2022 (Source)


    Sermon on the Second Sunday of Lent

    What is happening now in Ukraine is not just a war, an armed conflict between the two countries, as outsiders sometimes think. Here is the struggle of darkness against light, death – with life, slavery – against freedom. Russia as a state became the personification of darkness, the empire of evil, the tyranny of slavery. And the proof of this is the destruction and murder that Russia has brought to us. Is there light in these works? Are all the words with which Russia justifies its crimes true? No.

    And from this we can be convinced once again that the evil planned by Moscow will not succeed. For the Russian state and the Russian army do not receive blessings, but the curses and condemnations that the Lord promises for the servants of the devil. Condemnation and curse, merciless punishment from the Almighty await murderers and murderers, because they love evil and darkness.

    We, dear brothers and sisters, must take care to preserve and multiply the light of truth, love, mercy and goodness. Because that's the only way we can win this war. And I believe that with God's blessing and help we will win.

    20/03/2022 (Source)


    Sermon on 19 March

    Dear brothers and sisters!

    In these dark and terrible times of war, when death is literally at hand, when we do not know from the beginning whether a Russian bullet, bomb, rocket will take our lives or the lives of our neighbours – we will overcome this fear by understanding God's victory over death. For, in fact, death should be terrible only for sinners, for criminals, for murderers.

    After all, for those who believe in God and live by keeping His commandments, who sacrifice themselves for the sake of others, after death comes blissful eternal peace. But for criminals and murderers, death opens the door to hell, to condemnation and eternal torment.

    So today we offer prayers for the peace of souls of all those who gave their lives defending Ukraine from enemies, for the eternal and blissful peace of all civilians who died in the Russian shelling. May our faith help us to overcome the natural grief of loss, and may the fervent prayer for the dead be for their benefit and for our benefit, soothing our pain and healing our emotional wounds.

    May the Kingdom of Heaven, forgiveness of sins of free and unfree and blissful eternal life be given by the Lord to all our fallen soldiers who gave their lives for Ukraine and for their neighbours, all civilians who died at the hands of foreigners and all those we remember in prayer today!

    19/03/2022 (Source)


    Dear brothers and sisters! Ukrainian people!

    Our successful resistance to Russian aggression has been going on for three weeks now. Resistance with weapons in hand at the front and work in the rear. Resistance through volunteer help and information work. Opposition on the diplomatic front and through rallies and loyalty to Ukraine in the temporarily occupied territories. Resistance to evil through faith and prayer.

    For our freedom and a dignified future, we pay a very high price every day – the price of human lives. At the front for Ukraine, our newest heroe-defenders are sacrificing themselves. In Mariupol, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, in the cities and villages of the north, east, and south of Ukraine, civilians are subjected to barbaric attacks, bombings, and shelling on a daily basis.

    It is impossible to see and hear, without tears and heartache, what a hell Russian troops have turned the lives of civilians in these besieged or partially occupied cities.

    Every day we pray for the salvation and protection of our brothers and sisters at the hands of murderersThis prayer, the prayer for the Ukrainian army, for the state, for victory, is constantly heard here, in the St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery, the spiritual center of our Local Church. It is heard in thousands of churches, in millions of hearts in Ukraine and around the world. And we believe that with God's help, thanks to our joint efforts, every hour of the fight against evil brings us closer to the much-desired victory and peace.

    Dear brothers and sisters!

    Undoubtedly, it is difficult to bear the tension and fear of these dark times, especially for those who really stand between life and death every day. But in spite of everything, we must preserve our common heritage, which has already surprised the world – our unity, mutual support, mercy and sacrifice for each other.

    From the beginning, the enemy hoped for divisions and disputes among Ukrainians, hoping that we would not be able to stand together against the aggressor. As in many other calculations, Russia was very wrong.

    So let us keep in the future what gives us strength and despite all the difficulties will lead to victory: faith in God, steadfastness of spirit, unity in love for Ukraine and neighbors.

    May the Lord bless us all on this path of struggle for truth and freedom!

    God the Great, the One, save Ukraine for us!

    16/03/2022 (Source)


    Sermon on Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy

    (…)

    From these words of Scripture, we can once again be convinced that history - not only the past but also the present, the time in which we live - has not only a human, visible dimension, but also a spiritual, eternal meaning. The struggle against enemies, wars, armed resistance to the invasion of foreigners existed both in ancient times and now, and is an important struggle between good and evil, the struggle against sinful darkness, against the power of the devil in this world.

    In the words of the Scriptures we have heard, Moses, Gideon, and David are mentioned - those who stood up against an enemy much stronger than them. Against the enemy, which in human reason was difficult to defeat, because he was numerous, strong, armed and powerful. All this the Old Testament righteous opposed the power of faith in God - and with the help of the Lord achieved victory over the enemy.

    We must understand that in the war that our people are waging against the invaders, we are resisting not only the Russian army. As in biblical times, now on our earth there is also a struggle between good and evil, truth and untruth, love and murder.

    We know well from the Scriptures that the signs of man's subordination to the devil are untruth and murder. To those who have committed such sins, the Savior Himself says, “Your father is the devil; and you want to fulfill the lusts of your father. He has been a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of himself: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). Taking these biblical signs and applying them to the present day, we can clearly see that the enemies who came to our land with the war are quite consistent with them.

    After all, the very reason for the attack on Ukraine is false, and the lie justifies the continuation of this aggression. The consequence of such a great lie is cruelty, ruthlessness, murder, which we see in the actions of the Russian occupiers. Under the slogans of defending the faith - they destroy temples, kill priests and the faithful. Under the guise of caring for human rights, they create intolerable living conditions, destroy cities and villages, ruthlessly torture people and kill them without guilt. Speaking of the desire for peace, more and more people are fomenting war.

    What can we oppose to the devil, how can we defeat his servants? The word of Scripture that we hear today gives us the answer: we can overcome through faith in God, by opposing sin to virtue.

    After all, faith in God gives us the same power that Moses directed against Pharaoh and all his power, freeing his people from slavery. Faith helps us to overcome the enemy, just as it helped Gideon with only three hundred soldiers to defeat the Midianite army of many thousands. Just as young David defeated the giant Goliath by virtue of his faith, which freed the people of Israel from Philistine rule, so we, having faith, can drive the Russian aggressors out of our land.

    What virtues should we show especially in this dark time for humanity? Love, mercy, sacrifice, steadfastness in truth - these are the virtues that oppose the lies, greed, cruelty and selfishness of the servants of the devil. And in the various manifestations of virtue we see the triumph of our faith, which is embodied in concrete good deeds.

    Every year, dear brothers and sisters, on this first Sunday of Lent, we traditionally commemorate the historical events of the victory of the true faith over heretical falsehood, especially honoring the ascetics, preachers and defenders of the truth. Today, not forgetting the events of the past, we are more focused on the present, on the struggle against sin and injustice that gave rise to and nourishes the Russian war with Ukraine. That is why instead of the traditional prayer of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, today we offer prayers with special feelings for the Ukrainian soldiers, for our native state, its protection and victory over the invaders. We offer prayers for all those who suffer from barbaric attacks by the enemy of our cities and villages, who need salvation and care. We also pray for the peace of the souls of our fallen defenders and civilians, that the Lord may settle them in His Kingdom.

    In these prayers and deeds of love, sacrifice and charity, the triumph of true faith is for us right now. Faith in God, in whom, like Moses, Gideon, David, and other righteous people, we place our hope, to whom we turn with tears and tenderness of heart: protect all those who need Your care today. We believe that just as in ancient times You, Lord, strengthened your people in the fight against oppressors, so today you will help us to protect Ukraine from the invasion of foreigners.

    13/03/2022 (Source. Edited for clarity)


    Prayer for liberation from the invasion of foreigners

    Lord God of strength, God of our salvation, You alone work miracles. Look in mercy and compassion on the humility of Your servants and listen to us humanely and have mercy on us: for our enemies have gathered against us to destroy us and destroy our state and our sanctuaryHelp us, God our Saviour, and deliver us for the glory of Your name, and may the words spoken by Moses come true for us: be of good cheer, stand fast and see salvation from the Lord, for the Lord is fighting for us.

    Yes, Lord God our Saviour, do not remember the iniquities and iniquities of Your people and do not turn away from us with Your wrath, but in mercy and mercy visit Your humble servants who belong to You: stand to our aid and give to our army with Him to win over you. Destroy the intentions and unjust courage of those who go to war against us.

    We pray to You, Lord of our peace and tranquillity, that as the smoke disappears, so may our enemies disappear, and as the dust falls from the face of the wind, so may their evil thoughts dissipate from our Ukrainian stateO Lord, keep quiet those who oppose Your commandments and ordinances. Restore to them the memory of Your commandment: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. And for those who oppose this commandment of yours, send wrath, sorrow and angels of fury, who will instil in them fear and memory of what they call themselves Christians.

    May the Lord be Your will over us, and if Your Providence is such as to lay down our lives of our soldiers in the battle for Faith and Ukraine, forgive them their sins, and on the day of Your righteous Judgment give them the crown of immortality. But we believe and pray to You, Most Gifted Lord, that You will protect, calm down and warn and bring everyone to peace.

    For You are the protection and the victory and the salvation of those who hope in You, and we send glory to You, Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, now and always, and forever and ever. Amen!

    Prayer for warriors and those who suffer from war

    God the Great, God Almighty! We, Your sinful children, come to You in humility of our hearts and bow our heads. Father! Forgive our guilt and the guilt of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Accept today, we beseech You, our sincere prayer and our gratitude for Your infinite mercy to us. Hear our prayers and accept the prayers of our hearts. Bless our Motherland Ukraine, victory over the enemy, give her destiny and happiness. Merciful Lord, grant Your mercy to all who turn to You with supplication. We pray to You, God, for the Soldiers and Defenders, for our brothers and sisters, for the widows, for the orphans, for the crippled and the weak, for those who are in occupation and captivity, for those who are in difficult circumstances, for refugees and for all those who need Your mercy and help. Unite us all into one great family of Christ, that all the people of Ukraine may glorify Your majestic name with our unity and victories always, and now, and always, and forever and ever. Amen.

    13/03/2022 (Source)


    Dear brothers and sisters, Ukrainian people!

    Our resistance to the enemy has been going on for fifteen days. Thanks to the courage of our defenders, our unity and mutual support, thanks to the help of our allies and people of good will around the world, Ukraine has already morally defeated the aggressor. Because only those who have a stony heart and have lost their conscience can find excuses for Russia's barbaric bombing of Ukrainian towns and villages, for the conscious war crimes committed by the aggressor.

    Such a crime against humanity is all that the enemy is doing to Mariupol now. Yesterday's bombing of the maternity hospital was an abyss of murder and cynicism, which terrified the whole world. The deliberate destruction of the infrastructure of a large city, bringing its population to unbearable conditions of survival – for all this, Russian criminals will inevitably be punished by human law and the law of God.

    I ask the world community to do everything possible immediately to stop the Russian terror against the inhabitants of Mariupol, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, and other cities and villages of Ukraine! And I ask Christians and all people of good will to pray for those who now especially need God's protection and help.

    Dear brothers and sisters!

    In the conditions of war, the question of how to combine God's commandment "Thou shalt not kill" with the armed resistance of the enemy is especially acute. An explanation can be found in the Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Romans: “If you do evil, fear [the one who bears the sword], for it is not in vain that he bears the sword; he is a servant of God, an avenger to punish those who do evil” (Rom. 13: 4). Therefore, the use of weapons to protect our neighbours and the Motherland from the enemy, to protect against the destruction and evil that the aggressor brings to our common home, is not a violation of God's will, but on the contrary – its implementationWitnessing this truth, the Church sincerely and again sincerely blesses the Ukrainian army and all our people for the resistance of the enemy and prays for victory and peace for Ukraine!

    In times of severe suffering of the people, every citizen of our state must be aware of his personal responsibility for bringing peace. And if Ukraine calls for its defence, responding to this call is not only a civic but also a Christian duty. With weapons in hand at the front or work in the rear, decent performance of official duties or volunteer assistance to the victims – everyone must now make efforts to defend Ukraine. And all the faithful must also pray – for the Ukrainian army, for the civilians who suffer from the aggressor, for victory and peace for Ukraine! For prayer, according to the Scriptures, is a powerful weapon against the devil and his servants, and for the faithful – help and inspiration.

    I call on our defenders, on the President and the state, on all the Ukrainian people, God's blessing!

    God the Great, the One, save Ukraine for us!

    10/3/2022 (Source)


    Dear Brothers and Sisters!

    My appeal today is dedicated to the bleeding, painful and severe wound on the body of our Nation – the peaceful population, which is suffering due to the Russian aggression.

    Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Irpin, Bucha, Hostomel and many other cities and villages in the Kyiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Donets and Luhansk oblasts, in Kherson, Zhytomyr, Mykolaiv and other regions of Ukraine, are under the barbaric daily attack of the Russian armed forces. They are utilizing rocket and bomb attacks from the air as well as conventional artillery.

    The enemy is intentionally ruining the infrastructure, destroying civilian dwellings and is killing and terrorizing the peaceful population. Recent announcements and agreements have only today begun to allow for so-called “green corridors” in certain cities to allow for the movement of refugees and allow the delivery of products, medicine and water.

    Especially awful is the situation in Mariupol, which is blocked by Russian forces.

    I understand that there is no practical sense in addressing the Russian occupiers, so I only wish to inform them, for all of the spilled blood, for the suffering and tears, for the ruined lives, each of them will personally have to answer before God and will receive as promised by God, no mercy and eternal suffering for their crimes and unmerciful actions.

    So today, I am reaching out to our international circle of friends: the Ukrainian people would like to understand, why is there a system of international law, why do the United Nations, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe exist, why are the words “Never Again” reiterated every May 8th? Today the legal forms are being trampled, Russia is intentionally mocking the mechanisms of the U.N. and OSCE, and all that we have read and heard from the witnesses of World War II in Europe is occurring again.

    Therefore, I on behalf of the thousands of people living in Mariupol, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Hostomel, Irpin, Bucha and others, who are continue to be murdered by Russian armed forces, am raising my voice and I call upon all nations and international institutions to: TAKE ACTION! Take action so that Russia immediately stops the barbaric ruination of Ukrainian cities, villages and their population.

    With pain in my heart, I raise prayers for the casualties of Russian national terrorism, I ask that God, His Mother the Virgin Mary and all the saints, provide them help, protection and defence. I pray for the souls of the innocent who have perished. I ask that all people of good will join in these prayers.

    Let Almighty God, as The Righteous Judge, look at the suffering Ukrainian Nation and bring his judgement on the unmerciful murderers! Let the anger of God and inescapable retribution that is promised to these lost souls be upon them!

    I wish the Ukrainian armed forces, The President our Nation and all of its people, with the help of God, to reach victory over the aggressor and true peace.

    O Great God Eternal! For us Ukraine do protect!

    08/03/2022 (Source)


    Statement of the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine

    In course of Russian aggression against Ukraine the aggressor’s shelling aim at, alongside with peaceful infrastructure and residential buildings, the temples. Even the greatest spiritual sanctuary, the St Sophia Cathedral, appears under the threat of attack. From the whole Ukraine we receive the reports of hitting the churches, even those, where the refugees found shelter.

    As a Primate, I appeal to the Russian murderers: do not aggravate your crimes with destroying the sanctuaries, especially as you hypocritically justify yourself with “defending the Church”.

    I appeal to the international community and especially to the religious leaders: raise your voice in opposing this crime of Russia. With the word and the deed do all the possible to stop the shelling and bombardments.

    I appeal especially to the leaders of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine: do you not see how the cities and towns in Northern, East, and Southern Ukraine are being shelled, and the blasts kill, among others, those who see you as their shepherds? Demand loudly from Russia, from the Patriarch of Moscow to stop these barbaric shelling! Do not hide behind general wishes of peace, but tell the Truth, as Our Lord bequeathed.

    I want once again to join my voice to millions of voices of the Ukrainians, appealing to the free world: close the sky over Ukraine! Putin thinks anyway that he wages the war “with America and NATO” on our soil. The Russian dictator already is at war with you, has already attacked you. Thus, defending Ukraine, our people, children, our homes and temples, you defend yourselves.

    06/3/2022 (Source. Edited for clarity)


    Excerpt of primate’s sermon on Forgiveness Sunday

    If in recent years such reflections during Lent were spiritual and allegorical for us, today we, the entire Ukrainian people, literally suffer every hour in the terrible realities of war. These sufferings are innocent. The Ukrainian people have not done any harm to Russia, which has attacked and tortured, whipped and crucified us. Therefore, what we are suffering now is, from a spiritual point of view, compassion for Christ, that is, innocent suffering.

    These sufferings are difficult, but among them let us be comforted by the realization that our innocent sufferings will inevitably be crowned with victory and eternal glory, just as the sufferings of Christ were crowned with them. The Saviour was shamed and crucified on the cross - but He rose from the dead and defeated evil. We are suffering in the same way now, but with God's help we will win. And Ukraine, which is now being crucified by the Russian occupiers, will be resurrected.

    Therefore, now, on the path of Lent, amid the grief and torment of the war imposed on us by Russia, we must strengthen our resolve and be inspired by the awareness of the inevitability of the victory of truth, goodness and lightWe are now suffering innocently as our Saviour, but we will soon be glorified as victors, as our Lord is risen and glorified.

    However, until this blessed time comes, we must work spiritually and physically. During the liturgy, I have already drawn your attention to the peculiarities of the current fast, when sacrifice, mutual aid, and charity for others will indeed be a greater feat than restrictions on food. So where possible, let us fast according to tradition, and where it is impossible, let sacrificial service to our neighbours be our fasting feat.

    06/03/2022 (Source. Edited for clarity)


    Dear brothers and sisters!

    Our courageous resistance to Russian aggression has been going on for ten days now. The enemy cannot understand why the Ukrainian people are so resisting.

    The answer is very simple: because we know our own history. Now our suffering is measured in hours and days. Under the yoke of Kremlin tyranny, the Ukrainian people have lived for decades at the cost of millions tortured by hunger and repression. Therefore, we have no choice but to fight. After all, this is a struggle for freedom, for the future, for the opportunity for us and for new generations to live in our own free state.

    And now I want to address our Orthodox fellow believers from the Moscow Patriarchate.

    Dear bishops, fathers, brothers and sisters! You, like all of us, suffer from the Russian invasion. Every Russian bomb, rocket, and shell on Ukrainian soil finally kills the myths of "Holy Russia" and the "Triune People."

    Many of you are already thinking about the fact that it is no longer possible to be under the jurisdiction of the Russian patriarch. You have always declared your devotion to the canons, and the canons stipulate that there should be a single Local Church in Ukraine. We urge you to take the canonical path – the path of unity.

    We understand that for many it will not be easy to follow this path. Therefore, I suggest: those who are ready and willing to join the Orthodox Church of Ukraine – our doors and our hearts are open to you! Both individual communities and entire dioceses can do this, become part of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Those who are not ready for such a step can show their good intentions to serve together with us, as is customary among the clergy of different jurisdictions, such as in the diaspora. Who can not dare to do so – at least declare publicly a demand to your leadership not just to stop mentioning the name of the Moscow Patriarch, but to have full independence from Moscow with the earliest changes to the Statute.

    "Russian Peace" has brought terrible grief to our land, so it is necessary to break forever with this bloody chauvinistic ideology.

    To the faithful of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and to our supporters, I would like to renew my request, expressed earlier: do not succumb to emotions, give our brothers the opportunity to walk the path to unity. We need a truly conscious unity, because only then will it be true and strong.

    Today I offer my prayers for the Ukrainian soldiers, for the President and the state, for all of you and I call on the Lord's blessing!

    God the Great, the One, save Ukraine for us!

    05/03/2022 (Source. Edited for clarity)


    Dear brothers and sisters!

    Ukraine's resistance to Russian aggression has been going on for a week now, although every hour of this time seems like a long time to many. Russia continues to act as a terrorist, attacking our cities, shelling civilians, destroying public infrastructure.

    Our struggle against the enemy is difficult, but we believe in our victory, because the truth and God's help are on our sideEvidence of this assistance is the destruction of the enemy's plan to achieve the goal in a few days of rapid progress – to destroy the statehood of Ukraine.

    That is why the aggressor is looking for new reserves for the invasion, inclining Belarus to crime. I appeal to the Belarusians, our neighbours – you know what it's like to live under a dictatorship, you protested against it. They want to bring the same, even worse, dictatorship to us in Ukraine. Fight with all your might to ensure that your country is not involved in vile and criminal Russian aggression, and that your soldiers are sent to their death for Putin's imperial fantasies.

    As hierarch and Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, I would also like to warn every Ukrainian citizen who hopes to gain power and positions in occupied Ukraine from bloody Russian hands: eternal shame and curses will fall on you from people and from God as those who fell on the traitor Judas. Hell will be prepared for you together with Judas.

    Dear brothers and sisters!

    The suffering caused by the war, the tension from numerous announcements about the air attack, concern for the future, for family and friends – all this cannot help but be depressing. Fear and anxiety turn into the temptation to pour out emotions, anger, condemnation of those around. Fight it! Do not let darkness take over your heart.

    The best way to do this is to pray. A sincere appeal to God calms the soul, gives purification and strengthens resolve. Read the prayers from the Prayer Book, read the book of Psalms from the Bible, pray in your own words – the most important are the sincerity and feelings with which you speak to God.

    Today I had the joy of praying in St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral for our defenders, for the President and for all our people. Also at noon, representatives of the entire religious community of Ukraine, united in the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches, gathered for prayer in St. Sophia.

    Today I received a letter of condolences and support from the Primate of the Church of Greece, Archbishop Jerome of Athens. He condemns the Russian aggression against Ukraine and assures prayer and humanitarian aid provided by the Greek Church. We are sincerely grateful to our brothers for this.

    In conclusion, I would like to mention once again our sanctuary, St. Sophia, which, as you know, is also under threat of Russian attack. A symbolic event took place today: a cross was erected on the south-eastern dome of the cathedral, which had previously fallen during the storm. I believe that the integrity of our state will be restored as this cross. By joint efforts we will achieve, with God's help, victory over the aggressor.

    To fight for this, I call on the Lord's blessing and help on all of you!

    God the Great, the One, save Ukraine for us!

    2/3/2022 (Source. Edited for clarity)


    Dear brothers and sisters!

    On the fourth day, our heroic people are defending themselves from the attack of Russia, which throws its soldiers and weapons at our villages and cities, strikes us with artillery. Ukraine withstands this frantic blow thanks to its well-trained military, proper leadership, and the help of allies, but the main reason is an indomitable, and therefore invincible spirit.

    The spirit of love for the Motherland, for freedom, for neighbour. This spirit of love and truth, which are on our side, testify that with God's help we will achieve victory. Every hour of resistance to aggression brings us closer to this.

    We pray and act – each in his own place, in the way that is possible in specific circumstances. And every hour of our resistance inspires more and more people around the world to support Ukraine. Tens and hundreds of thousands gather in the squares of the world's capitals and rallies in support. Our blue and yellow flag of freedom has become a symbol of resistance to tyranny, and the slogan "Glory to Ukraine!" does not require translation.

    Among the calls for an immediate end to Russia's aggression against Ukraine is the voice of my brothers, the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches. I thank Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Romanian Patriarch Daniel, Georgian Patriarch Elijah, Archbishop Jerome of Athens and all my hierarchical brothers, clergy, faithful, Christians and all people of good will for praying and supporting the world.

    Today, the Russian president ordered the increase of the level of readiness of nuclear weapons. Is this not confirmation of a fact that the head of our state Volodymyr Zelensky and many others have said from the beginning: not only is Ukraine in danger, the whole world is in danger. The spirit of the antichrist operates in the leader of Russia, the signs of which are revealed to us in Scriptures: pride, devotion to evil, ruthlessness, false religiosity. This was Hitler during World War II. This is what Putin has become today.

    Therefore, the task not only of our country, but of all countries of the world, of all people of good will, is to stop Putin now. Act, and act immediately. I urge world leaders to do so!

    Separately, I would like to address our faithful and fellow citizens. Interfaith peace is one of the main achievements of independent Ukraine. The feelings that are now evoked in the souls of Ukrainians by the name "Moscow" are quite understandable. But I beg you – do not succumb to anger, especially the provocations of the enemy. If you know specific true information about someone's help to the aggressor, provide it to law enforcement or the military. But already see and know about many clergy and faithful of the Moscow Patriarchate that have reconsidered their attitude to the leadership in Russia and stand by everyone in defense of Ukraine.

    Therefore, we will postpone all issues of achieving understanding and church unity in Ukraine until victory. I am convinced that many hierarchs, priests, and laity of the Moscow Patriarchate are already asking themselves about their future, which they do not associate with the discredited Patriarch Kirill. I hope that in fraternal communication, as Orthodox believers and children of one nation, we will find a solution to disputes. But now let's postpone them all, because nothing is worth more today than the victory of Ukraine!

    We pray to Almighty God and ask Him, the Blessed Virgin and all the saints for help, protection, defense, strength, courage and most importantly – victory and peace.

    I call on the defenders of Ukraine and on all our people God's blessing!

    God the Great, the One, save Ukraine for us!

    27/2/2022 (Source. Edited for clarity)


    Despite the long, sincere, persistent efforts of Ukraine and the entire international community, there was an unprovoked, insidious, cynical attack by Russia and Belarus on Ukraine.

    Our common task is to repel the enemy, to protect our homeland, our future and the future of new generations from the tyranny that the aggressor seeks to bring on his bayonets.

    The truth is on our side. Therefore, the enemy, with God's help and with the support of the entire civilized world, will be defeated.

    Our task now is to unite, to withstand the first blow, not to panic. We believe in God's providence and the victory of truth. We trust our Armed Forces, our defenders. We pray with all those who are at the forefront of the fight against the aggressor.

    It is extremely important not to succumb to possible internal provocations, to maintain order, to carry out orders of the state and military authorities of Ukraine.

    Wherever possible, I ask the clergy and the faithful to regularly offer their prayers for Ukraine, for victory, for our soldiers. I bless you to read the Akathist to the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and other relevant prayer requests.

    I appeal to the international community, to all the world's religious leaders, to support Ukraine, to force Russia and Belarus to stop the aggression immediately. I ask all people of good will to do this.

    Those who have started and are waging an aggressive war against Ukraine should know that according to God's law and human laws, they are murderers and criminalsAnd they will answer for their crime before the Most High and before mankind, without escaping condemnation and punishment.

    Dear brothers and sisters!

    As Primate, I am with you, performing my duties. As events unfold, I will keep you informed.

    "Do not be afraid, stand still - and you will see the Lord's salvation that He will create for you today […]; The Lord will fight for you, and you will be calm ”(Exodus 14: 13-14).

    Ukrainians are a peaceful people, but strong in spirit and faith. We believe that the violence and weapons that are being unlawfully directed against us today will turn into the wrath of God and the sword against the aggressor. For all criminal intentions are known to God, as it is said: “Consider plans, but they are destroyed; speak the word, but it will not come to pass: for God is with us. (Isa. 8:10). Let the words of the Savior be fulfilled in the instigators of war and invaders: "All they that take the sword shall perish by the sword" (Matt. 26:52).

    With prayer on our lips, with love for God, for Ukraine, for our neighbours, we fight against evil - and we will see victory.

    I invoke upon the Ukrainian state, on the soldiers who defend Ukraine, and on all our people, God's blessing!

    God the Great, the One, save Ukraine for us!

    24-2-2024 (Source. Edited for clarity)


    Appeal to the Head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill

    To the Head of the Russian Orthodox Church
    Moscow Patriarch Kirill

    Bishop!

    For the fourth day, the unprovoked full-scale aggression of Russia, the state whose Orthodox Church you lead, against Ukraine continues. As a result of the war unleashed by the leadership of your country, millions of people are suffering, hundreds of thousands of children, women, and the elderly have been forced to seek a safer place, thus leaving their homes. Every day, our fellow citizens are forced to shelter for hours during the shelling of our cities by Russian troops. Soldiers and civilians are dying.

    Unfortunately, it has become clear from your previous public statements that maintaining the goodwill of Putin and the leadership of the Russian Federation is much more important to you than caring for the people in Ukraine, some of whom considered you their shepherd before the war. Therefore, it hardly makes sense to ask you to do something effective to stop Russia’s aggression against Ukraine immediately.

    However, I still remain hopeful that at least in relation to your own fellow citizens, most of whom are Orthodox Christians, your flock, you will find the spiritual strength to show humanity and care.

    We are talking about more than three thousand dead Russian servicemen, whose bodies are on the soil of Ukraine. The leadership of our country has already appealed to the International Red Cross to facilitate the return of the bodies of the Russian military to their homeland, so that relatives and friends can say goodbye to them and give them burial. Unfortunately, no response has been received from the Russian side so far.

    Therefore, I appeal to you, as the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, to please show mercy to your fellow citizens and flock. If you cannot raise your voice against aggression, at least take the bodies of Russian soldiers whose lives have become the price for the ideas of the “Russian world” – yours and your president.

    May the Lord give you spiritual strength at least for this, especially today, on Sunday that commemorates the Last Judgment!

    27/2/2022 (Source)

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    Metropolitan Onufriy, Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Moscow Patriarchate

    Statement

    The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has repeatedly and clearly emphasized its complete and unquestionable support for the sovereignty and integrity of the Ukrainian state.

    The actions of individual representatives of the clergy, which do not correspond to the official position of the Church, are a manifestation of their personal political choice, for which they bear full responsibility as citizens of Ukraine.

    The Church calls on its flock to help the Motherland to maintain peace in all its territories by prayer and good deeds, strongly condemning the aggression of the Russian army towards the Ukrainian people.

    30/09/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    We pray that the Lord will fill the hearts of all people with love, and especially those who today kill our people, destroy our cities, villages, so that they remember that God did not put us on earth to kill each other, to take something from each other that we like, and in order for us to live in peace, in love for God and for each other.

    25/09/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of sermon

    May the prayers of Saint Theodosius and all the Pechersk fathers, whose memory we celebrate today, help us overcome all the trials in this earthly life, so that the Lord may send peace to our land, so that people will come to their senses and stop killing each other, may the Lord send us all that is needed to overcome all the trials, all the temptations that a person encounters in his earthly life, so that we may reach a blessed life in Heaven together with the saints, glorifying the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

    10/09/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    Today, dear brothers and sisters, we ask the Mother of God in front of Her Pochaiv Icon to protect our land from war, from the fact that blood is spilled on our land, so that She will protect us from every enemy, so that no one encroaches on our people, on our land, so that we can live in spiritual freedom, glorifying God with our lives, with our mouths, with our souls, with our minds, so that the blessing of God is upon us and that it helps us, strengthens us on the way of our earthly journey.

    05/08/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from sermon on the anniversary of the baptism of Ukraine

    Many tens of thousands of people came to Christ. From wicked people they became pious, from corruptible people they became bright, from cruel people they became good.

    (…)

    Saint Volodymyr himself before Baptism was quite a tough person, warlike, licentious, as it was established in paganism, but when he was baptized, he changed – he became completely good, kind, bright, and they began to call him "krasne sonechko" (beautiful sun).

    (…)

    We, dear brothers and sisters, are also celebrating a state holiday today – Statehood Day, because Prince Volodymyr founded such a great state, which was called Kyivan Rus. Today, Russia's successor is Ukraine.

    (…)

    We pray to the holy Prince Volodymyr to bless our land, to bless our people, to stop the bloodshed that is on our land with his prayers.

    28/07/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from Sunday Sermon

    Peaceful people who are generally not guilty of anything die - this is the greatest sorrow that oppresses not only me, but all of you today. We pray that the Lord will warn those who attack, that the Lord will warn them, because war is not what God blesses. My greatest wish is to end the bloody war.

    25/06/2022 (Source)


    Resolutions of the Council held on May 27

    The Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (hereinafter - the Council), held on May 27, 2022 in Kyiv, considered issues of church life that arose as a result of the military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. Based on the results of the work, the Council approved the following:

    1 - The Council condemns war as a violation of God's commandment "Thou shalt not kill!" (Exodus 20:13) and expresses condolences to all those who suffered in the war.

    2 - The Council appeals to the authorities of Ukraine and the authorities of the Russian Federation to continue the negotiation process and search for a strong and sensible word that could stop the bloodshed.

    3 - We disagree with the position of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on the war in Ukraine.

    4 - The Council adopted appropriate amendments to the Statute on the Administration of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which testify to the full independence and autonomy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

    5 - The Council approves the resolutions of the Councils of Bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the decisions of the Holy Synods of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which met after the last Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (July 8, 2011). The Council approves the activities of the Department of Affairs and Synodal Institutions of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

    6 - The Council was considering the restoration of peace-making in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

    7 - During the period of martial law, when the relations between the dioceses and the ecclesiastical center are complicated or absent, the Council considers it expedient to give eparchial bishops the right to decide on certain issues of eparchial life within the competence of the Holy Synod or the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. further, while restoring opportunities, informing the clergy.

    8 - Recently, a new pastoral challenge has been particularly acute for our Church. During the three months of the war, more than 6 million Ukrainian citizens were forced to go abroad. Mostly Ukrainians from the southern, eastern and central regions of Ukraine. Many of them are faithful to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. That is why the Kyiv Metropolitanate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church receives appeals from various countries with a request to open Ukrainian Orthodox parishes. It is obvious that many of our compatriots will return to their homeland, but many will stay for permanent residence abroad. In this regard, the Council expresses its deep conviction that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church cannot leave its faithful without spiritual care, must be with them in their trials and organize church communities in the diaspora.

    9 - Aware of the special responsibility before God, the Council expresses its deep regret over the lack of unity in Ukrainian Orthodoxy. The Council perceives the existence of a schism as a deep painful wound on the church body. It is especially unfortunate that the recent actions of the Patriarch of Constantinople in Ukraine, which resulted in the formation of the "Orthodox Church of Ukraine", only deepened misunderstandings and led to physical confrontation. But even in such crisis situations, the Council does not lose hope of resuming dialogue. In order for the dialogue to take place, the PCU representatives need to:

    • to stop the seizure of churches and forced transfers of parishes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
    • to realize that their canonical status, as enshrined in the "Statute of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine", is in fact non-autocephalous and significantly inferior to the freedoms and opportunities in the implementation of church activities provided by the Statute of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
    • to resolve the issue of canonicity of the hierarchy of the PCU, because for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, as for most Local Orthodox Churches, it is quite obvious that to recognize the canonicity of the hierarchy of the PCU it is necessary to restore the apostolic succession of its bishops.

    The Council expresses its deep conviction that the key to the success of the dialogue must be not only the desire to restore church unity, but also the sincere desire to build one's life on the principles of Christian conscience and moral purity.

    Summing up the results of the work done, the Council offers a prayer of thanksgiving to the Merciful Lord for the opportunity for fraternal communication and expresses hope for an end to the war and reconciliation of enemies. According to the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, may "grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son the Father, in truth and love" be with all of us, especially brothers and sisters in the Risen Christ. 1: 3).

    27/05/2022 (Source)

    Statement of the Holy Synod, of May 12, 2022

    For almost three months now, the Ukrainian people have been courageously defending themselves against a military attack by the Russian Federation, which has invaded the territory of our sovereign and independent stateEvery day, this brutal war takes the lives of Ukraine's sons and daughters. The flames of war pierced the heart of every citizen, thousands of families felt the burning pain of this terrible tragedy. More than five and a half million Ukrainians have been forced to become migrants.

    The Ukrainian Orthodox Church immediately condemned the Russian Federation's military aggression against Ukraine and insisted that war was a great sin. That is why our Church has repeatedly called for an end to the bloodshed and, by starting the negotiation process, to resolve the conflict with words, not weapons. Unfortunately, attempts at peace talks did not yield the desired result. On the contrary, today rocket attacks and bombings have covered almost the entire territory of our country. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church fully shares the pain and suffering of the Ukrainian people. 14 of the 53 dioceses of our Church are suffering from hostilities. There are more than 3,000 parishes and 62 monasteries in these dioceses, where, even at the risk of their lives, 3,500 priests and almost 2,000 monks and nuns continue to serve. But, despite such difficult circumstances, we are confident that Ukraine will survive and maintain its statehood. Intensified prayers of our bishopric, clergy, monks and laity are offered in all churches and monasteries. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church supports and will continue to support the defenders of Ukraine and provide charitable assistance to the needy. We sincerely believe that the Lord will bless the Ukrainian land and its God-loving people with peace.

    However, we cannot but express concern that, despite the wise and deliberate appeals of the President of Ukraine and other statesmen, there are frequent instances of religious hatred and discord in some regions. Instead of uniting the people in the pursuit of victory and the restoration of peaceful life, the country is igniting an internal, religious front. Thus, a group of people's deputies of Ukraine, due to contrived and knowingly false accusations, submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine bills banning the activities of our Church. In addition, in various regions of Ukraine there are cases of local governments making illegal decisions to ban or restrict the activities of local religious communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

    We note with sadness that all these facts are the result of erroneous religious policy during the presidency of P.O. Poroshenko and the destructive ideology of the so-called Orthodox Church of UkraineWe are convinced that such activities of the previous government and the PCU became one of the reasons for the military invasion of Ukraine. We believe that criminal actions against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are signs of subversive activities and are also a consequence of inaction of the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience, which aims to regulate interreligious relations in Ukraine. We consider inadmissible attempts to ban the activities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Any decisions to ban our Church and restrict the rights of its believers are criminal and violate the Constitution of Ukraine. Such actions can be described as an act of national suicide.

    In this regard, we appeal to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky as a guarantor of the Constitution of Ukraine to intervene in this difficult situation, stop religious hostility in Ukrainian society and take necessary measures against illegal actions against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

    Another issue that has worried many lately concerns the future of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The Holy Synod states that today this issue is the subject of church discussion. In some dioceses there are meetings of the clergy, who express their position. The information comes to the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The Holy Synod, in general, welcomes the possibility of a thorough and comprehensive discussion of any issues of church life, as this is the manifestation of the conciliar nature of the Orthodox Church. But this process must take place without disturbing the church order.

    In the near future, a meeting will be convened with the participation of bishops, priests, monks and laity to discuss the problems of church life that have arisen as a result of the war and which concern us all. At the same time, we emphasize that we must do everything possible so that the discussion on this or that issue does not take us out of the canonical field and does not lead to new divisions in the Church.

    At this difficult time, when our Motherland and our Church are suffering from war, and our courageous soldiers are defending the statehood of Ukraine, we must all unite for victory. We call on all to intensify prayer for Ukraine and its authorities, for our servicemen and for the long-suffering people. May the All-Merciful Lord bless our earthly homeland with peace, so that all of us may unanimously and with one mouth glorify God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 15: 6).

    12/05/2022 (Source)


    Appeal to Vladimir Putin in connection with Mariupol

    Mr. President!

    On these Easter days, when the celebration of the triumph of life over death is complemented by Victory Day over Nazism, I am writing to you in connection with the situation around the city of Mariupol.

    The difficult situation in which the inhabitants and defenders of Mariupol found themselves prompts me to ask you as a person whose family survived the siege of Leningrad, and whose elder brother Viktor died in 1942. Your relatives have fully felt what life is like in isolation from the mainland, under incessant bombardments, without food, water and medicines, when death can occur at any moment from the impact of super-powerful weapons, starvation or lack of medical care. You remember this when you talk about the Great Patriotic War and when you visit Piskarevskoye Cemetery, a place of mass graves for residents of besieged Leningrad and its defenders.

    The residents of Mariupol and its defenders are in the same position today. It is my pastoral duty to ask you to provide an opportunity for all whoever wants it, to leave the city of Mariupol - both civilians and the military. At all times in different wars, the opposing sides found it possible to manifest humanism. We know that the Russian Federation has repeatedly acted as an intermediary in Syria in the evacuation of encircled combatants. In this regard, we hope that you will, in a Christian way, agree to the Extraction procedure for the Ukrainian garrison in Mariupol, and give the encircled civilians, policemen, border guards and military an opportunity to enter the territory controlled by Ukraine or the territory of third countries. Many countries will consider it an honor to mediate this operation. I ask you to choose any of them in the Name of the Risen Christ.

    In hope

    08/05/2022 (Source)


    Easter Sunday Message

    Christ is Risen!

    (…)

    This year the Lord has visited us with special trials and tribulations. The forces of evil have thickened over us. But we do not complain or despair, because by His Resurrection Christ the Saviour overcame evil.

    24/04/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from sermon on the feast of the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem

    May we all humble ourselves in our own way, that we may be bearers of God’s grace, and that God’s peace come to our land, that our people, we may meet in peace and joy the Great and Glorious Feast of the Resurrection of our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ

    18/4/2022 (Source)


    Letter of thanks to all who are helping Ukrainian refugees

    On behalf of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all those who are helping Ukrainians during the terrible war that broke out in our Ukraine.

    As a result of the Russian invasion, more than four million of our compatriots have been forced to flee their homes, leave their lands and seek refuge, mainly in Western Europe and the rest of the world.

    As the Primate of the largest and most numerous Church of Ukraine – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, whose faithful in large numbers have left the war zones, I want to thank the Primates, the episcopate, the clergy and the faithful of the Georgian, Serbian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Polish Local Orthodox Churches and Czech lands and Slovakia. Your fraternal support is very important for our people today, because, in the words of St. John Chrysostom, "there is nothing stronger than the Church of Christ" This is true. We testify to this and humbly ask the Lord God to reward you a hundredfold for your bounties and mercies.

    I also thank all the heads of European states and their peoples, the heads of other countries of the world, international organizations and all those who welcomed Ukrainians into their homes, I thank people of different views and religions. By this you fulfil the most important commandment of God – love of God and neighbour. The Holy Fathers teach us that by helping our neighbour, we help Christ, because He was also a "refugee" when he and His Mother fled from Herod to Egypt. Your help will forever remain in the memory and hearts of the long-suffering Ukrainian people.

    May the All-Merciful Lord reward you all instead of the temporary – eternal, instead of perishable – imperishable, instead of earthly – heavenly, for all the good you do!

    With sincere respect and gratitude

    08/04/2022 (Source)


    Statement by the UOC Legal Department regarding bills aimed at banning the UOC's activities

    On March 22, 2022, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine registered Bill 20  7204  “On Prohibition of the Moscow Patriarchate on the Territory of Ukraine”, and on March 26, 2022, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine also registered Bill №  7213  “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine on Freedom of Conscience and religious organizations ”on the prohibition of the activities of religious organizations (associations) that are part of the structure (is part of) a religious organization (association), the governing center (management) of which is located outside Ukraine in a state recognized by law as military aggression against Ukraine and / or temporarily occupied part of the territory of Ukraine."

    Given the content of the bills, the main purpose of their adoption is allegedly "protection of national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine" and "protection of public safety and order", which according to the legislator can be achieved by banning the activities of the Moscow Patriarchate – Russia Orthodox Church ", including the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

    Despite the fact that President V.O. Zelensky has not incited religious hatred during the war, Ukrainian MPs decided through legislative initiatives to brazenly and cynically ban the activities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and deprive millions of Ukrainians of the right to freedom of religion.

    Although law enforcement agencies have made no complaints to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church about the violation of Ukraine's national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity, deputies in their explanatory note to the bill deliberately make false allegations against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in an attempt to mislead Ukrainian MPs.

    Despite all the pathos, these bills see a continuation of the religious policy of Poroshenko's time, which became one of the reasons for the terrible times we are experiencing now, because the ban on the multimillion-strong Ukrainian Orthodox Church cannot but affect our state.

    In addition, banning people from belonging to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church violates their right to freedom of religion, which is contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights and the Constitution of Ukraine.

    Please note that the religious center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is located in Kyiv, registered in accordance with Ukrainian law, and its founder is the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which includes clergy and believers living in Ukraine.

    The Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Onufriy, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine, called on all the faithful to defend our state and defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

    From the first days of the war, people have shown the unity of our people in the fight against the enemy. But as we see today, they are trying to break this unity by provoking controversy on political, linguistic and religious grounds. After all, due to the impossibility of winning the battles, the occupiers are trying to sabotage through such bills to split Ukrainian society and weaken our state.

    In this regard, we declare that the legislative initiative to ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is illegal, violates the right to freedom of religion and in no way contributes to "protection of national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine" and "protection of public safety and order", as stated in the bills, and on the contrary, in wartime will open a religious front in the peaceful territory of Ukraine and divide our country on religious grounds.

    31/3/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from sermon on Crucifixion Sunday

    Today we have a common Cross, the Lord visited us all with a cross – they raised a hand against us with a sword, but we must not complain, we must patiently endure everything. The Church has always prayed, prays and will pray for people to remember that we are children of God and that the Lord does not want us to raise our swords against each other.

    (…)

    We pray today that the Lord will stop what we feel today, when people are dying, human blood is being shed, children are dying, helpless people are dying, old people, young people are innocent human beings

    27/3/2022 (Source)


    Words following prayer for peace

    Today we celebrated the Divine Liturgy and now we have prayed – for peace in our country, for peace in Ukraine. We ask the Blessed Virgin Mary, we ask the Venerable Fathers Anthony and Theodosius, and all the Pechersk, to ask God for forgiveness of our sins and for the Lord to give us peace.

    [The negotiations are] not easy, but it is the first step, which is already a humane step, when one uses a reasonable word to try and solve problems that arise between people. I want these negotiations to continue well, to have sensible, well-considered decisions, and for love to overcome the malice that reigns over the people.

    May the Lord bless our land, our government, our army and all our Ukrainian people

    20/03/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts of the sermon on Triumph of Orthodoxy Sunday

    Our Church has always said and still says today that all problems that arise between people should be solved not by weapons, not by force, but by words, because we are people, intelligent creatures of God, God is ours. gave reason, gave us the word – this is a great power, the word has great power.

    (…)

    God did not create us on earth to attack each other and kill each other. He created us to live in love. And if we do not have this agreement, it is necessary to reach it not with the help of weapons, but with the help of words. And again, and again we call on all those on whom this depends, that the problems that exist today in the world and on our earth, that they be solved with a reasonable word

    13/03/2022 (Source)


    Statement on Wednesday, 10 March

    The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is the Church of the Ukrainian people. It unites believers in the East and West, North and South of our country. It consists of people of different nationalities and different political persuasions. But we are all one in Christ. For more than 1000 years of history, our Church has always been and remains with its people.

    Today, our country is going through a difficult ordeal caused by the attack on our country by the troops of the Russian Federation. In all churches and monasteries of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, intensified prayers for the earliest possible peace and cessation of bloodshed continue. We consistently call for a peaceful settlement of conflicts through dialogue. War is the worst sin in the world. It forces us to look at another person not as an image of God, but as an enemy to be killed. Therefore, there is no excuse for those who start wars.

    Unfortunately, a large number of civilians died during these few days, including the elderly, women and children; humanitarian infrastructure was destroyed – hospitals, maternity hospitals, schools, orphanages; and the survivors are forced to leave their homes and even the country to save their lives, becoming refugees and displaced persons.

    In this regard, in order to prevent even greater sacrifices and suffering for our people, we call on all those who depend on them to provide real humanitarian corridors for the immediate evacuation of civilians from settlements on the line of fire and to ensure their safety.

    Due to the fighting, some Ukrainian servicemen, in carrying out their oath and duty to defend the Motherland, were unfortunately wounded or taken prisoner. Therefore, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, caring for its fellow citizens, asks to show human compassion and Christian charity, to organize the extradition of the wounded and to exchange prisoners of war.

    We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ, through the intercession of His Immaculate Mother, will preserve our country and its God-loving people, and give us the long-awaited peace.

    10/03/2022 (Source)


    Words spoken after a special prayer for peace in Ukraine

    Prayer for peace on Ukrainian soil is being offered throughout our Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Unfortunately, it is the 9th day of the war on our land. Russian troops entered Ukraine. Our hearts are filled with sorrow. People are dying – civilians are dying, children are dying. The earth is filled with weeping and sorrow. Refugees have nowhere to bow their heads. We pray that the Lord will have mercy on us.

    Our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church has always preached love between nations. We especially wanted peace and harmony between the Russian and Ukrainian peoples. We wanted these peoples to live as good neighbours: in respect for each other, patience with each other and in love. We have been, and still are insulted for this, they call us all sorts of obscene words and expressions. But we do not pay attention to it. Even today, we want the Russian people and the Ukrainian people to live peacefully with each other.

    Therefore, I appeal to the President of the Russian Federation, I ask Putin: “Vladimir Vladimirovich, do everything to end the war on Ukrainian soil! War does not bring good to the people. War sheds blood, and blood divides people. You can do it, and we believe and want you to do it. We ask that the days of Lent be peaceful for us, that we may gladly celebrate the bright holiday of life – the holiday of the Holy Resurrection of Christ. "

    We know that there are problems between nations, there always have been, and will be. But we have always held the view that we, as God's creatures, endowed with reason and speech, must solve these problems with the help of common sense.

    We call on both sides, the Russian side and the Ukrainian side, to sit down at the negotiating table and solve all the problems that exist between us, and not with the help of the sword. The sword divides, and love unites. We will tolerate each other, respect each other, love God and be one in God. This is a unity that no one and nothing can destroy. But the unity achieved by the sword is short-lived and unreliable. This is human unity and it is falling apart. And the unity that is in God is eternal. I would like there to be unity in God among our peoples, to love one another and to be one in God.

    May the Lord bless us all!

    4/3/2022 (Source. Edited for clarity)


    (The following statement is from the synod of the Church headed by metropolitan Onofriy)

    Beloved in Christ, Most Reverend Bishops, Fathers, Brothers and Sisters!

    Dear Ukrainian people!

    We grieve with great sorrow and pain that the war has come to our native Ukrainian land. We are all having a hard time. Fighting between the troops of the Russian Federation and the Armed Forces of Ukraine continues almost throughout Ukraine, soldiers and civilians are dying, and the number of refugees is growing. Bringing nuclear weapons to a state of heightened combat readiness in general sharply calls into question the prospect of the continued existence of humanity and the world. In such a difficult situation, we call on everyone to be courageous, to strengthen prayer and to unite around the defence of our Motherland.

    Addressing all our defenders today, we want to show that we honour and pray for you, because you, sacrificing your life, effectively testify to how you can directly fulfil the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: There is no greater love than this, if anyone will lay down his life for his neighbours (John 15:13).

    For our part, we reiterate that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has always supported and continues to support the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We fully share the pain and suffering of our people. On these important days, all the churches and monasteries of our Church have especially intensified prayers for an end to the war and the restoration of peace in Ukraine. With the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy, the dioceses and monasteries provide comprehensive assistance to refugees and all those affected by the fighting. Our temples are open 24 hours a day for those who need protection during the shelling. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is expanding its mission every day to help all those in need.

    Aware of our special spiritual responsibility, today we turn to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. Your Holiness! We ask you to intensify your prayers for the long-suffering Ukrainian people, to speak out for the cessation of fratricidal bloodshed on Ukrainian soil, and to call on the leadership of the Russian Federation to immediately cease hostilities that threaten to turn into a world war.

    We also appeal to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky and the President of the Russian Federation Volodymyr Volodymyrovych Putin. On behalf of the multi-million flock of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, we ask you to do everything possible to put an end to the sin of armed confrontation between our two fraternal peoples and to begin the negotiation process. This terrible war has already dealt a severe blow to relations between the Ukrainian and Russian peoples. If the bloodshed is not stopped immediately, the chasm between our peoples may remain forever.

    Ukrainian People, brothers and sisters! We hope that common sense will prevail and this war will end soon. We ask each of you to keep peace with each other and not succumb to provocations. Help each other, take care of each other. It is also important not to incite enmity between us. Only in unity is our strength. We ask the Lord to enlighten the rulers with the light of His grace. We believe that the man-loving Lord will accept our prayers and forgive us our sins. And in the near future the peace of God will reign again on our blessed Ukrainian land!

    28/2/2022 (Source. Edited for clarity)


    Unfortunately, Russia has launched military operations against Ukraine, and at this fateful time, I urge you not to panic, be courageous and show love for your homeland and for each otherFirst, I call on you to pray hard for Ukraine, for our army and our people, I ask you to forget mutual strife and misunderstandings and unite with love for God and for our homeland.

    At this tragic time, we extend our special love and support to our soldiers who stand guard and protect and protect our land and our peopleMay God bless and protect them!

    Defending the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine, we also appeal to the Russian President and ask him to immediately stop the fratricidal war. The Ukrainian and Russian peoples came out of the Dnieper baptismal font and the war between these peoples is a repetition of Cain's sin, who out of envy killed his own brother. Such a war has no justification either from God or from people.

    I call on everyone to use common sense, which teaches us to solve our earthly problems in mutual dialogue and mutual understanding, and sincerely hope that God will forgive us our sins and God's peace will reign on our earth and around the world!

    24-2-2024 (Source. Edited for clarity)

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    Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk

    [Metropolitan Hilarion was replaced in his role as head of External Relations for the Russian Orthodox Church in June, and his title was changed from Volokolamsk to Budapest and Hungary]

    Comment on the decision of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (MP)

    The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church had a judgment on the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church held on May 27 in Kiev and expressed its full support to its arch-pastors, pastors, monastics and laity due to the fact that it is subjected to unprecedented pressure from various sides: from extremist groups, on the part of schismatic structures, on the part of local authorities, who sometimes simply prohibit the activities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in specific regions of Ukraine, as well as on the part of nationalist-minded circles of the Ukrainian public.

    The Synod stated that the status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was determined by the Diploma of His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia of 1990. It is this Diploma that is the canonical foundation on which the building of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is being built.

    It was noted that the amendments adopted by the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and introduced into its Statute require consideration by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church. We have not considered these amendments now, as they have not yet been made public.

    The Holy Synod expressed regret over the fact that in a number of dioceses of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church the prayer commemoration of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia is being discontinued, which has already led to divisions within the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

    Commenting on these decisions of the Holy Synod, I would like to say not about what happened in Kyiv, but about what did not happen there. There is an opinion that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church separated from the Russian Orthodox Church. This is not true. There was no statement about separation from the Russian Orthodox Church. No statement was made that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church would have any new status; on the contrary, it once again confirmed that it has the status of independence and self-sufficiency, which was given to it back in 1990.

    We must understand the context within which these decisions were made in Kyiv. It is connected with the fact that for many years the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been denied the right to be called as it calls itself. They are trying to force it to be called the “Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine”, and the goal of this is to re-register all parishes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and alienate them in favor of a schismatic structure.

    In the context of everything that is happening today in Ukraine, in the context of the unprecedented pressure that is being exerted on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, one should perceive what is happening.

    The entirety of the Russian Orthodox Church prays and will continue to pray for the suffering and persecuted Ukrainian Orthodox Church. We believe that the Lord takes care of His Church and, according to His promise, the gates of hell will not prevail against her.

    29/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from an interview

    E. Gracheva: The current news, which is now being discussed by all the media, concerns possible sanctions against the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. The European Union proposes to impose sanctions against him. White House press secretary Jen Psaki does not rule out that sanctions are possible from the United States of America. Earlier, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry has already spoken out for such a possibility. Let me remind you that the Verkhovna Rada already has Decree No. 7332, according to which sanctions have been imposed not only against the Patriarch, but also against you. How can you comment on the fact that these restrictions of the West have already reached the non-secular people of the Russian Federation?

    Metropolitan Hilarion: Firstly, it is not a draft law that has been submitted to the Verkhovna Rada, but only a proposal that has been made. As for me, I have long been deprived of the right to enter Ukraine. As for His Holiness the Patriarch, I think that no sanctions will prevent him from continuing his activities, which are aimed at consolidating Russian society, at the pastoral care of the entire multi-million flock of the Russian Orthodox Church and at the speedy achievement of peace between the fraternal Slavic peoples.

    It must be understood, of course, that in the West the statements of the Patriarch are viewed through the prism of propaganda carried out in the media, and Western politicians cannot adequately assess these statements. Therefore, if they impose sanctions, this, of course, is their right, we cannot influence this in any way, but these sanctions will not affect the life of the Russian Orthodox Church in any way.

    E. Gracheva: A question from a viewer: “Dear Metropolitan Hilarion, please tell me, have the sanctions already affected you personally?” For my part, I can only concretize this question, as I see it. If the Patriarch, being in Russia, can perform his immediate functions, then you, as the head of the Department for External Church Relations, the Church Ministry of Foreign Affairs, need direct communication with the leaders of the Local Churches: you must travel, communicate. You are an ecclesiastical diplomat. How do you carry out your functions now?

    Metropolitan Hilarion: First, not all countries are closed. There are many countries where you can travel freely, and if necessary, we use this opportunity. Secondly, the opportunities for guests from the Local Orthodox Churches, as well as from non-Orthodox Churches and Christian associations to come to Russia are not closed. Thirdly, there are many ways to communicate remotely, which are used, among other things, by the Patriarch and other heads of the Churches, that is, now the technical capabilities make it possible to communicate directly without leaving the borders of their country.

    E. Gracheva: Here is another important piece of news from Italy. The Pope gave an interview to Corriere della sera. Speaking about his communication with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the Pope commented on the results of the conversation that took place on March 16: “I spoke with Kirill for 40 minutes via Zoom. For the first 20 minutes, with a piece of paper in his hand, he read to me all sorts of justifications for the special operation. I listened and said: Brother, I don't understand anything about this. We are shepherds of the same holy people of God and cannot use the language of politics, but only the language of Jesus.” Regarding the meeting with the Patriarch, the Pope said: “We were supposed to meet in Jerusalem on June 14th. This would be our second personal meeting, in no way connected with the events, but now he also agrees: it’s better to stop, this may be a dubious signal.” How would you comment on this interview with Pope Francis? As head of the Department for External Church Relations, do you agree that now any meeting between the Pope and the Patriarch, even virtual via videoconference, could be perceived as a dubious signal? Why?

    Metropolitan Hilarion:I, too, with a piece of paper in my hand, will comment on this issue, since it is very delicate. I must say that the conversation between the Pope and the Patriarch took place on March 16, that is, a month and a half has already passed. We had this conversation recorded, and after it took place, we did not publish the details of this conversation, because it was not supposed that it would be some kind of public conversation. But after the Pope presented this conversation in this vein, we decided to publish its details. The Patriarch told the Pope something like this: You are receiving certain information from the Western media about what is happening in Ukraine. I will tell you something that you may not know. Then he spoke about the background of the current conflict, about the events in the Donbass in 2014. He especially dwelled on the events in Odessa, which led to mass discontent among the Russian-speaking population and provoked, in turn, the events in the Donbass. Then he spoke about the expansion of NATO to the East: that NATO approached St. Petersburg within a few minutes of flight time, and if Ukraine joined NATO, then it would approach Moscow at a distance of several minutes of flight time warheads, nuclear or otherwise). Finally, he spoke about the most important thing: that his flock is on both sides of the conflict, that his heart aches for what is happening. Approximately in this spirit, the Patriarch stated his vision of the events taking place. To which the Pope replied in the way that the Vatican news service at that time correctly presented. 

    As a witness and participant in that conversation, I remember well that the atmosphere was very friendly, there was no disagreement between the Pope and the Patriarch or dissatisfaction from one side or another. It was a brotherly conversation. Although, perhaps, the parties remained at their views.

    E. Gracheva: In an interview with Corriere della sera, Pope Francis says that he urged the Patriarch to speak not the language of politicians, but the language of Jesus. Is it possible in the current acute circumstances, in the context of the special operation taking place in Ukraine, to discuss these events in the language of Jesus?

    Metropolitan Hilarion: A pastor always perceives events from a Christian point of view, through the prism of the Holy Gospel. That is why the assessments given by the pastor always differ from those given by politicians. After all, the scenario of political events and the scenario of military actions are written without the participation of the Church. What the Church can do, she does, first of all, to help people.

    We see what tremendous work the Russian Orthodox Church has launched under the leadership of the Patriarch to help the suffering, primarily to help those refugees who are now on the territory of Russia, and there are already more than a million of them. We see what a huge work the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is doing with internally displaced persons on the territory of Ukraine. We see how the Local Orthodox Churches, in particular in Poland and Romania, respond to the misfortune that befell people who turned out to be refugees, and how they help the refugees. Here, in fact, is the work that the Church can do, must do and is doing in the conditions of political confrontation. And the Church, of course, cannot directly influence the course of negotiations or the course of hostilities.

    13/05/2022 (Source)


    Statements on Church and World television programme

    Pope Francis of Rome is speaking out about the Ukrainian topic in a very balanced way because he is aware of not only the present history of the conflict but also its pre-history, which goes back to the events of 2014

    11/04/2022 (Source)


    Response to letter from the Comission of the Bishop's Conferences of the European Union

    These days, prayers and thoughts of millions of Christians across the world are concerned with the dramatic developments in the longsuffering land of Ukraine. It is completely obvious that the current conflict cannot be resolved through yet another public statement, already made in large numbers.

    The relationship between the West and Russia have reached a deadlock, resulting in the loss of mutual trust and capacity to hear each other. In this situation, it is essential to renounce the rhetoric of ultimatum, establish channels of dialogue and organise official and unofficial negotiations that can help achieve a just peace. As Christians we are called to further this cause by our prayers and work.

    For eight years now, during every Liturgy, the Russian Orthodox Church has been offering a prayer for the cessation of the conflict in the Ukrainian land. In view of the recent developments, a special prayer for the soonest restoration of peace has been included in the Divine Liturgy.

    (…)

    Today His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia does much to restore peace and trust, in the Ukrainian land in particular, working hard every day to make this happen. The most important thing in this situation is to do everything in our power to make sure that the direct negotiations continue, producing a result in the shortest possible time, and that the relationships between the West and Russia still have a potential for dialogue.

    (…)

    17/3/2022 (Source)


    During an interview

    There are different views. Some people believe that we are one people, while others believe that we are two peoplesBut whatever the answer to this issue, we are fraternal peoples, we have been born in one baptismal font of St. Prince Vladimir Equal-to-the-Apostle. Nothing would ever break down this unity. Therefore, the forces acting against our unity are acting against the Church and against God.

    14/3/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from a speech on “the invasion of the Patriarchate of Constantinople into Ukraine”

    The invasion of the Patriarchate of Constantinople into Ukraine has become one of the most acute and dangerous challenges for the Russian Orthodox Church in recent decades. It is providential that it was precisely at this difficult moment that such an experienced and strong-willed leader as His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia turned out to be at the helm of our Church. The theme of preserving the unity of the Church was a priority for him even when he was chairman of the Department for External Church Relations, and it remains so throughout all the years of his Patriarchate.

    It cannot be said that the actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine in 2018 came as a complete surprise to the Russian Church. We knew about Constantinople’s plans to tear Ukraine away from the Russian Orthodox Church even before the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople announced the start of preparations for granting autocephaly in April 2018. Our Church tried to resist this intention, including as part of the preparations for the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, which continued in those years.

    (…)

    2017 was remembered for a remarkable episode related to the appeal of the leader of the Ukrainian schism, Filaret Denisenko, to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and the episcopate of the Russian Orthodox Church with a request to lift the bans and restore church communion. It should be noted that from the very beginning of the schism in Ukraine, the Russian Church has repeatedly appealed to the schismatics with calls to repentance, maintained contacts, and constantly looked for opportunities for negotiations. And when he was the chairman of the DECR, and having already ascended the Patriarchal cathedra, His Holiness the Patriarch personally led this process and took the liveliest and most active part in it. This work in Ukraine was carried out in extremely unfavorable and sometimes dangerous political conditions. For example, in 2010, on the eve of the visit of His Holiness the Patriarch to Ukraine, two prominent schismatic "hierarchs" died under unclear circumstances – "Metropolitan of Lvov and Sokal" Andrey Horak and "Archbishop of Drogobych and Sambir" Theodosius Petsina, with whom agreements were reached on their return to the Church, which could be the beginning of the abolition of the split in Ukraine. Many experts openly expressed doubts about the natural nature of their deaths. The appeal of Filaret Denisenko gave a new chance to heal the schism, and therefore was received in the Russian Church benevolently and considered on its merits. In November 2017, a corresponding Determination of the Council of Bishops, a special commission was created. Unfortunately, under pressure from the Poroshenko regime, Filaret was forced to disavow his appeal.

    (…)

    Soon a delegation of the Patriarchate of Constantinople began to visit one after another the Primates of the Local Churches to discuss the initiative to grant autocephaly to Ukraine. However, none of them supported the plans of Constantinople. The delegation from Constantinople also visited Moscow, where it was received by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill. At the meeting, His Holiness confirmed the readiness of the Russian Church for a conciliar discussion of all the problems facing the Church.

    Also, on the basis of objective statistics on the number of church communities in Ukraine, the Primate of the Russian Church clearly demonstrated to Patriarch Bartholomew that his information about the alleged support of the schism by the majority of Orthodox Ukrainians is unreliable, and the data of opinion polls presented to him are fictitious, custom-made. His Holiness the Patriarch drew the attention of Patriarch Bartholomew to the purely political nature of the autocephalous project, which was being prepared for the start of the election campaign of the then President of Ukraine P. Poroshenko. He pointed out to the Constantinople side the consolidation of the episcopate, clergy and believers of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and warned that there would not and could not be any “wave of transitions” promised by the Ukrainian authorities then

    Taking into account the extremely poor awareness of the Constantinople side about the history and current situation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which was noticeable from the statements of the Phanar and statements during the negotiations, His Holiness the Patriarch proposed to jointly study the issue of the jurisdiction of the Kiev Metropolis with the involvement of competent specialists. Unfortunately, the Primate of Constantinople answered all our arguments and proposals only that he did not have time. Ukrainian autocephaly was being prepared in extreme haste, in an attempt to keep up with the momentary political situation.

    In December 2018, the so-called “unification council” of schismatic denominations was held. The council was held under strong pressure from the Poroshenko regime, who was personally present at the presidium of the event, and under the control of the Constantinople side. Despite the sharp contradictions between the participants in the event and the unanimous refusal of the episcopate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to participate in it (with the exception of one diocesan and one vicar bishop), the alleged “unification” of Ukrainian Orthodoxy was announced. In January 2019, the newly created schismatic structure was recognized by the Patriarchate of Constantinople and received the status of the so-called "autocephaly".

    Instead of the promised “unification” of Orthodoxy in Ukraine, the anti-canonical actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople led to the actual legalization and institutionalization of the Ukrainian schism, which soon split in two again. Moreover, the possibilities of actually healing the split in Ukraine were undermined. The emergence of schismatic "autocephaly" in Ukraine provoked a wave of seizures of churches of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and cases of mass violence against its communities, and greatly increased pressure on its episcopate, clergy and believers.

    As for the Church of Alexandria, it must be added that soon after the recognition of the schism by Patriarch Theodore, African clerics who disagreed with this began to turn to us with a request to be accepted into our Church. However, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill believed that one should not rush, hoping that the Patriarch of Alexandria would change his mind. Unfortunately, this did not happen; moreover, the Primate of the Church of Alexandria went further and co-served with the head of the Ukrainian schismatics. This circumstance compelled our Church to form the Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa for those many African clerics who wish to protect themselves from communion with schismHis Holiness set out in detail the position of the Russian Church in the messages sent to Patriarch Theodore, one of which was recently published.

    The latest events in Ukraine have been a new test for the unity of our Church and all Orthodoxy.

    The overwhelming majority of the Local Orthodox Churches have taken a balanced peacekeeping position in relation to what is happening. Many Churches have focused their efforts on providing humanitarian assistance to war victims and refugees. Against this background, statements by representatives of the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Alexandria stand out, using the current tragic situation to promote the autocephalous project in Ukraine and to popularize Epiphanius Dumenko and the schismatic community he leads. These signals indicate that a tense struggle for church unity awaits us ahead.

    14/03/2022 (Source)

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    Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk - Head of External Affairs for Russian Orthodox Church

    Comments of Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk on the adoption of the WCC statement ‘War in Ukraine, peace and justice in the European region

    Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate and head of the Russian Orthodox Church delegation at the 11th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Karlsruhe, Germany, delivered his comments on the adoption of the WCC document ‘War in Ukraine, peace and justice in the European region’.

    The delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church could not support by voting the statement made by the WCC Assembly on ‘War in Ukraine, peace and justice in the European region’.

    At the same time, it is with cautious optimism that we evaluate the stand taken by the World Council of Churches. Despite an unprecedented political pressure made on it during the drafting of a document on the Ukrainian conflict - which was expressed, among other things, in the speech of President of Germany F.-W. Steinmeier and in statements of some other persons who called to expel the Russian Church from the WCC – it refused to bring any accusations against the Russian Orthodox Church and recognized the importance of her large-scale humanitarian mission carried out with a blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to give support to refugees and those affected by the conflict.

    Unfortunately, the final document has remained considerably politicized. It has excluded all the proposals made by the Russian Church, which prevents us from supporting it. At the same time, we believe that the discussion, which took place during the Assembly, can become for the WCC a starting point for an objective and unprejudiced study of the causes of the longstanding conflict in Ukraine just as for subsequent peace-making efforts.

    We also regret that the drafters of the document did not take into consideration the proposal of representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to condemn the violent mass seizures of churches belonging to the canonical Church carried out by the so-called ‘OCU’. We hope that the World Council of Churches will undertake further actions to study this problem.

    08/09/2022 (Source)

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    Volodymyr Zelensky - President of Ukraine

    Mr. Zelensky is not a religious leader, however this speech has explicit religious references, which is why I am including it here.

    Presidential address on Forgiveness Sunday

    Today is Forgiveness Sunday. A day when we always apologized. To each other. To all people. To God. But today, it seems, many have not mentioned this day at all. Have not mentioned the obligatory words: "Forgive me." And the obligatory answer: "God forgives, and I forgive." These words seem to have lost their meaning today. At least in part. After everything we went through.

    We will not forgive the destroyed houses. We will not forgive the missile that our air defense shot down over Okhmatdyt today. And more than five hundred other such missiles that hit our land. All over Ukraine. Hit our people and children.

    We will not forgive the shooting of unarmed people. Destruction of our infrastructure.

    We. Will. Not. Forgive. Hundreds and hundreds of victims. Thousands and thousands of sufferings. And God will not forgive. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never. And instead of Forgiveness, there will be a Day of Judgment.

    I'm sure of it.

    It seems everything Russian servicemen have already done is still not enough for them. Not enough ruined destinies. Mutilated lives. They want to kill even more.

    Tomorrow Russia has officially announced the shelling of our territory. Our enterprises. Defense complex. Most were built decades ago. By the Soviet government. Built in cities. And now they are in the middle of an ordinary urban environment. Thousands of people work there. Hundreds of thousands live nearby.

    This is murder. Deliberate murder.

    And I have not heard a reaction from any world leader today. From any Western politician. Reaction to this announcement. Think about the sense of impunity of the invaders: they announce their planned atrocities. Why?

    Because there is no reaction. Because there is silence. Not a word, as if Western leaders have dissolved tonight. For this day. I hope that at least tomorrow you will notice it. React. Say something. We know exactly who prepared this attack. We know exactly how orders will follow the vertical command. We know everything.

    And we will not forgive anything. The Tribunal is waiting for you. And God's judgment, if you try to hide.

    The audacity of the aggressor is a clear signal to the West that sanctions against Russia are not enough. Because they didn't understand. Did not feel. They did not see that the world is really determined. Really determined to stop this war. You will not hide from this reality.

    You will not hide from new murders in Ukraine.

    There was a lot of talk about humanitarian corridors. There were talks every day about the opportunity for people to leave the cities where Russia came. Russian military.

    I am grateful to every Ukrainian who stays to defend our cities, even in the encirclement. Our freedom.

    But I also know that there are people who really need to get out, those who cannot stay. And we heard the promise that there would be humanitarian corridors. But there are no humanitarian corridors.

    Instead of humanitarian corridors, they can only make bloody ones.

    A family was killed in Irpen today. A man, a woman and two children. Right on the road. As in the shooting club. When they were just trying to get out of town. To escape.

    The whole family. How many such families have died in Ukraine! We will not forgive. We will not forget.

    We will punish everyone who committed atrocities in this war. On our land. We will find every bastard. Which shot at our cities, our people. Which bombed our land. Which launched rockets. Which gave the order and pressed "start".

    There will be no quiet place on this earth for you. Except for the grave.

    06/03/2022 (Source)

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    Bishop Markos Hovhannisyan, Ukrainian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church

    From the very first days, our community expressed its civic position on the war: to be defenders of the city where our faithful live. It's moral, it's natural, and it's spiritual. Our spiritual support, our prayers for Ukraine continue, whether private or within the framework of the AUCCR, we pray for the achievement of God's peace, which every person deserves. Our parishioners provide humanitarian support to our relatives: our bakeries are working, our restaurateurs have switched to providing lunches to those in need. Some of our faithful are in the ranks of the territorial defence and have already passed away in this service. The situation is difficult, but our faith does not leave us, our civic position does not weaken, because we are an integral part of Ukrainian society, because here is our thousand-year successful history, here is part of our culture and our spiritual heritage

    19/03/2022 (Source)

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    Bartholomew I - Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople

    Besides the words below, Patriarch Bartholomew has had many gestures of support for the Ukrainian people, including telephone calls to Ukrainian authorities and a visit to the Ukrainian Consul-general in Istanbul.

    Excerpt of message on the Day for the Protection of Creation

    This year, the celebration of the Day of the protection of creation are accompanied by the sound of weapons in Ukraine, by the cry of the victims of military violence, the bombardment of cities and infrastructures, the groaning of nature and moaning of refugees. Every war is a humanitarian and ecological catastrophe. The ongoing violence, beyond the thousands of human lives, also destroys the natural environment that it pollutes, forcing nations and peoples to return to ways of securing energy efficiency through means that are unfriendly to the environment. Thus, humanity enters a new vicious cycle of destructive impasses, which confirm the saying that homo sapiens to this day continues to behave simultaneously as homo demens, as imprudent and irrational.

    01/09/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of press conference by Ecumenical Patriarch

    I have expressed the position of the Ecumenical Patriarchate since the beginning of this painful war. I said that it is unjustified and unacceptable. His Beatitude the Patriarch of Moscow said that it was a holy war and tried to justify it and explain it in spiritual and religious terms. But I have allowed myself to correct it and say that it is not a holy war but an unholy and evil war. When thousands of new soldiers are killed on both sides, and not only soldiers but also civilians, how can we bless this war with our two hands, as the Blessed Patriarch of Moscow unfortunately does?

    29/08/2022 (Source)


    Message on the Day of Ukrainian Independence

    From the centre of Orthodoxy, the Phanar, we are addressing all of you, beloved spiritual children, on this special day, the twenty-fourth of August, 2022, the thirty-first anniversary of Ukraine’s declaration of independence. We offer heartfelt greetings and our paternal love to you all at this difficult time as you defend your homeland from a foreign invader.

    History has bound Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate since the end of the tenth century, when the Holy Prince Vladimir, like “a merchant in search of fine pearls,” sent emissaries to Constantinople, where he found Christ, the priceless pearl. Since then, the Mother Church of Constantinople has always been at your side, sharing your joys and sorrows.

    By the grace of God, during these days last year, we had the honour to partake in the Independence Day celebrations in Kyiv during our first Patriarchal Visit to your hospitable country after the Holy and Great Church of Christ granted the Tomos of Autocephaly to your Church.

    Last year was a time of celebration and rejoicing. But unfortunately, when you were looking for good, evil came; when you waited for light, darkness came, days of affliction came to meet you (cf. Job 30:26-27). With great sadness and horror, last February, we learned of the unjustified aggression against your country by the Russian Federation, a gross violation of international law. Since then, we have been anxiously following the war’s progression and its political, economic, sociological, and ecological consequences.

    It is our conviction that no Church or Christian can justify or support any form of aggression by using religious language. Called to be peacemakers, genuine Christians must support all initiatives to prevent conflict via dialogue, which fosters understanding and reconciliation.

    Constantly lifting our prayers to the Mother of God to grant justice and peace to Ukraine, we petition our Lord that no one be filled with anguish for their families. Furthermore, we beseech the Almighty that their heroic sons and daughters will not die defending their native land.

    The virtuous Ukrainian people did not attack anyone, but were forced to defend their land and homes. May the All-Merciful Lord strengthen all of you to endure these many distresses and bear this heavy cross. Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, said: “Where I am, there My servant will be also.” (John 12:26). You must know that God is always with you, that this evil and ungodly war will end; evil will never overcome good; darkness will never overcome light. After suffering and torment, the light of Christ will shine, and peace will reign in Ukraine.

    In March, we visited Ukrainian refugees in Poland in a spirit of solidarity to bring them solace and hope, trying to awaken the international community’s conscience to this tragedy that is taking place in Europe. Today, with much paternal love, we console you and bestow on you all – civil and ecclesiastical authorities, the armed forces, selfless medical professionals, educators, refugees throughout the world, all Ukrainian citizens and everyone of goodwill – our Patriarchal blessing, wishing you all that “the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways and may be with you all” (2 Thess. 3:16).

    24/08/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of Letter to Pope Francis on the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul

    How precious the testimony of the two Apostles by the incarnation of the Gospel principle of non-violence is to us today, when the whole world suffers at this time from the political, economic, and ecological consequences of war at the door of Europe between two Christian peoples, resulting from the illegal invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. The Churches cannot remain silent in the face of this tragedy of humanity. Called to be peacemakers, under no circumstances can they use religious language to justify or support aggression, violence, or war. On the contrary, they should support all initiatives and efforts to prevent conflicts through dialogue, which transforms all threats into opportunities and fosters peace, reconciliation, and solidarity. They are no losers in sincere dialogue.

    30/6/2022 (Source)


    Sermon at the Church of Saints Constantine and Helen

    Let us not be discouraged, then, and do not be disappointed when we are called into our lives to bear various crosses, sorrows and trials. This is the message we are sending tonight to the beloved and tested children of the Mother Church in Ukraine. All these difficulties and problems can be overcome by believing in the power of the Cross of the Lord

    20/05/2022 (Source)

    Excerpt from speech at the Meeting for the Promotion of Common Values ​​among the Believers of Religions

    Future generations are entitled to a life in dignity, to a world free of hatred and violence, unspoiled by pollution and natural devastation, a society of peace and fraternity. At these crucial moments that the world is experiencing following the war in Ukraine, we appeal to the responsible authorities and international organizations and all people of goodwill to strive for the end of all hostilities and the establishment of just and sustainable peace.

    11/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts of interview with Kathimerini Kyprou

    What is happening in Ukraine is a tragedy, it is a shame that will stigmatize those who caused it, those who turned out to have no fear of GodHoly Week does not seem to be over for the war-torn Ukrainian people, for the mothers, and for both sides mourning their children. And yet, Christ is Risen.

    Of course [the prolongation of the war] worries us. And it hurts us deeply… We have said many times that war is not the solution. It should not even be the last resort. The way to resolve any dispute should be dialogue, and only dialogue. I would not like to comment on the attitude and choices of the Russian political leadership, which is judged by its results, and I am sure that it will be judged further in the near and distant future by other persons and institutions and, of course, by history itself, whose pages are currently written in the blood of the innocent victims of this war. However, we are convinced that the Russian people, at least our Christian Orthodox brothers, can not agree with what is happening to the detriment of their neighboring Ukrainian people. And we have all seen this with the reaction of a courageous faction that opposes fratricidal war and is in favour of peace.

    [Regarding the attitude of the Patriarch of Moscow] In the face of the death of innocent people, in the bombing of civilians, in the levelling of entire cities, in the face of this human tragedy, sermons cannot be heard that characterize a war as "sacred". This is something very sad. It causes us deep sorrow and pain. But it causes more pain to the Ukrainians themselves. Because you can not claim to be a brother to another people and bless the war waged by your state. You can not insist that Ukraine belongs to you ecclesiastically, but let the faithful of the ecclesiastical structure under Moscow be killed and their temples destroyed by the Russian bombing.

    01/05/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from the Easter Encyclical

    However, even as we are filled with gratitude and joy for this supreme value ascribed to the human being by the Lord of glory, we are disheartened before multifaceted violence, social injustice and infringement of human rights in our time. “The radiant message of the resurrection” and our cry “Christ is Risen!” today reverberate alongside the horrendous sound of weapons, the distressing cries of innocent victims of military aggression and the plight of refugees, among whom there are numerous innocent children. We saw with our own eyes all of these problems during our recent visit to Poland, where the vast majority of Ukrainian refugees has fled. We stand and suffer alongside the pious and courageous people of Ukraine that bear a heavy cross. We pray and strive for peace and justice as well as for all those who are deprived of these. It is unimaginable for us Christians to remain silent before the obliteration of human dignity. Together with the victims of military conflict, the “greatest casualty” of war is humanity, which has not managed to eradicate war in the course of its long history. Not only does war not solve problems; it actually creates new and more complex problems. It sows division and hatred; it increases discord among peoples. We firmly believe that humankind is capable of living without war and violence.

    The Church of Christ innately functions as an agent of peace. Not only does it pray “for the peace from above” and “the peace of the whole world,” but it underlines the importance of every human effort to establish peace. The principal characteristic of a Christian is “peace-making.” Christ blesses the peacemakers, whose struggle is a tangible presence of God in the world and depicts the peace “that surpasses all understanding” (Phil. 4.7) in the “new creation,” the heavenly kingdom of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As judiciously emphasized in the document of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, entitled For the Life of the World, the social ethos of the Orthodox Church, the Church “honors the martyrs for peace as witnesses to the power of love, to the goodness of creation in its first and final forms, and to the ideal of human conduct established by Christ during his earthly ministry” (§ 44).

    22/4/2022 (Source)


    Words spoken during the consecration of Holy Myrrh

    We beseech and implore the Peace of God who voluntarily suffered the Passion for our salvation, our Lord Jesus Christ, to cease by His extraordinary and powerful intervention the horrible and abominable war against the people of Ukraine, in the context of which a demonic crew, unfortunately, have sacrilegiously wielded an impudent weapon against their Orthodox brothers and sisters, ...victimizing and lynching without fear of God, without embarrassment and shame, slaughtering and killing thousands of civilians, disgracing women, insulting holy temples, and burning homes, destroying and razing cities and towns to the ground, and forcing millions of their defenceless brethren, especially women and children, to flee their country! May the Leader of Life shorten the Passion and Calvary of His children and lead them with Him to the peace, tranquillity, light and joy of the Resurrection! And lead also the belligerent invaders of Christian love to sincere repentance, through the light of the Paraclete!

    19/4/2022 (Source)


    Speech during memorial service for Patriarch Gregory V

    We are in favour of the law, in favour of the truth. Law and truth are with Ukraine, that is why we are with Ukraine. The Gospel says: "Know the truth, and the truth shall make you free". We Christians believe that the truth is Christ himself. Christ, then, will liberate Ukraine, which has the truth on its side. We all pray, with all our hearts, for this catastrophic war to end as soon as possible.

    (…)

    This Easter of 2022 will be a bitter Easter for our Ukrainian brothers and not only. Good Friday will pass and Anastasis will come. Those who will not come back will be the thousands of dead, the victims of this war. They, like everyone else, will pray from heaven not only for the freedom and prosperity of Ukraine, but will pray for truth and justice and peace throughout the world. The Mother Church of Constantinople has always loved its spiritual children in Ukraine. Now we love you so much more. Happy Resurrection!

    10/04/2022 (Source)


    Speech to students

    No problem can be solved by war. War does not solve problems, I always say it, repeatedly, war adds new problems.

    (…)

    The Russians, wrongly, wrongly, invaded Ukraine. They may have had fears about the future, about NATO, but there was no specific threat or intervention from Ukraine to push the President of the Russian Federation to take up arms and attack civilians, innocent people, to destroy schools, hospitals, theatres, churches.

    Now some people want to say that because of this headache [the discussion over autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church] the war broke out. As if that were possible! They are looking for an alibi to justify the unjustifiable.

    (…)

    We are very sorry for the attitude of His Beatitude Patriarch Kirill of Russia. He should not have identified so much with President Putin and, in fact, described Russia's war against Ukraine as “sacred”.

    07/04/2022 (Source)


    Speech during welcome ceremony, on visit to Poland

    My visit here is neither any jubilant nor some festive occasion. My exclusive focus these days is to stand in solidarity and prayer with the millions of refugees who have been forcibly displaced by the ongoing unjustified and unjustifiable aggression as well as the horrendous and costly violence caused by Russia on their sovereign homeland of Ukraine.

    I am here to meet with some of the many refugees and to encourage those who are demonstrating the ultimate Christian virtue of love for their neighbour and charity for every stranger, in whom we are called to witness and welcome Christ Himself.

    What I would like to emphasize first of all, Mr. President, is my personal gratitude – but especially the appreciation of the Orthodox faithful, and indeed the admiration of every decent human being – for the generous and compassionate hospitality of your historical and magnificent nation to those who were forced to flee Ukraine. The people of Poland understand very well what it means to suffer from war. But above and beyond this, the citizens of Poland respect the gifts of freedom – freedom of speech, freedom of education, freedom of economy, freedom of worship, and freedom of living.

    Let me assure You that the entire world has watched as Poland – and other surrounding nations within this blessed continent – has literally opened the borders of its land and the depths of its heart to receive and comfort women and children, elderly and unaccompanied minors, and even pets. You did not just consign your refugee neighbours to tents and camps; you embraced them in your places of residence and your living rooms.

    All of them are distressed about the past and fearful about the future. All of them need our reassurance and assistance, our support and encouragement. All of them are vulnerable to hunger and homelessness but also to exploitation and trafficking. And in the middle of this unbelievable and unacceptable crisis, the state and people of Poland stand out as a model of decency, of philanthropy, and of hospitality.

    May God bless all of you and your loved ones abundantly. May all humankind learn from and imitate your extraordinary example. Only such genuine love and unconditional solidarity can conquer any and all evil and darkness in our world.

    28/3/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from the sermon on the second Sunday of Lent

    Dear Christians, war can and should never be an option for resolving any disputes. Weapons scatter death and, of course, do not discriminate. They kill everyone. This is evidenced by the tragic images that have been going around the world for the last twenty-five days.

    Unfortunately, the invaders of Ukraine, a sovereign and independent state, seem to seek the utter humiliation of their proud, loyal and brotherly Ukrainian people, who are fighting heroically and sacrificially for their freedom. At the same time, however, those who chose the path of war are leading their own youth to doom. Several thousand Russian soldiers have lost their lives. Because its effects are already being experienced by ordinary people on both sides. Ukrainian and Russian mothers have been separated from their children who went to war, and many of them are already, unfortunately, mourning their loss.

    We seize the opportunity of our presence here to shout once again with all our might: stop this horror! Stop the war now! Enough of this Madness! How much more blood will our earth withstand? How many more dead will she fit in her womb? How many more tears will water her soil?

    20/03/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from the sermon on Triumph of Orthodoxy Sunday

    With all our hearts, we are watching the drama of the Ukrainian people, and at the same time we are admiring their strong resistance to the invaderWe also note with satisfaction the brave reaction of Russian citizens to the bloodshed. We call for an immediate ceasefire on all fronts of the war. Violence and war not only do not resolve disputes, but cause pain and death and create more complex problems. The invasion and the war must end immediately, and a new opportunity must be given to dialogue, preeminent vehicle of reconciliation and peaceOn the other hand, the Charter of the United Nations, this "Gospel of the Nations" as it is called, explicitly prohibits the use of force in international relations and commits all members of the Organization to settle their disputes by peaceful means. "War is a violation of international law, which is now a 'law of peace.'"

    13/03/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from HH homily at the opening liturgy for the Great Lent

    Throughout these days, the pious people of Ukraine carry their own weighty Cross, as they suffer the unspeakable abuses of an unprovoked, irrational and hostile war, which propagates pain and death. Co-suffering with our tested brethren and children, we intensify our supplication to the Lord of mercy and God of peace, unto the immediate cessation of this conflict and the prevalence of justice and peace, which are a foretaste of the redeemed joy of the Kingdom of God.

    3/3/2022 (Source)


    Interview with CNN Turkey

    I saw that Ukraine is extremely pleased and proud of its independence. Being able to break away from the Soviet Union and establish their own independent country is an honor and privilege for them, and they celebrated this wholeheartedly last August. President Zelensky hosted a dinner in my honor on the first evening I arrived, and explained the situation in his homeland. He expressed his gratitude towards our Ecumenical Patriarchate. We have given the independent country of Ukraine an independent church.

    How much was this act of our Patriarchate appreciated? Under today's conditions, we see that our Patriarchate acted very early and we did a very good job. We upset our Russian brothers, but this had to happen. Orthodox people in all Balkan countries were attached to our Patriarchate for a long period of time. But there came a point in time when all those churches received their independence from our Ecumenical Patriarchate. Ukraine well deserved it.

    Now we see that some Ukrainian clergy do not want to mention the name of the Russian patriarch, Kyril, in their services. They see him as the religious leader of the enemy country. They gradually break away from that church and move on to the new autocephalous church. We are happy about it or not. Because this is the result of war. One would wish that the Russian church would not show such hostility towards our Patriarchate and towards me, and accept our canonical action.

    Unfortunately, the Russian Patriarchate did not accept our decision. Our Patriarchate and I personally became their target. The whole world is against Russia. We are entering a new era of cold war. The distance between Russia and not only Ukraine but the whole Western world, Russia and the Western world is getting bigger. It means that we are entering a new cold war period. Anyone who thinks right and acts right does not want this situation, this new cold war period. As a religious institution, our Patriarchate, has always been in favour of peace and unity, and we continue to do so. We have especially strengthened our prayers these days.

    02/03/2022 (Source)


    Today, Monday, 28 February 2022, His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, accompanied by His Eminence Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon and the V. Rev. Grand Syncellus Iakovos, went to the local Consulate General of Ukraine and expressed the unreserved sympathy, support and solidarity of the Mother Church to the Consul General, Mr. Roman Nedilskyi, his collaborators, the large local Ukrainian Community and the entire heroic people of their country. He simultaneously assured them of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s constant prayers for the prevalence of peace, the preservation of Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity, an immediate ceasefire and the cessation of intrusion of foreign forces into it.

    The Consul General thanked His All-Holiness for this renewed loving expression of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and comprehensively informed those present regarding the current developments and the progress of the negotiations underway.

    At the Ecumenical Patriarchate, 28 February 2022

    From the Chief Secretariat of the Holy and Sacred Synod

    28/2/2022 (Source)


    Even in the most unfavorable circumstances, such as today, where the world community is following with horror Russia’s, beyond every sense of law and morality, military attack and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, an independent and sovereign state, or perhaps even more so now as the fiercest conflict since the time of World War II unfolds in Europe, in our neighborhood, we direct our prayers to the Lord Jesus, the Ruler of peace, asking Him with a fervent soul that He “will give strength to His people” and “bless His people with peace” (cf. Psalm 27:11). The Holy Great Church of Christ unceasingly chants the angelic hymn throughout the ages: “peace on earth and good will to men.”

    Indeed, during the last few days, a tragic humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in Ukraine. A war, which, like any war, is an abominable and reprehensible situation. It is the domination of irrationality over reason, hatred over love, darkness over light, death over life.

    Again, from this position, we address another plea to end the war now! To immediately stop any act of violence, anything that spreads pain and death. Let reason prevail, love for fellow human beings, reconciliation and solidarity, the light of the Risen Christ, the gift of life.

    We express our full sympathy to our brother, the Primate of the Church of Ukraine, His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphanios of Kyiv, and our unwavering support to all the seriously suffering Ukrainian people, who have a deep faith in God and chose to live freely and to determine their own lives, as every nation deserves. Although, unfortunately, some have come, these days, to the point of questioning even their historical and national existence.

    Our thoughts are constantly with the wounded and with the families of the innocent victims, irrespective of their ethnic identity, and we pray for the rest of their souls to the Lord of Life and Death. We are certain that the Lord will hear our prayers and will not abandon his beloved children in Ukraine.

    27/2/2022 (Source)

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    Pope Francis

    Even before speaking officially, after the Angelus prayer on 27 February, Pope Francis made several important gestures in favour of peace, including an unprecedented visit to the Russian Embassy to the Vatican, and a telephone call to the President of Ukraine and to the leader of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church. He also published a number of tweets in Ukrainian and in Russian.

    Angelus

    The course of the war in Ukraine has become so serious, devastating and threatening, as to cause great concern. Therefore, today I would like to devote the entire reflection before the Angelus to this. Indeed, this terrible and inconceivable wound to humanity, instead of healing, continues to shed even more blood, risking to spread further.

    I am saddened by the rivers of blood and tears spilled in these months. I am saddened by the thousands of victims, especially children, and the destruction which has left many people and families homeless and threaten vast territories with cold and hunger. Certain actions can never be justified, never! It is disturbing that the world is learning the geography of Ukraine through names such as Bucha, Irpin, Mariupol, Izium, Zaparizhzhia and other areas, which have become places of indescribable suffering and fear. And what about the fact that humanity is once again faced with the atomic threat? It is absurd.

    What is to happen next? How much blood must still flow for us to realize that war is never a solution, only destruction? In the name of God and in the name of the sense of humanity that dwells in every heart, I renew my call for an immediate ceasefire. Let there be a halt to arms, and let us seek the conditions for negotiations that will lead to solutions that are not imposed by force, but consensual, just and stable. And they will be so if they are based on respect for the sacrosanct value of human life, as well as the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each country, and the rights of minorities and legitimate concerns.

    I deeply deplore the grave situation that has arisen in recent days, with further actions contrary to the principles of international law. It increases the risk of nuclear escalation, giving rise to fears of uncontrollable and catastrophic consequences worldwide.

    My appeal is addressed first and foremost to the President of the Russian Federation, imploring him to stop this spiral of violence and death, also for the sake of his own people. On the other hand, saddened by the immense suffering of the Ukrainian people as a result of the aggression they have suffered, I address an equally confident appeal to the President of Ukraine to be open to serious proposals for peace. I urge all the protagonists of international life and the political leaders of nations to do everything possible to bring an end to the war, without allowing themselves to be drawn into dangerous escalations, and to promote and support initiatives for dialogue. Please let the younger generations breathe the salutary air of peace, not the polluted air of war, which is madness!

    After seven months of hostilities, let us use all diplomatic means, even those that may not have been used so far, to bring an end to this terrible tragedy. War in itself is an error and a horror!

    Let us trust in the mercy of God, who can change hearts, and in the maternal intercession of the Queen of Peace, as we raise our Supplication to Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompei, spiritually united with the faithful gathered at her Shrine and in so many parts of the world.

    02/10/2022 (Source)


    General audience

    And then a thought for the tormented Ukraine, which is suffering so much, that poor people so cruelly tried. This morning I was able to speak with Cardinal Krajewski, who was on his way back from Ukraine and he told me about terrible things. Let us think of Ukraine and pray for this tormented people.

    28/09/2022 (Source)


    Words during Angelus

    Mary, Queen of Peace, comfort the martyred Ukrainian people and obtain from the heads of Nations the strength of will immediately to find effective initiatives to bring the war to an end.

    25/09/2022 (Source)


    General audience

    And I would also like to mention the terrible situation in martyred Ukraine. Cardinal Krajewski went there for the fourth time. Yesterday he telephoned me, he is spending time there, helping in the area of Odessa and bringing closeness. He told me about the pain of this people, the savagery, the monstrosities, the tortured corpses they find. Let us unite ourselves to this people who are so noble and martyred.

    21/09/2022 (Source)


    Conversation with Jesuits in Kazakhstan

    There is a war going on and I think it is a mistake to think that this is a cowboy movie where there are good guys and bad guys. It is also a mistake to think that this is a war between Russia and Ukraine and no more. No, this is a world war.

    (…)

    The victim of this conflict is Ukraine. I intend to reflect on why this war was not avoided. War is like a marriage, in a way. To understand it, one has to investigate the dynamics that developed the conflict. There are international factors that contributed to provoking the war. I have already mentioned that a head of state, in December last year, came to tell me that he was very concerned because NATO had gone barking at the gates of Russia without understanding that the Russians are imperial and fear border insecurity. He expressed fear that this would provoke a war, and this broke out two months later.

    So, one cannot be simplistic in reasoning about the causes of the conflict. I see imperialisms in conflict. And, when they feel threatened and in decline, the imperialisms react, thinking that the solution is to unleash a war to make up for it, and also to sell and test weapons. Some say, for example, that the Spanish Civil War was started to prepare for World War II. I do not know if that was really the case, but it could have been. I do not doubt, however, that we are already living through World War III. We have seen three in a century: one between 1914 and 1918, one between 1939 and 1945, and now we are living through this one.

    (…)

    That is what needs to be done: to free hearts from hatred. From the first day of the war until yesterday I spoke constantly about this conflict, referring to the suffering of Ukraine. On the day of the country’s independence, there was the flag in Saint Peter’s Square, and I myself spoke about it, obviously. After speaking about Ukraine, I thought of saying a word addressed to the suffering of the two peoples, the Ukrainian and the Russian. Because in wars it is the people who suffer. It is the poor people who pay, as always. And this generates hatred. Those who make war forget humanity and do not look at the real life of people, but put partisan interests and power ahead of everything. The ordinary people in every conflict are the real victims, the ones who pay for the follies of war with their own skin. I also referred to that girl who had been killed in an explosion. At this point people forgot everything I had said up to then and only paid attention to that reference. I understand people’s reactions, because they are suffering a lot.

    I recall that the day after the start of the war I went to the Russian Embassy. It was an unusual gesture; the pope never goes to an embassy. He receives the ambassadors personally only when they present their credentials, and then at the end of their mission on a farewell visit. I told the ambassador that I would like to speak with President Putin, provided he left me a small window for dialogue.

    I also received the Ukrainian ambassador and spoke twice with President Zelensky on the telephone. I sent Cardinals Czerny and Krajewski to Ukraine to affirm the solidarity of the pope. Archbishop Gallagher, the Secretary for Relations with States, also made an official visit. The Holy See’s presence in Ukraine has the value of bringing help and support. It is a way of expressing a presence. I too had in mind to go. It seems to me that God’s will is not for me to go at this precise moment; we will see later, however.

    Some Ukrainian envoys have come to me. Among them the vice-rector of the Catholic University of Ukraine, accompanied by the adviser to the president for religious questions, an evangelical. We spoke, we discussed. A military chief in charge of the exchange of prisoners also came, again with President Zelensky’s religious adviser. This time they brought me a list of more than 300 prisoners. They asked me to do something to make an exchange. I immediately called the Russian ambassador to see if something could be done, if an exchange of prisoners could be speeded up.

    When a Ukrainian Catholic bishop came to visit, I gave him a package with my statements on the subject. I called the invasion of Ukraine an unacceptable, repugnant, senseless, barbaric, sacrilegious aggression… Read all the statements! The Press Room has collected them. Now, I would like to tell you that I am not interested in your defending the pope, but that the people feel caressed by you, the pope’s brothers. The pope does not get angry if he is misunderstood, because I know well the suffering behind it.

    (…)

    15/09/2022 (Source)


    Words during the Angelus

    I am saddened by the recent fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia. I express my spiritual closeness to the families of the victims, and I urge the parties to respect the ceasefire in view of a peace agreement. Let us not forget that peace is possible when weapons are silenced and dialogue begins! And let us continue to pray for the suffering people of Ukraine and for peace in every land bloodied by war.

    18/09/2022 (Source)


    Address during closing ceremony of Congress in Kazakhstan

    Thank you for having taken part so intensely in these days of work, commitment and sharing in the service of dialogue. This is more valuable than ever in challenging times like our own, when the problems of the pandemic have been compounded by the utter folly of war.

    15/09/2022 (Source)


    Press conference on flight from Kazakhstan to Rome

    In your opinion, should Ukraine be given weapons at this time?"

    This is a political decision, which can be moral – morally acceptable – if it is done according to the conditions of morality, which are manifold, and then we can talk about it. But it can be immoral if it is done with the intention of provoking more war or selling weapons or discarding those weapons that are no longer needed. The motivation is what largely qualifies the morality of this act. To defend oneself is not only lawful but also an expression of love of country. Those who do not defend themselves, those who do not defend something, do not love it, instead those who defend, love.

    (…)

    I would like to ask if you think there is a red line beyond which you should not say: we are open to dialogue with Moscow. Because so many people have a hard time understanding this openness. And I would also like to ask if the next trip will be to Kyiv.

    I will answer that, but I would prefer that the questions about the trip be asked first...

    I think it is always difficult to understand the dialogue with the states that started a war, and it seems that the first step was from there, from that side. It is difficult but we must not discard it; we must extend the opportunity for dialogue to everyone, to everyone! Because there is always the possibility that in dialogue we can change things, and also offer another point of view, another point of consideration.

    I don't exclude dialogue with any power, whether it's at war, whether it's the aggressor... sometimes dialogue has to be done in this manner, but it has to be done; it "stinks", but it has to be done. Always one step ahead, an outstretched hand, always! Because otherwise we close off the only reasonable door to peace.

    Sometimes some do not accept dialogue: too bad! But dialogue must always be done, at least offered, and this is good for those who offer it; it helps them to breathe.

    15/09/2022 (Source)  


    Excerpt of address to Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, Kazakhstan

    In recent decades, dialogue among religious leaders has dealt primarily with this question. Yet, we look around us and see our time still plagued by the scourge of war, by a climate of hostility and confrontation, by an inability to step back and hold out a hand to the other. Brothers and sisters, a leap forward is required, and it needs to come from us. If the Creator, to whom we have devoted our lives, is the author of human life, how can we, who call ourselves believers, consent to the destruction of that life? And how can we imagine that the men and women of our time, many of whom live as if God did not exist, can be inspired to engage in respectful and responsible dialogue if the great religions, which are the soul of so many cultures and traditions, are not themselves actively committed to peace?

    Mindful of the wrongs and errors of the past, let us unite our efforts to ensure that the Almighty will never again be held hostage to the human thirst for power. Abai observes that, “he who permits evil, and does not oppose it, cannot be regarded as a true believer. At best he is a half-hearted believer” (cf. Words 38). Dear brothers and sisters, each and every one of us needs to be purified of evil. The great Kazakh poet insists on this; in his words, “he who abandons learning deprives himself of a divine blessing”, and “a person who is not strict in his ways and is not capable of compassion cannot be considered a believer” (Word 12). So, brothers and sisters, let us purify ourselves of the presumption of feeling self-righteous, with no need to learn anything from anyone. Let us free ourselves of those reductive and destructive notions that offend the name of God by harshness, extremism and forms of fundamentalism, and profane it through hatred, fanaticism, and terrorism, disfiguring the image of man as well. As Abai says, “the source of humanity is love and justice… They are the crown of divine creation” (Word 45). May we never justify violence. May we never allow the sacred to be exploited by the profane. The sacred must never be a prop for power, nor power a prop for the sacred!

    God is peace. He guides us always in the way of peace, never that of war. Let us commit ourselves, then, even more to insisting on the need for resolving conflicts not by the inconclusive means of power, with arms and threats, but by the only means blessed by heaven and worthy of man: encounter, dialogue and patient negotiations, which make progress especially when they take into consideration the young and future generations. For the young embody the hope that peace will come about, not as the fragile outcome of painstaking negotiations, but as the fruit of persevering commitment to an education that can support their aspirations for development and a serene future. Abai, in that sense, encourages the expansion of learning beyond the limits of one’s own culture, in order to embrace the knowledge, history and literature of others. Let us invest, I beg you, in this: not in more weapons, but in education!

    14/09/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of address to civil authorities during visit to Kazakhstan

    I am visiting you in the course of the senseless and tragic war that broke out with the invasion of Ukraine, even as other conflicts and threats of conflict continue to imperil our times. I have come to echo the plea of all those who cry out for peace, which is the essential path to development for our globalized world. And this is peace: a path of integral development for our globalized world.

    13/09/2022 (Source)


    Words during Angelus prayer

    Let us continue to pray for the Ukrainian people, that the Lord may give them comfort and hope. During these days, Cardinal Krajewski, prefect of the Dicastery for the Service of Charity, is in Ukraine to visit various communities and to bear concrete witness to the closeness of the Pope and the Church.

    11/9/2022 (Source)


    Address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences

    I have said that it was a third world war being fought “piecemeal” – perhaps we can now say that it is “all out” – putting people and the planet at ever greater risk.  Saint John Paul II gave thanks to God that, through Mary’s intercession, the world had been preserved from atomic war.  Unfortunately, we must continue to pray for protection against this danger, which should have been averted long ago.

    10/09/2022 (Source)


    Address to pontifical representatives

    Unfortunately, Europe and the entire world are convulsed by a war of particular gravity, in terms of the violation of international law the risks of nuclear escalation, and the grave economic and social consequences. It is a “piecemeal” third world war, to which you bear witness in the places where you carry out your mission.

    08/09/2022 (Source)


    General audience

    And I am not forgetting martyred Ukraine. There are some flags there. Faced with all the war scenarios of our time, I ask each of you to be builders of peace and to pray so that thoughts and projects of peace and reconciliation may spread throughout the world. Today we are living through a world war. Let us stop please! Let us entrust the victims of every war, every war, to the Virgin Mary, especially the dear people of Ukraine.

    07/09/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of interview with Portuguese journalist Maria João Avillez

    Some dialogue is indispensable. You recently said you would like to go to Kiev and Moscow. What can you say to presidents Putin and Zelensky?

    I don’t know, I don’t know. I have spoken to both, they both came to visit me. Not know, but longer ago… I always believe that if we speak, we can move forwards. Do you know who doesn’t know how to dialogue? Animals. They go by pure instinct. If you let yourself go by pure instinct… On the other hand, dialogue is leaving instinct behind you and listening. Dialogue is hard.

    And it seems particularly difficult in this case.

    It is difficult. But it begins in the family. If you don’t dialogue in the family, if all there is is screaming and arguing, then children don’t learn how to dialogue.

    When are you going to Kiev or to Moscow?

    That’s an open question. I still don’t know. I am in dialogue with them. Tomorrow, for instance, I will be speaking on the phone with President Zelensky. We shall see. The fact is that I have sent representatives to Kiev. Three cardinals. One of them went three times and was there for the whole of Holy Week, and the undersecretary of State also went, who is, we can say, in charge of International Relations. My presence there is strong. Now I can’t go, because after travelling to Canada my knee worsened a bit, and I’m under doctor’s orders not to travel. He told me not to go anywhere before the Kazakhstan trip. But I have been in touch, over the phone. And I do what I can. I ask that everybody do what they can. Between all of us we can do something. I follow all I can with my pain and my prayers, but the situation is truly tragic.

    05/09/2022 (Source)


    Words during Angelus prayer

    And now we turn in prayer to the Virgin Mary, so that she might obtain the gift of peace throughout the world, especially for war-torn Ukraine. May she, the first and perfect disciple of the Lord, help us follow the example and holiness of life of John Paul I.

    04/09/2022 (Source)


    Vatican Press office communiqué

    In the context of the war in Ukraine, there are numerous interventions by the Holy Father Francis and his collaborators in this regard. For the most part, their purpose is to invite pastors and the faithful to prayer, and all people of good will to solidarity and efforts to rebuild peace.

    On more than one occasion, as in recent days, public discussions have arisen on the political significance to be attached to such interventions.

    In this regard, it is reiterated that the Holy Father's words on this dramatic issue should be interpreted as a voice raised in defence of human life and the values associated with it, and not as a political stance. As for the large-scale war in Ukraine, initiated by the Russian Federation, the Holy Father Francis' interventions are clear and unequivocal in condemning it as morally unjust, unacceptable, barbaric, senseless, repugnant and sacrilegious.

    30/08/2022 (Source)


    Words during Angelus prayer

    Let us pray for the people of Ukraine and for all those who suffer because of war. May the God of peace revive a human and Christian sense of pity and mercy in the hearts of the leaders of nations.

    28/08/2022 (Source)


    Appeal following general audience

    I renew my invitation to implore peace from the Lord for the beloved Ukrainian people who for six months today have been suffering the horror of war. I hope that concrete steps will be taken to put an end to the war and to avert the risk of a nuclear disaster in Zaporizhzhia.

    I carry the prisoners in my heart, especially those in fragile conditions, and I ask the competent authorities to work for their release. I think of the children, so many dead… then so many refugees – here in Italy there are many… so many wounded, so many Ukrainian children and Russian children who have become orphans. And being an orphan has no nationality, they have lost their father or their mother, whether they are Russian or Ukrainian.

    I think of so much cruelty, so many innocents who are paying for madness, the madness of all sides, because war is madness and no one in war can say: ‘No, I am not mad.’ The madness of war.

    I think of that poor girl blown up by a bomb under her car seat in Moscow.

    The innocent pay for war, the innocent! Let us think about this reality and say to each other: war is madness.

    And those who profit from war and the arms trade are criminals who kill humanity.

    And we think of other countries that have been at war for a long time: more than 10 years in Syria; we think of the war in Yemen, where so many children suffer from hunger; we think of the Rohingya who travel the world because of the injustice of being driven from their land.

    But today in a special way, six months after the beginning of the war, we think of Ukraine and Russia, I consecrated both countries to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May she, as Mother, turn her gaze on these two beloved countries: may she look upon Ukraine, look upon Russia, and bring us peace! We need peace!

    24/08/2022 (Source)


    Words during Angelus prayer

    Let us persevere in our closeness and in prayer for the dear Ukrainian people who are experiencing inhuman cruelty.

    21/08/2022 (Source)


    Words during Angelus prayer

    Let us continue to invoke the intercession of Our Lady, so that God might give the world peace, and let us pray in particular for the Ukrainian people.

    15/08/2022 (Source)


    Words during Angelus prayer

    Mercy is the way of salvation for every one of us, and for the entire world. And let us ask the Lord for special mercy, mercy and pity for the martyred Ukrainian people.

    14/08/2022 (Source)


    Words during general audience

    A thought also for the people of Ukraine, who continue to suffer this cruel war. And let us also pray for the migrants continuously arriving.

    10/08/2022 (Source)


    Words during Angelus

    I want to welcome with satisfaction the departure of the first ships loaded with grain from the ports of Ukraine. This step demonstrates that it is possible to dialogue and to reach concrete results for everyone’s benefit. Therefore, this event also presents itself as a sign of hope, and I sincerely hope that, following in this direction, there might be an end to combat and that a just and lasting peace might be reached.

    07/08/2022 (Source)


    Words during Angelus

    Also, during this journey, I did not cease praying for the battered and martyred Ukrainian people, asking God to free them from the scourge of war. If one looked at what is happening objectively, considering the harm that war brings every day to those people, but also to the entire world, the only reasonable thing to do would be to stop and negotiate. May wisdom inspire concrete steps toward peace.

    31/07/2022 (Source)


    Words during Angelus

    And I also remain close to the martyred Ukrainian population, struck every day by a hail of missiles. How can one fail to understand that war only creates destruction and death, driving peoples apart, killing truth and dialogue? I pray and hope that all international stakeholders will truly work to resume negotiations, not to fuel the senselessness of war.

    17/07/2022 (Source)


    Words during the Angelus prayer

    And I am also always close to the martyred Ukrainian population, struck every day by a hail of missiles. How can one fail to understand that war only creates destruction and death, driving peoples apart, killing truth and dialogue? I pray and hope that all the international actors will truly work to resume negotiations, not to fuel the senselessness of war.

    17/07/2022 (Source)


    Address to the participants in the general chapters of the Basilian orders

    I would not like to end without expressing my closeness to you, dear Ukrainian Basilian brothers, in this moment of pain, in this moment of martyrdom of your homeland. I would like to tell you that I am close to you, the whole Church is close, all of you. We accompany you as we can in your pain. I often think that one of the greatest dangers now is to forget the drama of Ukraine. One gets used to it, one gets used to it... and then it is not so important and one talks... In recent days, I saw in the newspaper that the news about the war was on page 9! It's not a problem of interest, and this is bad, it’s bad. That is why we are close to you and we must all look to them because they are suffering martyrdom right now. You are suffering martyrdom. And I hope that the Lord will have compassion on you and in another way be close to you with peace and the gift of peace.

    14/07/2022 (Source)


    Letter to participants in the synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

    I cordially greet all of you gathered in Synod in Przemyśl, from 7 to 15 July. This Synod, according to the previous plan, should have been held in Kyiv, but the dramatic situation of the war, already in its fifth month, did not allow it.

    Recently, on 27 June, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church celebrated the liturgical memory of the Blessed Martyrs, beatified by St John Paul II in Lviv during his visit to Ukraine in 2001. But it is at this time that we better understand the circumstances in which these martyrs lived and died, among whom were bishops, priests, religious men and women and lay people who fell victim to the Soviet communist regime. Today they protect their suffering People from heaven: to their protection I entrust all the Members of the Synod.

    Dear Brother Bishops, I unite myself spiritually to your suffering, assuring you of my prayers and my commitment, which not infrequently, because of the delicate situation, does not emerge in the media.

    11/07/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of message to the participants in the EU Youth Conference

    Dear young people, while you are holding your Conference, in Ukraine – which is not in the EU, but is Europe – a senseless war is being fought. Added to the numerous conflicts taking place in different regions of the world, it makes the need for an educational pact that educates everyone to fraternity all the more urgent.

    The idea of a united Europe arose from a powerful yearning for peace in the wake of the numerous wars fought on this continent, and it led to a seventy-year period of peace. Now we must all commit ourselves to putting an end to this dreadful war, where, as usual, a few powerful people decide and send thousands of young people to fight and die. In cases like this, it is legitimate to rebel!

    Someone has said that, if the world were ruled by women, there would not be so many wars, because those who have the mission of giving life cannot make death choices. In a similar vein, I like to think that if the world were ruled by young people, there would not be so many wars. Those who have their whole life ahead of them do not want to ruin it and throw it away, but to live it to the full.

    11/07/2022 (Source)


    Words after Angelus prayer

    I renew my closeness to the Ukrainian people, who are daily tormented by the brutal attacks that the ordinary people are paying for. I pray for all the families, especially for the victims, the wounded, those who are sick. I pray for the elderly and for the children. May God show the way to put an end to this senseless war.

    10/07/2022 (Source)


    Words after Angelus prayer

    Let us continue to pray for peace in Ukraine and in the entire world. I appeal to the heads of nations and international organizations to react to the tendency to accentuate conflict and confrontation. The world needs peace. Not a peace based on the balance of weapons, on mutual fear. No, that will not do. This means turning history back seventy years. The Ukrainian crisis should have been, but – if there is the will – can still become a challenge for wise statesmen, capable of building, with dialogue, a better world for the new generations. With God’s help, this is always possible! But it is necessary to pass from the strategies of political, economic and military power to a plan for global peace: no to a world divided between conflicting powers; yes to a world united between peoples and civilizations that respect each other.

    03/07/2022 (Source)


    Message to Orthodox delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate

    Sister Churches, Brother Peoples. Reconciliation among separated Christians, as a means of contributing to peace between peoples in conflict, is a most timely consideration these days, as our world is disrupted by a cruel and senseless war of aggression in which many, many Christians are fighting one another. Before the scandal of war, in the first place, our concern must not be for talking and discussing, but for weeping, for helping others and for experiencing conversion ourselves. We need to weep for the victims and the overwhelming bloodshed, the deaths of so many innocent people, the trauma inflicted on families, cities and an entire people. How much suffering has been endured by those who have lost their loved ones and been forced to abandon their homes and their own country! We need to help these, our brothers and sisters. We are summoned to exercise that charity which, as Christians, we are obliged to show towards Jesus, present in the displaced, the poor and the wounded. But we also need to experience conversion, and to recognize that armed conquest, expansionism and imperialism have nothing to do with the Kingdom that Jesus proclaimed. Nothing to do with the risen Lord, who in Gethsemane told his disciples to reject violence, to put the sword back in its place, since those who live by the sword will die by the sword (Mt 26:52), and who, cutting short every objection, simply said: “Enough!” (cf. Lk 22:51).

    30/06/2022 (Source)


    Following Angelus prayer

    Every day I carry in my heart the dear and tormented Ukraine, which continues to be scourged by barbaric attacks, like the one that struck the Kremenchuk shopping centre. I pray that this insane war may soon see an end, and I renew the invitation to persevere, without tiring, in prayer for peace: may the Lord open those paths of dialogue that men are unwilling or unable to find! And let us not neglect to come to the aid of the Ukrainian people, who are suffering so much.

    29/06/2022 (Source)


    Following Angelus prayer

    I see Ukrainian flags there. Bombardments continue there in Ukraine which are causing death, destruction and suffering for the population. Please, let us not forget these people afflicted by the war. Let us not forget this in our heart and with our prayers.

    26/06/2022 (Source)


    Message to the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches

    Please continue to keep before your eyes the icon of the Good Samaritan: you have done so and I know you will continue to do so for the drama caused by the conflict that from Tigray has again wounded Ethiopia and partly neighbouring Eritrea, and above all for the beloved and tormented Ukraine. There, we have returned to the drama of Cain and Abel; a life-destroying violence has been unleashed, a luciferous, diabolical violence, to which we believers are called to react with the power of prayer, with the concrete help of charity, with every Christian means so that weapons give way to negotiations. I would like to thank you for helping to bring the caress of the Church and the Pope to Ukraine and to the countries where refugees have been received. In faith we know that the heights of human pride and idolatry will be lowered, and the valleys of desolation and tears filled, but we would also like to see Isaiah's prophecy of peace soon fulfilled: that one people will no longer raise its hand against another people, that swords will become ploughs and spears scythes (cf. Is 2:4). Instead, everything seems to go in the opposite direction: food diminishes and the clang of weapons increases. It is the Cainic pattern that governs history today. Let us therefore not stop praying, fasting, helping, working so that the paths of peace find a place in the jungle of conflicts.

    23/06/2022 (Source


    Words after Angelus prayer

    And let us not forget the suffering of the Ukrainian people in this moment, a people who are suffering. I would like you all to keep in mind a question: what am I doing today for the Ukrainian people? Do I pray? Am I doing something? Am I trying to understand? What am I doing today for the Ukrainian people? Each one of you, answer in your own heart.

    19/06/2022 (Source)


    Words during general audience

    And please, let us not forget the martyred people of Ukraine. Let us not become accustomed to living as if the war were something far away. May our memory, our affection, our prayer and our help always be close to these people who are suffering so much and experiencing a true martyrdom.

    15/06/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts of Pope’s conversation with heads of Jesuit journals in Europe

    We have to move away from the normal pattern of “Little Red Riding Hood”: Little Red Riding Hood was good and the wolf was the bad guy. Here there are no metaphysical good guys and bad guys, in an abstract sense. Something global is emerging, with elements that are very much intertwined. A couple of months before the war started, I met a head of state, a wise man, who speaks very little, very wise indeed. After we talked about the things he wanted to talk about, he told me that he was very concerned about the way NATO was moving. I asked him why, and he said, “They are barking at the gates of Russia. They do not understand that the Russians are imperialists and will allow no foreign power to approach them.” He concluded, “The situation could lead to war.” This was his opinion. On February 24, the war began. That head of state was able to read the signs of what was taking place.

    What we are seeing is the brutality and ferocity with which this war is being carried out by the troops, generally mercenaries, used by the Russians. The Russians prefer to send in Chechen and Syrian mercenaries. But the danger is that we only see this, which is monstrous, and we do not see the whole drama unfolding behind this war, which was perhaps somehow either provoked or not prevented. And note the interest in testing and selling weapons. It is very sad, but at the end of the day that is what is at stake.