Sunday, 15 January 2023

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, with the most recent at the top.

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, a começar pelas mais recentes.



  • 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
  • Reuven Moshe Zaman - Chief Rabbi of Ukraine
  • Chief Rabbi of Plodi Synagogue - 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

    Excerpt of Sermon on Sunday after Epiphany

    Now, during the war, we feel like a people sitting in the dark (even literally due to the lack of electricity and other means of livelihood, especially in the cold season of the year), because every day we feel the cold breath of the country and the shadows of death. That is why we are in great need of Christ's light - Christian hope and the light of life! Already in the early Christian monument, in the "Letter to Diognetus", we read about the high calling of Christians who "are on earth, but are citizens of heaven; obey the established laws, but with their lives they surpass the laws themselves" (5; cf. Phil. 3, 20). So, as conscientious citizens, builders and defenders of the cathedral Ukraine, let us bring the gift of our Baptism to its construction: let us be citizens of the Kingdom of God, let us spread it around us and love the earthly Motherland, heading for the eternal Motherland in heaven.

    Today, Christ tells us: a great light has dawned on those who sat in the land and shadow of death. On the Day of the Congregation of Ukraine, let us, the Christians of Ukraine of the third millennium, be preachers of God's word, bearers of eternal values, builders of the hope that arises from the presence of the living Christ among us.

    22/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt of sermon on Feast of Epiphany

    We celebrate the great holiday of God's deepest revelation about Himself, which He gives to man, the holiday of knowing our adoption, our dignity as God's sons and daughters. We celebrate this Christian identity of ours during war, which is the moment of the greatest humiliation of man, the denial of his right to life and existence.

    But on this day, Christ reveals to us the highest goal for which it is worth and possible to win in this war - in the name of God's sonship. We realize that the enemy has no right to take away our human dignity, therefore every person is created in the image and likeness of God. And we can say: no one will deprive us of Divine adoption! That's why we also sang: "God is with us!" at the Evening Meal yesterday.

    (…)

    Let us discover our Divine adoption in this holiday, let us be enlightened by the truth that the name of each of us is written on God's palms. In the midst of the horrors of war, let us hear the words of God the Father: "I will not leave you"!

    Lord, today You who enter the Jordanian waves – give us the strength to immerse ourselves in Your victorious power! Let this Jordanian holy water, with which we receive communion, sprinkle ourselves, be the wave that will cleanse ourselves, our homes, our Ukraine from any evil. Because today we, who are fighting, protecting the dignity of a person, must fulfill this gospel truth even in these tragic circumstances: "You are My beloved son, you are My beloved daughter, whom I have pleased!

    23/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from interview with Open Church

    An important message is the Ukrainians' understanding of what peace is. We see that in the mouth of the Russian aggressor the word "peace" undergoes a devilish mutation. For him, it means the destruction of Ukraine. Moreover, since Russia's war against Georgia, the formula of "compulsion to peace" has been used. And today Russian peacekeepers are coming to force us to peace, that is, to kill us. It is important to convey the truth about real peace. For Ukrainians, real peace is victory over the Russian aggressor.

    20/01/2023 (Source)


    Full interview with Ukrainian Pravda

    There is a lot of pain around us: Mariupol, Borodyanka, Bucha, Irpin, Izyum, Dnipro, Brovary - we can list the mutilated cities and villages of our country for a long time. Why does God allow this horror?

    We dont know. We do not fully understand God's plan.

    It is obvious that through pain we learn something, it transforms us and makes us different.

    There is no excuse for inflicting pain, but we must learn to experience it properly. There is no such person who goes through life without ever experiencing pain. But poor is the person who lives, running away from pain and difficulties. After all, the ability to experience pain makes us indomitable.

    Sometimes we can't change the circumstances and avoid the pain. But what can we do? We can form our attitude both to pain and to the circumstances in which we live.

    Forming an attitude towards what hurts us is a search for meaning, why we do it. Your question is a question about the search for meaning: why?

    If my suffering has meaning, then I understand that it was not in vain.

    We hear the following words in the Gospel: "He who endures to the end will be saved."

    From the beginning of the war, when the pain was only increasing, people turned to the Church precisely for help in order to find the meaning of their pain. And when a person - be it a soldier, be it a civilian, or even a statesman - saw that there was a higher value for which it was worth suffering, then that pain became a source of indomitability.

    In such circumstances, a very special role and mission of the Church appears. I remember how, during the painful days of the siege of Kyiv, I visited the mayor of Kyiv, Vitalii Klitschko. I wanted to ask how many people are left in Kyiv, what are their most urgent needs. We talked about different things, and then he says to me: "You know, more than bread and clothes, we need a word of hope." And apart from the Church, apart from God's word, no one can give that hope. In Christ's Gospel, we see life-giving higher values ​​for which it is worth living.

    The topic of pain is very complex, and each person experiences this pain uniquely. I remember many such circumstances when you cannot do anything for a person, but you can share their pain without even saying anything. That's why we need to be close.

    We do not know everything and we do not understand. We should not explain everything, rationalize everything, because war is nonsense that does not lend itself to a clear rational explanation. But we can change our attitude to the circumstances we are in and overcome them.

    How should Ukrainians rightly treat Russians from a Christian point of view?

    When we hear the word "Russians" in Ukraine today, images of mass torture, destroyed cities and villages appear before our eyes. Therefore, in a human way, Ukrainians now feel that the Russians are foreigners and murderers who came to take away from us everything that we have and who we are.

    We cannot compromise with evil. And it is humanly difficult for us to see people in those murderers. We see that everything that today opens its murderous mouth on Ukraine is the consequences of the diseases of the post-Soviet society, which in Russia, instead of getting better after the Soviet Union, began to rot.

    I remember the words of Eldar Ryazanov, who said: "We have a big country, we will rot for a long time."

    But in a Christian way, we want to give everyone a chance to repent. It is very difficult now.

    Anger, especially when we see all the crimes, is a natural human instinct. If all those crimes did not cause rage in us, it would mean that we are complicit in evil, that is, that we tolerate and praise it in one way or another.

    But anger needs transformation and framing. In the Christian sense, righteous anger is the material for the virtue of courage. We need courage today.

    Courage to persevere, courage to conquer. Because if anger is not transformed into courage, it can become destructive.

    They say fear is a bad counselor. Anger can be like that too. Therefore, Christian ascetic practice shows that we can indeed transform anger into courage and resilience. This righteous anger can become a force, a force that can win.

    Ukrainian Orthodox Church – what is your personal attitude towards it?

    Relations between the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, which was called the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, are historically complex.

    We survived the process of liquidation of our Church.

    Allow me to clarify: is the Moscow Patriarchate equal to the Russian state?

    Yes and no. The Russian Orthodox Church in the Soviet Union was an instrument of the state. Many historians claim that Comrade Stalin was its real creator. It is obvious that it was a tool for channeling the religious feelings of believers in the right direction for the Soviet state.

    A tragic moment in relations with the Russian Orthodox Church was the pseudo-cathedral in Lviv in 1946, when the Stalinist regime forcibly liquidated our Church and handed over all property to the Russian Orthodox Church. Today, the Russian Orthodox Church lives by the ideology and vision of itself and its territory from those times.

    The leaders of this Church say that Ukraine is their canonical territory. All former Soviet Union countries fall under this definition. This is something that comes from the idea of conquests from the time of Comrade Stalin.

    I remember how, before the start of the full-scale war in Ukraine, the then head of the department of external church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeev, received an order from the hands of Putin and said: "Many people say that our department of external relations is the church's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but in fact it is not, we are a church Ministry of Defence".

    Going back to your previous question, I will be honest: we tried to enter into a dialogue to build a relationship to heal the wounds of the past.

    And what happened?

    Unfortunately, there has been no big change. Why? Because our position was that we want to build normal relations with the Russian Orthodox Church, as with all Orthodox Churches. We want to talk to them as to the subject of the relationship. After all, we still have the wounds of the Lviv pseudo-cathedral, and perhaps the Orthodox side also has them from the 1990s, when our Church came out of the underground and regained its own. We felt that until 2014, the UOC was still building its subjectivity, but then Moscow completely deprived it of this.

    How did it happen in practice?

    When I met with Metropolitan Alfeev, I said: "We want to have a dialogue with the Lavra", he replied: "They are not ready. The only entity with whom it is possible to talk about them is us." That is, Moscow already then took away the subjectivity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and acted as its sole spokesperson to world Christianity.

    It was quite difficult for us. Moscow did not really want to talk to us. They did not consider the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church a subject of negotiations. Rather, they spoke with the Vatican about us, but without us. It is interesting that the Apostolic capital constantly emphasized: "Here is the local Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church - communicate with it." As you can see, our relationship is not easy and quite different.

    From the blessed memory of Volodymyr Sabodan, I had many good personal meetings. Instead, all my requests for a bilateral meeting with Metropolitan Onufriy were always refused.

    We saw each other exclusively at state events.

    Didn't want to meet?

    In a human way, we obviously greeted each other, but we did not reach bilateral relations as heads of Churches. Although we constantly initiated them.

    Should the activity of the UOC be banned?

    I doubt it. I don't want to tell our legislators, but... We were also banned, we lived underground. Moreover, the very fact that we were a martyred Church, which did not become a Church collaborating with the Soviet authorities, saved our moral authority.

    It is important to understand that banning the Church does not mean the end of its existence. Why? Because the Church is not only a religious structure, not only an organization that has a charter, a leader, a religious center. The Church is a people who have constitutional rights. As long as there are people oriented towards Moscow Orthodoxy in Ukraine, this Church will exist. Even when, according to state law, it would be illegal. If it is banned, then we will give it the palm of martyrdom, we will give it the opportunity to go into deaf opposition and become those who will later claim authenticity.

    I recently told one legislator: "If you want to perpetuate the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine, ban it."

    But the state has the right to take care of its national security. And therefore, if among Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, or Orthodox there are traitors who are dangerous for the state, in particular during martial law, then they must be identified and, observing all laws, certain measures must be taken.

    We should not be persecuted for belonging to the church structure, but for crimes against our state, because in this we are all equal.

    Therefore, perhaps it is necessary to ask the same question in a different way and understand that it is not really a question of restricting someone's religious freedom, but that the northern neighbor, who is killing us today, cannot use any of the Churches for his geopolitical goals

    By the way, how can you comment on the SBU searches in the churches and monasteries of the UOC?

    This is a matter for state authorities. When they have reasons for it, then they act.

    We'll take note of that for now. That is, we cannot somehow form our position regarding the fact of searches. Let's see what the result will be.

    Regarding the legality of searches, their legality, you should consult a lawyer. If the actions of the services are lawful, then we cannot tell the law enforcement agencies how to act.

    On January 7, the service of God in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra was led by Metropolitan Epiphany, the head of the OCU. Will we see the Divine Service of His Beatitude Sviatoslav in the Pochaiv Lavra?

    Then, when this laurel is returned to us (smiles) .

    Do you claim this return?

    We do not claim any property of the Orthodox brothers.

    Our Church in the Russian Empire was liquidated as early as 1839. And all our property was given to the Orthodox. If we started demanding his return today, we would start another wave of religious war.

    There are national symbols that speak to minds and hearts. And this is Sophia of Kyiv - the mother temple for all of us. It cannot be claimed by one denomination, because everyone has common roots here.

    God willing, one day we will all be one. That is, all the divisions that exist today between the Orthodox world and the Catholic world, I hope, will be overcome step by step. And then Sophia of Kyiv will once again be a common temple for all the heirs of the Kyiv Church.

    Therefore, we do not claim property, but we say: "This is also about our history, our identity. We also want to feel at home there."

    The form of this can be negotiated. We say the same about the Pochaiv Lavra: we do not want to make property claims, but we say that it is a historically great spiritual center of our Church.

    Researchers of Kyiv Christianity in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth claim that there was once an unwritten agreement between the Orthodox in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and the Greek Catholics in Pochaivska regarding the printing of liturgical books: what was printed in Pochaev was no longer printed in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Why? Because we exchanged books.

    The Pochaiv Lavra was a unique center of musical, spiritual, religious and international culture.

    Obviously, when the Union was liquidated, the Russian tsars turned Pochaiv into a border outpost. And the Soviet authorities specially annexed the Pochaiv Lavra and its territory to the Ternopil Oblast in order to destroy the Union in Galicia.

    Therefore, the one who will make the decision to whom to grant access for prayer must take into account that the Pochaiv Lavra has a historical connection with our Church.

    UGCC cherishes and remembers this history.

    You say that you are not interested in property, but access for service is? What specific steps do you take to gain access to the Pochaiv Lavra?

    None yet, because we have not heard of any concrete steps regarding changing the status of this holy place. We will see what opportunities will be created, we will communicate with those who will create new circumstances.

    Property claims are one thing, and the right to pray where our ancestors prayed is another. We do not question the ownership of the state, but we want to have access to this shrine.

    We try to build our own, and not wait for something to be handed to us.

    In recent years, we have seen great activity of the OCU. Even the fact that they managed to conduct the Divine Service in the Lavra already means a lot. Against this background, the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church looks quite slow. What steps do you take in order not to lose your faithful, so that they do not transfer to the OCU?

    Even during the war, we try to be the Church first and foremost. And in no case do we want to become a tool in some political movements, even if they are super popular.

    Obviously, we are watching the reformatting of Ukrainian Orthodoxy. This is an internal Orthodox situation that also has an important political dimension. We do not participate in this, just as we did not participate in the movements around the Unification Cathedral or receiving the Tomos. Therefore, there is no need to wait for some kind of activity from us, because these are the internal affairs of our Orthodox brothers.

    As for the faithful, I don't think we are losing them. We try to do our own thing. We are active where we should be active, where we feel that this is our competence, our field of activity.

    Who in the Vatican is informing Pope Francis about the war in Ukraine today?

    I don't have a complete answer to this question and I can't say what channels of information he uses. But, knowing the Pope personally, I will say that he does not like to be tied to any of the channels. He, like a good Jesuit, lives by the rule: we consulted and I decided. That is, he listens to a lot of people, but makes decisions independently and forms his vision.

    When it comes to socio-political circumstances or matters of military circumstances, he is not infallible here. He could be wrong. Therefore, it is very important to communicate.

    Since the beginning of the full-scale war, I personally communicated with him very intensively.

    Why didn't you refuse him from the Stations of the Cross, when a Russian woman and a Ukrainian woman carried the cross together? Then there were several controversial statements by the Pope. Why didn't you influence him if you were constantly in contact with him?

    We influenced as much as we could.

    Why didn't it work?

    This is another question. There were reasons that I may not fully know and understand. But you see that his position is evolving, as are, ultimately, Western leaders. Remember how the German authorities reacted to our ambassador at the beginning of the war: "You will be gone in two or three days, why should we help you?". Today, the position is different. And the Vatican lives in the information field of Europe and Italy in particular.

    Indeed, I had the feeling that we were not fully understood. I asked myself why? And he realized: to understand us, one must be with us. For example, the papal nuncio is here with us. He understands us, because he never left Kyiv for a single day. That is, the further away from the epicenter of events, the more it looks different. Although our mission to inform had an effect and consequences.

    You mentioned the Stations of the Cross. This was not the Way of the Cross of reconciliation with Russia. It was the Way of the Cross, which takes place every year on Easter Friday in the Colosseum. It was prepared even before the beginning of the great war.

    We learned about the content on Monday of Holy Week, and the event itself took place on Friday. We immediately realized that this is completely out of context now. These gestures are offensive to us.

    What did you do?

    First of all, we talked.

    Did you call the Pope?

    Of course!

    What did he say?

    He could not understand what the protest of Ukrainians was about. After all, reconciliation is one of the main messages of Christianity. How is it that Ukrainians today do not perceive the main message of Christianity? Apostle Paul considered himself the apostle of reconciliation.

    I told him: "Holy Father, we are not saying that we reject the idea of reconciliation. We say that we cannot be forced to reconcile." So my comment was, "Yes, but not yet."

    What did the Pope say?

    He listened very carefully.

    And did it in his own way?

    But what did he do? No prepared texts were read. That is, they did not change the already announced ceremony, but there was no interpretation, no text about reconciliation.

    In addition, I communicated with other heads of the Vatican Curia, in particular the Secretary of State, to whom I explained the mutation of the concept of peace carried out by Russia. I explained that the idea of ​​"compulsion to peace" is the idea of ​​Russian aggression, which it first used against Georgia. Therefore, today, when the idea of ​​"compulsion to peace" is filled with religious symbols, it can really create a situation where Ukrainians will generally reject the idea of ​​peace as such.

    First you have to stop killing us. Then justice must be restored - they must leave our land. The moment must come when the criminal will be called a criminal and will be convicted, compensation must be paid to Ukraine and the Ukrainians who suffered. That is, certain steps must be taken before the moment when we can start talking about the reconciliation process.

    And now I can claim that we were heard. On November 24, the Pope wrote a letter to the Ukrainian people. I think we need to go back and read it again. The Pope said everything there! It was not about any diplomacy, it was not about any traditions of mediation between warring parties, which the Vatican has always followed in its policy. It talks about the heart of a pastor, which is rooting for his people.

    We read this letter in all our parishes. Therefore, we see that it is worth speaking, even when you will not be heard immediately, they will not immediately change the planned action, but the truth about Ukraine has its own power and we must testify to it.

    Does the Russian ambassador to the Vatican have a great influence on the Pope? Is there even a pro-Russian lobby in the Vatican?

    I think that it exists, because Russia very intensively developed its diplomatic relations with the Vatican, invested huge resources in the promotion of its culture in Italy, in particular in the Vatican. Since the war in Donbas began, it has "bombarded" the Vatican with various initiatives, including cultural ones.

    Therefore, I think that the Ukrainian state should activate high-quality diplomacy at this level, so that we can also be actively represented there.

    You saw the Pope in November. Did he talk about his meeting with the head of the Main Directorate of Intelligence, Kirill Budanov?

    There was no conversation about the Pope's meeting with Budanov. I didn't want to ask because it would be unethical.

    What then is the Pope's participation in the exchange of prisoners?

    Indeed, the Pope is very intensively involved in all possible channels to free Ukrainian prisoners. I personally submit a list of documents for prisoners of war at least once a month, because when I visit our communities, I constantly hear: "Help!". I tell people: "Okay, give me specific information." And I immediately try to hand it over to the Pope. Even during the last meeting, he handed over a folder with documents. And I know that things are moving.

    What tools does the Vatican have? These are diplomatic channels. How successful are they today? This is the question.

    We see that Russia despises diplomacy. Sometimes for them, diplomacy is like a servant to satisfy military and political decisions. Therefore, it is difficult to answer how effective the diplomatic path is today in general for any settlement of this confrontation. But I can testify personally that the Apostolic Capital is making all possible efforts.

    We are already beginning to see many problems that we will have to solve after the victory. There are a lot of wounds, worries, hatred. What do you see as the biggest challenges for Ukrainian society after the victory?

    To see everything, you have to wait for the victory. But the wounds we mentioned are already visible, and they will make themselves known. The signs of a wounded society will be very different. In particular, there will be a high level of aggressiveness and conflict.

    Therefore, today everyone who works with people needs to be doubly wise so as not to offend anyone, not to provoke anyone. In fact, it is quite difficult for our priests at that stage. We see that domestic violence is on the rise. And this is also a challenge, in particular for the Church.

    I see another important problem that may not be so pressing yet. However, I have a feeling that society is getting tired of democracy.

    I wanted to ask you about democracy...

    There is a risk that we are beginning to be impressed by the specter of a dictatorship in Ukraine. And it is very dangerous.

    Throughout the years of Ukraine's independence, our Church trained citizens to mature personal responsibility for society. We see that the Orange Revolution, the Revolution of Dignity, was to some extent the fruit of such upbringing. Society wanted to control the government, became very demanding of it and did not want to repeat the mistakes of previous revolutions.

    I remember the Maidan of 2013-2014. There was no single bright political leader on whom responsibility for the state could be placed, unlike the slogans of 2004, remember? Yushchenko! Yushchenko!

    But, unfortunately, today some are beginning to feel that democracy does not provide an adequate level of security, that it is weak in responding to challenges.

    Fatigue appears, which forces you to give the responsibility to someone else: I chose you, and now you take care of yourself - I'll stand aside and see what you can do. Again: this is a very big danger!

    We understand that the world supports Ukraine precisely because we want to be a free, democratic state. The world supports democracy in Ukraine as opposed to the totalitarian regime of its northern neighbor.

    We must not turn into an internal copy of the one who attacked us. Psychologists talk about cases when the victim begins to resemble his offender.

    Therefore, I urge everyone to remember and understand that the war in Ukraine is a war for democracy and values.

    We all need a fair trial as a separate branch of government, true parliamentarism, a true political culture in Ukraine that would provide certain counterweights. That is why the challenges of a real democracy, a transparent and open society in Ukraine after the end of the war will be very difficult.

    Finally: is it a sin to wish for death?

    Yes, a sin. Because when I wish death to another, I die myself. This is a very delicate thing in wartime.

    Sometimes I have to stop the aggressor, even at the cost of his death, but then I have to choose life for my people, my Motherland.

    Is it a sin to wish Putin dead?

    (Pauses and begins to laugh) Oh, you will have to repent for that.

    19/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from daily video address

    Lord, we know that today you immerse yourself in your baptism in the pain and suffering of Ukraine. You take upon yourself the sins of our people to wash us away. You, as the culprit, ask for baptism instead of those who are really guilty. You are the only Saint, with your holiness you purify us, weak people. Give us strength, cleanse our Ukrainian land of all uncleanness, especially that which brings death and destruction. Lord, you who are going to immerse yourself in the waters of the Jordan, be blessed, because you come to us as the living God revealed to us in our circumstances.

    17/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from daily video address

    The word "freedom" is devalued today, as well as "love" or "peace". Now, more than ever, we in Ukraine feel that we are paying a very high price for freedom. It is not enough to be free from slavery, you must become free for something. And we want to be free in order to say "no" to Russian slavery forever, to be free for God, to do good, to protect human life. That is why the Russian occupier is killing Ukrainians, because they said no to Russian, imperial, communist slavery.

    15/01/2023 (Source)


    Words during Prosphora with the Patriarch

    Many say that this year will be the year of victory, but we still have to win it. Russia has already lost, but we have not won yet. We will approach this victory step by step. You will see that the time will come and we will gather here in the Patriarchal Cathedral to celebrate together the victory over our enemy. And may God's blessing generously bear its fruits on all of us.

    15/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt of sermon on Sunday before Epiphany

    Today, we in Ukraine are so in need of a herald that the war will end, that the period of destruction is finally coming to an end. We are so in need of preparation for the new reality — Ukraine after the war. We understand, more than ever before, that it is impossible to continue living the way we lived until now. And the victory of Ukraine will not come when we win back all the occupied territories, but when we come out of this fiery cauldron of war renewed, become a different people, qualitatively different from the people, the state that we were before the beginning of this great calamity.

    15/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from daily video address

    In this difficult time of war, we see that God makes the impossible possible, giving us the strength to fulfill God's law, to live by our baptism, as Saint Basil the Great testified. The life of a Christian is the life of the baptismal essence of our daily effort. The Lord God becomes the guarantor that, thanks to His help, we will be able to fulfill God's commandments and the vocation to which He calls us in Baptism. He gives us strength without hope to hope. He is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets. The key and secret of Ukraine's victory lies in Jesus Christ.

    14/01/2023 (Source)


    Full interview with NV

    In your New Year's greeting, you said that every day, by doing good, we bring the day of victory closer. Do you feel how long the road to it will be?

    It is difficult to predict any terms. I watch how the heart of the Ukrainian people beats. Every day we have lived, in which we have defeated death and done something good, we have already won. Because by doing good, we overcome evil. As one wise man said: "It is better to light one candle than to complain about the darkness." And so we have been moving for more than 10 months. In the plans of those who came from the war, there was neither a new year nor Christmas for us. But we are here, the new year is here, Christmas is here and there will be victory. I am convinced that the inner strength and courage we are full of will be enough for victory.

    It's a little sad that every day we survive instead of living.

    It's like looking at it from which side. When one lives this day, running away from difficulties, he is not living. If we live every day to do good for ourselves personally, then we die every day. And if we forge victory every day, then we live to the fullest. Our fathers, who were expelled from Melitopol, and freed heroes tell the same story: we did not know how long we would have to live in captivity - a day, two, a month, a week, but we wanted to live this time with dignity. These are very strong words. Without looking behind the curtain of time, without spying on the future, they tried to live in the day that the Lord God had given them.

    Another pressing issue of recent weeks is the events surrounding the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and the Moscow Patriarchate in general. How do you see it should be solved?

    It is clear to everyone that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (MP) is an integral part of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). It is quite natural that with the beginning of the war, it is going through an identity crisis: there are patriots who are faithful to this Church and at the same time loyal to the Ukrainian state, who defend their Motherland. This division causes an internal crisis in this Church. The fact of collaboration of its representatives with the Russian occupier is also obvious. And we lacked an official reaction of the church hierarchy regarding this fact.

    We must pray for the wisdom of our government and its determination, so that there is a political will to act in a certain direction. Here, everyone is equal before the law: whether they are Orthodox of the Moscow Patriarchate, OCU, or Catholic, or Jewish, or Muslim. And when there is a proven fact of collaborationism, then the state cannot remain silent, otherwise it covers it up. Instead, there is freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. Their observance is a matter of national security. This is important for the state from the point of view of its obligations to the world community. It is necessary to act wisely in the question of what tools to use to neutralize Moscow agents in cassocks.

    Experts say that it is wrong to ban it, so that this Church does not become a martyr, because it will only strengthen its position.

    Our Church was banned during Stalin's time, so what? We won. That is, banning does not mean ceasing its existence. If we want to perpetuate the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine, then let's ban it. That would defeat our purpose. We need to pray for the wisdom of our lawmakers to help them act skillfully here.

    How does the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church perceive the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra? Would the fathers of the UGCC want to have the opportunity to serve in the Lavra churches?

    We have no claims on the shrine of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, although we are watching these processes very carefully. Even when we, as a Church, do not claim to worship there, we, as citizens of Ukraine, do not care. There is another Lavra that had a certain historical connection to our Church and for a long time was a very important spiritual and cultural center of it – Pochaivska [in the Ternopil Region]. At one time, the famous Basilian monastery was located there, the Pochaiv icon of the Mother of God crowned with papal crowns. This should be remembered. There was also an important printing center of our Church. And we don't care what happens there. As for the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, we will ask the Lord God for wisdom for statesmen, so that this national shrine truly remains a common treasure of our people.

    Over the past year, Ukrainians have heard and seen ambiguous statements and actions of the Pope regarding the war. How do you comment on this?

    In Ukrainian-Vatican relations, I would call 2022 the year of great misunderstandings. I had the feeling that our Ukrainian authorities do not fully understand what the Vatican is, and the Apostolic Capital was not able to quickly understand the constantly changing situation. All of us were somewhat surprised and hurt by certain phrases of the Holy Father. Although, according to the ancient tradition of the first millennium, the Holy See was the highest arbiter of the Ecumenical Church. This is its function in international relations. And precisely as the highest appeal center of the Christian world, the Vatican became the founder of European diplomacy, and later diplomacy on a global scale. Therefore, such a position as a world arbiter imposes a certain style on activity. The arbitrator tries to be equidistant or equidistant from the parties to the conflict. Therefore, there was an attempt by the Holy See to maintain neutrality regarding the war in Ukraine. We all tried to convey the truth. I think we were slowly changing the vision of the Vatican, as well as European society, regarding the war in Ukraine. There was a profound change in the perception of Ukraine by the world community. In this context, the position of the Apostolic capital also changed.

    Did you communicate with the Pope during the war?

    Yes, as the Head of the Church, I had constant personal contact with Pope Francis. Our last meeting took place on November 7, the day the Pope returned from Bahrain. I remember, the day before, he spoke about the humanism of Dostoevsky, about the professionalism of the Russian ambassador to the Vatican, and so on. And so on Monday, November 7, when there was another information crisis in Ukraine regarding the perception of the Pope's statements, I was at his place. I have known him personally for many years. It was a warm and deep meeting. He perceived me as someone who rose from the dead, because I survived the siege of Kyiv. My every word was very authoritative for him. Our conversation began with my question: do you know what is being said about you in Ukraine today? - What? — The fact that you read Dostoyevsky poorly. - Why? I explained to him: you know, today, unfortunately, regarding Russia, Europe and the Apostolic Capital fall into a certain trap. Do you remember what arose in the imagination of a cultured person before the beginning of the Second World War, when they said "Germany": German philosophy of the 19th and 20th centuries, high standards of music, poetry, but the Nazis, that is, criminals, were in power. And then the whole world wondered how a great cultured people could create Auschwitz and start the Holocaust of the Jewish people. Cultured, educated Europe and the intellectual circles of the Catholic Church fall into this same trap today. Russia has made great efforts to promote the myth of the "sanctity of Russian culture." I remember how whole Jesuit circles were formed to study "Russian spirituality". Professor Ovsiychuk introduced the concept of the Ukrainian icon to cultural and scientific circulation only in the 1990s. Until now, no one had heard of the existence of a separate Ukrainian icon. I am not talking about the spirituality of theologians, the liturgy of the Kyiv Church. Therefore, when the intellectual circles of the Vatican hear about Russia, Russian spirituality, everyone imagines certain patterns created artificially, like a soap bubble. Currently, Nazis are clearly in power in Russia. Now, when the world is looking at the genocide of Ukrainians, everyone is wondering: how can such a great nation, which created Dostoyevsky, commit such baseness? That is why there were these sentiments of the Pope, who shared Dostoevsky's humanism. It was not a fascination with humanism. It was a surprise: how could those who have such a culture come to crime?

    I asked the Pope for a few things. I won't tell you everything - I'll keep the intrigue. But I asked to write a letter to the Ukrainian people. He said that my people do not understand his politics and diplomacy. People need to feel his paternal warmth. To feel that he is with Ukraine, that he is not indifferent to the pain and suffering of the Ukrainian people. Then the Pope asked for help. And we tried to help him write such a letter. And what is interesting, the Pope signed it on November 24, just when nine months of war had passed. This letter was read in all our churches as the Pope's address to the Ukrainian people.

    It turns out that it was you who influenced the fact that the Pope "warmed up" to Ukraine?

    If I said that, I would be a very proud person. There are certain processes in which I also take part.

    Can we say that Russia is now the embodiment of evil?

    This is a deep theological question. I think that Russian politics and its actions are the bearer of evil. That's for sure! As Christ says: "...by their fruits you will know them." All those who gave birth to the ideology of "Russian peace", who bless the war, fight, kill, support the war as citizens of that state, are complicit in the crime. It is still difficult for me to call Russia the embodiment of evil. This, you know, can only be said by the Lord God, who sees the depths of human hearts. And maybe history will tell about it all.

    Do you leave Russia the opportunity to rethink its history and everything it has done?

    The Lord God always gives a person a chance to repent. I think that repentance for Russia must be a very deep process. If this Church and this people are not capable of repentance, then it is very difficult to talk about the true Christian faith in national dimensions. The trait of a true Christian is the ability to repent.

    Today in Russia we don't see anything close to that.

    Unfortunately.

    How do you see Ukraine after the war? What will forever change in this state for the better?

    It's hard to say until the end, but there are a few thoughts. First of all, we who survived the war will really have a very deep understanding and respect for the dignity of the human person and human life. Because those who have seen war and death will never forget it. We will rebuild everything, our cities and villages will be better than before the war. Perhaps this war will be the final point in everything that we have called the "scoop": starting from architecture and ending with the very social, state system. I hope that we will finally get rid of the Soviet vision of man as a tool or a cog in a big machine, and we will respect man and the dignity of his life. I am convinced that we will be able to take care of the common good, because after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the pendulum swung in the other direction: from excessive collectivization to a culture or circumstances of excessive individualism, when one's own benefit, one's own enrichment, even one's own happiness has become a kind of idol. We did not know how to understand and evaluate the common good, but now we understand: we can defeat Russia when we defend the Motherland as a whole community. The Ukrainian army is a national army. Teachers, scientists, businessmen left everything and went to fight, because this is a common cause. They went to fight for a better future for their children, for their independent state. We are beginning to understand that the state is not something hostile to be defended against. The state is a common good and a condition for survival and a dignified existence. Next is solidarity. We see that without solidarity not only within our people, but also the whole world, we cannot stand with Ukraine. Solidarity saves lives. This is the ability to help each other in trouble.

    You said earlier that Christmas must be celebrated and rejoiced at this holiday. What about events like birthdays?

    It is worth distinguishing between these things. There are similarities and differences between them. When we talk about Christmas or Easter, we are talking about the celebration of a certain reality that goes beyond the human horizon. To celebrate Christmas is to accept a gift from God, the gift of His only begotten Son, the gift of His joy. In the most difficult times, our people celebrated Christmas. Our children caroled in their hiding places. Celebrating Christmas at the time of the underground of our Church, at the time of militant atheism, turned into a manifestation of socio-political protest. The police chased the carolers who caroled under the windows. Moreover, we learned the truths of the Christian faith from carols. Therefore, when it comes to the fact that the Lord God wants to give us something, then do not be afraid to accept Him - do not be afraid to celebrate.

    When it comes to other circumstances, such as birthdays, anniversaries, I call for wisdom and balance. Psychologists say that the enemy wants to lead us into total depression. He wants to take away positive emotions from us, so that we always cry, so that we do not have the opportunity to restore our mental and physical strength. Therefore, let's not give him such pleasure. We need to preserve the hygiene of work and rest even during war. If it's about social entertainment, loud parties, then maybe you shouldn't do it. But when it comes to the smallest and necessary for maintaining mental and physical health, it must be done without fail. I recall the advice of a wise psychologist: when you are sitting in bomb shelters, take care of your hygiene - wash and brush your teeth every day. This is what our soldiers do at the front. There is a minimum necessary to maintain spiritual, mental and physical balance,

    Regarding church holidays: you recently  met with His Beatitude Epiphanius, Head of the OCU, and discussed the creation of a joint working group. Tell me how this process will proceed?

    First, the background story. The so-called calendar wars began at the end of the 16th century, when the Gregorian calendar was introduced. Then the Polish king Stefan Batory tried to forcefully introduce a new style in his state. You know, at that time both the Orthodox and the Union sides of the Kyiv Metropolitanate became victims of violent administrative pressure from the state. And, obviously, this was not accepted. It has absolutely nothing to do with Moscow. The epicenter of that period of the calendar war was the city of Lviv. Then churches were forcibly closed, priests and faithful were expelled from the churches when they wanted to celebrate Christmas according to the Julian calendar (January 7). And this left a deep wound in the memory of both our Orthodox brothers and us Greek Catholics.

    The reform must be done unambiguously. But how to convince society to support it? Our Church, in particular in Galicia and modern Poland, understands that the calendar reform will be perceived by many of our people as a transition to the Polish calendar.

    The task of church leaders is to be sensitive to the debate, even to the political charges that the topic of the calendar may have, but to care for the good of the people. And do what is right, not what everyone likes. In today's circumstances, we have a unique situation that cannot be ignored. Our society demands a calendar reform. And we take this very seriously.

    Today, in our Church, we see that the number of those who consciously, not politically, ecclesiastically, want a new style is growing. Most of them are in the West of Ukraine and in Kyiv. This is exactly what we talked about with His Beatitude Epiphanius, because we want to make the transition to a new style together. We need to understand how many people will support it in order to minimize internal tensions. We need to depoliticize it a little. We offered the Orthodox side to create a joint working group where experience can be exchanged. Our Church has more experience in calendar reform, and our Orthodox brothers are just gaining it. The permission to celebrate Christmas on December 25 is a kind of step to see how the faithful will react. When I received from His Beatitude the new church calendar of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine for 2023 at the meeting, it was the Julian calendar. An interesting gesture.

    That is, we will work together and our patriotic forces will no longer be able to accuse us that we are Polonizing someone when we want to move towards the implementation of the Gregorian calendar.

    Will the next Christmas be held in a new style in both Churches?

    Let's wish ourselves that, okay? Let's wish for changes together. I really want it, and we will do everything to make it happen. I am an optimist, although I try to balance between two extremes. In every Church there is a group of progressives and a group of traditionalists. We need to convince people that the calendar is not a dogmatic issue. The calendar is a condition that must be agreed upon. Someone is more ready to transition, someone is not yet ready. Although all this directs our energies in another direction instead of concentrating on solving the biggest existential problem of our time — war. And we start discussing when and what to celebrate. When the house is on fire, it is not the time to discuss which icons to hang on which wall.

    11/01/2023 (Source)


    The Son of God became a Child, your Child, crying mother. The Son of God, who became a Child, wanted to suffer with us, took upon himself our suffering and pain, became incarnate in our Ukrainian pain, to turn it into a redemptive, holy sacrifice for the future of Ukraine

    11/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from daily video address

    The enemy is trying to shell our peaceful towns and villages, the places where the most people gather. It seems that in recent days, in particular, the enemy has been deliberately shelling the markets where people come to buy food.

    10/01/2023 (Source)


    Press Conference with journalists

    Today we are experiencing the holidays and the beginning of the new year as a great gift from God. Recalling the beginning of the war at the end of February in Kyiv, I can say that none of us thought that we would live to see the new holidays, until the beginning of the new year, because they wanted to steal it from us. But we are, we survived! And today, all those who are engaged in analytical activities, people who try to analyze events from a military, international, diplomatic point of view, say that this year really has every chance to be a year of victory. Therefore, I wish all of us victory in 2023!

    10/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt of sermon on Sunday after Nativity

    What will Ukraine be like after victory? What does the light of Christ's Christmas tell us on this topic? During the war, we properly pray for our army, support it. The saying that today all of Ukraine is either at the front or for the front has gained popularity. Although we believe in one God, we say that we believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, because we understand that our lives depend on them today, just as the life of the Child depended on Joseph. Warned by an angel in the night, he had to get up, take the Child and His mother and save them.

    This day of the Cathedral of the Most Holy Theotokos we in the people still call the holiday of the Holy Family. Today we welcome our sisters of the Holy Family. Consecrated persons, like the evangelical Nazarene, are the driving force of the new history of salvation, which the Lord God is making through his Church. But, celebrating the day of the Holy Family, we cannot help but look into the face of the Ukrainian family, which is now wounded and divided. Listening to the story about Herod the murderer, about the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt, we see the story of millions of Ukrainians who were forced to leave their homes and flee to different parts of Europe and the globe.

    We ask: Lord, one day send an angel to them, tell them to take their children and mothers and return to their native land. We want Ukraine to be like this after the war.

    However, there is also some deeper meaning that God's word wants to tell us today. As we figuratively say today: "I believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine," because our lives depend on them, so after the end of the war, we all, as a people, must say: "I believe in the Ukrainian family." The family, as a faithful, fruitful and inseparable union of a man and a woman, blessed in the Sacrament of Marriage and open to the birth of children, is the place where a new Ukraine will be born by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit and that Nazarene, about whom we hear in Christ's Gospel. How important it is that all those who today think about Ukraine after the war understand that the main point in the "Marshal's plan" for the reconstruction of our country should be the sanctity of the Ukrainian family and respect for it! Without this, there will be no real recovery. This is Jacob who speaks to us about the future as the first bishop of Jerusalem. And we, as the Church, must take care to support the Ukrainian family, to heal its wounds, so that our young girls and boys are not afraid of married life, that they trust the idea of ​​a new Ukraine and have the courage to give birth to children in Ukraine, raise them here, and pass on the faith to them here to God, here to build the future of our native people and our Church.

    08/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from daily video message

    Despite the simulation of the Christmas truce, the fighting at the front does not stop for a minute. Even on this festive day, the enemy does not stop killing us, shelling our towns and villages. Our border areas in the North will suffer from shelling: Chernihiv Oblast, Sumy Oblast and Kharkiv Oblast. The Zaporizhia and Kherson regions are being hit by Russian attacks, but the center of fire and the biggest military clashes is our Donbas.

    07/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from sermon on Nativity

    Experiencing a humanitarian crisis due to the war, we are happy that the whole world has come in solidarity with us, started helping us, in particular with means of defense, thanks to which we can protect life. But if we rejoice, receiving support from people, then how we should be comforted by the help of God himself! We must sing together with heaven and earth: God is with us! Let us not be afraid to accept that joy, let us hasten to worship the newborn Savior - and we will become stronger.

    The whole world is now asking itself the question: what is the secret of the resilience and courage of the Ukrainian people, who dared to stand against an unfair, much larger attacker? The secret of our stability is the power of God, which is constantly born in us, renewed, manifested even in our weakness, as the apostle Paul reminds us today (cf. 2 Cor. 12, 9). And the bearer of the power of God is the meek and fragile Child of God, the sign about which the shepherds heard from the angels from heaven, "for as if the unwise God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weak God is stronger than human strength" (1 Cor. 1, 25).

    Let's rejoice and share joy with the help of the ancestral carol. Back in the days of the communist regime, our Christmas carol was a certain form of socio-political protest, a spiritual weapon that the godless authorities were very afraid of. Our followers caroled in hiding places, Stalin's prisoners caroled in the cold expanses of Siberia, the underground Church caroled... Growing in that joy, we strengthened ourselves, received the necessary means of spiritual struggle in order to win. And we won. Because today, where are those who covered the mouth of a Ukrainian caroling?! Gone like dew in the sun!

    Let us rejoice, let us thank the Lord God that He is with us, that He was born in Ukraine. Where God is the center of the world, there is fullness of life and joy.

    Let our Christmas joy and caroling visit those who stand guard in the frosty steppes of Ukraine, our military. They gave us this holiday that the enemy wanted to steal from us. Let our soldiers carol, and let our long-suffering Ukrainian people rejoice together with them in the God who was born among us.

    We ask: Lord, as You came to the dark cave of Bethlehem, having upset and defeated the child killer Herod, so come today to our prisoners of war, to the prisoners of the Russian aggressor, be their strength, hope and comfort.

    We congratulate you on Christmas and want to share the power of heavenly Christmas joy with our brothers and sisters in the occupied territories. We pour our thoughts and prayers to Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, Melitopol, which celebrates Christmas without priests, to occupied Berdyansk, in particular to our "prisoners for the sake of Christ", fathers Ivan and Bohdan. To you, dear fathers, we send an angel to tell you: do not be afraid! I announce to you great joy: today a Savior was born to you!

    06/01/2023 (Source)


    Christmas message

    Celebrating Christmas from year to year, we delve into the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God in human history, which became an integral part of the history of our people with the Baptism of Russia-Ukraine. This year, when in the Ukrainian sky the enemy is trying to dim the glow of the Christmas star with its missiles and bombs, we should pay attention not to the calendar, not to astronomical phenomena, but to the fact that Christ came today to be born in the body of a tortured, crucified and wounded Ukraine. Perhaps it sounds paradoxical, but our victory in this war will come not by the power of the mighty of this world, but by the newborn Child of God, about whom Isaiah prophesied: "For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; power is on his shoulders; and they will give him a name: Wonderful Counselor, Strong God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Is. 9, 5).

    To celebrate Christmas means not to be afraid of heavenly joy in the midst of a sea of tears and blood. Allowing Christmas joy to enter our hearts is a guarantee of our stability and indomitability, our ability to overcome all life's challenges, as explained by St. Paul: "I know how to be in humility, I know how to be in abundance: in everything and in all circumstances I am used to being full and starving, living in abundance and suffering the poor. I can do all things through him who strengthens me" (Phil. 4, 12-13).

    Now, during the war, we should celebrate Christmas more than ever.

    (…)

    Having received the power of the born Son of God, we are called to share it with our brothers and sisters to strengthen their faith, confirm their hope, and cement their love. Singing carols is not about having a loud party. Caroling is about sharing the power and joy of Christ's Nativity, in which the Lord God originally laid down the promise of Easter triumph. That is why many generations of our ancestors drew inspiration and strength to fight against the enslavers and invaders from their faith in the incarnate Christ, our crucified and risen Savior. Let us recall how our insurgents in hiding places and prisoners of Stalin's concentration camps were united in the fight against the enemy by our ancestral carols, how our underground Church caroled despite the repression of the communist authorities. In those dark times, carols became a hymn of victory over the night of atheism and godlessness, a prophecy of the inevitable fall of the prison of the nations, the Soviet Union. Today, let the Ukrainian army on the front line carol. Let our captives, the wounded, and those brothers and sisters who are in the temporarily occupied territories carol. Let the joy of Christmas carols in their mouths turn into a hymn of victory over the Russian invader. Let our cities and villages, our faithful families in Ukraine and in the settlements, our volunteers and activists carol. May this caroling become a space of solidarity and sharing of our gifts, both spiritual and temporal. Let our Christmas gifts to Koliada be a personal contribution to supporting the Ukrainian army and helping those affected by the war.

    Dear brothers and sisters! I heartily congratulate you all on Christmas: from East to West, from North to South - in Ukraine and in settlements, on all continents of the world. In a special way, I connect with our soldiers at the front. I embrace you with Christmas joy and thank you for your courage and heroism. I embrace those who were forced to leave their homes or even their native land by the war. I embrace our wounded, both military and civilian. With tears, I embrace those who lost relatives and friends in the past year. I share words of love and support with everyone who is in captivity or in temporarily occupied territories, who endures torture and abuse by the occupier and is unable to prepare Christmas dinner for himself or pray in his native church on Christmas. I sincerely congratulate our volunteers and those who

    05/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from daily video message

    Modern killers set themselves political goals that they want to achieve by military means. And that's why they kill everyone: both their own and strangers. They do not consider it necessary to go to the newborn Christ, because they are convinced that they seem to control the situation and have all the necessary resources for this.

    (…)

    Jesus comes into the world as a serious challenge. As two thousand years ago, He appears now in the thick of events, hopeless situations, life's contradictions, war, occupation, struggle of political parties, stubbornness and self-confidence of religious leaders. Despite the fact that the birth of Christ was expected and announced for a long time, it became unexpected, as if it caught everyone by surprise.

    (…)

    Recently we have been and continue to be witnesses of the feat of ordinary people. With a smile on their face, they show admirable determination, courage and self-sacrifice. Those whom we would never have paid attention to in peacetime, during the calamity of war, show themselves as true heroes. And thanks to them, most of us today will be able to sit at the festive table and enjoy family comfort, while they cover our Christmas with their breasts at the front and defend the birth of God among us.

    05/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    We are experiencing the Sunday before Christmas in the context of war. Today is the first day of the new year. We feel that even the war is the story of the salvation of Ukraine, which the Lord God writes because of the hope that He sends to His people. We understand that the culmination will be in 2023: for us, Ukrainians, it will be nothing more than victory over the unjust aggressor. The Lord seems to fuel this hope of ours. We are now more confident in our ability to win than a year ago and even before the war. It's hard to scare us. The Lord God really revives, increases the flame of hope in us that the history of the Ukrainian people in pain and suffering is a movement towards Him. At the same time, He comes out to meet us. And this meeting, the joy of God in man and man in God, will be the joy of our Christmas during the war, which we will celebrate in just a few days.

    May our incarnate Savior in his Christmas among us give content and meaning to all our pains and sufferings. May he fulfill all our expectations that we present to him in prayer. Let this Christmas be a moment of great joy for the entire nation, which no one can take away from us. They wanted to steal New Year's Eve from us with shelling, strikes - both rockets and "Shaheds", but it passed and the first day of the new year came. Likewise, Christmas will inevitably come, because the Lord God is preparing it for us. We just have to accept it, following the example of Saint Joseph, who was told by the angel not to be afraid to accept what is born of Mary, because it is from the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    01/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from daily video address

    Kyiv is wounded today... People have died, there are many wounded, destroyed houses in the city center. Several metro stations are closed due to the fall of rocket debris on the tracks. And on this first day of the new year, our capital is just beginning to recover from that massive blow.

    We have started a year that will be a victory, a year of victory for our Motherland

    01/02/2023 (Source)


    New year’s greeting

    It's a miracle we're alive! Because someone wanted us to be gone. It is a miracle that we are starting the New Year. Because someone said that there will be no more New Year for Ukraine and its people. The Lord God is the giver of life, the lord of life and death, the Lord of times gives us a New Year.

    Today, we want to first of all thank the Lord God for the fact that He performs the permanent miracle of the gift of life to me and you, to our people and our state. In the face of death, He gave us the opportunity to live and fight, work and pray, so that the new year would be. The Lord God is the one who renews the face of the earth. By giving us life, He also gives us a certain task, a certain mission — to gain something new, to build and live the New Year.

    We want to thank the Lord God for the fact that every day of our lives is a small victory over a deadly enemy.

    In the New Year, I want to wish you all God's blessing, the strength that makes it possible to live from our faith, the strength that makes us stable and unshakable! To wish that the war ends as soon as possible, victory comes and a just peace reigns, so that everyone who may be far from home returns to their homeland as soon as possible.

    31/12/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from daily video address

    We ask God that the year 2023, which will come in a few hours, will be the year of victory for our people and for Ukraine, - the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, the courageous Ukrainian people over the vile invader, - the people who know how to build their Motherland, over the people who come only to steal

    31/12/2022 (Source)


    Message of condolences on the death of Pope Benedict

    At the beginning of the war, the Pope emeritus sent me a letter in which he expressed his solidarity with the Ukrainian people and assured me that he was praying for peace in our country. Amidst the horrors of war, we always felt that in his great, but at the same time humble figure, in the silence of the "Mater Ecclesiae" monastery in the Vatican, we have a suppliant to God for long-suffering Ukraine.

    (…)

    During our conversation, Pope Benedict, although he was physically weak, but with the light of his mind assured me: I continue to pray for Ukraine. Now in his person our people have a deputy before the throne of the Most High.

    31/12/2022 (Source)


    Words on Open Church television programme

    We must be grateful to the Armed Forces of Ukraine that we are alive, that we can move forward, that our state is standing and fighting. We see that there is not a single family in Ukraine in which someone did not fight. Therefore, the Ukrainian army is truly national. These are the sons and daughters of our people who defend us and secure our future. Therefore, on the one hand, we must thank them for being alive, and on the other hand, we must live to support them.

    Indeed, we can say that today all of Ukraine is either at the front or for the front. We do not have the right to get used to war or to live as if it does not exist. Because sometimes, when the front line has moved away from our city, we are tempted to forget and build our lives as if there is no war. This is very dangerous. We cannot put up with the war, but we must do everything so that it ends with the victory of Ukraine.

    We should be grateful to all those who help Ukraine at various levels: our partners, believers all over the world, who are now taking morsels of bread from their mouths to share with Ukraine. We have them to thank for the fact that our hands are not empty when we bring help to those in need.

    We must thank our youth who stood up for the defense of the Motherland. The case of protecting Ukraine has turned into a youth movement.

    We should thank the doctors who treat and heal the wounds of war.

    We must thank the rescuers who continuously save human lives, pulling out those who came under fire from under the rubble.

    We have to thank the energy workers who are repairing what the enemy is trying to destroy once again.

    I want to thank the women of Ukraine. After all, the woman of Ukraine today is a heroine, a protector of life, who took the burden of this war on her shoulders, particularly in the rear, who raises children, sews clothes for the front, prepares food for the hungry in order to feed millions. Unfortunately, the face of a crying woman is an icon of our state today

    29/12/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from daily video address

    According to the morning reports, the Russians have set themselves the goal of reaching the administrative borders of Donetsk region by the end of the year. But we see that the Lord God destroys the wicked plans of those who consider themselves powerful in this world. He protects the poor, the humble, is always on the side of those who cry and are unjustly wronged.

    (…)

    In the midst of war, hatred, murder, maiming, grief and tears, we Christians are called to share our faith in God's love for us, because this is the only way we can defeat evil. This is the only way we can avoid becoming like an aggressor who in his rage tries to destroy all living things. Only believing in Divine love and being its bearers, we will be able to win in this unequal battle, we will be able to protect life, protect the space of life and love for ourselves and future generations.

    27/12/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from daily video address

    And this morning we again thank God and the Armed Forces of Ukraine for the fact that we are alive, that we can continue to work for the good of our people in our peaceful territory, that we can pray, bringing our victory closer day by day.

    26/12/2022 (Source)


    Christmas message to Pope Francis

    I want to thank the Christians of the world for turning off the light in order to be in solidarity with Ukrainians who suffer from a lack of electricity. Thank you for limiting the heat in your churches and homes to stand in solidarity with Ukrainians who suffer from the cold, which the Russian aggressor uses as a weapon against Ukrainians. Thank you all for your solidarity with Ukraine!

    The enemy who came to our land wants to deprive us of everything: life, the Motherland, even the Church. But he will not be able to steal Christmas from Ukrainians! We want to tell ourselves and the whole world: Christmas is a holiday that was not prepared by man, but by God! Despite our weakness, our grief and our pain, Christ comes to be born among us. Heavenly joy is coming to Ukraine!

    Congratulating you, Holy Father, on this holiday, we want to thank you for becoming the center of universal solidarity with the long-suffering Ukrainian people. We were all moved by your tears in the Spanish Square in Rome on the day of the Immaculate Conception, when you could not speak for about 30 seconds, but were deeply moved and cried over the grief of Ukraine. We thank you for organizing countless types of aid that the Universal Catholic Church provides to the long-suffering Ukrainian people.

    Because of such concrete gestures of Christian love, we feel that God is with us, we feel that we are not forgotten and not abandoned in our trouble, that the Lord God is coming to be born today in Ukraine.

    25/12/2022 (Source)


    Christmas message to those who celebrate according to the Gregorian calendar

    Today, throughout Europe and the world, many Christians are consuming less electricity in order to be in solidarity with us Ukrainians who are suffering from a lack of electricity, reducing the heating in their cathedrals and homes in order to be in solidarity with us in Ukraine who are enduring the cold. Nowadays, the whole world wants to share its Christmas joy with us. Therefore, we thank everyone who celebrates Christmas today, thinking about Ukraine, as the Holy Father Francis calls for this.

    To all those celebrating this great holiday today, we send our heartfelt Christmas wishes, God's blessing and a happy, peaceful coming year. We say to them from Ukraine: Christ is born! Let's praise Him!

    25/12/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    Celebrating Christmas during war is not easy. Many people ask whether it is possible to celebrate anything at all now, whether it is possible to rejoice when the whole nation is crying. But today God's word announces the good news: it is not man who prepares Christmas, but God, the Heavenly Father! Don't be afraid to accept the invitation! Don't be afraid to rejoice! Celebrate not only as called, but also as chosen! Do not be afraid to become a participant in the heavenly banquet of the Kingdom, which our Lord and Savior will open for you on Christmas night. Amen.

    25/12/2022 (Source)


    Words during Christmas Eve Mass according to Gregorian Calendar

    On the eve of Christmas, there were so many discussions in society about whether it is appropriate to celebrate Christmas, or whether it is possible to rejoice in a time of war? Moreover, the discussions surrounding the church calendar have led to the fact that instead of Christmas, many today celebrate Christmas, Christmas without God, perhaps responding to some commercial needs or under the slogan "Get away from Moscow".

    There is no Christmas without God! We invite everyone to a real Christmas. It is the new-born Savior who is the content and meaning of Christmas joy.

    (…)

    Only that warrior can defeat the enemy who knows how to kneel before God. He is given the power of good and light, which drives away the darkness of sin and death.

    (…)

    Let the secret of our resilience, our Savior who is among us today, be the source of our vitality in the new year. May the new year bring us victory and peace, because we know that Christ, who is the light, the way, the truth and the life, is also our peace. Merry Christmas, merry Christmas, heavenly blessing to you, your families, all of our indomitable Ukraine.

    24/12/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from daily video address

    There is destruction and new victims, killed and wounded. Kherson is turning into a city of indomitability and courage, where the enemy continues to sow death, and Ukrainians affirm life every day, repairing broken infrastructure networks, bringing joy where the enemy wants to make us cry. All volunteers, state and public organizations are now rushing to Kherson and the Kherson region to warm the people there, to bring life there

    24/12/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    This exarchate is the most wounded by the war today. As an assistant to the Apostolic Nuncio, you went to the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk and saw what the Russian invader was doing to people. He not only deprives her of what she has, but also takes away from her what she is, takes away human dignity. Recently, when we visited our Donetsk Exarchate, one of our priests from Mariupol told me the following phrase: "These occupiers do not so much take people's lives as steal their dignity. I saw how people cut each other for a packet of vermicelli, how they fought for a bottle of clean water”. Bishop Maximus, the Holy Spirit anoints you to carry the word of the Gospel of Christ to where there is the greatest pain and darkness, to pour healing balm on the wounds of suffering people, consecrating them. Give them hope! It is you that the Lord God sends to announce, to deliver the release to the prisoners. After all, your exarchate includes two of our courageous priests - Ivan and Bohdan, who are prisoners of the Russian occupiers. Bring them and other captives, and with them all the faithful in the occupied territories, the glad tidings of liberation. The Lord God is sending you today to set the oppressed free. Today, this war oppresses, torments, bleeds us all. But Christ places you as a beacon of hope for our Church and Ukraine

    23/12/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from daily video address

    Even children who save their wounded parents under shelling behave and think like adults. One gets the feeling that the war steals childhood from children, and youth from young people.

    20/12/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from daily video address

    Victory can be seen in the eyes of soldiers, wounded and released from Russian captivity. It can also be seen in the eyes of the elders in the destroyed villages of Kherson region and Kharkiv region, where they live without light, without heat in the midst of the Ukrainian winter. Victory looks at us through the eyes of war victims who say: "The Ukrainian people are already winning, the enemy has already lost."

    19/12/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    It is a privilege for me to arrive today in Kryvyi Rih, in the city that was probably the most affected by the Russian rocket attacks the day before yesterday, in which people were killed, in particular, the dead body of a one and a half year old child was removed from the rubble...

    We ask today in this church: "Lord, come to us! In the midst of the horrors of war, we cry to You: where are You? Come and untie the knots that the Russian invader is tying over us. Speak that word to us so that we stand up and straighten up. Give us the strength to win, which the apostle Paul tells us about today: "You must put on the full armor of God, so that in the hour of trouble you can resist and, conquering everything, stand firm. Stand, therefore, having your loins girded with truth, having put on the armor of justice" (Eph. 6, 13-14), because, as the apostle warns us, we fight "against the principalities, against the authorities, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the spirits of malice in the heavenly spaces" (Eph. 6, 12), so we must put on all the power that flows from this throne of God. Lord, arise, strengthen us, because we know that You love us. Save, God your people and bless your inheritance. Amen.

    18/12/2022 (Source)


    During visit to Kryvyi Rih

    Everyone who at least once in his life experienced shelling, heard the sound of Russian explosions and rockets, forever received a certain wound in his soul, which will always make itself known. And what can we say about our women who lost their husbands and children in the war?! Can someone heal these wounds? It is humanly impossible. But it is on these wounds that the Lord God wants to pour healing balm with the power and action of the Holy Spirit.

    18/12/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from daily video address

    We heard the sound of sirens all over the territory of Ukraine... The enemy continues to destroy the cities and villages that were recently liberated, in particular in the Kherson region. People are dying again. However, this Sunday we once again announce to the whole world: Ukraine stands! Ukraine is fighting! Ukraine is praying! We continue to pray for our soldiers, especially for the defenders of Bakhmut and Avdiivka,

    18/12/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from daily video address

    God, help our youth to preserve the freedom you have given us. Help us all to understand that in order to defend the freedom of our Motherland, we ourselves must be free people.

    (…)

    The entire northern border region: Chernihiv region, Sumy region, and Kharkiv region - suffers from dozens of Russian shelling every day, which Russia carries out from its territory on our land... Bakhmut is already being called the Stalingrad of the third millennium.

    15/12/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    In times of war, we Christians have learned to live in a deeper way because we don't know when our souls will be taken from us, maybe tonight. They learned to live without grave sin, in God's grace, to confess often and to receive Holy Communion every day, that is, to be ready to stand before God with a heart full of goodness, love for God and neighbor, for their Motherland. We sometimes define that good with the word "patriotism" as love for one's people and native land. To be rich in God during the war in Ukraine — let it be our Christian wisdom and strength.

    Let's live this day, week, month with dignity - and then we will see that a mad and unworthy invader cannot stand before a worthy and wise Ukrainian.

    11/12/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    In his recent letter to the Ukrainian people, the Holy Father Francis separately addressed the Ukrainian youth. He painfully stated that today Ukrainian youth are forced to take up arms to defend the Motherland, abandoning their dreams of the future. However, young people should not stop dreaming. Let's support our youth! Today, the special vocation of the Church is to accompany young people in these difficult, terrible, dramatic circumstances of the war in Ukraine.

    (…)

    The enemy continues to try to deport Ukrainian children en masse. Moreover, the Russians released a commercial about children deported from Ukraine, in which they encourage Russians to adopt Ukrainian children who were taken from their parents. The Russians themselves claim that they took more than 150,000 Ukrainian children out of Ukraine. But the biggest barbarism is that the Chechens create military camps for Ukrainian children from the Donbas in order to instill in them hatred of their Motherland in the most aggressive way. Weapons are placed in children's hands... Let us wrap our prayers around the children who today fell into the hands of the enemy, from whom the Motherland, language, culture, love for everything native are stolen.

    09/12/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    We will need the world to condemn these crimes at the international level. If they are not condemned, unfortunately, they will repeat themselves, as happened with Hitlerism or Stalinism. Hitler's crimes were condemned at the Nuremberg Trials, but communism was not. Therefore, the communist ideology, changing like a hydra, under the guise of modern Russian ideology, continues to kill. We must do everything to stop this chain of blind violence, this sacrilegious war against man that is happening in Ukraine today.

    Yesterday, the United Nations report on mass executions of civilians in Ukraine was published. It is simply amazing. We read that only in the three occupied regions of Ukraine during the first six weeks of the Russian occupation, the murder of 441 civilians was proven, of which 341 were men, 72 were women, 20 were boys, and 8 were girls. We understand that those figures are a drop in the sea of Ukrainian grief and pain and a drop in the sea of crimes that Russia is committing in Ukraine. However, it is very important to collect and record those crimes bit by bit, so that later they can be officially condemned in an international tribunal, because otherwise it will be impossible to achieve peace in Ukraine. If the murderers are not named and the victims are not honored, it will be impossible to talk about the process of reconciliation between nations.

    08/12/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    God, bless our soldiers at the front! God, send Your arch-strategist Michael with the heavenly army, so that evil is once again defeated on the battlefield! God, grant victory to Ukraine! God, grant Ukraine Your just, heavenly peace!

    (…)

    Let us pray for those of our children who ended up in the occupied territories. We know that the occupiers are systematically destroying the Ukrainian education system in the occupied territories, threatening to deprive those who refuse to send their children to hastily created Russian schools of parental rights. May the Lord God help us to preserve the dignity of the child and raise the dignity of a person in the network of our school, particularly the Catholic, education system.

    06/12/2022 (Source)


    Pastoral letter from the UGCC on Patriotism

    In this terrible hour of military calamity and extremely difficult trials, we want to address you, dear compatriots, with a pastoral word about patriotism as love for one's people and the Motherland. Its purpose is to inspire our heroes-defenders with the word of God's truth; to comfort all those who have lost their loved ones with a word of sympathy; to support with a word of love those who suffered from the criminal war waged by the Russian aggressor against our state; finally, to speak a word of hope to our compatriots.

    We call on believers to become "salt of the earth" (Mt. 5:13) and "leaven" (1 Cor. 5:6) to strengthen, unify and renew our Motherland. We appeal equally to all Ukrainians, because we believe that, regardless of religious and confessional affiliation, everyone should strive for moral values to serve the improvement of the entire society. We direct our word to people of other national origin who live in our common Motherland and love it as their own, having found here the land with which they connect their present and future and the future of their descendants. Our message is based on God's commandments and the example of Jesus Christ,

    The destructive actions and war crimes committed by the aggressor cause a flurry of emotions in each of us, including restlessness and anxiety, pain and sorrow. We, the bishops of the UGCC, share the feelings of our suffering people. The rules of the Christian experience of defensive war, which our people are now fighting, include the rules of just self-defense. Ukrainians have a sacred duty to defend their Motherland, even taking up arms. Therefore, we wrap our prayers in support of our soldiers who went to the front to protect their native land, their families, the lives and future of their children and grandchildren.

    At the same time, we call on our compatriots not only for an emotional reaction. Our feelings even now, during the war, should serve as an impetus for deeper reflection, which should not be postponed until victory. On the contrary, right now, despite the destruction and suffering, is the time not only to act and feel, but also to think, to think in the light of faith. Therefore, in this message, we invite you to think together with us about the meaning of existence and historical tasks of our people, about the Motherland as our common value and sanctuary, about our attitude towards friends and enemies of our country, about the development of the future Ukraine, which should become even better after the victory over the enemy

    Patriotism, which we offer to think about from a Christian perspective, is one of the manifestations of the main commandment - to love your neighbor as yourself. Derived from the Latin "pater", that is, "father", the word "patriotism" should help us realize that our earthly Motherland is given to us by God the Father. We turn to our heavenly Father with the words of the prayer "Our Father". Ukraine is our Motherland, that is, the earthly inheritance of the Father who is in heaven. It is our earthly "home", in which we are residents, and among ourselves we are relatives (people), because we are children of the same Father. Therefore, the roots of earthly patriotism are in heaven. Giving the Motherland to us as a gift, the Lord calls us to be responsible for it, and the responsibility is to enter into the Father's plan for Ukraine and transform our land according to His commandments.

    (…)

    The Church of Christ, formed from different peoples, preserved love for the earthly Motherland as a duty. Christians, loving their parents, are called to love their land, "the land of their fathers." However, unlike the people of the Old Testament, who associated themselves only with the land that God gave to their forefathers, Christians seek first of all the high Jerusalem (cf. Gal. 4, 26), and call themselves citizens of heaven (cf. Phil. 3, 20 ; Hebrews 13, 14). The words of the apostle: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3, 28) do not diminish the richness of different cultures and national characteristics of the embodiment of Christ in their history Gospel. Yes, the holy apostle Paul, following the Teacher, opens a vertical dimension to us, because all of us, the peoples of this earth, stand together before the face of God. Christ's mission is to unite all people in one people of God. This does not mean that Christians should neglect their earthly Motherland, because the Apostle Paul, whom St. John Paul II called "a teacher of love for the Motherland", writes in the Epistle to the Romans: "I speak the truth in Christ, I do not deceive, as my conscience testifies to me in the Holy Spirit [...] I myself would like to be separated from Christ for my brothers, my relatives in the flesh" (Rom. 9, 1-3). Other words of the apostle are also important: "If someone does not care for his own, and especially for his family, he has fallen away from the faith: he is worse than an infidel" (cf. 1 Tim. 5, 8). as my conscience testifies to me in the Holy Spirit [...] I would like to be separated from Christ myself for my brothers, my relatives in the flesh" (Rom. 9, 1-3). Other words of the apostle are also important: "If someone does not care for his own, and especially for his family, he has fallen away from the faith: he is worse than an infidel" (cf. 1 Tim. 5, 8).

    (…)

    The absence of direct calls to love one's earthly Motherland among early Christian authors can be explained by the fact that in the society of that time, Christians were a persecuted minority, and the state system was permeated with a pagan religious worldview, unacceptable to Christians. Therefore, the position of the martyrs, who chose the death of the body rather than sin, remains exemplary for subsequent Christian generations; life in the Kingdom of Heaven than living in the state of "this world", which grossly violates God's commandments and natural law.

    (…)

    The Christian faith is the source of thousands of years of Ukrainian state building experience. And when the state was declining in difficult moments of our history, it was our Church that bore the image of the lost "home" and provided spiritual impulses for its restoration. In this way, the Kyivan tradition nurtured by our Church served to preserve and develop not only the church, but also the national identity of the local people of God. Over the centuries, Ukrainians preserved their spiritual and cultural identity, perceiving Christianity not only as a personal matter of a person, but also as a patriotic idea of ​​the Rus-Ukraine community.

    The church-national identity of Ukrainians was not always understood by other peoples, because they had their own history with a different relationship between the services of the Church and the state. For some, the role of the Kyiv Church in state construction seemed comparatively insufficient, for others - excessive. Hence the objections regarding the "apoliticalness" (insufficiency) or, conversely, the "nationalism" (excessiveness) of our Church in the social life of the Ukrainian people.

    (…)

    Metropolitan Andrey distinguished two types of patriotism – pagan and Christian, and defined hatred as the point of distinction. Pagan patriotism contained hatred as a necessary element of opposition to foreigners: "Pagan patriotism is love for one's own, combined with hatred for all others. And Christian love for the Motherland, embracing all people, unites Christians with opponents and enemies and gives patriotism the basis it needs: it teaches that unity" (Decree "On Unity" and rules for the decree, September 28, 1943). Christian patriotism has a basic red line outlined by Jesus himself: "I say to you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Mt. 5, 44). The basis of Christian patriotism is a special love for one's people, which does not contradict the Christian duty to love all people.

    (…)

    A Christian can and should be a patriot, but his patriotism cannot be hatred, nor dare he impose duties contrary to faith. What would appear to be patriotism, but [in reality] would be hatred or contrary to faith, is not true patriotism.”

    (…)

    In the modern teaching of the Church, the Second Vatican Council speaks several times about patriotism. In the Decree on the missionary activity of the Church "Ad gentes" it is stated: (…) As good citizens, let them nurture a real active love for the Motherland; completely avoiding contempt for other peoples and extreme nationalism, let them cultivate universal love between people" (p. 15). So the Council fully supports patriotism, while opposing chauvinism or extreme nationalism. 

    (…)

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church on patriotism teaches as follows: "It is the duty of citizens to cooperate with civil authorities for the good of society in the spirit of truth, justice, solidarity and freedom." Love for the Motherland, service to it arise from the duty of gratitude and from the order of love".

    (…)

    Unfortunately, not everyone adequately perceives the desire of Ukrainians to build a "native home" - their earthly Motherland. This became most evident when the northern neighbor, denying the very right of the Ukrainian people to exist, launched a bloody war against it, causing terrible destruction and numerous human casualties. Even in the so-called to the free world, not everyone understands the Ukrainian defensive struggle, the defense of its own identity, accusing our people and our Church of excessive nationalism. This once again emphasizes how important it is not only for Ukrainians, but also for all other nations to understand the meaning of true Christian patriotism.

    (…)

    True patriotism will never be seasoned with antagonism or hatred, even towards enemies. Christian patriotism must be distinguished from a distorted attitude towards the Motherland, which is not love, but rather national egoism, which can imperceptibly develop into open chauvinism. Because a chauvinist or a Nazi also says that he stands for his country, but he wants to achieve the greatness of his state by humiliating or even destroying others. Instead, a Christian understands that it is not hatred of others and opposition to them that makes us able to fulfill our Christian task of protecting the Motherland, but rather the ability to give ourselves in love.

    (…)

    Love creates heroes, and hate creates criminals. A patriot is someone who first of all identifies with his people and takes responsibility for his country.

    (…)

    Therefore, a patriot should be especially careful not to introduce ungodly principles into the state system, such as uncertain and unverified concepts of human identity or family and principles of gender education, which are no less threatening to the nation than military aggression.

    (…)

    Let the Ukrainian struggle today give evidence of true freedom not only for Ukraine, but also for the whole world. And true freedom, as the experience of Ukraine shows today, is the ability to do good. And let this spiritual truth be our strength that enables us to win.

    05/12/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    In times of war, we see a mutual rapprochement through Christian love and charity carried out through social service and various humanitarian initiatives. They bring together and unite the East, West, South and North of Ukraine, unite our people in their native lands and in settlements in different parts of the world. This unity is the key not only to the treatment of modern wounds, but also the guarantee of our victory, the victory of Ukraine. Evil and death will never have the last word. Only Divine love, which heals and saves, is eternal.

    04/12/2022 (Source)


    Words to Fr who was arrested by Russian troops and then liberated and expelled from Melitopol

    Today in the Gospel we heard about the hand of the Good Samaritan, the hand of the priest who administers the Holy Sacraments. And here is the hand that brought God's grace to our brothers and sisters in Melitopol and its surroundings, the hand that was shackled and taken away from the parish by force! Allow me to make one gesture - to kiss the hand that poured and will pour God's grace on the wounds of our people.

    I asked him several times: "Father, can we save you?". And he said with tears in his eyes: “No, there are so many people here who ask for Confession, Holy Communion, get married, and are baptized. Who will serve them if I am not here?!" He was under special pressure during the pseudo-referendum. Seven times they came to him to accept a Russian passport!

    Our two priests in Berdyansk - Father Ivan Levitskyi and Father Bohdan Geleta - are imprisoned. We know that they are tortured mercilessly, confessions are extracted from them in crimes they did not commit.

    May the Lord bless all our priests. May he save our fathers Ivan and Bohdan and again give them to the Church for service.

    04/12/2022 (Source)


    Daily video message

    The enemy continues to commit various crimes in the occupied territories, but what surprises us all the most is widespread looting. No matter how difficult it was for our people, we never ransacked shops or destroyed warehouses with food. Instead, those who supposedly have power in these territories engage in looting. In Novaya Kakhovka, Russians broke into shops and began to steal even freezers and cash registers. But Ukraine stands! Ukraine is fighting! Ukraine is praying!

    Unfortunately, the enemy is intensifying repression and humiliation of the civilian population in the occupied territories. Numerous searches, arrests, torture are carried out, people disappear, about whom there is no news. Our heroic priests from Berdyansk — Ivan Levytskyi and Bohdan Geleta — are still in captivity and are humiliated and tortured every day.

    04/12/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from television interview

    During the audience, I asked Pope Francis: "Do you know what they say about you in Ukraine?". He asked: "What?". I answer: "That you didn't read Dostoevsky well." "But why?" – he was surprised...

    (…)

    And I told the Pope that it reminded me of certain romantic ideas about Germany before the Second World War: when someone heard the word "Germany", they imagined the German philosophy of the 19th century, high examples of German culture... But in power were nazis And then the whole world wondered how such a people, with such a high culture, created Auschwitz and was the cause of the great Holocaust.

    The same thing, unfortunately, is happening in Russia. Criminals, Nazis, are in power there. And the whole world today is watching the crimes against the Ukrainian people, their genocide. We see these mass burials. And the Pope simply could not believe that such alleged examples of humanism could commit such a crime.

    Today, our people are like a sick child who sees the world in shades of black and white. And they believe that when someone is not with us, he is against us, if someone speaks positively about those who kill us, it causes offence.

    Our people do not understand this. That's what I told the Pope. And he asked what he could do as a gesture, a word of comfort, empathy. I said: Holy Father, write a letter to the Ukrainians. And he did.

    02/12/2022 (Source)


    Appeal for the release of Fr. Ivan Levitskyi and Fr. Bohdan Geletu

    These two priests decided to stay with their people in the temporarily occupied territories. They served both the Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic communities, bringing a light of hope to people under occupation. They were arrested, then some military items were thrown into the temple, and they begin to accuse these fathers of illegal possession of weapons. Yesterday there was a report that they were being mercilessly tortured. In accordance with the classic Stalinist repressive methods, confessions of a crime they did not commit are simply beaten out. They are in danger of death every day.

    I ask everyone, first of all those who beat and torture, to release them immediately. This is not the fault of Christ's priests. They were guilty only because they love their people, the Church, the people entrusted to them.

    Lord, we entrust Fathers Ivan and Bohdan into Your hands! Give us all the light of understanding, how we can help them, how to save them. And where it is impossible for a person to do something, Lord, be present! God, may their lives, testimonies, and sufferings be the newest treasure of our Church and people.

    01/12/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from sermon

    How many wounds our people have today! How deeply we carry the pain of despair in our hearts today! So many times we experienced the feeling that everyone left us and forgot about us! It seemed to us that the whole world was just watching how many days it would take the enemy to conquer Ukraine. It is already the ninth month, and we are standing. Now the whole world is asking where we get our strength and resilience from.

    Today we can say to ourselves and to the whole world that the stability of Ukraine, our strength and victory and our peace, for which we are fighting for our Motherland, has a name - the Lord our God Jesus Christ. It is He who tells us today: "Don't be afraid, just believe!". Because we, as people, are afraid. Anyone who says they are not afraid during war is telling a lie. When rockets fly, bombs fall, our houses shake and windows fly out, everyone gets scared.

    How to live in such circumstances? One woman, whose husband was killed, asked me: how to continue living? That is why Christ's words addressed to us sound so strongly today: "Do not be afraid, only believe!". The Lord wants to touch us, he is looking for those who would believe in Him and to whom His power could be transferred.

    Now He touches us through the body of His Church. This touch of the fullness of the Universal Church is mentioned by the Holy Father Francis in his recent letter to the Ukrainian people: "In these months, when the harsh climate makes what you are going through today even more tragic, I want you to feel the gentle touch of the Church on your faces , the power of prayer and the love with which numerous brothers and sisters around the world surround you." Even now, in this Divine Liturgy, Christ is looking for those whom he would touch with his Body and Blood. He calls us to Holy Communion, His Body and Blood for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. He is looking for open, believing hearts that can receive His healing power because He wants to heal our inner, not only bodily, but also spiritual bleeding, which is our sin. Because sin is the bleeding of the soul. Sometimes a person who is bleeding may not feel much pain, but she dies. Christ wants to touch both our soul and our body to stop our internal bleeding and restore the fullness, integrity of our life.

    (…)

    We ask the Lord God to touch each of us: me and you. We ask Him for peace for our Motherland, for victory over the Russian aggressor, for victory over sin and death, which the enemy brings to Ukrainian land. Because Christ is our peace, healing, life and resurrection.

    (…)

    Today we say: God, save Ukraine, save our boys and girls at the front! With your strength, heal the wounds of Ukraine, touch the suffering, sick hearts. Pour out your power on them as You did in today's Gospel regarding the bleeding woman and the dead girl. God, bless our Ukraine with Your true, just, heavenly peace! Amen.

    27/11/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from speech on Holodomor remembrance day

    Unfortunately, in history it happened that when we lost our statehood, the northern aggressor exterminated our people. The same is happening today. The enemy tells us to surrender our country. However, we understand that by losing our statehood, we again become victims of genocide. It was not for nothing that Pope Francis found a deep internal connection between those two tragedies – the 90-year-old Genocide-Holodomor and the genocide that Russia is wreaking on the land of Ukraine today. Then Stalin's killers turned hunger into the cheapest and cruellest weapon of mass destruction, and today their descendants want to turn cold into such a weapon against Ukraine again.

    (…)

    We pray today to protect our people from a new deadly threat, which is now being openly carried by Russia with the intention of taking away the Ukrainian people's right to exist, we remember to prevent.

    We should unite and do everything in our power, so that such crimes never happen again on Ukrainian soil. We remember to prevent! Eternal memory to all those who were deprived of their right to life and existence, who became victims of the great famine in Ukraine!

    26/11/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    It is sometimes not easy for internally displaced persons and refugees to integrate in a new place - foreign people, circumstances, customs, maybe even languages. Therefore, I am asking everyone: let's accept our brothers and sisters, especially children, as relatives. Let's not pay attention to the language of communication - let's help integrate social life in them. I thank all our communities and parishes abroad, which welcome brothers and sisters from the East of Ukraine and give them the opportunity to feel that they are full-fledged members.

    25/11/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    However, what strikes us the most is the brutality of the Russian occupiers towards their own people. We are already used to seeing terrible footage of mass burials, torture chambers, abuse of the peaceful Ukrainian population in the liberated territories. However, residents of Kherson said that the Russians burned the bodies of their dead soldiers in the city cemetery. And they called it a secret special operation. However, they failed to hide this crime against the dignity of their own soldiers

    22/11/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from sermon

    In the conditions of the current war, we see the evil that, due to the crimes of the Russian invaders, materializes in this visible world. From a person's evil decision, from abusing the opportunity to choose between good and evil, from abusing freedom, a person joins that spiritual struggle, enters the vortex of evil and, as it were, lets it into this world. But at the same time, a person is invited to be a winner. The final victory over evil is given to us in Jesus Christ, God incarnate, who defeated death by death, destroyed the devil and his army. In Him, we also see the final victory over evil at the end of history, as we read about in the book of Revelation.

    So, this holiday has an open invitation for each of us. We are participants in this confrontation, so we cannot help but act, fight, decide on which side we stand. The Church invites us to stand on the side of the arch-strategist Michael, so that his victory, which was completed in the sacrament of the incarnation of Christ, becomes a reality in our personal life, in the life of a person, human community, human culture and in the life of this visible world. The whole world groans with inexpressible groans, says the apostle Paul, waiting for the liberation of the sons of God, for the final victory of good.

    Today, on the holiday of Kyiv's patron saint, arch-strategist Michael, all our thoughts are directed towards the capital. We feel that from the beginning of the war, when there was an attack on Kyiv, arch-strategist Michael with all the heavenly army fought against evil over this city. At the beginning of the war, there were many testimonies of people of different denominations and religions about the presence of an angelic host. At that time, when explosions rang out around the capital, fighting was going on in Gostomel, Irpen, the heavenly army fought on the side of the Ukrainian army. In those most dramatic moments of the history of our capital, we felt all the disgust and destructive power of evil, as well as the beauty and invincible power of good! And we become partakers of that victory that took place in heaven and is carried out on earth through the right choice in favor of the good of people, the Ukrainian army, Ukraine, which is today resisting Russian aggression.

    We are also currently celebrating a state holiday – the Day of Dignity and Freedom. We commemorate the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred, all those who gave their lives on the Maidan, saying "no" to evil, violence, untruth and corruption, opening a new page in the history of the national liberation struggles of the Ukrainian people. Praying today with our Heroes, who in the heavens today form a single army with arch-strategist Michael and his disembodied forces in this Cathedral, we ask for the power of goodness, help, and prayers for the victory of Ukraine in this war, which has come to our home today. Let the final word of goodness be revealed in our victory. Let the victory of Ukraine be the victory of good over evil of arch-strategist Michael and his heavenly forces over the devil and his servants. May we see this strange vision of how Satan, who was created as a day-star, a star, will fall once more from his pedestal of human history, so that we can experience this vision together: "I saw Satan falling like lightning from heaven" (Lk. 10, 18). Amen.

    21/11/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from sermon

    We know that the word "freedom" has many meanings. Sometimes in the modern world it undergoes such a mutation that it loses its original, true meaning. Everything is done in the name of "freedom". Even the Russian occupier comes to "liberate" someone on Ukrainian soil.

    (…)

    Today, we ask the Lord God through the prayers of St. Josaphat for true freedom for our people. We ask for that freedom from new enslavement. Because we see that this invader and murderer who comes to our home is a new colonizer. We are telling the whole world that now, at the beginning of the third millennium, a war of colonization is going on in Ukraine, which lies in the center of Europe. This is difficult for many people in the world to understand. The colonizer wants to take everything from us. However, what makes Ukraine today the epicenter of world events is precisely the fact that we tasted freedom, that we said "no" to the legion that is attacking us, because we want to be disciples of Jesus. Today, Ukraine is becoming the heart of the struggle for freedom throughout the world.

    Lord, let us return home, just like this man whom You set free. Millions of Ukrainians are waiting for this moment. We want to go home and then tell everyone about what God has done with us or for us. We want to tell the whole world about free, independent Ukraine, which lives in the freedom that the Lord God gives and guarantees to us, in the freedom of God's sons. Amen.

    20/11/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    We were particularly worried by our President's statement that Russia deported more than 11,000 Ukrainian children from Ukraine. And these are only the ones we know about. And those we do not know about, unfortunately, are not included in the statistics. Therefore, today we are asking all international institutions: let's do everything together so that the children of Ukraine return to their Motherland, to their parents, to their homes!

    (…)

    The war brought ruin to our Ukraine and to the soul, psyche and physiological sphere of all Ukrainians. However, there are those among us who have lost more than we have. When it's hard for us, let's remember that there are those who endure more. When we are in pain, let us understand that someone is suffering much more. Therefore, let's be attentive to those who need help

    15/11/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from an interview with Avennire

    The Pope asks to start negotiations, calling Putin and Zelenskyi by name.

    He made this address after the Sunday prayer "Angel of the Lord", condemning Russia's annexation of four regions of Ukraine, referring to international law, which guarantees the inviolability of the borders of a sovereign state. Those are really brave words. I consider his address historic and am convinced that it will mark the history of Central-Eastern Europe, as well as the history of the entire Catholic Church before the outbreak of this war.

    Why?

    The appeal to the two presidents is striking in its asymmetry. The Holy Father appeals to Putin to stop the aggression. We are talking about something special, because the Russian side is in the grip of its own logic of war. And addressing Zelenskyi, he asks him to accept "serious proposals for peace." This saying reveals the deep wisdom of the Pope, which not everyone has yet fully understood.

    What are the conditions for negotiations?

    After the invasion of Georgia, Russia changed the very concept of "peace proposal." For the Kremlin, peace means the pacification of the colony it conquered. This is the peace that needs to be planted - "peace coercion". Basically, it's about giving up. However, this model is unacceptable for us, therefore "not serious", according to the Pope's statement. I can assure you that all of Ukraine seeks peace. Our president declared peace with Russia as one of the most important points of his election program. We, as the Church, teach how to build peace. But first of all, we need to recognize Ukraine's right to exist, a right that Putin denied us very recently. After that, it is necessary to guarantee subjectivity — and this is only a prerequisite for dialogue. And if a serious offer of peace really comes, the Ukrainian people will accept it with great joy. So we pray that it will happen as soon as possible.

    Can the Holy See be a mediator?

    No doubt. This is what the Pope himself says in the letter he sent me: "I assure you that the Holy See, at different levels and in different areas, continues to make efforts to stop the conflict and to prevail over all actions for a peaceful path." Pope Francis tells us that Vatican diplomacy is at our service. Ever since the beginning of the war in Donbas and the annexation of Crimea, the Holy See has always shown readiness to mediate. Our President Zelensky even suggested that the Vatican city-state could be the geographic location of the meeting. However, certain prerequisites are necessary. First, both parties must agree to mediation. Second, they must commit to abide by and ratify what they agreed upon. Thirdly, it is necessary to hear the arguments of both sides.

    Is the intervention of other great powers necessary?

    I am not a politician, but every contact and channel that can contribute to saving human lives is very necessary. History shows that pandering to the aggressor is always harmful. In any case, if there is someone who can remind the Russian authorities, we sincerely ask you to do so.

    Are you afraid of nuclear escalation?

    This whole war is a constant escalation. And now, after Russia's latest defeats on the battlefield, we constantly hear nuclear threats. However, people have already crossed the psychological threshold of fear. This is also not good, because the danger has not passed. Many people say: our houses are destroyed, missiles and kamikaze drones shoot at us - what difference does it make to die from another missile or an atomic bomb?! This indicates that we, Ukrainians, have no other choice but to fight for survival. However, no one loses hope. People understand that giving up means making things worse.

    What do the priests in the occupied territories say?

    The intention of the occupiers is to depopulate Ukrainian territories. We do not understand the motives. They say that they have come to protect the population — but why is it necessary to destroy everything? We also see the systematic deportation of the population. Ethnic cleansing is being carried out in Kherson, people were given two days to leave the city. And this is the policy of the state that just annexed the territories? The task of the Church is to protect the most disadvantaged and, if necessary, to be their voice. That is why we consider it our duty to tell about all this.

    Is this Putin's war or the Russian people's?

    Russia is not a democratic country. No one there is interested in what the people think, overwhelmed by propaganda about the supremacy of the Russian nation. Of course, Russian society suffered a lot from this propaganda, but it also adapted it. If it is true that 65 percent of the population supports the war, then we are sorry. When we see the tears of Russian mothers mourning the death of their own children, believe me, we are not happy. When we see their huge losses at the front or when we see those fleeing from forced mobilization in order not to go to kill, we realize that this people is also suffering. The Russian government behaves irresponsibly and cruelly towards its own people. And I sincerely hope that a sense of peace will prevail in Russian society. If it is obvious that starting this war was a big mistake, you have to have the courage to admit it. And we, the victims of this war, pray for our enemies,

    Russian Patriarch Kirill blessed the invasion. Is the war in Ukraine dividing Christians?

    It is in everyone's eyes. Christians are divided even in their assessment of the war. But no one will justify the attack, except for the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia. Even the same church outside of Russia has a different position. The way in which the Russian Orthodox Church supports the war reminds us of the doctrine of ISIS. The Islamic State used Islam to legitimize the most brutal violence - we see the same in the preaching of the Moscow patriarch and the highest representatives of this church. Like ISIS, the Russian Orthodox Church views the Western world as immoral and deserving of destruction. The doctrine of the Islamic State calls for self-sacrifice for the sake of fighting the West, promising eternal life - we hear the same in the sermons of Patriarch Kirill. However, the Islamic world has managed to develop antibodies to reject and defend against this provocative ideology. And also we Christians must distance themselves from this apparent instrumentalization of the Gospel. Otherwise, we will face not only the threat of the division of the Christian world, but also a crisis of confidence in Christianity as such.

    They predict a hard winter. Do you need the proximity of the West?

    Ukraine needs solidarity at various levels. First of all, we ask the world to condemn attacks on civilians. The All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, which unites Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, Jews and Muslims, recently made a statement on the protection of the Ukrainian sky. It may seem strange to some that Churches are asked to provide anti-missile defense systems, but we do this not to kill people, but to save them. We also need help to restore the energy infrastructure. Not so long ago, Ukraine was an energy exporter for Europe, and now we need Europe's support in this important area.

    Peace will not come only from the signing of a certain agreement. Will it be necessary to cleanse hearts?

    In our Church, we adopted the Pastoral Plan until 2030. An important part of it is wound healing. We realize that war not only inflicts physical wounds, but also creates feelings of hatred and revenge. As Confucius said, if we hate, we have already lost. And that's why it will take time for peace to come not only on paper, but also in hearts, as God's word tells us. However, when we manage to stop the hostility, it will be necessary to clearly indicate who is the criminal, otherwise we cannot talk about justice. Therefore, it is necessary to start a certain path, on the horizon of which there should be objective truth. Many Russians do not realize what their army has done on the territory of Ukraine. We will need time to pray together at the graves of our victims.

    Italy, in particular the Italian Church, has always been close to the Ukrainian people...

    I am grateful to the Italian people for the help we receive, as well as for their hospitality to refugees from Ukraine. In the first ranks of this help, we see dioceses and parishes. I want to thank the Episcopal Conference of Italy, which supports our Church every year. However, we especially feel this help now, when bombs are falling on us. I will also note that although many of our priests live on the verge of poverty, they perform sacrificial service to all people.

    14/11/2022 (Source)


    Opening of jubilee of St. Josaphat, in Rome

    Those words about our Christ the Lord Jesus as a good shepherd were reread again and again by each of our bishops, priests, abbots of this or that monastery, when they saw the approaching Russian army. When he had to make a difficult choice - what to do: stay here, in place, or leave the occupied territory, that community, those people? And today I want us all to give thanks together that our Church has good shepherds on the example of our Savior Christ Jesus.
    12/11/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    Apparently, the past day will go down in the history of Ukraine as the Day of Liberation of Ukrainian Kherson. Yesterday we watched with emotion the video of how the residents of Kherson and Kherson Oblast met the Ukrainian soldiers with flowers, with Ukrainian flags, and most importantly, with tears of joy and with smiles that they are finally free. Today, on behalf of all of our God's people, I thank the Armed Forces of Ukraine for restoring the gift of freedom to Kherson and the entire right-bank Mykolaiv region and Kherson region.

    (…)

    We feel a nationwide elation and say: God, liberate other Ukrainian lands by the power of the grace of the Holy Spirit! God, support the Ukrainian army in its victorious march!

    (…)

    Unfortunately, the war also causes an increase in internal tension in Ukraine. People are becoming embittered, aggressive, the number of conflicts within our communities is beginning to increase.

    12/11/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of address to monastic superiors

    When the war started, 500 people often spent the night in the crypts of our Patriarchal Cathedral. Together with them - cats, dogs, parrots, hamsters, fish. In this, I saw the Church as Noah's ark, which saves those people in the midst of a turbulent world, in the midst of death lurking outside. We saw how Russian helicopters circled over our cathedral, how rockets flew into high-rise buildings in Kyiv before our eyes. Where did the people go? To his Church. Because they knew that there they would be received, hugged, warmed, fed and entertained.

    We want to be a Church that doesn't just shut itself up in its bomb shelters, but comes out like the Basilian Fathers came out to serve the Divine Liturgy in the Kyiv subway. I want us to especially remember the Fathers in the occupied territories, because now it is the most difficult for them. I spoke personally to the Holy Father about their fate: about the Basilian fathers in Kherson, in the Crimea, about the Redemptorist fathers in Berdyansk, about the Fathers of the Incarnate Word in Skadovsk – about our newest confessors of Christ's Gospel in extraordinary circumstances.

    He who survived confession in the Kyiv subway under bombs will never forget the loving motherly face of his Church.

    One of our priests in Zaporizhzhia was called a priest who smells like bread by the Russian military. Because he carried bread and smelled of it. For him, the smell of bread was a document that opened all Russian roadblocks.

    I am proud that we have such monasticism, which is ready to serve its Church where it is most difficult, where there is the greatest need. When we serve others, we solve many internal problems. We are healing our wounds, overcoming difficulties.

    08/11/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    We see that Russia spends tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars every day on the huge amount of weapons it uses to attack Ukraine. If, for example, those funds were invested in the development of medicine, in the development of people, even in Russia itself, then it would be possible to do a lot of good and serve life, instead of bringing death and destruction.

    We are witnessing the fact, that Russia, instead of treating the sins and vices of its people, wounded by decades of communist terror, is trying to solve internal problems with external aggression.

    08/11/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon, during a trip to Rome

    It is a miracle that I am among you. It's a miracle we're alive. It is a miracle that our Motherland, which has been crucified for the 256th day, is alive. From a human point of view, this is impossible, because we should have been gone a long time ago. And then everyone would be calm, satisfied, no one would have problems - neither political, nor diplomatic, nor military. But the Lord God does not see such a world without us. We, as a people, as the Church, have a special task from Him in front of this world, which thinks about its own benefit, its own comfort - thinks only about itself. We have a mission given to us by God.

    (…)

    The question, where is God, torments and burns every Ukrainian who today is looking for meaning in the most insane reality - in war. A little girl asked this question to her mother in Mariupol: Mom, where is God when a bomb falls on us? Mother, where is God? This is the question that everyone asks themselves when they see those who suffered from this war, those from whom the enemy took away their relatives, those whose house burned down in front of their eyes, and in that house - their entire previous life. Where is God when you look at the mass burials of murdered young men, women and children with their hands tied. You ask: God, where are you?

    God answers us today in this parable: I am where no one expected to see Me. I am among those who today they want to kill, denying their right to exist. That is why we can say today: God is in the body of the Ukrainian people, who, like that Lazarus, reaches out to the world, sometimes asking for that little bit of humanitarian aid or other things. We are the people to whom God himself gave the right to exist and live, and no one can take this right away from us. God is wounded every time Russian rockets and bombs fall on the heads of Kyivans, residents of Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, and Kherson. His wounds can be seen in our wounded soldiers. What wounds - if only we could imagine!

    Those who today close their hearts and minds to us, thinking that they decide the destinies of the whole world, do not want to give God even a crumb of their attention. Again and again our Lord Jesus Christ is killed, shot, tortured, publicly executed in the body of our soldiers and civilians in the occupied territories and in Russian captivity. And He dies again in the body of Ukraine to be resurrected!

    And when today we want to ask ourselves, what is our strength, the strength of stability and invincibility of Ukraine, which surprises the whole world - El-Azar - God is still present in his Lazarus today! Moreover, it is the Lord who reveals to us, Ukrainians, the prospects of our life and existence as God's people far beyond the earthly hell that the occupier created for us on earth, and even beyond the limits of death itself. Therefore, we are not afraid of death - Christ defeated it and rose from the dead. He is in us, and even if the mind, will or heart of some politician or head of state, philosopher or thinker does not accept and understand us today, know that Abraham's bosom will accept us in the heavenly abode. We will be embraced by the Heavenly Father as His beloved children. And those who today do not want to see the hand of Ukraine, which, dripping with blood, knocks on the hearts and minds of the world community, they will never receive the desired finger of Lazarus, which would cool their tongue in the midst of eternal hellish suffering and torment (cf. Lk. 16, 24). Only we, as God's people, must be able to live it worthily.

    Let's not be afraid and let's not get discouraged when someone doesn't understand us today, when they don't understand why Ukrainians don't give up, but fight. Let's not worry about the fact that someone does not understand the meaning of our pain and suffering. One victorious European politician of the 20th century said: "You must win first, and then everyone will understand you."

    Do not despair! Don't get tired! But every time you get into difficult life circumstances, ask yourself: where is God? You will see that He is much closer than you thought. And even when you carry the wounds of Ukraine, our nation, on your body, you will be able to say with the apostle Paul: "Let no one trouble me, because I carry the wounds of Jesus on my body" (Gal. 6, 17).

    Here in Italy, in this temple, you have a privilege, and therefore a special task in this national, church-wide battle against evil. Your privilege is not that Russian bombs and rockets do not fall on you and you do not hear the sounds of sirens, and not that you have light and warmth, but that you can stand in prayer in front of the Zhirovitsa icon of the Mother of God. This is a unique privilege. This is your special place of mission here in the temple near Her steps. Because it was Her eyes that absorbed not only the prayers, tears, and groans of that icon painter, the monk of God, who wrote it just when his homeland, today's Belarus and Ukraine, was in the flames of war, but also the numerous prayers of God's people for their Church and for his people Therefore, I ask you: pray to Her! Because Ukraine stands and wins precisely because it prays. Ukraine stands and wins by God's power, not by the support of the powerful of this world. Pray for us - in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, in Donbas. You will see: we will endure, we will win, because the hand of God reaches out to the world today through Ukraine, through the Ukrainian people, through its visible destiny, historical mission in the past, present and future.

    Today, at the feet of this icon of our Heavenly Mother, I begin my visit to the Apostolic Capital. I want to submit to Her feet all the prayers and requests that I have collected from the suffering Ukrainian people and believers in various cities and villages of Central, Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western Ukraine.

    Yes, today the Lord God has placed upon us, upon our Church, a special mission to be the voice of the Ukrainian people, to knock on the doors, hearts, and minds of the rich of this world. But today we ask, as our Church sang from time immemorial: "Don't entrust me to human intercession, Most Holy Mistress, but accept the prayer of your servant: sorrow envelops me, I cannot endure the demonic shooting, I have no cover, and I have no one to run to, wretched one, always defeated, and I have no comfort except You, Mistress of the world: hope and protect the faithful, do not reject my prayer, but make it useful for us"! (Stikhira ch. 6, Canon of prayer to the Most Holy Theotokos).

    Mother of God, our hope, our light in the midst of darkness, save Ukraine, save our Church, save Your sons and daughters, save God's people who call out to You day and night, raising their hands and hearts in prayer! Holy Mother of God, save us! Amen.

    07/11/2022 (Source)


    Words to Pope Francis, in Rome

    The war in Ukraine is distinctly colonial and the peace proposals coming to us from Russia are nothing more than the pacification of the colony. Behind them is the denial of the right to the existence of the Ukrainian people, their history, culture and, in particular, the Church. They carry within themselves the denial of the very right to the existence of the Ukrainian state, recognized by the international community with its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Russian proposals for peace do not yet have any objectivity for dialogue.

    (…)

    This is a symbolic gift not only because it is a fragment of a Russian mine that destroyed our church in the martyr city of Irpen, but also because we daily extract similar fragments of Russian mines, bombs and rockets from the bodies of soldiers, civilians and even innocent children. They are visible signs of the total destruction and death that Russia is bringing to Ukrainian land.

    07/11/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    Every word of this Gospel knocks on our hearts today. Because each of us feels like a hostage of death. We in Ukraine live in constant danger of death. Mothers mourn their dead children almost every day.

    However, in the midst of our national grief, crying and pain, we hear good news: God sees! He sees everything, even what a person no longer has the strength to look at or what he wants to look away from. I remember one Soviet dissident, an atheist, who wrote the following words: "God, if You are not here, then please: be! Because I need a witness who would see the hell that his man created on earth." Lord, look! Be a witness to all the evil that the murderous enemy is doing to us.

    God sees, but he does not easily see from afar – He is moving towards us today, He extends His life-giving hand to us even when our hands are down, He touches us and lifts us up. The Lord sympathizes with us. Now there is no longer any human patience in which our God and Saviour does not suffer with us.

    Just where it would seem that the complete and final kingdom of death reigns, our Lord and Saviour comes. Perhaps He is telling us, me and you: daughter, mother, son, don't cry! These are not words of human comfort. The Lord God is moving towards us in Ukraine in order to eliminate the very cause of our pain and crying. Today, the whole world wonders where Ukrainians have so much strength to endure. Where does Ukraine have the strength to resist the onslaught, which the whole world fears in the future? Why are Ukrainians not afraid? Our philosopher Hryhoriy Skovoroda aptly answers these words when he says that we are a people who believe in the resurrection. Whoever believes in the resurrection, the fear of death has no power over him.

    "Seeing her, the Lord looked at her and said to her: "Don't cry" (Lk. 7, 13). Lord, today our Ukraine is a weeping widow - come to her, come to us and show us the power of Your three-day resurrection and Your victory over death! Lord, turn our sadness into joy, because You promised it to Your children at the Last Supper and You promise it every time You touch us with Your Body and Your Blood in the Sacrament of the Eucharist! Lord, extend your life-giving hand to us and be the author, source and strength of our life, our stability and victory! Lord, help us today, together with the inhabitants of the city of Nain, to say: indeed, God has visited his people (cf. Luke 7:16)! Amen.

    30/10/2022 (Source)


    Daily vídeo address

    We know that the Ukraine that existed before February 24 of this year no longer exists. And our Motherland, our people, our state can and must become better, emerge renewed from this barn, from this crucible of war.

    27/10/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from interview with Patriarchate magazine

    I have not personally seen those hitlists, but everyone says that I was there. I heard this from many ambassadors who had left Kyiv at that time, but sent us messages with warnings in different ways. In particular, from the ambassadors of many European states, with which we are in closer contact.

    (…)

    As they say, when someone in wartime says he's not afraid, don't believe him—he's lying. Fear and hatred are normal human reactions to such circumstances. Because when you see a Russian tank approach a peaceful town and start shooting, killing, turning peaceful people, including pregnant women and children, into living targets, shooting at living people for fun, then if it did not generate hatred, it would mean that we are fake people. Hate is a natural human emotion for this type of crime, a reaction to their rejection, condemnation, recognition of their inadmissibility and a demand to stop and punish them. But like fear, hate can never be a good counselor. Because when a person begins to give his mind and his free will into the hands of emotions of fear and hatred, he becomes their slave. That is why the ancient sages said that when you allowed the enemy to threaten you or arouse hatred in your heart, it means that you have already been captured: he has already defeated you, captured your inner world, your heart, your imagination. The heart of a person is where our thoughts are born, where the foundations of actions lie. That is why Christian asceticism teaches that the natural energy of hatred must be transformed into the virtue of courage. Courage is a virtue that takes "material" from the realm of anger and transforms it with the help of humanity, reason, and free will. Those who are able to survive the transformation of their angry state in this way become very courageous, aimed at bravely defending their territory. This is how the emotion of hatred turns into an extremely constructive force that allows not only to gnash one's teeth and curse the enemy, but to stand up for the defense of one's Motherland, expel the enemy from one's heart, imagination, and most importantly from one's city, village, native land. And I saw how our soldiers did it. Having seen the atrocities and crimes of the occupiers, they courageously fought the enemy to the last, and even with smaller forces, fewer in number, but with the power of courage and a sense of moral superiority over the attacker, they defeated him. Because we don't seize other people's property, but we defend our own, and this gives us courage in our actions. seeing the atrocities and crimes of the occupiers.

    (…)

    Seeing the bodies in this grave gave me an emotional shock. You know, the ground there is a little sandy, and when it was opened, there were mutilated murdered young women, men... We were able to stand on the edge of this mass grave to pray. And now, during the prayer, I begin to feel that I am standing on other bodies that have not yet been unfurled from the ground. I am beginning to realize that the grave I see is actually much bigger! In such cases, you are thrown into a cold sweat, and you begin to realize: man, you too could have been in such a grave, because there are people lying in this one who did not offend the occupiers any more than you. Before the mass grave, everyone is the same, everyone is equal. It does not matter who you are: a worker, a priest, a bishop. We are all people, and the enemy who came to us takes away, wants to take away, the right to life from all of us equally. This was a very personal experience for me... I also once taught moral theology, we discussed the rules of "just" war, legitimate self-defense, and so on. And in the circumstances of cruel reality, this whole theory "falls down". You have to rethink everything that you knew, knew, and understood until then. Your knowledge of moral theology suddenly seems to be nullified by the cruelty that appears before your eyes. Something similar is experienced by everyone, including those who come to Ukraine with some lofty ideas of cunning diplomatic moves on how to appease the attacker.

    (…)

    [Regarding the Good Friday incident at the Vatican, when the Major Archbishop asked the Pope not to have a Ukrainian and Russian woman carry the cross together for one of the stations] I felt my duty to be the voice of the Ukrainian people. It was not about any criticism, but about making people understand that Ukraine and Russia are completely different, especially after February 24, 2022. It is obvious that when someone puts his career first, he will be very afraid to say something contrary, so as not to spoil something for himself. I was talking about much more serious things: so that due to unhurried steps, the very concept of reconciliation as such would not be discredited in the hearts and minds of Ukrainians, and for decades to come. I explained that when it comes to reconciliation in our case, it does not mean the reconciliation of ideas, some good intentions, but the reconciliation of people and peoples who are now deeply wounded, going through the experience of genocide. Just as, for example, the phenomenon of pedophilia is being combated in the Catholic Church out of respect for the victims, so it is necessary to do the same here in order to fight against the ghosts of the war of the third millennium. It is clear that the organizers intended to show the need for reconciliation through a symbolic gesture. But it is necessary to start from respect for the victim, for his feelings. And I want to tell you that my voice was not the only voice: Greek and Roman Catholics, spiritual and secular, statesmen and diplomats united in unison. and we were heard. We managed to do a lot. It is obvious that certain moments that were already announced could not be changed. But I made the following proposal: at least let's keep quiet, let's not say anything.

    If we stand before the mystery of evil, which is revealed before our eyes, if we are shocked, then let's not teach others, let's not teach the Ukrainian people how and with whom they should put up with. And so it happened. Texts that were prepared in advance and already printed were postponed. This case once again shows that we need to fight for the truth, to explain it, because it is understood only by someone who has experienced the same experience as us. Therefore, we cannot take offense at the world community, that it sometimes does not understand us. After all, it does not experience what we experience. Sometimes understanding comes only through some personal experience. That is why we invite everyone to come to Ukraine and touch the wounds of the war, to experience this terrible reality in which Ukraine is living.

    (…)

    For us Ukrainians, it is self-evident that this is a war between good and evil. It is obvious to us that we stand for good. But this is not so obvious in what is often called the post-truth world, and it is a world of compromise. Sometimes, in order to understand whether Ukrainians are not exaggerating or whether they are telling the truth, foreigners want to listen to the other side as well. And here comes powerful Moscow propaganda, which has completely different rules and goals, is simply a destructive force of evil. Therefore, we need to constantly explain to the world why we defend ourselves. Because, for example, some "school" theologians began to question whether our war and self-defense are really legitimate, if we have to pay such a high price for it, as Ukraine pays? Shouldn't we give up? We understand that there are parallels between the actions of Russian propaganda and the actions of the Nazis during the time of Hitler, who also talked about "reconciliation" before the start of the Second World War. The Nazi parties that existed in many countries of the world, including Great Britain, talked about the need to "understand" Hitler, about the need to "reconcile" with him. But here the very word "peace" underwent a substantive mutation and meant to surrender, lay down arms, succumb to evil. In order to realize this, Great Britain and France had to go through dramatic processes of cleansing their societies, even their politicians. Therefore, I think that in order for the Western world to be cleansed of the virus of Russian propaganda, which, unfortunately, is actively decaying the minds and souls of many (and dramatic things will still happen here), the task before us is to explain the spiritual dimension of this struggle. Our task is to explain to the world why a half-truth is a whole lie, as Jewish wisdom says; Why, listening to Moscow propaganda, you are listening to the devil who tempts. We know that in the spiritual struggle with the devil one cannot dialogue. Because when you start to listen to his "arguments" and enter into a conversation with him, you have already lost. So, in our case, the laws of spiritual warfare are in full effect. We talked about hatred and courage, but also many other aspects of the spiritual struggle of the Christian ascetic are now becoming the rules of the struggle of Ukraine and Ukrainians against the Russian aggressor.

    (…)

    Ukrainian society has its diseases, Russian society has its own. And this war on the part of Russia is an attempt to solve its internal problems with external aggression. It is similar to how a serial killer always looks for a victim, because he is driven to new murders by the internal pressure of the psychological mechanism to which he is a slave. It is clear that the victim is not to blame, although the killer says that she provoked him. He will kill until he is caught. Therefore, the current war was caused by the defects of that society, that country, which is now a collective murderer in relation to Ukraine. If there was no Ukraine, they would have found another victim. They have already declared who will be next. And this indicates that Russia is driven to murder by an internal mechanism embedded in it, related to defects and diseases that evolved in Russian society after the collapse of the USSR. The clot of these diseases is the ideology of the "Russian world", which I have already mentioned. Yes, Ukrainian society has its flaws. Sometimes we really didn't fully understand that you can't have illusions about Russia. We have had a post-colonial mindset for many years. Even the system of corruption at different levels showed this. Because it was the corruption of the colony, which once collected tribute from society in order to transfer it to the metropolis, and then the one who found himself at the top of the social pyramid, felt like a great colonist in the state in which he gained power. This post-colonial thinking was a big problem, including for the political system.

    (…)

    If I were not a priest, I know exactly what I would do. Back in 2014, I received a summons from the military commissariat as a military paramedic. I don't know if I would still be alive, but I know for sure that I would be in the ranks of military medics. And that is why I keep this summons as a great relic in my prayer book, from which I pray the church rule every day. Visiting military hospitals, having the opportunity to bring some kind of gift, every time I find a common language with the doctors. After all, I served in the army as a paramedic and could "taste" that element a little. In general, I am sure that when the opportunity arises, the Lord God shows us where and in what place we should serve our people in the struggle for freedom and independence, to save human lives.

    24/10/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from sermon

    Words about love for enemies sound like a provocation for us, Ukrainians, because every day we suffer from a Russian criminal who sows death and destruction on our land. Every day we mourn new victims of this land. Even the light in our homes is now a luxury because of the unprecedented terrorism of this attacker, who violates all international humanitarian rules and customs of warfare. Therefore, we ask: God, how can we be Christians during war? How can we love our enemies when they methodically, systematically, brutally kill us? Perhaps, it is precisely in this Gospel about God's love, which reveals to us mysteries inaccessible to the human mind, that Christ wants to give us the key to victory over the Russian criminal and attacker. And the secret of victory is this: evil can be defeated only when we do not succumb to its logic, its slavery. when we are spiritually.

    The ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius said: if you hate, then you have been defeated. If the hatred with which the enemy is killing us today settles in our heart, it will make us similar to this enemy, it will take away our strength to resist him. Because man was created for love, and hatred steals his spiritual strength, dries up his soul, likens him not to God, but to a criminal, into whose eyes we look.

    Today's Gospel gives us not just good advice, but strength to overcome. Because when we love not because we will receive something from someone, but because God loves us, then, according to the teachers of the Church, we seem to carry in our heart an inexhaustible credit and the source of our strength – the Holy Spirit himself, poured into us by God heavenly love and power. This Divine grace not only sanctifies us and helps us resist any form of evil, but is a constant generator of our resilience in the fight against it and renews and rejuvenates our strength. The psalmist says: "He saturates your old age with goodness, and renews your youth like an eagle".

    We see that the war is dragging on. We get tired. Where do we get the inner resource to persevere? Today, Christ gives us the answer: stay in God's love! Carry within you the love that God has put in your heart, and it will restore all your strength, turn your pain into wisdom, make you resistant to evil.

    Do not give in to the intimidation of our enemy! Let us not give in to his attempt to enslave our mind, our heart and our will with the spirit of malice and hatred. Moreover, let's defeat that enemy out of love for himself, limiting his ability to commit crimes. This is a strange paradox of defensive war.

    Today we ask the Lord God for the inner spiritual greatness with which He so generously blessed our Ukrainian people and which is abundantly manifested during the war, in particular in the treatment of Russian prisoners of war or their dead. We ask God for the generosity that is needed when it comes to the victims of Russian propaganda. We ask the Lord God of heavenly power to persevere, to grow in love. We ask the Lord God that first we know how to be just, even in relation to our enemies, if we do not yet know how, we do not have the strength to fully live in that evangelical love. But we ask that the strength not of man, but of God, complements the efforts of our people in the defense of freedom and life in our Motherland.

    Let the power of God's love overcome sin! Let the power of God's love defeat evil in the context of this invisible confrontation and spiritual warfare! May God's mercy make us steadfast, courageous and invincible! Because only the power of God's love will bring true and just peace to Ukraine.

    23/10/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    My heart aches especially for the orphans, who, being deprived of parental care, are the most vulnerable, especially amid the horrors of war. We have received information that 46 pupils of the Kherson Children's Home are being forcibly deported to Simferopol. We pray for those orphans. The ancient duty of the bishop of the Christian community is primarily to care for widows and orphans. Let's pray for those orphans who are stolen from Ukraine and then deported to an unknown destination

    23/10/2022 (Source)


    Speech at Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas

    The personal experience of the war we are going through, indicate that we are not talking about an ordinary war of one country against another, much less a military operation, but about a real genocide of the Ukrainian people and terrible crimes against humanity, which carried out by Russian soldiers. This is an open program for the complete liquidation of the Ukrainian nation as such, which the famous historian Timothy Snyder described as one of the most open genocidal documents. This document clearly calls for the liquidation of the Ukrainian state and the Ukrainian people.

    But for us, it is a real shock to see the Christian justification of this murderous ideology, to witness the complete harmony between the Kremlin authorities and the Russian Orthodox Church. Starting from Patriarch Kirill up to the priests who methodically justify these crimes, we see how the Christian faith becomes an ideological tool for the propaganda of Russian Nazism. The justification and call for war on the part of the Russian Orthodox Church increasingly resembles the doctrine of the Islamic State of ISIS. Even more, the leaders of this church quote it verbatim, although they dress in Christian robes. Recently, we even see their priests in liturgical robes with grenade launchers in their hands shooting on the battlefield.

    If the modern world does not condemn and stop the genocide of the Ukrainian people, tomorrow we will have even more victims, as happened in the past with Nazism and communism.

    19/10/2022 (Source)


    Words during visit to Mikolaiv

    Today, being in Mykolaiv means touching the wounds of this city and Ukraine, which is suffering... But we do not regret the fact that we are fighting. Because only he who fights for his freedom is worthy of it. Only he who will not leave the will of his Motherland in anyone's hands will win.

    18/10/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    Yesterday we received some good, good news: 108 Ukrainian women were released from Russian captivity. We thank the Lord God for these rescued mothers and women, for the fact that they can return home to their families. Let's wrap these women together today with our attention, love and prayer, let's warm them with our national warmth. Because the facts of violence against a woman in Russian captivity, about which they tell, simply break the heart, make the blood boil in our veins.

    (…)

    This war will go down in history as one in which Russia uses violence against the intimate sphere of a person as a weapon against Ukraine. You can imagine how much this violence against the intimate sphere of a person hurts the Ukrainian family, the dignity of a man and a woman, destroys what the Lord God created for love! Let's do everything possible together so that our men and women love each other, and the Russian occupier never invades the Ukrainian family with a terrible grimace of violence.

    God, You are the God of love, You are the God of mercy, by the power of Your love, help us to defeat evil and violence in the midst of this war! God, look with a special eye on the Ukrainian family, protect this oasis of life and love that You created for human happiness! God, bless the Ukrainian family! God, bless the Ukrainian soldiers, girls and boys, who are doing everything today to expel the war and its carriers from our Motherland! God, bless Ukraine with Your just peace!

    18/10/2022 (Source)


    Words during vespers

    When someone says the word "war" to me, I see before my eyes a woman in tears - a woman-mother who sees off her son or daughter to the front, not knowing if she will ever see them again, a mother in tears who has lost her son, a mother in tears who with her child, she has to leave her home, her place, because her house was destroyed before her eyes, a tearful woman who today is storming Europe and other countries of the world to take care of a temporary shelter for herself and her child while dad is fighting at the front.

    18/10/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    The great calamity of the war broke up Ukrainian families. We have already mentioned that the war scattered family members to different corners of Ukraine and the world. Communication between relatives is reduced to a call on the phone or via the Internet, and often this connection is lost altogether due to the stay of the occupation. But the family, as a union of unity between a man and a woman, needs to live in this unity! Separated hearts are so eager to be together again! Actually, the family has a very deep spiritual meaning, because the unity in the Holy Spirit between a man and a woman is an icon of the unity between Christ and His Church. Apostle Paul teaches us: just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it, husbands should love their wives in the same way. This conjugal love is deeply wounded during the war. And that's why the Ukrainian family in new circumstances is again looking for this completeness, looking for this new home, temporary or even permanent. Our families face a big painful question – how to start all over again, how to put down new roots in a new land, if the enemy has driven you out of your home?

    Communicating with our refugees, especially in the south of Ukraine, in Odesa region, I heard so many stories of such wounded families. A woman does not stop carrying a man in her heart even when he is far from her, somewhere at the front, when there is no connection with him. She carries it in her heart with her marital fidelity and love. Similarly, our soldiers who defend our Motherland at the front carry their families in their hearts. This gives them strength and courage to defend life, freedom, independence of their family and their people.

    17/10/2022 (Source)


    Words during visit to Odessa

    Pope Francis has said more than once that every big war is connected with a big lie. This hybrid war that Russia is waging against Ukraine is also a war of disinformation and propaganda, which kills no less devastatingly than Russian missiles, shells, bombs and bullets. You and I, as Christians, have the duty to bear witness to the truth, to speak the truth about Ukraine's pain, so that, as Shevchenko once wrote, "the whole world will hear what happened in Ukraine, what she died for, what the Cossack glory became all over the world”

    16/10/2022 (Source)


    Daily video address

    Many families today are separated. Dad is fighting at the front, and mom and her child are sometimes forced to leave their home and go to a distant unknown world. We pray for the unification of those families, for the children to have the right to grow up in a family where there is a father and a mother together. Where the mother gives all her femininity, and the father all his masculinity to the children.

    Remember in your prayers the families whose relatives are fighting. Families who have wounded, whose family members are in captivity or died at the hands of the occupier. These families bear a special burden of war, restlessness, anxieties and worries. Because God created the family as an oasis of human life. According to God's plan, the family, as an inseparable, faithful, fruitful union of love between a man and a woman, is the heart where human life is born, where it is healed from its wounds and where, according to God's plan, that life should end here on land

    These families are faced with special questions, looking for answers to the deep truths of the meaning of human life. Children ask mom and dad: "Where is the Lord God now, when the war is going on? What is the meaning of our struggle? What is the meaning of our life, suffering and death?”

    The family itself is the basic, fundamental cell of any society. As the family is strong, there will be a strong nation. There will be a strong, invincible state.

    16/10/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of a sermon on the feast of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos

    This depth of the Church's prayer, which is revealed to us in the figure of the Most Pure Virgin Mary, resonates for us in a special way, because we celebrate the Intercession during the war. Even more, today we celebrate another holiday – the Day of the Ukrainian Army. Just as this mystical reality of the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary reveals to us the nature of the universal prayer of the Church, so the holiday of the Ukrainian army on the day of the Intercession reveals to us the nature of the Ukrainian army.

    Let's think about it. Today we celebrate a national holiday – the Day of Defender of the Motherland. Therefore, the essence of the Ukrainian army is defense. This is not an army of occupiers, conquerors or invaders, which was created to humiliate other peoples, steal something from them, take away or, as we say, annex. This is an army of defenders, which consists of those who are not looking for someone else, but, having learned from the protection of the Most Pure Virgin Mary, protect and defend their own: their own people, their Motherland!

    This nature of the Ukrainian army is revealed in a special way in the current war. Today is the 233rd day of this bloody war. We, as a people, stand. We stood in times of the worst danger - when Kyiv, like Constantinople, was almost besieged by the Russian army - thanks to the power of Christian prayer. This prayer supported, inspired the Ukrainian army and gave it strength. Therefore, victory is won not only by the power of human wisdom, weapons and human effort, but also by the power of church unity and prayer, when heaven and earth, angels and people are united.

    Today we especially pray for our defenders and entrust them to the protection of the Most Pure Virgin Mary. Let our common prayer, which goes beyond the boundaries of space and time, human limitations, fly to the front, where blood is being shed, where our army protects our people and the Motherland with their chests. May the protection of the Most Pure Virgin Mary, the embrace of the Mother Church reach our girls and boys in the trenches, on combat duty, may they strengthen the art of those who today watch over the peaceful sky of Ukraine and prevent Russian missiles, bombs, and drones from bringing death to our cities and villages. Let this intercessory prayer flow to the places where we humanly cannot reach – to our prisoners of war, who are in the prisons of this cruel enemy, to Russian prisons and torture camps. Let the Mother's prayer of the Mother of God fall over our suffering soldiers there.

    How can we forget this day our wounded soldiers, who carry Ukraine's wounds on their body and soul? Let the motherly veil of the Mother of God spread over every hospital bed today, whether in a hospital or in a hospital, or even at home, where our soldiers are recovering and healing their wounds.

    On this day, we want to wrap our soldiers' relatives and loved ones with attention and prayer, especially those who are experiencing a deep wound of loss, who live in anxiety for their children who are fighting, waiting for their call, their text message as the greatest joy in life. Today, our suffering nation has turned into a warrior nation, which by its very nature learns from the protection of the Most Pure Virgin Mary to be courageous and steadfast in prayer and courageous and steadfast in the defense of its Motherland.

    15/10/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from daily video address

    On the day of the Intercession of the Mother of God, we especially pray for our protectors. Today, the entire nation joined the ranks of the Ukrainian army. Yesterday's teachers and sportsmen, yesterday's culture and art workers, engineers, technologists today joined the ranks of defenders. On this day, we especially want to surround the Ukrainian army with love, prayer, and attention. We pray for it, we entrust it to the protection of the Most Pure Virgin Mary.

    14/10/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from daily video address

    We call on the entire international community, heads of state, Churches and religious communities, public organizations and intellectuals of the world to join our voice and strongly condemn this type of terrorist actions. If you remain silent today, you will be killed tomorrow, just as they are killing us today. Let's say our resolute "no" to the state that resorts to such actions to achieve any goals.

    (…)

    The enemy wanted to intimidate us. He tried to destroy the critical infrastructure of our towns and villages, including electricity supply. But Ukrainians stopped being afraid a long time ago. This type of attack unites our people even more. Ukrainians are even more united in their desire to persevere to the end in this battle. Today, an air alert was announced again from the very morning throughout Ukraine. It is possible that even now the enemy will repeat a similar crime.

    On behalf of all Heads of Churches and religious organizations united in the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches, I consider it my duty to loudly and decisively condemn this act of terrorism, which the Russian Federation committed and is committing against the Ukrainian people. Such actions of the Russians are a direct violation of international humanitarian law, the rules and customs of warfare and cannot be qualified in any other way as war crimes.

    (…)

    Thank you! Thanks to your work, we won this night and this morning. I sincerely thank all the citizens of Ukraine who, at the call of our energy workers, reduced electricity consumption by more than 26 percent yesterday and thus provided an opportunity to restore the destroyed energy infrastructure of our cities. I bow down in gratitude to our anti-aircraft forces of Ukraine, which shot down almost half of the Russian missiles yesterday and thus prevented the murderous hand of the aggressor from destroying many of our cities and villages.

    Today, this morning, under the wail of the anti-aircraft siren, we thank the Lord God that we are alive. Thank you for our defenders, girls and boys, our servicemen, rescuers, all those who save lives in Ukraine.

    11/10/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from daily video address

    All the saints of the Ukrainian people, holy martyrs, confessors of our Church, pastors who suffered at the hands of the communist regime, you are today our strength, our help. Intercede, pray before God's throne today for our long-suffering people! We thank the Lord God for those heroes, giants of our national and church history. We continue their holy work, which we must accomplish today, in particular in the fight against the Russian aggressor.

    In the social, popular dimension, it is very important for us to understand that we continue the great cause of the fighters for the freedom and independence of Ukraine, as if embodying it in modern historical circumstances. But, as Christians, we believe in another sacrament, which is a characteristic feature of Christ's Church. And this sign, this reality is called "communion of saints". The Church of Christ as a community, as the body of the resurrected Saviour, is a community of mutual help and mutual strengthening. We call it "communion of saints". The saints in heaven pray for us here on earth. Even more, they strengthen us with their feats, their strength, their courage. And we, the Church traveling here on earth, thanks to the unity with the Church glorified in heaven, can defeat evil. We can perform our spiritual feats.

    10/10/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from daily video address

    With our self-discipline, orderly rhythm of life, physical activity and proper care for all dimensions of the human being, including the physical, we prepare ourselves for a long, enduring, but victorious battle.

    (…)

    Today is the Lord's Day, Holy Sunday, and we, believing people, rush to our temples - to stand before God's face, listen to His word, partake of the Holy Sacraments of the Body and Blood of our Saviour and draw spiritual, mental, and physical strength from Him in order to endure this war of attrition, to endure against the evil that is killing dozens, thousands of Ukrainian citizens before our eyes.

    9/10/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from daily video address

    Let us pray for those who were denied a decent burial by the enemy, for whom church bells were not rung, prayers were not sung.

    Today, we see that every new liberated city of Ukraine reveals the terrible facts of torture, abuse, and murders committed by the Russian occupiers on Ukrainian soil. And these days, the newly liberated city of Liman shows new victims. A large mass grave was opened again, in which three small children were already found. May our prayer for their eternal rest go to the Lord God today.

    8/10/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from daily video address

    In the Russian torture chamber in the Kharkiv region, prisoners scratched icons of the Virgin and Jesus Christ on the wall, which represented the living God and His Most Holy Mother to them. Those icons, which for us, Christians of the Eastern rite, are the mystery of the presence of eternity in the pre-temporal, the place, the moment of meeting a person with God. These icons are a deep call, a symbol that tells us: He who prays, endures. He who prays will stand. And next to them are the badges with which the prisoners counted the days of their imprisonment.

    Prayer for us, Christians, is the moment when we hold the hand of our God, when the Lord takes me, my life in His hands and leads Him. He is the source of renewal of our strength. Therefore, prayer during captivity, suffering, personal grief, war is a source of renewal, restoration of our strength and the secret of our resilience.

    6/10/2022 (Source)


    Comment on the annexation of four Ukrainian provinces by Russia

    We have witnessed an unprecedented event in the history of modern humanity – shameless theft at the state level. The Lord God commanded man: do not steal! When theft becomes the policy of some state, and even more, it is presented as a great victory, then this state and its policy, according to the words of Saint Pope John Paul II, become the structure of sin in the world.

    (…)

    Obviously, the Pope understands that for Ukraine the seriousness of these peace proposals means the search for mechanisms to return the sovereignty of our state to the borders defined in 1991. It is also important to note that the Apostolic Capital has never recognized attempts to occupy the Ukrainian Crimea by Russia in the past, and diplomacy, as a tool for achieving peace in the world, which the Holy Father calls for, is always based on respect and strict adherence to the norms of international law.

    5/10/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from daily video address

    In that situation, the truth is a weapon that the enemy does not have and that we have in abundance. It makes us stronger. You have to keep in touch with this truth, like a pilot keeps an airplane on course, and constantly check with it.

    That is why we repeat again and again that God is with us, truth is with us, victory is with us. We are on our land and we are fighting for our freedom, for our free future. As our Kobzar said, in one's house there is one's own truth, strength, and will. Let us not be disappointed and discouraged when someone does not understand us in our struggle. When we win, everyone will understand.

    5/10/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from daily video address

    One of the foundations of our stability is the belief that Ukraine's victory is inevitable. It is as inevitable as the dawn. And we bring this common national goal closer with the daily steps of our hope. That's why it's so important not to stand still when the earth is spinning so fast.

    Ninety percent of all injuries that our soldiers have, are injuries as a result of artillery fire. And only a tenth of them are bullet wounds. A terrible war, which affects far with its murderous hand, even beyond the front line, destroying peaceful life in cities and villages in the East and South of our Motherland.

    4/10/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from daily video address

    When you have the opportunity to visit our wounded soldiers, you are simply amazed at the strength of spirit they carry. In their eyes, we see the will of our people to defend freedom on their land.

    3/10/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from daily video address

    Today, there are no rear areas in Ukraine. Each of us must stand up for the defense of everything that we love, that we call native – for the defense of Ukraine. And when we truly love, then we will persevere, we will find the strength not to stop.

    2/10/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from daily video address

    We realize today that to win is not only to face the challenges of today, but also to overcome the threats of tomorrow. To win is not only to de-occupy illegally occupied and stolen lands in Ukraine. No! To win means to create a space of dignity for a person on the Ukrainian, God-given land.

    1/10/2022 (Source)


    Excerpts from a sermon

    Sometimes it seems to us that in the moment of the greatest darkness, the greatest suffering, pain and grief, God is not there. Under bombs, in bomb shelters, people asked: where is God when we are being killed? Where is He? Christ says today: "I am killed with you, I am there, where it is most difficult for you, even more – your wounds become My wounds." When the apostle Paul was beaten, insulted, stoned for the name of the Lord, he said: "I bear the wounds of Jesus on my body" (Gal. 6, 17).

    Dear brothers and sisters in Christ! Today, together with our bishops and metropolitans, we came to the city of Ternopil, the youth capital of Ukraine, to embrace and bless Ukrainian youth, as well as to bow to them. Thank you, girls and boys from different parishes, communities, organizations, even cities of Ukraine, who gathered here, and we have the opportunity to see you and pray for you. Why should there be such nationwide respect and thanks to Ukrainian youth today? Because it was on her shoulders that the burden of this war fell. We say that Ukraine is and will be. But we must understand that Ukraine is the way Ukrainian youth want it to be. Ukraine will be as it will be built by the Ukrainian youth.

    Observing that reaction, that spontaneous retreat of youth from different cities and villages of Ukraine during the war, we can say that the defense of our Motherland, the struggle for the will, freedom, dignity, and independence of our state became a national youth movement. Because these are our boys and girls, who are 20-25 years old today, abundantly sprinkling our Ukrainian God-given land with their blood. These are our girls and boys who did not take up arms and joined the all-Ukrainian volunteer movement. And, I think, there is not a single young person who today, according to his life task, vocation, did not defend the Motherland. Therefore, I feel it is my duty on behalf of your Mother Church to express my heartfelt thanks to you.

    Our Ukrainian youth are strong, wise, they seek God. Now I want to testify to you with confidence that the Lord God is with you. Because if the Ukrainian youth is now crucified on this cross of the national movement for freedom, then know that our Savior is crucified with you and with you. You raise him in your arms as the Son of God and know that He is the One who is – close to you. And that is why we say that from the power of the honest and life-giving Cross, the sign of victory, comes the power and victory of Ukraine.

    1/10/2022 (Source)


    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

    Words on the 14th anniversary of his enthronement

    I thank God for the fact that church-state relations in the Russian state are developing in this way today, and God grant that it will continue to do so in the future. I thank Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the President of our country, for his kind words of welcome, and also for the fact that he supports this way of interaction between Church and State. To put it bluntly, this is the first time in the long history of the Russian Orthodox Church. Because even in the Orthodox Empire the Church was not simply influenced by the State, but had to listen carefully to what the State had to say. Often it was necessary to deviate from its pastoral principles, following instructions from on high, which may be why the great tragedy of the persecution of the Church occurred, after the change of the state system in Russia.

    Once again I would like to say that today the Russian Orthodox Church exists under unique conditions. Indeed, harmony in the relations between the secular and the church, with full preservation of autonomy, non-interference and at the same time a general awareness of the importance of the interaction of all forces – society, the state, the Church – in order for our country to continue on that truly independent of the centres of world power, which it is courageously pursuing. And we must not think that if some of the powers that be are displeased with this, if someone criticizes the Church and the state, then all this can or should somehow affect our true spiritual sovereignty, and, as far as the state is concerned, also our political sovereignty. The privilege, given from above, of being free is indeed a great blessing, and God grant that such church-state relations may develop not only in the Russian Federation, but also throughout the whole area of canonical responsibility of the Russian Orthodox Church.

    (…)

    May the blessing of God abide over our entire Russian Orthodox Church, over the countries and peoples that make up the historical area of ​​Holy Rus', over our Russian state. May the blessing of God rest on the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, who courageously defends the true sovereignty of our country, and on all those who today defend an independent, free course dictated by our true spiritual, cultural and historical interests.

    01/02/2023 (Source)  


    Speech at the XI Christmas Parliamentary Meetings in the State Duma

    For almost a year our country has been in a state of armed conflict, fratricidal confrontation, provoked by external forces interested in the enmity of the Russian and Ukrainian peoples, in the destruction of their common historical memory and deprivation of their common future.

    The Church has never divided and does not divide its flock into “strangers” and “friends”, does not oppose people to each other, knowing that in the eyes of God every person has value. Staying with its people, the Russian Orthodox Church, like a loving mother, tries to help everyone who is affected by the hardships of wartime, who suffers and needs, who lost their homes and was left without support.

    The Lord Jesus Christ warns us in the Gospel that wars will accompany the earthly existence of mankind and we will hear about wars and war rumors (Matthew 24:6). Apparently, it will be so until the end of human history; such is the sad reality of a world afflicted with sin, the multiplication of which will inevitably lead, including to wars. But people, understanding with their minds that the world is full of wars and unresolved conflicts, often think that they will not affect them, that they are somewhere out there, far away. And many believed that the confrontation in the Donbass, which began back in 2014, and the suffering of the civilian population are in some kind of parallel dimension, because they do not prevent those who are watching from the side from enjoying all the benefits of their usual life. This state is now called a hybrid war, when it is not entirely clear where the war is going on, what kind of war it is, why it burns, kills, disfigures some, while others live as if nothing is happening.

    The Church's reaction to the war has been formed over the centuries and remains unchanged: we respond with a prayer for peace, which is now offered up in all churchesThis prayer unites millions of believers, including those on different sides of the confrontationFaith without works is dead (James 2:26), the word of God teaches us, and the faithful children of the Church confirm it with an active love for their neighbors – through the labors of thousands and thousands of volunteers, donors, doctors, sisters of mercy, who have been working all these months, helping the wounded and victims of the military actions. This ministry has long gone beyond the boundaries of the church fence and beyond state borders. I would like to express my gratitude to the volunteers: all of you, my dear ones, are real heroes. And I especially thank those volunteers who, really not sparing their lives, go to the most difficult points of the conflict, which caused numerous victims.

    The peaceful position of the Church is to call upon all parties to the conflict to treat the prisoners of war humanely, if nothing else, to facilitate their return to their homeland, to help people evacuate from dangerous places of residence. Of course, the most important thing is the end of all hostilities, reconciliation and the restoration of fraternal relations between the peoples involved in the conflict. But as long as the conflict continues, we must at least show mercy to those who are really suffering, to those who are becoming disabled, to the families who are losing their breadwinners. Through its pastoral care of military men, the Church constantly points out that the task of the Christian soldier is to fulfill his duty on the battlefield honestly and selflessly, while maintaining his spiritual dignity. Fighting the enemy for the Christian must not turn into hatred of the individual. The Motherland requires defense, and among the soldiers there are a very large number of Orthodox men - so it was, so it is and probably so it will always be. Therefore it is very important to be guided by the right moral and spiritual guidelines. The fight against the enemy must not turn into hatred of the individual and be accompanied by incredible cruelty, as we know from the treatment of our prisoners of war on the other side of the line of operations. Many of our interlocutors in the inter-Christian and inter-religious dialogue share the peacebuilding stance of our Church, and I am grateful to all those who support our Church today.

    I cannot but say about the situation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Deep sorrow and righteous indignation are caused by the attempts of the current Kyiv authorities and their patrons abroad to use the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as a tool for inciting Russian-Ukrainian enmity. An active role in these destructive processes, unfortunately, is played by the Phanar, that is, Constantinopolitan figures, who staged the church schism.

    I am absolutely convinced that reconciliation in the future is impossible without a Ukrainian Orthodox Church independent of the political situation. That is why it causes such hatred among the current architects of world conflicts, who are not interested in our peoples living in prosperity and peace.

    At present, the Ukrainian Church is being subjected to unprecedented persecution by the state authorities. These persecutions are comparable in their scope and cynicism only to the persecution of faith in the 20th century in our country. Searches are carried out everywhere in dioceses, monasteries and parishes, on far-fetched pretexts, criminal cases are initiated against the clergy, against believers, who are also discredited in the media; the most important Orthodox shrines for our peoples are being taken away and desecrated.

    With each passing day, calls to completely ban the activities of the canonical Orthodox Church are heard stronger and stronger. All this can be regarded as part of a global external order for the destruction of canonical Orthodoxy within a single country - Ukraine. At the same time, all references to the violation of the norms of international law regarding the protection of the rights of believers are simply ignored, as if international law does not exist at all. Many human rights organizations prefer not to notice what is happening and thus reveal their political bias, which we guessed back in ancient times, when our country, at that time the Soviet Union, was criticized, while ignoring human rights violations, including religious freedom, in other countries loyal to the Western bloc.

    For the Church as a single spiritual space, there are no political boundaries. There cannot be divisions on a political, national or territorial basis for our Orthodox brothers and sisters. Last year, speaking in the Federation Council, I noted that the peoples of Russia and Ukraine, who came out of a single Kyiv Baptismal font, who are united by the Orthodox faith and bound by a common historical destiny, cannot be considered the culprits of the current situation. And today I will say that neither the people of Russia nor the people of Ukraine can be interested in this internecine strife. And believe me, I have enough information from the depths of Ukrainian life to testify to this.

    All people of good will need a just and lasting peace, the opportunity to exist without war. The political mainstream that has formed in the West leads to the fact that the traditional norms of Christian morality, especially those relating to marriage and the family, are subjected to deliberate marginalization. We cannot agree with the desecration of our spiritual heritage and allow us to return to a time when, under the slogans of progress, faith, their national and cultural identity are being removed from people's lives.

    It's no secret that against the backdrop of partial mobilization, some of our fellow citizens left Russia. Of course, the fear of death they probably experienced is understandable. I think that many of them need spiritual help and edification. At the same time, I would like to note that people left for different reasons, so it would be wrong to make any general judgments about everyone. Some are surprised by the mass departure. But should this surprise us? After all, for many years among the younger generation, false values ​​imported from outside were implanted and approved, perceived completely uncritically.

    We must think about the systems of upbringing and education, which turn at least part of our youth into internal emigration, while the situation in the Fatherland requires from them, like from everyone else, sanity and patriotism.

    There is also an acute question about the post-war future of both Ukraine and Russia, about the return of people to their homes, about the revival of infrastructure and the social sphere. In part, this issue is already being resolved, but we know that many buildings, entire districts, villages and cities will have to be restored. It is already clear today that a comprehensive revival of peaceful life will take years. I would like to testify to the readiness of the Church to participate to the extent possible in healing the wounds of hostilities.

    History convincingly shows that peoples and states that have trampled on their values ​​are experiencing a deep crisis. Today this is happening with many countries and peoples, and the Lord is knocking on the hearts of people, prompting us to correct those shortcomings that we also allow if we allow false values ​​and stereotypes imposed on us to enter our lives. It is gratifying that processes have visibly begun in Russian society to overcome this kind of spiritual and moral flaws. Indeed, what is happening with the country today has forced many to rethink their point of view, and more and more people understand how important such a value as love for the Motherland, as loyalty to one's country, as a readiness to defend one's sacred borders.

    (…)

    During the period of partial mobilization, in cooperation with the leadership of the Ministry of Defense, it was possible to come up with a temporary solution, thanks to which the clergy were granted a deferment from mobilization for the entire duration of their stay in holy orders. As you know, the canonical norms of the Orthodox Church strictly forbid clergy from entering military service and even taking up arms. We hope that this decision will be enshrined in law. The priest is called to help the belligerents, but not with weapons in their hands, but spiritually supporting the soldiers. Our military chaplains are in the hottest points of confrontation, and often die. Already five priests have been killed on the front lines. Fathers are not hiding somewhere behind the carts, they, along with their soldiers, along with their flock, very often are on the very front line of the front, but they are not protected by anything. When soldiers go on the attack, often with them, as in pre-revolutionary Russia, a priest with a cross goes in front - and, of course, becomes a desirable target for the enemy. That is why today there are those who have died among the priests who carry out their pastoral ministry at the forefront of the front. I think that many have heard about the pastoral work and ministry of Archpriest Mikhail Vasilyev, who was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Russia by the President. And the feat of Father Michael is now being continued by many.

    It seems overdue to fix in the legislation the provisions on providing the clergy who take care of the soldiers in the combat zone, as well as their family members, with the same social guarantees and benefits that are provided to the military personnel involved in the conduct of a special military operation. Indeed, if a priest is with the military, if he is on the front line, then why shouldn't he have the guarantees that the military has? I emphasize once again that the priest is the most desirable target of the enemy, snipers first of all aim at the priests.

    26/02/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from a speech at the plenary session of the 21st International Christmas Readings

    For several years now, external forces have been using the Patriarchate of Constantinople for their political purposes. His position is very vulnerable, since the center is in Turkey, in the territory controlled by the non-Orthodox authorities, and the main dioceses and sources of income are in the United States and Western Europe. It is quite obvious that these factors deprive the Patriarchate of Constantinople of freedom, and therefore it is through it that they try to split the Russian Orthodox Church today by legalizing the newly created schismatic structure in Ukraine. Being under powerful pressure from these forces, some Primates, as well as hierarchs of a number of Local Orthodox Churches, declared the recognition of the schismatics. Here is a very good indicator: if a certain hierarch defends a schism, then this person is not free, he is controlled by other forces. Today, the attitude towards schism determines the level of true freedom of a particular Church, its ability to independently make important decisions.

    In these difficult conditions, our joint efforts to preserve the unity of the Holy Church of Christ, the guarantee of which is fidelity to the canons and patristic tradition, are of particular importance. The unity of all the faithful of our Church with humble hope in the One Head of the Church — our Savior and Lord, unchanging adherence to His commandments — this is the basis on which it is possible in good time to overcome church discords, enmity between peoples and divisions unusual for Orthodoxy that have arisen in relations today between Local Orthodox Churches. Let us pray to the God of love and peace (2 Cor. 13:11) that He bow down His mercy and fill us with faith, hope and love, setting up peace and unanimity in all the countries of Holy Russia.

    Sacred prayers for overcoming pernicious splits and divisions, for the salvation of our land and people, artificially divided by borders, we lift up to all the saints who shone in the vastness of historical Rus'. We cherish the memory of Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir and his sons-passion-bearers Boris and Gleb, of the miracle-workers of Kiev-Pechersk, of St. Paisia ​​Velichkovsky, of the martyrs of Yuryev and Vilna, of the new martyrs of the 20th century, who suffered during the period of persecution of the faith. Every year this host of saints is replenished with new names. The Synodal Commission for the Canonization of Saints should continue to work to identify the exploits of the saints of God, who have not yet been glorified by the Church. It is very important that the feat of life of these saints be known to our youth, that it is the saints who become their true heroes and role models. I trust in the Lord that

    25/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from a speech

    Our country and the whole world are now going through very difficult circumstances associated with the emergence of many risks, and all of you are well aware of this. The Church is not a political force, it is not involved in solving external and even internal political problems. But the Church takes to heart the anxieties of the people, the experiences and, all the more so, the sorrows of people. And, of course, what is happening today in the expanses of historical Rus' cannot but respond with pain in our hearts. As an enemy of the human race, he sowed the seeds of discord, as he gave rise to conflicts and confrontations, including between Orthodox people who became victims of the very civil strife that is taking place today in the vastness of Rus'. And as always, when our people entered the era of civil strife, whether in antiquity, the Middle Ages or modern times,

    Our Church is the Church of all Rus'. Both Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and other countries and peoples that are part of historical Rus' are covered by our pastoral ministry, which means that the problems that arise should be accompanied by our fervent prayer that the Lord reconcile people, prevent internecine battles to strengthen the spiritual ties of all the peoples that make up historical Rus'.

    Our prayer should be especially fervent and strong for this today. God grant that the Lord would incline mercy to all historical Rus', our Russian state, which today is really facing many dangerous, but at the same time fateful challenges. And God grant that the right answer be found to these challenges, which would further strengthen the fraternal ties of the peoples of Holy Rus'.

    We believe that today this task is an important part of the mission of our Church, because there is practically not a single institution, not a single organization left that, without being involved in political upheavals, would have influence throughout the vastness of all of Rus'. And therefore, today my word is to the Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians and everyone else who enters the historical reality of Holy Rus': to do everything so that the enemy of the human race, having sowed the seeds of enmity, does not lead to fratricide, so that all attempts to provoke internecine strife are stopped and completely eradicated so that peace, prosperity and brotherly love are present among all the peoples of historical Rus'.

    Today, these prayers are accompanied by empathy for all those who have lost their homes, health and even life. Therefore, I especially call on our entire Church to intensify prayer for the reconciliation of the peoples of Rus', so that no provocations, no temptations, no seeds that are sown by the devil could grow tares that would drown out the spiritual life — the common spiritual life of the peoples of Rus' — and weaken the testimony of our Church.

    25/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    Such is history, and it teaches us above all that the Church must always proclaim the truth of God. Political tastes, sympathies, antipathies are changing, various political groups, coalitions, parties are being formed, everyone has their own goal, everyone goes their own way. And the Church is outside of any party, because the very word "party" means a part, that is, a part of the whole. And the Church is not a part – it is for the whole people, and therefore no sympathy towards certain political forces can be officially proclaimed as a church teaching and cannot be officially proclaimed in a church sermon. What can be proclaimed? And who can and should the Church support? All those politicians or public figures who stand up for the unity of our entire people, for the unity of our Church, for the true independence of the country from various powerful forces, whether in the East, or in the West, or elsewhere on our planet. Because the Church is afraid that political dependence can have a negative impact on the spiritual life, as happened in the past. That is why the Church supports true independence and all acts of power aimed at preserving this independence from political forces outside our country. And this does not mean participation in politics - it means concern for the well-being of people, for the preservation of our authenticity, for the preservation of the Orthodox faith and those values ​​that our people still live by the grace of God. Those spiritual values ​​that come from our ancestors, those values ​​for which our martyrs and new martyrs of the Russian Church shed their blood.

    Today, remembering the name of St. Philip, we turn to him prayers so that by his intercession before the face of God, he would save the Russian state from all misfortunes both from the outside and from within, so that the unity of the people, the unity of our Church, would be preserved, so that the government would have as its priority concern for the preservation of the Fatherland ours as an independent state, as well as the preservation of those values ​​that are absorbed into the spiritual culture of our people and which were largely formed under the spiritual influence of the Russian Orthodox Church. Remembering the feat of St. Philip, today we raise special prayers for the authorities, and for the army, and for our people, so that our national life flows in peace, unanimity, spiritual purity and faith, forming that inner strength that is capable of ensuring complete independence and the freedom of our people.

    22/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    Today we know that there are very big threats to the world, to our country, and to the whole human race, because some crazy people had the idea that the great Russian power, which has powerful weapons, is inhabited by very strong people who from a generation in a generation have always been motivated to win, who have never surrendered to any enemy, who have always come out victorious - that they can either be defeated in the current conditions, or, as they say now, reformatted, that is, to impose on them certain "values" that it is impossible to name values, so that they are like everyone else and obey those who have the power to control most of the world.

    This desire to defeat Russia today has acquired, as we know, very dangerous formsWe pray to the Lord that He will enlighten those madmen and help them understand that any desire to destroy Russia will mean the end of the world. But this is not the only thing to be prayed for, but that instead of such madness the human race will acquire some new consciousness. Consciousness of our interdependence, consciousness of the fragility of the world in which we all live, and the need to be all together and work for common values ​​and goals that would be aimed primarily at preserving life and, I would also add as an Orthodox Christian, at the preservation of faith in God, without which all other values ​​are either deformed or simply reformatted into opposites and become not values, but factors contributing to the destruction of human life.

    This is such a worrying time. But we believe that the Lord will not leave the Russian land, will not leave our authorities, our Orthodox President, our army. That Russia will have enough strength if necessary to protect its land and its people. But God forbid that things do not come to such a showdown, that the Lord reconciles everyone, calms them down and helps everyone work together to make the world a better place.

    This is our prayer today, for world peace. But also about the well-being of the holy churches of God, about the union of all. We pray that all these menacing and exciting people's rumors, military rumors, will go into oblivion, and that there will be peace in the world and the ability for everyone to work together so that every untruth, every lie is expelled from human relations.

    19/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    Today is a joyful holiday, but some have tears in their eyes. I cannot but speak about what is happening in Ukraine now: exactly the same madness as in Russia after the revolution. Then in Russia the Renovationist "church", artificially created by the godless authorities, began to seize the churches of the genuine, grace-filled Russian Orthodox Church. And all the cathedrals in St. Petersburg, the imperial capital, were in the hands of the Renovationists, and with what a difficult state of mind our Orthodox people passed by these churches! Many did not believe that a reversal was possible. Such was the onslaught of the godless authorities that it seemed that there would be no stone left unturned from church life. But today we see that even where only the stones of the destroyed churches remained, temples have been recreated, and new temples have been erected in multitudes.

    I don't think the wait is too long. God cannot be mocked (Gal. 6:7), and all the teachers of schism, the creators of schisms, and all those disguised “hierarchs” who are ashamed to look it, so even their appearance does not correspond to their rank, will be punished. And do you think that only we from here have this vision and this understanding of the reality that has developed today on Ukrainian soil? The Ukrainian people themselves see and understand everything! And we believe that all this will pass, otherwise it cannot be. After all, splits are not viable. Why? But because the grace of God is not there - emptiness, theatre, external ritual. What piety is there when all the canons are broken, when all the principles of the organization of the Orthodox Church are overthrown? Emptiness! But this emptiness is very dangerous for the spiritual life of the people.

    And today we are with the pious Ukrainian people, with those who are already bearing the stamp of both martyrdom and confession. We pray for the Ukrainian bishops who are faithful to canonical truth. We pray for those who are being expelled from churches today. We pray first of all for the faithful people, that they will keep the Orthodox faith. We know for a fact that just as the Renovationists disappeared, so the schismatics will disappear. As the political hard times of the Soviet leaders, who raised their hand against the Church, so the present authorities will not reign and rule over Ukraine. And I think that it will not be long before things change. And our task, the task of the Church is to pray for the Ukrainian land, for pious Ukrainian people, for priests and bishops, for those who have taken the path of confession. To pray also for those who were afraid, who disappeared from sight, who were called to defend Orthodoxy - and as if disappeared. Where are they? Where have they gone? What country are they in? God judge them all! But I am deeply convinced, and my conviction is unshakable, that the Lord will not leave Ukrainian land, the land of Kyiv-Pechersk ascetics, the land, covered and sprinkled with the blood of new martyrs. And He will not abandon the Church, which, by her word and her preaching, has laid the foundation of Christian life throughout Holy Russia. We pray that the troubled times will come to an end as quickly as possible, that peace will be established, that internecine strife will cease in the land of Ukraine, and that no one will take advantage of the conflicts that have begun in Ukraine in order to unleash an even greater war, in which forces hostile to Russia will wish to involve our people. Let us ask the Lord that this cup pass over us, that peace and prosperity may be preserved throughout the territory of Holy Russia and that the Russian state, under the protection of the Most Holy Mother of God, may safeguard itself from internecine strife and from any invasion by foreign tribesmen.

    In this principal cathedral of Holy Russia, where the holy Fathers of our Church repose, one feels in a special way all the complexity and all the dangers of what is now taking place in Russia, and at the same time is strengthened with hope. Looking at these historical walls, in front of the icons on which our pious predecessors prayed, we hope that the grace of God will bow down to Russia and its spiritual unity will be restored, the canonical system of Orthodoxy in Ukraine will be restored, and people will again be communicated with the Holy Mysteries of Christ, will gain grace from the other Mysteries of the Church, gaining strength to strive against all evil, to strive for the Kingdom of God. Our prayer today is that peace and justice will be restored in the land of Ukraine, that peace and rest will dwell over all Rus'. Through the prayers of the saints in this church with their holy relics and the prayers of all the saints who shone forth in the land of Russia, may the Lord direct the further march of the Russian people along the historical path prepared for them by God Himself.

    08/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt of words after Great Vespers on Christmas

    Wars are all over the face of the earth, and in the expanses of historical Rus' there is an internecine strife unleashed by other forces. I think that we all deeply empathize with what is happening, but the heart of the Patriarch is especially overwhelmed. And today, my special prayer is for peace on the land of Ukraine, for the unity of our Church to be preserved - despite the most powerful efforts and pressure that are exerted on the episcopate, clergy, believers, so that the fabric of the united Russian Orthodox Church, which emerged from Kyiv Baptismal font.

    (…)

    Prayer to God, communion with God, communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ is the highest priority, and if all this is put in the first place, then everything else will work out, and peace and goodwill will really appear in people, at least in the expanses of historical Russia, in which extends the pastoral care of the Russian Orthodox Church.

    I would like to once again thank you, Your Eminence, and all of you, my dear Bishops, and in your person, the entire episcopate of our Church, and in the person of the clergy, all the clergy of our Church, and in your person, my dear brothers and sisters, — all Orthodox people who make up the body of our Church. Once again, I would like to accompany this gratitude with a prayer to the Lord and our Savior, that He would bless our Church, protect it from schisms and divisions, renew our strength, give us the ability to become His disciples not only by baptism, not only by formal membership in the Church, but by sincere service to the Lord, through which alone one can hope for the transformation of this world.

    07/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from message around the Christmas Tree

    Today no one demands such sacrifices from us, although there are still places, including in the expanses of historical Rus’, where weapons are used, where people defend the homeland and die in peacetime. We say to them: There is no greater love than if a man lays down his life for his friends.

    (…)

    So I would like to wish all of us to love our Fatherland, our people. It is the same love that often requires sacrifice, as it does today on the battlefield. Well, after love for the Fatherland - love for your family, for dad, mom, grandma, grandpa. What about at the top? And at the top is the love of God.

    (…)

    Therefore, I congratulate all of you, my dear ones, on the great holiday of the Nativity of Christ and would like to wish you to have love in your heart for dad and mom, grandma and grandpa. And then try to love those who are far away - through good deeds, through help. And finally, always be ready to love the Motherland so much as to serve it, and in some of the most formidable moments - I appeal primarily to boys who will become adults - to stand up for her. May the Lord embrace us all on this great and joyful feast of the Nativity of Christ, and God grant that each of us feel these embraces. And they are felt in the temple when we pray, when our heart beats joyfully, when we see next to us boys and girls like us, who also pray with us and glorify the Heavenly Father.

    And at the end of my words, I want to say again and again: I wish you all peace and love - love for the Fatherland, love for parents, love for each other. I wish you that the Divine Light, which came into the world through the Nativity of Christ, resonates in your hearts with a strong faith in God and a willingness to do good deeds that turn our life into a bright, peaceful, prosperous and joyful one. May the Lord keep you all, my dear, from all evil. Once again I wish peace, health, prosperity and God's help to everyone and everyone on the joyful holiday of the Nativity of Christ! I congratulate you heartily!

    07/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpts from an interview

    The priest has no right to take up arms. He cannot even defend himself during hostilities, that is, the presence of a priest in the Armed Forces during hostilities is a huge risk. If we take the pre-revolutionary practice, then the regimental priest with a cross in his hands began the attack. With the first ones who left the trenches, they went towards the enemy; and priests most often perished, because this is a desired target for the enemy. Today, our priests also lift the spirit and strengthen the faith of our soldiers in the war zone. But I would also like to say that the priest very much humanizes this difficult, radically negative sphere of human existence. A priest in the army is someone who can listen, help with advice, and pray together; one who does a lot of work with relatives. Because most often wives, mothers, and children turn to clergy for support, because people are very worried about their relatives, their loved ones, those who can lay down their lives.

    Therefore, I want to say again and again that the priest does not take up arms. He continues to be a desirable and easy target. And we know that Father Mikhail Vasilyev was followed, and this blow was inflicted precisely in order to destroy him. Every priest who is in the area of ​​hostilities is aware that he is an easy and desired target, but no one leaves from there until the Hierarchy recalls - everyone remains true to their priestly oath and their pastoral duty.

    I really appreciate the work of our clergy in any extreme situation, but especially where the presence of a priest is very important for the spiritual state of people - first of all, we are talking, of course, about military personnel.

    (…)

    I believe in the strength of the spirit of the Orthodox Ukrainian people. People are very strong in their faith, courageous, very emotional. God grant that all these best qualities of the Ukrainian people will help the Ukrainian country to overcome the deep spiritual crisis in which the country found itself. It is not only a political crisis, but spiritual crisis, too. And all these calls to democratize, westernize the country, of course, turn heads of those, who connect these appeals with improvement of material life of people. The rich live well in the West and if we go this way, we will also live well. But on the same road, as we know, is the question of the change of sexes, the critical attitude to religion and many things that accompany the de-Christianization of Western society today. So I don't undertake to judge whether this is politically correct or incorrect, it is not my question - I judge all of this solely from a pastoral point of view. Will Ukrainians put up with gender reassignment, will they put up with all the moral relativism that has become part of the culture and politics of the Western world? If they accept all this, they lose their identity, their authenticity, they cease to be a holy land. What then is the deed of the saints? Kiev Pechersk Lavra, Pochaev Lavra, all that monastic tradition? In fact, it is undoubtedly a struggle with the Orthodox Church, which has always been and, God willing, in the future will remain the great moral and spiritual force of the Ukrainian people.

    Russians and Ukrainians are one people, in your opinion?

    Undoubtedly. This is one people that came out of the Kyiv Baptismal Font, but a very large people. From the White to the Black Sea. And this immensity - it always caused fear, envy among others, and therefore, from ancient times, external forces worked to divide this people, pull them apart, and even push one part into another.

    And, if you look at history, that's how it happened. But the Orthodox Church has been and is the force that holds this people together. That is why radical steps were taken at one time to weaken the influence of the Church, and first of all, this was the creation of a union. Indeed, the union greatly divided the people of Western and Southern Rus', but not only did it divide, it led to bloody clashes. And where there is blood, there is conflict for a long time.

    Indeed, we are now on opposite sides of a great confrontation, there is clearly a growing bitterness, and on the other side hatred of everything Russian is being cultivated. But this year is the year of our common history, as you said. We are one people and we share the same date - the 1035th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia, which we will celebrate this year. Do you think we can, at least on the basis of this date, count on the fact that we have some ways to overcome the split between the Russians and Ukrainians?

    The split is political. The fact that Ukraine declared that it is radically changing the vector of its political and, I would say, historical development and that this new vector does not coincide in any way with the vector of Russia's development - that is the point. Here they are trying to create some civilizational precondition for the division of people. But to what extent this division can be brought to the depths of people's life is a complicated question, although today in Ukraine everything is being done to make Russia really an enemy in the eyes of Ukrainians and to make the Russian people, the Russians become another people in the eyes of Ukrainians. On how successful all these activities aimed at creating a chasm between the two parts of one nation will be, of course, depends the future. But the Church must do everything to make sure that the Ukrainians and the Russians did not become enemies in any way.

    Well, thank God, we do not have such a cultivation of hatred towards Ukrainians. We treat them as we used to, as we are treating them now.

    No cultivation of hatred.

    We have a special attitude towards their government.

    Yes, we criticize the leadership, but also in political categories. We do not stoop to any insults. We do not agree with the political position of the leadership, but we are not talking about cultivating a negative attitude to Ukraine and the Ukrainians, and I as the Patriarch of All Russia am very attentive to it. For me it is one people, one Church. And that is why, of course, the Patriarch and the Russian Orthodox Church are attacked, because it is a factor of unity, not political, but spiritual. Just as we are united with the Orthodox people who belong to our Church in the United States of America, in Great Britain, in Western Europe, wherever. We are one Church, one people, one praying community. But even this spiritual unity is too much for those who want to dig a chasm between Russia and Ukraine, that is why the Church is under attack.

    But those who are digging a chasm between Ukraine and Russia, they will probably never be able to do one thing - they will not be able to abolish the Julian calendar. And this calendar is common for Russians and Ukrainians. Thank God, and soon we will celebrate the feast of Christmas together, at the same time. But how should this feast be? Is there room in this feast for joy in the time of sorrow?

    When we say "holyday," we already mean joy. Because any celebration becomes a celebration when people celebrate, but it is impossible to celebrate with sorrow. Celebration is a light emotion, light feelings and church holidays have a special effect on the human soul, on its conscience, creating a special experience of joy, a quiet prayerful joy, and this joy will be one for all, for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, for all our brothers and sisters, who live in Russia and for all our Church.

    07/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    And when I say this, I think first of all about our dear Ukraine, where schisms challenge the Church itself and the possibility to carry out worthy service to the people and society of Ukraine. We believe that through the prayers of saints, through the prayers of the Church, peace will come between all the peoples of Holy Russia and peace wherever it is broken today. But for that one condition must be observed: the King of Peace, the Lord of Peace must be with us, therefore the expulsion of the Christian faith from the lives of people, creation of godless technocratic civilization, which does not need God, - is the most terrible, that can be imagined, because the philosophy of life, based on human omnipotence, expels God from human souls, from interpersonal relations.

    07/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from Christmas message

    Bowing before the humble majesty of the miracle of the Incarnation and glorifying the Saviour who has come into the world, we cannot help but worry about the military events taking place today, darkening the holy Christmas celebration, for, as the apostle notes, if one member suffers, all members suffer with it (1 Corinthians 12:26). In these trials that have befallen the peoples of historical Rus', it is especially important for us to confirm our loyalty to our Christian calling and to show love for each other. It sometimes seems to us that good is weak and defenceless, and little depends on our little effort. However, it is not.

    06/01/2023 (Source)


    Appeal for Christmas truce

    I, Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus', appeal to all parties involved in the internecine conflict with an appeal to cease fire and establish a Christmas truce from 12:00 on January 6 to 24:00 on January 7, so that Orthodox people can attend services on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day Christ.

    05/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    During the past centuries, if we count from the time of the holiness of Peter, Metropolitan of Kiev, of Moscow and All Russia, how many attempts have been made by forces hostile to both our Church and Holy Russia, to divide the Church, to split it up, to set one part of the Church against another, in order to facilitate the designs of political forces which were outside Russia! Russia was frightening in its strength, in its size and, I am not afraid to say, in its spiritual identity, in its spiritual freedom. There were practically no centres, which could rule Russia - neither political nor spiritual. And, with all respect to the Patriarch of Constantinople, to the Mother Church, which was carefully preserved in the Russian Orthodox Church, there was no direct dependence and subordination, because it was impossible to cover the enormous distance from Byzantium to Moscow, to this Borovitsky Hill in order to govern the Church of Russia. But the distance between Moscow and Byzantium did not mean a break with the spiritual tradition of the Eastern Church. On the contrary, the spirituality of Byzantium, its rich heritage, Sainted Basil the Great, Saint Gregory the Theologian, Saint John Chrysostom, and other holy fathers, who shone forth in the Byzantine Church, were received with both soul and heart and thought by our people and by our Church, and the first readings for our people were from their works. On their words and on their wisdom our clergy and our faithful people were educated. And this spiritual communion with Byzantium continued unbroken for a long time, until difficult times came for Byzantium, which fell under foreign religious influence and even domination, and until many other forces began to work to divide the one body of the Orthodox Church.

    And today, as you know, our relations with Constantinople are not easy. Not because the Russian Church wants it, but because it wants and strives to be free from all sorts of foreign influences, no matter how they spread to our people and our Church. And therefore, a certain detachment that takes place today is not generated by theological differences, but by our certain caution so that other influences that are really dangerous for the Russian Orthodox Church are not present in our lives. But we believe that the Lord will incline His mercy and full communion of all the Local Orthodox Churches will be restored. Because this division is what the forces hostile to Orthodoxy are longing for, and many efforts and all sorts of strategies have been aimed at tearing the Orthodox East away from Russia, from the Russian Church! I say this not by hearsay and not by guesswork - I speak on the basis of the documents that were in my hands. It was a conscious plan - using various, very minor, however, disagreements, to make sure that an abyss lay between Russia and the heirs of Byzantium.

    03/01/2023 (Source)

    Excerpt from a sermon


    Today is the Civil New Year. We are entering a new year of God's goodness, and, of course, our prayer is for peace, for the Lord to prevent the destructive development of international relations, which today have reached the most dangerous point. We pray that there will be no war, that common sense will prevail and that people with different political views and beliefs will be able to find a common basis for a peaceful and just life.

    (…)

    God bless Russia, our country. We thank God that today Russia is a country where faith is strengthened. Many rich, prosperous people in other parts of the world look with surprise at our Motherland and cannot understand: what is a modern advanced country in which faith is being revived? For many, this is a shock, but for us it is a symbol of hope and faith that if our Fatherland continues to develop like this, if we combine faith with education, culture, science, technology, with everything that gives material strength and well-being, then Russia will be invincible and will become an even more striking example of how modern man can combine faith and knowledge, God and matter, spiritual life and material life.

    Such was the fate of our homeland. In its time, it was Russia that saved the world from the terrible plague of fascism, and it was primarily thanks to Russian sacrifices that the victory was achieved. Perhaps today, the Lord, without calling us to such terrible sacrifices, calls us to ensure that our spiritual life, our faith, the combination of faith with knowledge, the penetration of faith in all spheres of public life, we will help the world to find salvation, as we did when we defeated fascism. It may be that the Lord chooses our Fatherland, to which the angry and spiteful eyes of those who do not share our convictions, who are alien to us both in faith and in the moral principles of life turn today. On the other side are misunderstandings, wariness, often evil feelings and thoughts; but we, following our own historical path, must keep faith in our hearts and do everything to become mentally, morally and physically stronger, developing all aspects of our public and state life.

    01/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from the journals of the synod meeting

    On December 4, 2022, President of Ukraine V. A. Zelensky announced a number of repressive measures against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Draft laws that contradict international legal norms and imply discrimination against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its restriction of rights have been submitted for consideration by the highest legislative body of Ukraine. Against this background, illegal actions against the structures and members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church intensified in Ukraine. Diocesan administrations, monasteries, and parishes are subjected to searches, while clergy, monks, and laity are subjected to humiliating searches and arrests under far-fetched pretexts, and "personal sanctions" are imposed on them. The provocations of schismatics and their seizure of churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have become more frequent.

    Growing pressure on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been accompanied by an unbridled anti-church media campaign by prominent politicians, government officials and public figures in the spirit of the anti-religious campaigns of the Soviet past.

    RESOLVED:

    1. To express support to the bishops, clerics, monastics and laity, striving to preserve the unity and canonical structure of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church even in the current difficult circumstances.

    2. Consider it important to draw the attention of the Local Orthodox Churches, representatives of Christian denominations and the world religious community, as well as international human rights organizations to violations of the rights of believers in Ukraine.

    (…)

    Report of His Grace Metropolitan of Petrozavodsk and Karelian Konstantin, Chairman of the Synodal Liturgical Commission, on the preparation of prayers in the Commission for soldiers in battle for the living, wounded, captured and missing.

    RESOLVED:

    Approve for home reading:

    a) a prayer to the Most Holy Theotokos for soldiers on the battlefield;

    b) a prayer to the mother to the Most Holy Theotokos for a warrior on the battlefield;

    c) a prayer to our Lord Jesus Christ for a soldier wounded on the battlefield;

    d) a prayer to the mother to the Most Holy Theotokos for the healing of a soldier who was wounded on the battlefield;

    e) a prayer to the mother (relatives) to the Most Holy Theotokos for the deliverance of soldiers (warriors), in captivity of beings (existing);

    f) a prayer to the saints for the deliverance of soldiers who are in captivity;

    g) a prayer to the Most Holy Theotokos for the missing soldiers.

    29/12/2022 (Source)


    Patriarch’s report to synod

    In February of this year, when many people heard – in the words of Scripture – about wars and rumours of war (cf. Matthew 24:6), they were confused, bewildered and afraid. Many people are still in the grip of such feelings today. There is nothing surprising in this. After all, the Saviour's warning that "all things must come to pass" is often not perceived by a person who has long lived in peaceful circumstances as referring directly to the time in which he lives and to him personally. Alas, for a very long time many people also failed to take into account the fact that relatively nearby, just hundreds or even tens of kilometres from our homes, the internecine war unleashed in 2014 against civilians in the Donbass region was waged. This war was started by those in Kyiv who allowed the diabolical darkness into their hearts and blindly followed instructions to sow enmity among the united people of Holy Russia, united by a common history, culture and traditions. As time passed, it became abundantly clear that Russia's peacemaking efforts to end this war were consistently sabotaged by both the Ukrainian authorities and Western countries, and further developments eloquently testify to this. Alas, the peace talks did not stop this strife; on the contrary, the talks were cynically used on one side of the conflict to accumulate forces and further escalate. Moreover, it became obvious that those who kindled the fire of internecine strife in Ukraine sought, and still seek, to spread it to all the countries of the Russian world, to the entire canonical territory of our Church - to Russia, to Belarus, to the Baltic states, to Moldova, to the countries of Transcaucasia and Central Asia. The consequence of this was Russia's entry into an armed confrontation, which has been going on for 8 years, to protect the people of Donbas from arbitrariness and violence.

    I think it is also important to note the following: the hostilities we are witnessing today are the consequence of a long civilisational conflict. Reflecting on the circumstances in which this conflict began, we can notice, among other things, an undeniable religious dimension in them: an irrational hatred of the peoples professing Orthodoxy. And if we now turn our mental gaze to the past, we cannot but ask the question: is it not this hatred that caused the entire might of the Western war machine to descend on Yugoslavia in 1999? Is not it the reason why, through economic or political blackmail, through the so-called colour revolutions, a wedge is consistently driven between the countries whose peoples are the bearers of Orthodoxy? The manifestation of this hatred has been the consistent persecution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the fostering of schisms by the Ukrainian state authorities, subsequently, unfortunately, supported by the Primates of some Local Churches, who carried out the will of the international curators. The source of the internecine war in Ukraine was the ill will of people who are hostile to the Cross of Christ, Christian freedom and the common heritage of the Dnieper font. The ill will of people who for years and even decades have nurtured divisions, enmity and hatred in the united Orthodox people of Holy Russia, divided by political boundaries. How much hatred has spilled out in this time onto internet pages, into the media, even into communication between relatives!

    We say with sorrow today that the present strife is internecine, because it involves people who belong to a people united in their faith and traditions. As Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, whose flock is on both sides of the line of battle, I am deeply saddened by what is happening, and especially by the suffering of civilians in both Russia and Ukraine. However, we must bear witness with clarity that the blame for this lies first and foremost with those who set out to destroy the unity of Holy Rus’, the unity of our people and our faith.

    As we reflect on the causes and consequences of military conflict, we should turn our thoughts to the warriors. As we admonish them, we pray for them as people who are facing mortal danger and extremely difficult moral choices. We ask God to help them; we pray that the Lord protect them from injury, captivity and destruction, but especially from sin: from hard-heartedness, from harming peaceful people, from inhuman treatment of others, from cowardice and betrayal. May the Lord protect our soldiers on the difficult paths on which they are nowadays walking at the risk of their lives.

    How important it is that in hostilities there should be priests alongside soldiers, praying with them, pastoring them, instructing them in the Gospel, confessing and receiving the Holy Communion of Christ. May the Lord and Provider of all creation protect with His grace all our brother pastors, who selflessly, risking their lives, share the danger of the front together with the soldiers on the front line, leaving their homes and their families, at times many in number, to escape all evil. I express my special and deep gratitude to them.

    Remembering the clergy who laid down their lives for others (cf. John 15:13), I testify that, regardless of whether or not the state provides assistance, the Church has not and will not abandon their families, as well as the families of those clergymen who - God forbid, of course - may suffer in the future. I charge the leadership of the Synodal Department for Co-operation with the Armed Forces, the Synodal Department for Relations with Society and the Mass Media, as well as the Legal Department of the Moscow Patriarchate, to step up their co-operation with representatives of the state in order to provide social guarantees for military clergy and their families.

    I would like to take this opportunity to answer the question that worries many people, as to whether clergymen are subject to mobilization in the case of the announcement of mobilization. Unfortunately, the law does not currently provide for a deferment of mobilization for members of the clergy. At the same time, the holy canons of the Church strictly forbid clergymen to join the military service. Thus the 83rd Rule of the Apostles states: "A bishop, presbyter or deacon, who exercises himself in military service [...] shall be expelled from the sacred ranks. For to Caesar the things are Caesar's and to God the things are God's", and the 7th Rule of the IV Ecumenical Council enjoins "the clergy and monks once ordained must not be enrolled in military service [...]. Those who dare to do so and do not return with repentance to that which they first chose for God are to be anathematized". In reality, despite the loopholes in the law, it is obvious to many in the leadership of our country that the task of the clergy is not to take part in armed hostilities with weapons in their hands. In this connection, during the recent partial mobilization, in cooperation with the leadership of the Ministry of Defence it was possible to come to a temporary solution, thanks to which the clergy was granted a deferment from mobilization for the entire period of their priestly ministry. At the same time, I think it is important that this decision should be secured. I have already issued a corresponding instruction to the Legal Department of the Moscow Patriarchate, which I request, together with the two aforementioned synodal departments, to work closely on this task.

    Dear participants of the diocesan assembly! It is important to realize that the events we are experiencing are also directly related to very serious threats to the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church. We pray with you at each Liturgy that the Lord would hasten His faithful children, zealous for Church unity, would strengthen them in the spirit of brotherly love, and would deliver them from trouble; that He would overthrow the schemes of those who, in the darkness of minds and hardness of hearts, tear away the Lord's Robe, that is, the Church of the Living God (cf. Prayer for Holy Rus'). I am convinced that each of you puts all your strength and soul into this prayer. At the same time, for those who live in the free dispensation of Church life, it is sometimes difficult to imagine to what extent this hardening of hearts can extend, and how difficult it is nowadays in some countries to remain committed to the unity of the Church. Hatred of Russia, hatred of our centuries-old spiritual community, which is declared "spiritual justification of Russian imperialism", hatred of the identity of Orthodoxy, rejecting all attempts to "adjust" our worldview to the standards of the Western secular and globalist project, inexhaustible streams of slander against the Church, on the Patriarch, on bishops and clergymen - all this is poured out daily in abundance on many of our brothers outside of Russia through propaganda in the media, through statements by state and public figures, through statements by false brethren who themselves have already become captives of ideas and interests alien to our faith.

    This directly affects our dioceses and parishes in Western countries; it particularly affects the Baltics and to some extent Moldova, but in Ukraine the darkening of minds and the hardening of hearts of the destroyers of church unity reaches its highest possible level. There it is not just expressed in hostile words and publications - there the hatred is expressed in direct persecution: in forceful seizures of churches, in beatings inflicted on clergy and laity and threats to their lives, in mass searches and "counterintelligence activities" in diocesan offices, churches and monastic convents, in the institution of criminal cases, in calls for a complete ban on the activities of the canonical Orthodox Church - now not only in individual regions, but also in the state as a whole at the level of its leadership.

    The cost of preserving ecclesiastical unity thus becomes very high for its defenders. For some, alas, this price was too high for them to bear, and some were even imbued with the rhetoric of the persecutors.

    We mourn over this, for if one member suffers in the body of the Lord, "all the members suffer with him" (1 Cor. 12:26). We continue to pray for and with our brothers in Christ, that the Lord will increase their strength to bear the heavy cross. We pray for peace and an end to all strife. In justly advocating the unity of the Holy Mother Church and not remaining blind to attempts at schism, made among other things within the Church and exhorting those who stray from it to return to the path of canonical truth, let us avoid every hasty and condemnatory word. Let it not come out of our mouths, particularly in these trying times! Rather let us ask the Lord that none of us should be shaken in the event that the day of trial should come for us. Let us remember the words of the Apostle: "Whoever thinks himself upright, take heed lest he fall" (1 Cor. 10:12).

    You know that the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, held in Kyiv on May 27 removed all mention of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Patriarch from its statutes, except for the reference to the 1990 edict of His Holiness Patriarch Alexiy II of Moscow and All Russia, which gave the Ukrainian Orthodox Church wide rights of self-government. In many churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church after this Council the commemoration of the Patriarch's name, provided by the canons of the Church, ceased.

    You also know, how the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church responded to it in its decisions of May 29 and June 7. The Holy Synod testified that, for the plenitude of the Russian Orthodox Church, the status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is hitherto defined by the already mentioned diploma of His Holiness Patriarch Alexy, which expresses the conciliar consent of the whole episcopate, expressed by the Council of Bishops on 25-27 October 1990. The Holy Synod stressed that any revision of the aforementioned status is possible only within the framework of the legitimate conciliar procedure stipulated by the Charter of our Church. The Charter, which was adopted in its time with the participation of all Ukrainian bishops. The Synod warned that actions that disagree with the statutes and canons of the Church can lead to a new schism and noted that the decisions in Kiev were taken under unprecedented pressure on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's bishops, clergy, monastics and laity by government representatives, dissenters and extremists. The Synod expressed support for all members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, who under these conditions continue to consider it their duty to preserve the canonical order and to observe the canonical norm of commemoration of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia during masses. The Holy Synod called upon the whole body of the Church to pray for the preservation of unity, for an early end to the bloodshed and for the provision of effective assistance to all those touched by the disaster.

    I ask all of you in your public statements and assessments of current events in Ukraine, as well as in your correspondence and conversations with clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church not to go beyond what the Holy Synod has determined. Lest someone's inconsiderate and self-righteous words should further harm the unity of our Church, inflict further wounds on those who are already in distress, and add to the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Heaven willing, peace will come and the possibility of unhindered and unrestricted conciliar consultations will return, then the fullness of the Church will discuss how and what occurred during the difficult times we are experiencing and how archpastors should proceed in order to reign true to the word of Christ.

    Most Reverend Archpastors, venerable shepherds! As we ponder the root causes and far-reaching consequences of the current armed confrontation, we must take into account that not all of our compatriots are united in their understanding, at least for now. This is partly true for the parishioners of our churches as well, since our parishes reflect almost all the diversity of our society. Yes, many parishioners are actively involved in supporting the soldiers, but there are also those among them who distance themselves from the decisions of the state or even leave their homeland. All Orthodox people, whatever their views on political issues, even when we do not agree with them on these issues, remain our flock. Therefore, the main task of a pastor in a parish is, as it has been for centuries, to serve the Divine Liturgy, administer the other sacraments and services, and preach the word of God. You may be approached by parishioners with a request to give an assessment of the present situation. Remember that a priest is called first and foremost to be the voice of the Church. And if he is not sure that he is expressing the position of the Church on a particular issue, it is better not to speak at all, but to abstain. In any case, do not engage in inappropriate verbiage, which can easily lead to unrighteous anger, and if you cannot find the right words, it is better to refer the person to a more experienced pastor or archpastor. The person inquiring can always be encouraged to focus on prayer, works of mercy and helping those who are most in need at this time.

    With special care and solicitude I urge you to reach out to those who come with the grief of losing loved ones in the fighting. Such people should first of all be invited to pray together, to hold a requiem service, and to encourage them with a kind pastoral word. We should help the bereaved to find consolation from above in prayer, which surpasses all human words.

    [Lists material aid provided to refugees and victims of the war]

    We should all be aware that the humanitarian crisis is likely to continue for a long time to come, so it is important for us not to falter in our efforts. The circumstances of the time call us, with particular force, to fulfil the commandment of the Saviour to love our neighbour, to have mercy, compassion and sacrifice.

    (…)

    There is no need to be shy. It is our duty, when pointing out sin, to say, "It is sin," even when it comes to questions from high ranking people. That is the prophetic ministry of the Church. We are to proclaim the truth of God, regardless of the faces. Of course, we can say it in different ways: we can say it with pastoral love, or we can say it with intonations that will hurt people. But in any case, evil is evil and vice is vice, and the Church must speak about it. Love for the sinner should not be confused with indulgence in sin and vice, with hypocritical respect for a person's sinful choices, with so-called political correctness.

    22/12/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    Hearing this news [Swedish invasion of Russian Baltic coast], he left the temple, crossed himself and said amazing words: "God is not in power, but in truth." He had very little chance of defeating those who were much stronger, better armed, had more knowledge about military affairs, but the words “God is not in power, but in truth” were vividly displayed in everything that then happened. Grand Duke Alexander Nevsky with a small retinue on the banks of the Neva inflicts a crushing defeat on the Swedes and protects Russia from aggression from the Baltic Sea.

    This victory was of historical significance, but the question arises. At that time, the country was occupied by the Tatar-Mongols, and the holy prince Alexander, like all Russian princes, had to go to the khan, bring gifts. Why did he not join the fight against the Tatar-Mongols? Of course, because the strength of the Novgorod squad was incommensurable with the strength of the eastern army, but also because Prince Alexander Nevsky, despite his young age, managed to see where the real danger came from. Eastern conquerors were only interested in the material factor. They needed tribute, and they collected it, but they did not interfere at all in the inner life. They were indifferent to what god the Russians believed in, whom they worshiped, what were their internal state and religious arrangements and customs. It was important for them to collect tribute, and this limited their role as occupiers. But those who came from the West did not need our tribute - they needed our souls, our minds, our political will. And this danger was seen by the young prince Alexander Nevsky and understood with whom to fight, not sparing his life. Having no chance to win, he utterly defeated the Swedes, and it was really a great victory that protected the Russian land from occupation, which could damage its spiritual life.

    The Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky accomplished many important deeds, won many victories over the enemy, who, by his possible occupation of the Russian land, could bring spiritual death, change the spiritual, religious, cultural code of the country. Now we are talking about all this in modern categories of thought, Alexander Nevsky did not use and did not know such a language, but with his mind, his heart, his intuition, if you like, he saw the real danger. And our people have retained true sovereignty, so that even the most terrible world wars have not been able to inflict spiritual harm on them. Much blood was shed, but the example of Alexander Nevsky even in the terrible years of the Great Patriotic War inspired our soldiers to defend not only the wealth of our land, not only political sovereignty, but also our spiritual sovereignty, our faith, our tradition,

    Remembering the holy noble prince Alexander Nevsky, we lift up prayers so that, standing before the Lord, he will protect our country today. We have entered a period of very difficult relations with a number of countries, and God grant that the mercy of God would take away our suffering and sorrow from our Fatherland, avert the gravest consequences for national life. Today we offer prayers to St. Alexander Nevsky with the same request with which many generations of Orthodox people offered prayers to him when they encountered a dangerous force that could radically affect the spiritual life of the people.

    We believe that through the prayers of the holy noble prince Alexander Nevsky, the Lord will protect our Fatherland today, and keep us all in peace. All of us, that is, all people on both sides of the borders, because there can be no peace in one place when there is a heavy war in another. Through the prayers of those who put a lot of effort into establishing peace in our Fatherland, peace, tranquility, and justice reigned in human hearts, and the peace of God descended on the troubled, so complicated, contradictory modern world.

    06/12/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    All this is very difficult; but when it comes to the resettlement of an entire people, then, of course, this is a special feat of the spirit. And, probably, he would never have been so successful if not for the Orthodox faith. Unlike many conquerors who conquered Africa, North and South America and, colonizing these lands, brought violence, death and destruction, nothing like this happened in Russia. The question may arise: why? And the answer is very simple: the Orthodox faith. People brought up in the Orthodox faith could not bear death, destruction, fires, violence - this simply did not correspond to the spiritual dispensation of a Russian person.

    (…)

    The Russians came and did not commit those terrible atrocities that the colonialists usually commit—after all, the conscience was Orthodox!

    04/12/2022 (Source)


    Words during his birthday celebration

    You and I, dear Bishops and Fathers, are responsible before God for human hearts, and therefore, we are at the forefront today. Do not distance yourself from this responsibility - neither from patriotic education, nor from personal participation in the nourishment of our army, volunteers. We must support them in word, deed and materially. And we, as a Church, must take part in the struggle of our Fatherland against world evil, against this leprosy, against this antichrist movement that can destroy both the whole world and Russia.

    Therefore, as a Patriarch, I call all of you to wakefulness, to the multiplication of strength. We need to strengthen the faith of our people, inspire soldiers, work with our intelligentsia, with the media, so that the word of the Church spreads and helps people live, work, and fight for the Motherland.

    Remembering what the word of God says in relation to the coming of the Antichrist into the world, we can say that today Russia is a restrainer. And this means that all the forces of the Antichrist will be thrown at our country. What is the core of spiritual resistance in our country? Undoubtedly, the Russian Orthodox Church. Therefore, you and I, brethren, do not expect easy times. We need to mobilize. Everyone must fulfill his duty to the maximum, go where we did not go yesterday, to those with whom only yesterday we did not know how to speak correctly. Today we must work, realizing that we are on the front flank, on the most important line of spiritual defense of our people and our country.

    And may the Lord help us all to rethink our behavior, our way of life, our habits. To go where we may not have even thought of going yesterday. May the Lord help us all so that together with everyone who loves the Motherland, we can today stand up for the Fatherland and do everything in order to gain victory.

    20/11/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt of sermon on his birthday

    There is no greater need today than peace and the calming of internecine strife in the expanses of historical Rus'. And there is nothing more important today to protect our Russian Fatherland from all sorts of slander and aspirations to deprive our country of independence, true sovereignty, the ability to think the way our people desire and act in accordance with national interests.

    There is a lot of tension around these topics today, and all of you, my dear ones, know about it. The Church does not participate in politics in any way, but takes to heart the sorrow of people, the pain of her people, and, of course, today our special prayer is for peace, for prosperity and tranquility in the Russian land, for an end to internecine strife, for the admonition of those of our brothers, who, driven by a dark third-party force, are working to divide the single body of the Russian Orthodox Church. But we believe that the unity of the Church and the spiritual unity of all the people of Holy Rus' will be preserved, because we pray for this, we work for this, and we know that all the saints who shone in the Russian land, all the generations that preceded us, pray together with us, in particular those who passed through trials of internecine strife, divisions and civil wars. We have strong prayer books,

    Today we are living through really difficult times, but there is a good Russian proverb: a terrible dream, but God is merciful. A dream is something that is unreal, something that cannot truly destroy a person's life. And many conflicts do not actually have sufficient force to destroy the national spiritual life of the entire people of Holy Rus'. We know that in the past everything happened in Rus' - internecine strife, clashes between brothers, the division of a single state; and in order not to repeat what so dramatically weakened the strength of Rus'-Russia, we must pray today for the unity of all our people, the Orthodox people, the children of the Russian Orthodox Church, living in Russia, and in Ukraine, and in Belarus, and in many other countries. The Prayer of the Righteous Can Accomplish Much(see James 5:16), and the prayer of the Church can accomplish even more. Therefore, I call on all of you to pray for the unity of historical Holy Rus', for the unity of our Church, for victory over all opponents, both external and internal, who seek to use the current political conditions to weaken, and perhaps destroy Holy Rus'.

    (…)

    I would like to express my gratitude to the President of our country, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, with whom the Patriarch, who represents the entire Church in these contacts with the President, has unanimity on very important issues of our time. I would like to express gratitude to the President and all authorities for the conditions in which the service of the Russian Orthodox Church is carried out in the Russian Federation today. As you know, now this ministry is not limited to the walls of churches, but has gone out into the world, into society, into the people. The Church is actively involved in the education system, in the work of the Armed Forces, in relations with our intelligentsia, with the world of science, and, perhaps, there is not a single important direction in public life, wherever the Church is not present and wherever our people do not manifest themselves to it with attention and kindness. This indicates that that we live in a different era. We went through confrontation, persecution, sorrow for the Christians of Russia, and today there is an opportunity, starting from our Christian convictions, to actively participate in the creation of our Fatherland.

    But I would like to once again especially emphasize the importance of preserving the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church, the importance of each bishop working in his place, really not sparing his life. So that every priest, looking at the example of the archpastor, also carries out his ministry in the parish. So that every monastic realizes his special responsibility - by the power of prayer, obedience, and his feat to support the spiritual life of the people. And I believe that Russia, which has never bowed before any adversary, will then be invincible, just as all Holy Rus' will be invincible.

    20/11/2022 (Source)


    Thanks after speech in his honour on his birthday

    We must be faithful to the Lord. We must be united within our Church. We must pay special attention to the education of children and youth, combining Orthodox education with patriotic education. Because there can be no love for one's neighbour without love for one's Fatherland. I would urge all of you to perceive in this way the time in which the Lord commanded you and me to live.

    20/11/2022 (Source)


    Words at the start of a meeting of the Supreme Church Council

    We have gathered today to discuss the current issues that are on the agenda. But our meeting is taking place in a difficult context, in which our Fatherland, and our Church, and many countries are today. Indeed, in the canonical space of the Russian Church, hostilities are being carried out, in a sense, internecine strife, accompanied by losses, and, as everyone knows, one of the losses affected us very closely and very strongly. This is the death of Father Mikhail Vasiliev, who was a very active participant in the pastoral work in the Armed Forces and in the full sense of the word did not spare his stomach, being at the forefront. One thing I saw while performing the funeral service in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, testifies to that great recognition, of the love that military personnel felt for Father Michael. Father Michael died on the battlefield, remaining true to his pastoral duty and priestly oath. Therefore, let's start our meeting with the proclamation of ‘Eternal memory’ to him.

    Yesterday I ordered that, until the youngest child of Father Michael comes of age, his family should be paid his salary from the parish where he served. But, of course, no material factors can lower the level of that grief and those experiences that the family of Father Mikhail has faced today. I really hope that he will remain in our prayers, and I encourage all those who can help, including support his family, to such good deeds.

    10/11/2022 (Source)


    Words during funeral service for a chaplain killed in Ukraine

    Of course, in order to carry out priestly service in the Armed Forces, every clergyman needs to realize that at any moment, remaining next to those who defend the Motherland, he can lose his life. That is why the special attitude in the Church to those servicemen who are today defending the Motherland shoulder to shoulder. That is why the special attitude of the Church to those clergymen who stand shoulder to shoulder together with the soldiers, defending the Motherland.

    Father Michael lived a rich life. He managed to do a lot. But all his deeds, which were constantly associated with certain dangers, were simultaneously dedicated to both the Church and his Motherland. But this combination of love for the Motherland and the Church is an ideal, and he embodied this ideal in his life and remained faithful to this ideal even to death.

    09/11/2022 (Source)


    Sermon

    Every time we gather for worship as the Church of God, as a single community of faith, we pray, and the words of the prayers that the priest reads, and the words of the litanies that the deacon says, call us to pray not only about our own, but also about many other things. In particular, every time we are called to pray for the authorities and the army, that is, for those who bear special responsibility for the fate of the country. And this prayer should not be mechanical. We must not ignore these petitions, especially when the people face dangers face to face – such dangers that defy the very existence of our country.

    Today, too, we are going through such dangers and we ask the Lord and the Queen of Heaven, Who, we believe, covers all of Rus' with Her sovereign Mantle, so that She saves our people and all the peoples of Rus' from the dangerous internecine strife imposed from the outside. Unfortunately, not all politicians are smart enough to understand where the wind is blowing from and what is behind this desire of powerful forces outside of Rus' to excite people to internecine strife. There is only one thing behind this - the desire to weaken Holy Rus'. When I say this, I mean Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, which, according to the outstanding ascetic of piety Lavrenty of Chernigov, are Holy Rus'.

    So, we must clearly understand that we have entered into such an era. And this is not only a provocation of hostilities, but a diabolical temptation aimed at pushing the fraternal people into internecine strife. And therefore, today our common prayer, the prayer of the Russian Orthodox Church, whose children are Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, and all Orthodox people who live in the expanses of historical Rus', that all internecine strife cease, that the enemy’s slanders disappear, evaporated, passed away, and for Rus' to develop as a powerful Orthodox community of people, able to oppose their spiritual life and their spiritual experience to extremely dangerous temptations that corrupt the human soul and push it into the abyss of sin. These temptations, these temptations today are testing the strength of Orthodox people,

    Of course, a special responsibility falls on those who are entrusted with the duty to defend the borders of our Motherland, because they can aim anywhere, but they will hit Russia. Today it is a kind of pillar and ground of the truth (see 1 Tim. 3:15). These words were spoken in relation to the Church, but our believing people, having accepted the word of God with their mind and heart, brushing aside many political, cultural, economic temptations throughout history and remaining free from these temptations, is in itself something to be a pillar of truth. Only God grant that we all hold on to the Orthodox faith, refrain from sin, so that we can be such pillars of truth, perceiving the word of God and including it in our consciousness, our heart and our life.

    Today we prayed for all our servicemen and, of course, especially for our guards. We prayed that the Lord would give strength to those who are called to defend the Motherland, strengthen their will and, most importantly, strengthen in them the consciousness of the rightness of the deed that every soldier does, standing up for the defense of his Fatherland. His parents, his family and his land, which the Lord gave to all of us, the inhabitants of Russia.

    I would like again and again from the bottom of my heart to wish the high representatives of our Guards, the Armed Forces and all the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to have, first of all, spiritual strength. Because where, for some reason, another force can weaken, only the strength of the spirit makes it possible to win. Once again I want to say that the very concept of “spirit” is not a material concept. Surprisingly, even unbelieving Marxists spoke about the strength of the spirit, calling for a strong spirit. But how could one call for a strong spirit when one did not believe in the spirit? But today we believe in the spirit. We believe that a person has not only a material, physical body, but also an immortal spirit, in which all this moral force lives, capable of moving a person to lay down his soul for his neighbors. Not in the brain, not in the liver, not in the lungs, in no other way is this strength – it is in the human spirit. Unfortunately, for many decades, those in power have rejected the right of our people to have a soul, but today we all have the opportunity to believe in the Lord, and I thank our authorities, and our Armed Forces, and our Orthodox intelligentsia, teachers, and not least our pious clergy for strengthening the strength of the spirit of our people.

    It is the strength of the spirit that I would like to wish today to our guards, and the Armed Forces, the clergy and all the believing people. The stronger the spirit, the more power the people have to resist external and sometimes internal dangerous destructive influences. And may the Lord help us in this way, and not otherwise, to go through our life's career, strengthening spiritually and thereby serving both the Church and our Fatherland. Amen.

    06/11/2022 (Source)


    Message to Vladimir Putin on National Unity Day

    Please accept my heartfelt congratulations on National Unity Day.

    The history of this holiday is inextricably linked with the memory of the difficult times for Russia, which our ancestors were able to overcome by rallying around national shrines and realizing the responsibility for the fate of the people and the future of their country.

    Celebrating this day in honor of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, we testify with gratitude to the many mercies of the Lord shown to our ancestors in the past, honor the memory of the heroes who defended the freedom and independence of the Motherland, and hope for help from above in building a peaceful and prosperous life. Now the Russian Orthodox Church lifts up solemn prayers for our God-protected country, the authorities, the army and the people, so that the Lord overthrows the plans of all those who have taken up arms against Holy Rus', and affirms in people the spirit of brotherly love and peace.

    I am grateful to you for your continued attention to the activities of the Moscow Patriarchate, for your personal contribution to the harmonization of church-state relations. I hope that such cooperation will continue to develop, bearing good fruit, contributing to the establishment in the minds of contemporaries of the enduring ideals of mercy and justice, unity and social 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 high and responsible service as President of the Russian Federation.

    04/11/2022 (Source)


    Message to Mikhail Vladimirovich Mishustin, Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, in National Unity Day

    I heartily congratulate you on National Unity Day.

    More than four centuries have passed since our people, having defeated foreign invaders, returned freedom and independence to the country, defended their spiritual and cultural identity.

    Turning to the origins of national history and glorifying on this day the Most Holy Theotokos, who granted deliverance to the Mother See of the city through Her miraculous Kazan image, now we also pray with special zeal for our Fatherland, for its preservation from the invasion of foreigners, for peace and unanimity of the whole people.

    I hope that the successful co-operation of the Russian Orthodox Church with state authorities and public institutions will continue to bear many good fruits, contributing to the spiritual, moral and patriotic education of the younger generation.

    I wish you good health and God's unfailing help in your high and responsible service for the good of Russia.

    04/11/2022 (Source)


    Speech on National Unity Day

    More than four centuries ago, it was with the liberation of the Moscow Kremlin that the revival of the lost internal integrity of our Fatherland began. Back in 1612, thanks to the joint efforts of our courageous ancestors, foreign invaders were expelled from the heart of the country and its comprehensive revival began.

    Over the centuries that have passed since then, our people have experienced many trials, overcame many difficulties, creating a unique civilizational space, the most important value orientations of which were love for truth, mercy, mutual respect and good neighborliness. Note: not a single purely utilitarian and even more so political goal! No domination, no power, no money, but only what pleases the Lord.

    Formed by the labours of many outstanding sons and daughters of our Fatherland, Russian culture has long overstepped the national boundaries, becoming an integral part of the common heritage of all mankind. Unfortunately, today we are witnessing destructive attempts made by a number of Western countries to ban or exclude Russian culture from the agenda, the fault of which, according to its critics, lies precisely in traditionalism, in appealing to the fundamental qualities of the human soul, in the readiness to affirm the truth of God and to show the world the beauty and power of Christianity.

    Spiritual and cultural aggression against our country is by no means new. Perhaps the origins of this should be sought precisely in our spiritual otherness. How can one not recall here the subtle, but very strong remark of the outstanding thinker Nikolai Yakovlevich Danilevsky, who drew attention to the fact that the basis of the Western European understanding of human culture is the identification of the fate of European civilization with the fate of all mankind, which inevitably leads to the forcible imposition of Western values ​​on other nations and to destruction of other traditions, destroys cultural diversity.

    However, all this fundamentally contradicts the civilizational foundations of our people, for which adherence to unshakable moral principles, careful attitude to historical memory and deep respect for the spiritual traditions of other peoples have always been of paramount importance. And if it were not so, then there would never have been a great multinational, multicultural and even multireligious space of Holy Rus'. Our great culture was created by the efforts of many people belonging to different ethnic groups, living in different territories, but thinking of themselves as belonging to a single Russian tradition.

    Today, despite the forces that seek to sow discord, increase the fruits of hatred among the heirs of Holy Russia, we must testify with one mouth and one heart not only about the commonality of culture, spiritual tradition, historical destiny, but also about the unity of faith of all East Slavic peoples who emerged from a single Dnieper font Baptism in 988.

    I remember the day of the celebration of the 1020th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus', when in Kyiv, on Khreshchatyk, thousands of people proclaimed the words of St. Lawrence of Chernigov: "Ukraine, Russia, Belarus - together we are Holy Rus'!" It was a choir of many thousands of people who were united by a single faith, a single national identity. What strength was shown then by our people! I am sincerely convinced that today the desire to split the united people of historical Rus', to oppose one part of it to another, to sow hatred for our common past in the minds and hearts is fed by anti-Christian motives, the desire to etch the image of God from a person, to enslave people to the power of sin and vice, to make them exclusively subjects global market and consumers of wealth. The tragic situation currently prevailing in Ukraine is a vivid confirmation of this. And we grieve, pray and hope that the Lord will give His mercy to the people of Ukraine, and therefore to all of historical Rus’.

    It must be clearly understood that opposition to the destructive action of hostile forces that destroy the spiritual foundations of our life, captivate the souls of our contemporaries and seek to separate the peoples of historical Rus' into national apartments, should be based primarily on following the Divine will, as well as on preserving the internal unity of society, on love for God and for each other. This is the guarantee of a worthy future for our people, and this is the only way to preserve unity, love, mutual understanding and good cooperation between the peoples of Holy Rus'.

    It is gratifying to testify that the Russian Orthodox Church today is finding faithful co-workers among the state authorities, among representatives of other traditional religions in the work of establishing enduring spiritual and moral values in people's lives. Our sacred duty is to make every effort to preserve the priceless treasure of our spiritual culture and heal the wounds of divisions with love.

    God grant that by our joint work the life of our country, state, our people will continue to improve on a solid foundation of enduring spiritual and moral values that we absorbed with mother's milk from our ancestors, from our faith, from our spiritual tradition. It is upon this foundation that our national life must be based. Today, this is what we pray for and ask the Lord to preserve the unity of Holy Rus', to preserve the Orthodox faith, to preserve in all of us the ability to live, work, create together a future that would really be based on those Divine principles of human existence, without which there can be no human welfare. And everything else that contradicts these principles, - so that by the power of God it leaves the boundaries of our historical Fatherland and ceases to excite and infect with itself, with its pernicious and dangerous content, the souls of our people. God grant that all of us, by the power of God, have the opportunity to follow the historical path determined by God for all our people, keeping faith in our hearts, and therefore hope for our salvation. Amen.

    04/11/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    It is today that our Fatherland is going through trials that are associated with the turning towards Russia of evil views, evil thoughts, evil will. Some believe that the time has come when Russia can be done away with. Why? But because Russia is an alternative view of the world, of God, of man. It does not fit into the framework of that programmed system that excludes God from people's lives, and therefore Russia is like a thorn in the eye for many. What is happening today is not just another military campaign. One gets the impression that many wanted to wipe Orthodox Rus from the face of the earth. But let it not be so! And therefore, today our special prayer is for our authorities, for our army, for our President, for all those on whom the outcome of the battle that we entered against our will really depends.

    And after all, with us are the holy lands of Russia and the holy, merciful, humble old man, the Monk Seraphim! Today he is also with us, today he is also with Russia, because he is from there, from the Kingdom of Heaven, from that point in front of which the horizons of eternity are open, he sees and knows what is happening to our Fatherland. And therefore, there should be a fervent prayer to him today, so that by his intercession to the Lord he will grant victory to our army where hostilities are going on, so that he will pacify people, so that any internecine strife on the land of historical Russia and any invasion of foreign tribes will stop.

    Through the prayers of our holy reverend and God-bearing father Seraphim of Sarov, may the Lord preserve the Russian land, our Church and this holy monastery. Amen.

    23/10/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    May the Lord help all of us, all of our people, which today is subjected to many temptations. Our country and our people are criticized, they teach us how to live, what to do, which way to go. It is in connection with these complaints and accusations against Russia that we must remember that we have our own historical path. And in order to be sure of the correctness of this path, we must correlate it, and hence our actions, with God's truth, and then no temptations will darken our consciousness and weaken the strength of our national life.

    Today we have really entered a period of very difficult international relations, but the truth is above all, and one cannot compromise with a lie, even if this lie is very strong. After all, the devil is the father of lies (see John 8:44), so to compromise with lies is to compromise with the devil, and the devil does not wish us well. That is why it is very important, my dear ones, first of all, to keep the faith, because through the Orthodox faith, the highest wisdom appears to us, revealed in the Divine commandments, in spiritual experience, in the experience of prayer, in contact with God.

    That is why now is the very time when everyone needs to be strengthened in the faith, especially all our wavering intellectuals, who have one foot in the Church, the other outside the Church. We need to end this dichotomy, this division, we really need to accept the faith of our fathers and forefathers as a great force that protected and saved our people. And today, undoubtedly, faith will inspire us on the path of love and service to our Fatherland and on the path of love for each other.

    22/10/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    Today, remembering St. Peter, we pray at his holy relics. Of course, for the Russian state and for the dissipation of all the slanders of the enemy, which today are aimed at the final and irrevocable destruction of the unity of Rus'. Because these plans help the enemies of Rus', but Rus' itself, be it Russia or Ukraine, does not benefit from them, although many forces are working to prove the opposite, as if the division of Rus' is something good.

    Once a politician asked me: "That's why you are so defensive about preserving the unified space of Rus’? After all, this is the Middle Ages! And now the political situation has changed. I replied: "Maybe it would really be an irrevocable change, if we were not talking about the life of a single people, regardless of how it is called today. But it is one people, and it wants to live in a big house." And I then asked this gentleman, "Would you rather live in a small apartment, defending your kind of freedom and independence from others? Or in a big apartment, in a big house? Well, we prefer to live in a big house, but not so crowded, so that this living would not turn into something that sometimes happens in hostels, when people become enemies”.

    And today there is such a situation in the expanse of Rus’, when each person, living in his own house, must in so doing be conscious of his belonging to the united spiritual space of Holy Rus’, to the heirs of the Grand Princes Vladimir and Alexander Nevsky, the heirs of those Grand Princes, who established Orthodoxy and fought the enemies. And today, this awareness of belonging to one people is so important in order to avoid any military upheavals in the space of Holy Rus’, to have the strength and wisdom to resist temptations, temptations and provocations, aimed at bringing together one people in another fratricidal war.

    We pray and will pray for the unity of Holy Rus’how else could it be? How else can we imagine ourselves, praying in the Kremlin under the vaults of the Cathedral of the Assumption of All Rus’? The very walls themselves cry out for this truth – that we are all one people, and this Cathedral of All Rus’ bears the seal of responsibility for the spiritual well-being of all Orthodox Christians, present in the territory of Holy Rus’. It is the responsibility for our Church, one and indivisible, that it preserves its unity and through that unity manifests the will of God for all our people, wherever they may live – in Moscow or Kiev, in Minsk or other cities. It is a single spiritual community, united by the bonds of the Russian Orthodox Church.

    Our prayers today are that this unity, as I said, will not be shaken or destroyed. But for it to be so, each of us must work to preserve this unity by praying first, for the Lord hears prayers. Through prayer, the Lord delivered our land from the invasion of foreign tribesmen and from internecine strife. And if you look closely at your life's journey – the Lord rescued everyone from tribulations, troubles and evils by his prayers. God hears our prayers, especially the prayers not for any personal little well-being, but for the spiritual well-being, spiritual health of our united historical nation of Holy Rus’.

    And I want to tell you once again: all these thoughts are actualized, when you look at the historical walls of the Cathedral of the Assumption – the cathedral of Holy Rus’. May God incline His mercy to all our people, cease internecine warfare, which today, unfortunately, in some lands of historical Rus’ acquires the form of real military action. May the Lord give wisdom to everyone who is involved in these hostilities. And everyone must understand that he is shooting at his brother, and therefore the cessation of war, the establishment of peace and the spiritual unity of all our people – that is what our prayer today is about and that is what must be the subject of our common labors.

    But when we say this, we are very far from what in Western parlance is called pacifism. Pacifism is the struggle for peace under any circumstances and very often under any conditions. But we always say – and this is ingrained in our spiritual tradition – there can be no peace without justice. Peace without justice breaks down whenever there is any complication or change in people's attitudes. So peace must be lasting. And for it to be such, it is necessary that by the power of God all devilish thoughts should be eradicated from the consciousness of people who do not aspire to the spiritual unity of Holy Russia, so that we all become aware of our responsibility for the preservation of the spiritual unity of the Russian world.

    And may the Lord help all of us to fulfill our ministry in this manner, each in his own place. I have the courage to use the word "Russian World" within these walls, even though I know that some forces in Ukraine demonize it. But we do not use the word "Russian" in the sense that it means only a part of historical Russia that corresponds to the Russian Federation. We use the word in the same sense as Nestor the Chronicler used it when he spoke of "where the Russian land came from. Not Russian, not Ukrainian, not Byelorussian – where did the Russian land come from! This is the sense in which we use this word – with full responsibility, inner calmness, and confidence in the rightness of our position.

    Once again I call upon all of you, my dear ones, to pray today for the entire Russian land, for the peoples who inhabit this land, for the overcoming of differences, and especially for the ending of internecine strife, which always entails death and human suffering. That the Lord reunite us all in the one body of one Holy Rus’. That with all understanding of the political picture of the world, with all respect for such political concepts of modern times as the sovereignty of individual nations, our awareness that we are one people – the people of Holy Russia – is not destroyed in any way.

    Through the prayers of St. Peter, the Kiev Saints, from St. Michael to the holy confessor Vladimir, who laid down his life at the walls of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra during the civil war, through the prayers of all, who worked in the name of Holy Orthodoxy in the expanses of Russia, may God stop the internecine strife and may He restore peace and love among the children of the one historical Fatherland, called Orthodox Rus'. Upon this our prayers today and upon this we direct our labors. Amen.

    18/10/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    Today, too, there are rather difficult circumstances related to what is happening on the external borders of our Fatherland. Forces are rising again that dream of destroying and subjugating Russia. Today, all this is put into other verbal forms, but behind all this is the inescapable dream of those who attacked Russia from the West: to destroy our sovereignty, deprive us of our freedom, and then use all the resources of the richest country in the world for their own purposes. And today, with a very special feeling, a prayer is raised to the Most Holy Theotokos, and with a special feeling the events associated with the glorification of the Queen of Heaven, sitting on the throne, are remembered. We believe that the Protection of the Most Pure Blessed Queen of Heaven is over us, over our country, over our people, and it will be so as long as we keep the faith.

    14/10/2022 (Source)


    Congratulation of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill to the President of Russia V.V. To Putin on his 70th birthday

    Your Excellency, dear Vladimir Vladimirovich!

    Please accept my heartfelt congratulations on your significant life date - your 70th birthday.

    Over many years of tireless work in key government positions, you have gained a reputation as a national leader, selflessly devoted to the Fatherland, sincerely loving the Motherland and giving her all your strength, abilities and talents. The Lord placed you at the helm of power, so that you could perform a service of special importance and great responsibility for the fate of the country and the people entrusted to your care. Transformation of the image of Russia, strengthening of its sovereignty and defense capability, protection of national interests, progressive socio-economic development, concern for the well-being of fellow citizens - these are just some of the obvious and indisputable results of many years of joint work of various branches of government and public institutions, carried out under your leadership.

    I am very pleased to testify to the changes that have taken place in the past time in the sphere of church-state relations, marked by the creation of a unique model of cooperation, building a trusting and mutually beneficial dialogue. I would like to express my special gratitude to you for your continued attention to the service of the Russian Orthodox Church, the needs and aspirations of believers, as well as for the active support that you provide to the most important church and public initiatives.

    I hope that the existing fruitful cooperation will continue to contribute to the consolidation of the people, the preservation of the rich historical, spiritual and cultural heritage of Russia, the creation of a peaceful and prosperous life for fellow citizens on the unshakable principles of solidarity and mutual assistance, goodness and justice.

    On this significant day for you and our country, I wish you unrelenting strength, God's abundant help and blessed success in your further service in the high and responsible post of the state leader of great Russia.

    May the all-merciful Lord keep you in a spiritual and physical strength for many years.

    With deep and sincere respect

    07/10/2022 (Source)


    Circular letter sent to all clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church

    October 7 this year Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin turns 70 years old.

    His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia calls on all archpastors, pastors, monastics and laity to offer fervent prayer at home on this day for the health of the Head of the Russian State.

    October 8 - on the day of the feast of our venerable father Sergius, hegumen of Radonezh, who many centuries ago blessed the prince of Moscow - the holy blessed Demetrius of Donskoy - and the Russian army to fight the enemy, who wanted the dismemberment of the Russian Land and encouraged civil strife among its people, His Holiness the Patriarch blesses to raise to the Special Litany of the Divine Liturgy, a special petition for the health of the President of Russia, adding them to the already established petitions for Holy Russia, and also to proclaim many years after the dismissal of the Liturgy, according to the following wording:

    - on a special litany, after petitions for Holy Russia: We pray Thee, O Lord our God, yet for the Head of the State of Russia, Vladimir Vladimirovich, and for the gift of Thy abundant mercies and bounties, granting him health and long life, and delivering him from all resistance both visible and invisible, establishing him in wisdom and spiritual fortitude, whereby we pray, Lord hear us and have mercy;

    - many years: A prosperous and peaceful life, health and salvation and good haste in everything, give the Lord to the now honored Head of the Russian State Vladimir Vladimirovich, the power, army and people of our God-protected Fatherland and save them for many and good years!

    06/10/2022 (Source)


    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 to Pope Francis during visit of the Council of Churches to the Vatican

    Together with our country, with our people, we are experiencing the tragedy of the war that Russia brought to our land. Among us are those who were directly affected by Russian aggression and its consequences. At the same time, we are all witnesses of the suffering, grief, destruction, and irreparable losses that the Ukrainian people suffer every day from the actions of the aggressor.

    We know how important your voice, as the head of the Catholic Church, is for hundreds of millions of Christians around the world and for all people of good will. It is also important for Ukraine, where wounds are open and bleeding, and therefore hearts and souls are especially sensitive.

    We thank you for your prayers for Ukraine. I am sure that thanks to your call in this prayer for the victory of truth and a just peace, millions of voices are united every day. And we believe that the spiritual power of love and compassion, the power of God's mercy is able to work miracles, is able to stop the spread of evil and defeat it.

    Therefore, we ask you, Your Holiness, to call Christians of the world to fast and pray for the victory of truth and a just peace for Ukraine on February 24 - the day when a year ago the great aggression against our country began. Such an opinion was born between us during communication and we ask you to support this initiative.

    We are sincerely grateful to Your Holiness for the calls to show mercy to refugees, to provide humanitarian aid to those in need. We thank all the communities and institutions of the Catholic Church, all the faithful who have done and continue to do good deeds for our suffering people.

    Your Holiness!

    As the Primate of the Local Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the largest religious community in our country, as evidenced by the data of sociological surveys, I want to emphasize our openness to dialogue and cooperation. The leaders of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine present here can confirm that we have had successful cooperation and constructive relations for many years. As one of the Local Churches in the family of World Orthodoxy, we testify to the desire of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine to join the broad Orthodox-Catholic ecumenical dialogue and, in particular, to direct interaction with the Apostolic Capital. I am sure that it will benefit both our Churches and Ukraine.

    In conclusion, I would like to present to you, Your Holiness, a gift – a sculptural metal copy of the "Great Amber Heart of Ukraine". The unique amber stone in the shape of a wounded heart, which is depicted in this sculpture, was found in the north of Ukraine. At the time of the invasion, the "Amber Heart" was kept in Buch, and during the Russian occupation of this city, it was buried in the ground and thus saved from abduction. May this sculptural image of wounded Ukrainian hearts, which reminds of the tragedy of the genocide committed by the Russian occupiers in Buch and other places in Ukraine, inspire further work for healing, for the establishment of truth and opposition to evil.

    25/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from sermon on the feast day of Epiphany

    Today we are celebrating the Divine Liturgy for the second time in this cathedral church of the Pechersk Lavra. In times of great grief and suffering brought to our common home by the war unleashed by the preachers of the ideology of "Russian peace", we see in these services a sign of spiritual comfort, God's favor and inspiration for further work to renew this shrine. We pray, dear brothers and sisters, for our Pechersk Lavra and for its renewal. May the Lord, through the intercession of His Most Pure Mother, through the prayers of our fathers Anthony and Theodosius and all the Saints of Pechersk, bless our work with success!

    Dear brothers and sisters!

    These days, in the midst of the sea of ​​suffering that Russia brought with the war to our native home, two tragedies especially touched people's hearts. Moscow's terrorist attack on the city of Dnipro - a city that proudly bears the name of our blessed river, the second Jordan and the baptismal font of Ukraine-Russia - this attack took the lives of many innocent children and adults. Adults and children also became victims of the plane crash in Brovary yesterday. For the victims of these tragedies, for those whose lives were tragically cut short due to the lawless war imposed on us by Russia, today we will offer our funeral prayers, although this is not usually part of the holiday service. May the Lord accept the souls of the dead in His Kingdom and rest with the saints! May God receive the souls of all soldiers who gave their lives in the struggle for Ukraine, for truth and freedom, and all peaceful residents in His Heavenly Homes, who died from the invasion of foreigners in this war! Eternal memory to them!

    19/01/2023 (Source)


    Words during meeting with Ukrainian soldiers

    Today we have gathered to congratulate you on Christmas and celebrate your merits. You have proven that you are strong and indomitable and will not give your God-given land to the Russian invaders. The Lord will certainly help us, because we stand for the truth and for our people, and the one who came to us with evil will be punished. In addition to the physical, we are also waging a spiritual struggle, in which there are already obvious results, so we will continue to free Ukraine from Moscow’s spiritual yoke. However, all this is possible thanks to the fact that you carry your difficult feat. So may the Lord protect you and give you strength and inspiration for further righteous struggle.

    17/01/2023 (Source)


    Words during celebration in the Pechersk Lavra

    On this day, we especially turn to Saint Peter, as one of the spiritual leaders of the Pechersk monastery, with a prayer and ask: saint our father Peter, you are now standing before the Throne of the Most High God – pray to him for Kyiv, your capital city, and for all of Rus' – Ukraine, for which you were a good archpastor, so that soon the enemies who torment the state and the Ukrainian people will be defeated and expelled from our land.

    14/01/2023 (Source)


    Words during meeting with Brigadier General Anatoly Shevchenko

    It is necessary to resolve the issue with collaborators in cassocks once and for all, because the Moscow Patriarchate, no matter what it calls itself here, is the last significant bridgehead of the enemy inside Ukraine.

    12/01/2023 (Source)


    Words during meeting with the head of the Military Chaplaincy Service of the Armed Forces

    It is our duty to support soldiers who constantly risk their lives defending Ukraine. Therefore, we will continue to make efforts to develop and strengthen our institute of military chaplaincy. After all, the spiritual support of those who are going through the hell of war is extremely important. I believe and pray every day for our just victory

    10/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from Sermon

    Dear brothers and sisters! Christ was born!

    On the Sunday after Christmas, the Church reminds us of two sad events - the flight of the Virgin Mary with the Infant God and the righteous Joseph to Egypt and the cruel extermination of children in Bethlehem and its surroundings by the order of King Herod. In the midst of the joy we have, remembering and glorifying the birth of the Savior, from the Gospel we hear about pain, bloodshed and suffering from the action of evil. And if in past years such memories had a greater moral and educational significance for us, now, in the time of indescribable suffering brought to our land by the newest Herod and his embittered servants, these memories directly echo with pain in our souls.

    After all, millions of our fellow citizens became forced refugees due to Russian aggression, just as the Mother of God and the Child and Elder Joseph - Her betrothed and guardian - were refugees. Women, children, people of the older generation, escaping from the murderers of the Kremlin dictator, are forced to leave their Motherland, their native home and flee to another land, often far away and foreign, in order to find safety and protection from cruelty and violence there. And hundreds of children's lives, thousands of lives of civilians of Ukrainian towns and villages have already been taken and continue to be taken by the murderers sent by the Kremlin's Herod.

    Mariupol and Volnovakha, Bucha, Borodyanka and Irpin, Kharkiv and Izyum, Kherson and Bakhmut - just listing all the places of crimes, acts of terror and genocide committed by Russian aggressors on Ukrainian soil would require a lot of time. And behind each such name are hundreds and thousands of lives cut off or crippled by war.

    Therefore, although we celebrate now and glorify the event of the birth of the Son of God and the Saviour of the world, we do not forget about the great suffering that our brothers and sisters are experiencing in these very days and hours. We remember them in prayer, we ask for God's help and protection for them. We pray for the repose of the souls of the innocent victims of the Russian attack. We ask for recovery, healing of physical and mental wounds for those injured and maimed by Russian bombs, bullets and rockets. We ask for protection and help for forced refugees and displaced persons who, like Christ and His earthly parents, left their native land, seeking protection from danger. May the Lord inspire mercy in the hearts of people of good will who take care of our refugees, and may He reward them a hundredfold for their kindness and sacrifice.

    Again and again, in our prayers, we remember our newest heroes, the brave warriors - defenders of Ukraine. Thanks to their daily sacrifice, thanks to their steadfastness, we have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas in relative peace. For this, for our freedom and independence, we have to pay a high price every day and every hour. We do not forget this and never will!

    Current events and the events of the gospel time, the suffering and death of innocents make us ask ourselves the question: why does God allow this?

    Because He gave mankind the inalienable gift of freedom. Each person comes into being with free will and choice. This gift is the basis of our ability to love, because it is the fruit of freedom. At the same time, our freedom and the right to choose also mean a person's ability to choose evil and hatred instead of love and good.

    Evil and its consequences are not God's choice, but man's choice. All the evil and suffering we see is the result of someone using the divine gift of freedom for a selfish, unrighteous purpose. Evil does not arise by itself - it has creators and perpetrators who subordinated their freedom to the creation of this evil.

    God does not create evil, it does not originate from Him, but God does everything to stop this evil, so that it is defeated and justly condemned. And that is why the Son of God, although He is Almighty, voluntarily limited and humbled Himself, endured exile, persecution, suffering, torment and accepted death - in order to defeat evil at its very root and open the way to salvation and eternal life for all good, all innocent from harm to the victims.

    Because our God is patient, but also just. He prematurely suffers the sins of people, giving them the opportunity to repent and make amends. But He also punishes the lawless and condemns evil, and no one will escape His righteous judgment.

    The children killed by Herod's order in Bethlehem and the surrounding area died innocently, but as martyrs they received heavenly crowns and eternal blissful existence in heavenly homes. And Herod and his servants inherited condemnation along with the devil. The proud king is thrown from the throne to the hell of fire, and the innocent children receive a blessed place near the Throne of the Most High God.

    The Son of God, together with His earthly parents, endures unjust exile, becomes a refugee and finds protection in a foreign land. But with this, He shows an example of great humility, which defeats evil. This victory does not happen immediately, not in one moment, the crossroad of suffering leads to this victory. But the end of the path of humility, patience and sacrifice is always the victory of good.

    Today, we are reminded of these two lessons by the word of the Gospel about the escape to Egypt of the Savior's earthly parents with the Infant God and about Herod's killing of the children in Bethlehem. Evil can have temporary success and at times good may seem to retreat before its onslaught. But in reality, evil is always doomed to defeat and condemnation, and good wins.

    Therefore, we too, dear brothers and sisters, being in these difficult circumstances of the war, will not lose heart and despair, but let the example of the victorious humility of the Son of God inspire us. No matter how long the temporary triumph of evil lasts, the sword of God's justice will punish it. Every unrepentant criminal, like Herod of old, will be judged. And everyone who suffered innocent suffering will receive a reward from the Righteous Judge, who himself suffered unjustly.

    08/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpts of Speech before liturgy in the Pechersk Lavra

    There are no truly worthy and complete words with which we can now express our gratitude to the Almighty God for His great mercy to us, manifested in the fact that today in this House of the Most Holy Theotokos, in the cathedral church of Pechersk Lavra, we solemnly glorified the Nativity of our Savior, the Lord, with a divine liturgy Jesus Christ. More than two decades ago, this shrine was restored from the ruins as a gift to the Ukrainian people for the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Christ, and today we are celebrating the second birth of both this cathedral and our Pechersk Lavra itself. Because the artificial spirit of the unholy teaching of the "Russian world" is leaving them, and the spirit of true spiritual service to the holy Orthodoxy and the Ukrainian people is returning.

    (…)

    The fact that this joyful day has come, that the Pechersk Lavra is taking confident steps to serve again, as in the old days, to preach the peace of God, not the "Russian Peace", to be a true house of prayer, to serve the Ukrainian people as an example of piety, piety and good deeds - we owe it to the broad public support. We thank all of you, dear brothers and sisters, all who dreamed of Ukrainian prayer in this holy place, of its liberation from the captivity of the "Russian world". Your prayers and your civic position supported our state in a difficult but quite right decision. Gradually, peacefully, but irreversibly, we will all work together to ensure that the name of the Lavra is no longer disgraced among the outsiders because of the seductive behavior of those who have forgotten about the vocation to be humble workers in the vineyard of God, and not arrogant boyars in the midst of their alleged fiefdom.

    Today, on this solemn day of the feast of the Nativity of Christ, when four years ago the Tomos of autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine was first publicly presented in Kyiv, I want to remind that the affiliation of the Orthodox faithful in our country, Orthodox communities and monasteries to it is their canonical duty. Therefore, just as then, so now we call: the doors of our Church are open, we want to achieve the unity of all Orthodox around the Kyivan Throne, around the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine - one of the equivalent and equal autocephalous Sister Churches of Ecumenical Orthodoxy, which on the Ukrainian land carries out its service to the native people without any external control, interference or coercion.

    As the Holy Archimandrite of the Kyiv Cave Monastery, I appeal to the brethren of the monastery: it is time to finally free yourself from the non-canonical rule of Moscow and its servants, to follow the Tomos, to begin a new page of the life of the monastery as a truly monastic monastery dedicated to the service of the one Church of Christ and its neighbors - the Ukrainian people. Let all the good that makes up the true millennial tradition of the Pechersk Monastery continue its existence and flourish, multiplying the saving fruits. And everything else that needs purification - let it be purified with the help of God and our joint efforts.

    Undoubtedly, we owe this joyful event to the courage of the Ukrainian army, our newest heroes. All those who are now on the battlefield resisting the invasion of foreigners and those who gave their lives for Ukraine in this struggle. Today, we offered our prayers for them, we asked for the approach of victory and the establishment of a just peace for Ukraine. And we have a sincere hope and will work to ensure that such a true and heartfelt prayer for Ukraine, for the President and the state authorities, for the army and for the entire Ukrainian people will be said here every day.

    We are grateful to the Head of State Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the leadership of the government and in particular the Minister of Culture of Ukraine Oleksandr Tkachenko, the National Reserve, as well as the relevant State Service for their assistance in satisfying our request and making the dream of millions of Ukrainians come true. Countering the destructive and heretical ideology of the "Russian world", which is the cornerstone of justification of Russian aggression against Ukraine, is our common cause. By joining efforts, we will be able to protect our people from the Kremlin's hybrid aggression on the spiritual front fruitfully and victoriously, as it is happening on other fronts of the struggle - military, diplomatic, informational, economic.

    07/01/2023 (Source)


    Christmas meeting with soldiers

    Today we ask that the next year be the year of victory and expulsion of the aggressor. So, on the eve of Christmas, I want to congratulate you - the soldiers - the newest heroes, and in your person all our defenders. We all long for peace, but a just peace that will come after our victory.

    06/01/2023 (Source)


    Meeting with medical sector and volunteers

    The enemy seeks to act as much as possible in the spiritual sphere, which is almost the only one that has remained under his influence until now. Therefore, the murderous ideology of the ‘Russian world’, sometimes veiled and hybrid, and sometimes quite openly, still continues to be promoted. This is unacceptable during a bloody war for our God-given land, freedom and independence. And this is by no means a question of freedom of religion or the free opportunity to pray, because, as we see, no one forbids this. It is a matter of national security, common sense in the face of deadly challenges, and a matter of truth and justice. Because the Lord is always on the side of truth, and not on the side of Pharisaic manipulations.

    4/1/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from sermon

    We sincerely thank God for helping our Motherland Ukraine withstand the onslaught of the evil empire, giving strength and courage to defeat the enemy on the battlefield, and inspiring millions of hearts with the spirit of self-sacrificing love, support, and charity. And about the coming year, we ask in prayer that it becomes a year of victory over the aggressor and the establishment of a just peace for Ukraine and the world.

    01/01/2023 (Source)


    Excerpt from Christmas message

    All these considerations especially echo in our hearts at the time of the most difficult trials of the war, which the Ukrainian people are going through. We did not want this war, as a people we sought to live peacefully, having understanding with all our neighbors, but the enemy cunningly and treacherously broke the peace and attacked our land, shedding blood, sowing death, wanting to destroy our statehood and our very Ukrainian identity.

    More than three decades ago, we broke free from centuries-old slavery, threw off the yoke, became independent, and started building our own sovereign state. Those who held us captive could not tolerate our achievements and our success. Devilish malice and envy prompted them to start a war, but in it they will definitely be defeated, because the truth is on our side. And where the truth is, there is God, and with God we will win. With God's help, our people have already achieved many victories, destroying the plans of the Kremlin tyrant to quickly conquer us. We have already achieved a moral victory, because all people of good will condemn the acts of genocide, terror and numerous war crimes committed by the evil Russian empire on our land.

    And now, on these festive days, we ask the Lord with a special feeling to help us overcome the opponents who brought grief to our home, to help finally expel the foreign invasion from Ukrainian land and, thanks to the victory of truth, to establish a just and lasting peace.

    Celebrating the Christmas of Christ, we strengthen our conviction that it will be so, but at the same time we remember those who defend the truth and freedom - our soldiers, who are now defending us from Russian aggression. The warmest prayers and most heartfelt wishes are heard today for our newest heroes.

    Let us also remember our brothers and sisters who are forced to celebrate holidays in captivity, on temporarily occupied Ukrainian lands. Let's remember our military and civilian prisoners and other unjustly imprisoned and ask the Lord for their protection and speedy release.

    Let's remember in prayer all forced migrants and refugees. May God's mercy and help be with you, because Christ Himself was a fugitive and hid from Herod's malice in a foreign land.

    Let's remember with a grateful prayer volunteers, donors and all people of good will who help the needy during the severe trials of war. May the Lord bless all your good deeds with success and reward you a hundredfold.

    I congratulate the President, the government, the Parliament of Ukraine, the leaders of local communities and all those who are called to work for the benefit of the Ukrainian people and serve them with a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May the Lord inspire you with wisdom and help you in the fight against the enemy!

    "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not covered it" (John 1:5), the Gospel tells us. Christ was born - and brought this invincible light that chases away the darkness of evil.

    Despite all the difficult current trials, the joy of Christmas fills our hearts, driving away sorrow, pain and sorrow, and let the light of the Star of Bethlehem direct us all to the Son of God, with whom we are able to defeat all evil.

    I heartily congratulate the fullness of our local Orthodox Church and the entire Ukrainian people!

    CHRIST WAS BORN! PRAISE HIM!

    29/12/2022 (Source)


    Words during visit to Bucha

    The difficult year of the war for the will of the Ukrainian state is coming to an end. The enemy is trying to destroy us, but we are invincible. And we must continue to be like that in order to live in freedom and build our Church. Because if we stop defending ourselves, then there will be no Ukraine, and if the Russian invaders are forced to stop the attack, then the war will end. Therefore, today we prayed that the Lord would bring the time of our just victory closer, as well as rest the souls of the fallen defenders of the Motherland and the tortured civilians who are buried near this temple,

    28/12/2022 (Source)


    Address to mayor of Lviv

    In fact, this is a war that has been going on for several centuries, and despite the high price paid by our defenders with their lives, we have no right to give up. Because if we do, we will pay a hundredfold, the enemy will destroy millions, as he has done in the past through artificial famines, and destroy everything we love and value - our faith, language, history, culture and identity. We have a unique chance to permanently break with all the components of the murderous "Russian peace" and, with the support of the international community, build the kind of Ukraine we all dream of. It is extremely important not to lose this opportunity due to internal strife and the sin of corruption,

    27/12/2022 (Source)


    Address to commander-in-chief of Ukrainian Armed Forces

    We have already achieved many victories, destroying the plans of the Kremlin tyrant to quickly conquer us. We have rallied around us dozens of countries, the civilized world, people of good will, who stand with us against the Russian tyrant and his terror. The protection of the native people is a God-blessed cause, and our soldiers fulfill their vocation, sacrificially protecting their neighbors. So may the Lord protect and bless our defenders of the Motherland and the entire Ukrainian people!

    21/12/2022 (Source)


    Address to Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa

    The enemy kills many of our people every day, not even sparing children. The aggressor fights for his criminal imperial ambitions, because he does not see his future without possession of Ukraine. This war has already clearly shown that they do not care about people, life and fate. They are only interested in our land, our ancient history and our spiritual endurance. And for us, it is a matter of survival and a free future for future generations. We will continue to be indomitable and strong in spirit and will continue to fight for the truth.

    19/12/2022 (Source)


    Address to vice-prime-minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine

    We are a democratic country, therefore, by definition, we cannot have any forced union of confessions. We are not a totalitarian Russia, in which everything is done by force, by order, regardless of the opinion and desire of the clergy and the faithful. We are still strongly advocating the unity of the Orthodox around the Kyiv throne. However, such a union can only be voluntary and with those who have not tarnished themselves with devotion to the criminal ideology of the "Russian peace"

    15/12/2022 (Source)


    Address to Border Guards

    I am glad to celebrate you today, because you are putting in a lot of effort to protect the borders of our state in this difficult time of trials with a full-scale war on the part of Russia. Now is precisely the time when we can break free from these Russian shackles. I believe that with God's help and thanks to our defenders of the Motherland, Ukraine and all our Ukrainian people will definitely win.

    08/12/2022 (Source)


    Words to Archbishop Justin Welby, during his visit to Kiev

    Thank you for coming to Kyiv, as planned during our meeting in London, even though this journey is difficult. Your visit is historic, because for the first time the Archbishop of Canterbury is visiting a country that is experiencing foreign aggression.

    We appreciate the support of Britain and the support of the Church of England and the Anglican community, we appreciate your prayers for the victory of truth and peace in Ukraine. The enemy is trying to intimidate our people with shelling of civilian infrastructure and terror against the civilian population, but he will not succeed, just as his other plans failed. We will defeat the aggressor, because the truth is on the side of Ukraine, and our spirit is strong and our faith is unbreakable.

    23/11/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    By its very nature, all human tyranny has its spiritual roots in the devil's rebellion and his tyrannical temporal rule over part of the created world. To strengthen their power, tyrants use the same means as the devil: lies and temptations, deprivation of freedom and enslavement, evil and murder. Therefore, whether they realize it or not, all tyrants are servants of the devil. Satanic thoughts inspire them, and the evil spirit uses tyrants as an instrument for the multiplication of evil.

    In history, we can see numerous examples of this, but we will mention only a few of those that are closer to our time and concern the Ukrainian people. Two tyrannies - Bolshevik and Nazi - brought untold and terrible suffering to the Ukrainian land, as well as to many peoples of Europe and the world. The followers of the Russian tyrants Lenin and Stalin, as well as the followers of the German tyrant Hitler, shed rivers of blood, destroyed tens of millions of people in a particularly cruel way, confused the societies of many countries with systematic and deliberate lies.

    Are not these tyrants the adversaries of God among the people of their time, just as Satan and the devil were the adversaries of God among the angels? Was it not the devil's will that they created, as evidenced by the fruits of their crimes - mass murders, the suffering of millions, wars and destruction?

    Both regimes, on the one hand, were conscious opponents of Christianity, but on the other hand, they sought to use church structures for their own purposes in order, according to the words of the Scriptures, to tempt the elect if possible. In the Soviet Union, such structures were first the renewalists, and then the Moscow Patriarchate, created by Stalin to lead the Orthodox. And in the Nazi Reich there were so-called "German Christians" who falsely blessed Hitler and the criminal activities of his accomplices.

    We see all these signs of diabolical tyranny in our time. After all, until evil is finally overcome and bound for eternal condemnation - and this will happen at the second coming of Christ during the Last Judgment - the devil tempts new and new rulers so that they become tyrants, become instruments of the spread of evil. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and other tyrants of the past are dead, but the devil is tempting others to take their place. The current head of the Russian state has become such a tyrant of our time, a servant of the devil and a guide of lies and evil.

    And if we look into our own Ukrainian history, we will see that both revolutions, the beginning and the victory of which we commemorate today, were an uprising not only and not so much against the sprouts of tyranny in our own state, but against the Kremlin tyrant's attempt to take over Ukraine in the same way as he conquered Russia. After all, those who built a tyrannical government in our country relied on his will, on his support, on the money and influence they received thanks to Russian assistance.

    Therefore, the coincidence of the two celebrations that we are celebrating today should be seen as an indication of the spiritual nature of our struggle: we, as the Church and as a people, are against the latest tyranny, the inspiration of which is the devil. Therefore, on the one hand, our struggle is difficult, but on the other hand, we are sure of victory, as was the arch-strategist Michael, who led the fight against the devil and won, throwing him from heaven.

    We fight for dignity and freedom, understanding them in the Christian sense as gifts of the Almighty Creator and signs of God-like human nature. We have the freedom to multiply good and be free from the tyranny of evil. And for this freedom we lay down our soul and body, as the Savior says about it, urging us to value the gospel truth more than temporal life. We have the dignity that comes from the fact that each of us is capable of becoming a child of God, His son or daughter, an heir of the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Whoever renounces these freedoms and dignity for the sake of being seduced by the devil is like the angels who were tempted and fell away from God. For such, according to the word of Scripture, the devil takes the form of an angel of light, so that they will believe him. This is exactly what happened to many followers of the Moscow Patriarchate and their leader, who were deceived by the devil and induced to become servants of the Kremlin tyrant.

    But there is no one like God! Therefore, even after the struggle, evil will still be defeated, truth will prevail, and the next tyrant will be dethroned and inherit eternal damnation along with Satan's servants of the past ages like him.

    So, dear brothers and sisters, celebrating today, we will offer prayers to God and to His Heavenly army led by Archstrategist Michael for the approach of this victory. So that we ourselves can be established in true dignity and freedom, and the inspiration to protect these gifts of God will be passed on to the next generations of our people.

    23/11/2022 (Source)


    Words during meeting with head of the Luhansk OVA

    Our struggle continues and with God's help it will certainly be crowned with success. After all, we do not encroach on other people's property, but only fight for the liberation of our Motherland and for our own existence and the future of our descendants. Everyone must do everything in their power to win. At the same time, it is worth clearly understanding that this struggle is not only physical, but also spiritual. It cannot and should not be that the body of our state is Ukrainian, and the spirit is Russian

    15/11/2022 (Source)


    Words during meeting with with the head of the Main Directorate of Intelligence

    God endows a person with certain gifts and talents. Therefore, in this difficult time, everyone must devote their strength and abilities to defeat the Russian invaders. After all, something depends on each of us and all of us in unity are able to achieve success in countering the aggressor. Thank you for your selfless struggle to protect Ukraine. The enemy is ferocious and cunning, so may the Lord protect you and strengthen your wisdom to destroy the insidious plans of the occupiers.

    08/11/2022 (Source)


    During meeting with military personnel in Vinnytsia

    We will achieve this goal and after victory we will jointly build our unified Ukrainian state, in which our single recognized local Ukrainian Orthodox Church will continue to be established. Because the Church is the soul of the Ukrainian people. And the body cannot be Ukrainian, and the soul Russian. Therefore, the struggle continues on the spiritual front as well. And it fell to our lot to put an end to this struggle: because the war does not last for several months, but for several centuries – Russia tried to destroy us as a separate people, as a separate nation. But we are indestructible, unbreakable and will fight to the end. And the Lord will certainly grant us blessed success!

    03/11/2022 (Source)


    During meeting with relatives of killed, captured and missing soldiers

    I understand your pain. We should pray for our loved ones and not lose hope, because the power of prayer is effective and the Lord hears it. Prayer is also an expression of our love for our relatives, which they undoubtedly feel. Our losses among soldiers are a very high cost and a great grief, but we must not give up. Those who gave their lives protecting us would like us not to suffer for them, but on the contrary to fight on, so that their sacrifice would not be in vain.

    01/11/2022 (Source)


    During meeting with military chaplains

    Now we hear about the successes of our army on the battlefield, but the enemy is treacherous and cruel, and the difficult and bloody struggle continues. Therefore, we must intensify our efforts, inspire our glorious defenders to liberate the Motherland from the occupiers, and constantly use our first spiritual weapon - prayer to the All-Merciful Lord. Let us continue to follow the path of truth, because this path is pleasing to God and will certainly lead to victory,

    01/11/2022 (Source)


    During consecration of new church in Bila Tserkva

    Now we are moving along a difficult and thorny path. However, in this difficult time of trial by war, we are even more aware that we cannot do anything without God. Therefore, in order to hope for the Lord's help, we ourselves must be merciful to our neighbors and show our love to those who especially need it now. It is love that is the eternal virtue of the Kingdom of Heaven, and where it is not, there reigns sin and evil, and we can clearly see this on the example of the Russian occupiers. So let's unite in love for the God-given Motherland, let's nurture a strong faith and with God's help we will get the desired victory

    31/10/2022 (Source)


    During meeting with members of Ukrainian Volunteer Army

    The Lord sees the criminal and despicable nature of what the enemy is doing. They already feel the answer for their evil deeds and will feel it even more in the future. After all, God, unlike the Russian population, cannot be deceived by senseless and cynical propaganda, with which they try to justify their unprovoked attack and constant attacks on the objects of our civil infrastructure. Thank you all for giving a worthy rebuff to the invaders and sacrificially protecting our lives and freedom, may the Lord protect you!

    29/10/2022 (Source)


    Words during meeting with Roberta Metzola, president of the European Parliament

    Ukraine has already won morally, and the help and support we see, receive, and feel from the entire civilized world confirms this. Because the truth is on our side, we are defending our native land from the aggressor. But now it is still necessary to achieve victory over the empire of evil, to cut off the evil so that it does not spread further in Europe. And therefore, the more and the faster help is provided to Ukraine - weapons, financial and diplomatic support, humanitarian aid - the faster the Russian occupiers will be expelled from Ukraine and peace will be established.

    22/10/2022 (Source)


    Statement on problematic issues of Church and State relationship

    In recent times, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine twice made public statements regarding the numerous and systematic facts of preventing religious communities from exercising their right to free exit from subordination to the structures of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine and joining the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Unfortunately, it was necessary to ascertain the involvement of representatives of state authorities and local self-government in the creation of such artificial obstacles.

    However, despite these and other numerous appeals, this practice continued. This ultimately led to a scandalous situation, when the body responsible for state-church relations issued recommendations that further complicated and bureaucratized the already difficult procedure of liberating the community from the Moscow yoke. On the basis of these recommendations, as an allegedly mandatory document, the official of the special service made unfounded demands on representatives of local authorities and religious communities. The angry reaction of civil society and the quick decisions of the service leadership stopped such an attempt. However, this situation only confirmed that the problem has acquired a complex nature and therefore needs a fundamental solution.

    For more than four months, under various formal pretexts, the registration of the statute of the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra as part of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has been postponed. At the same time, the head of the service responsible for state-church relations makes public comments that discredit the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and defend the existing monopoly of the structure of the Moscow Patriarchate on services in Ukrainian shrines. The Holy Synod considers such a situation outrageous and absolutely unacceptable.

    Actions have not been taken to implement the resolution of the parliament adopted more than half a year ago regarding the transfer of the premises of the cathedral church in Simferopol to the ownership of the OCU diocese, which the diocese has been demanding for many years to protect property rights. The process of making technical changes to the Statute of the Donetsk Eparchy of the OCU was unjustifiably continued under a false pretext, which caused serious complications for its charitable work.

    Instead, in the communication from the leadership of the body, which was supposed to protect Ukraine from Russian hybrid aggression in the religious sphere, narratives are systematically heard that are completely consonant with the propaganda stamps of the Moscow Patriarchate. In particular, this is an accusation of "capturing temples", naming a religious association that has only 4% of public support as "the largest", an attempt to read statements of meetings of this association, which until now have not been officially published in full, as an allegedly real decision to terminate the subordination of this structure to the Moscow Patriarchate, etc.

    Such actions at the state level encourage illegal pressure on communities that want to leave the subordination to Russian church structure. Through previous statements, the Synod tried to encourage the resolution of the problems that had begun to accumulate. However, instead, only their systematic deepening took place.

    All of the above causes serious concern, especially in the context of ongoing full-scale Russian aggression, in which the structures of the Moscow Patriarchate play a significant role, justifying and encouraging it.

    If the creation of systemic obstacles is not stopped, it will significantly complicate the situation and force the Orthodox Church of Ukraine to defend the legitimate rights of communities and the faithful through public protests.

    For our part, we certify that we do not wish to complicate the situation in any way. However, all previous attempts to solve problems through direct communication with the relevant public service proved to be fruitless. Therefore, the Holy Synod asks the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the President of Ukraine to take measures to solve the problem and normalize state-church relations, which have artificially introduced misunderstanding.

    18/10/2022 (Source)


    Words during meeting with General Oleksandr Pavlyuk

    The enemy is once again terrorizing Kyiv and all of Ukraine, cynically trying to destroy civilian infrastructure. Losing at the front, they seek to win back at ordinary civilians and don't even hide it anymore. Such vile manifestations of diabolical malice are also intended to satisfy the internal consumer, who is constantly pumped with hatred by Russian propaganda. However, the Lord sees everything and will certainly reward everyone for evil deeds and intentions. For our part, we must do everything that depends on us and defend our God-given land with faith and prayer.

    17/10/2022 (Source)


    Exerpt of sermon on the feast of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos

    Therefore, our Cossack ancestors, and the rebels and fighters of the Ukrainian resistance of the 20th century, and our courageous defenders, who are now on the front line of the fight against the Russian invaders and murderers, turned and turn to the Mother of God for help and receive protection and strength under Her Protection for a victorious fight.

    We started our reasoning with historical memories. But is it not a manifestation of God's mercy and the intercession of the Most Pure Virgin that we can call the protection of our capital, Golden-topped Kyiv, from the latest barbarian invasion? Like a raging flood, the influx of foreigners moved from all sides, bringing destruction and death wherever they reached. But when, based on human considerations, it seemed to many that it would be impossible to protect Kyiv from this dirty flood – with faith in God, with love for the native land and the Ukrainian people, our brave defenders did the unthinkable, defending the heart of Ukraine and driving foreigners from our land

    Today, at the state level, we honour our Cossack ancestors, and the fighters for the freedom and independence of Ukraine in the past, and our newest heroes - the defenders of Ukraine. But as Orthodox Christians, we also glorify the Mother of God first of all, as our great Protector and Chosen victorious Voivode, who inspires us to go into battle with evil and goes ahead in this fight against the devilish darkness.

    So then, once the citizens of Tsargorod in the Vlahernsky temple, so now we, with tears in thousands of temples, chapels and under the open sky on the battlefield, cry out with faith to the Mother of God: "Rejoice, our Joy, cover us and the whole of Ukraine from all evil with Your righteous omophor!"

    14/10/2022 (Source)


    Meeting with Ukrainian military

    Today we ask God for help in overcoming the evil of Russian aggression. You, our defenders and the entire Ukrainian people, have repeatedly proven your strength of spirit and selfless love for the Motherland. The price of our struggle was considerable, but we do not encroach on someone else's land and do not have another God-given land, so we will protect our Ukraine with all our might. The enemy is fierce and insidious, but his actions are criminal, cynical and unrighteous, and therefore displeasing to God. That is why the aggressor is defeated, because despite the outwardly demonstrative orthodoxy, they follow the path of the devil's lies and the bloody sin of Cain. With God's help, we will clear our land of the invaders and may the Protection of the Mother of God protect you from all evil.

    12/10/2022 (Source)


    Excerpt from a sermon

    Here, everyone can ask a question from their own life experience: doesn't it often happen in our lives that we, figuratively speaking, "don't have a choice"?

    There is no doubt that external circumstances can develop in such a way that a person feels the need to act only in a certain way. But if we think about such examples, we will see the undeniable presence of freedom in them. And only the person himself can give this freedom into someone else's hands, agree to fulfill someone else's will, thus saying his "yes" or "no".

    For example, now we all live in conditions of war. Its beginning did not depend on us, the enemy attacked our country treacherously and without reason. We are not responsible for the suffering, destruction, threats to life that Russian aggression has brought to our lives. But how we react to it, what we do or what we don't do in the circumstances that arise – depends only on us.

    There is a general rule, there is a law of God and man, that one must defend one's land and one's neighbors from the attack of evil. But some do it, even, like our brave warriors, sacrificing their own lives. And others make a deal with evil, become its minions. In the same conditions, some defend Ukraine, while others continue to speak the words of "Russian peace", some seek victory for our Motherland and a just peace, while others seek for Ukraine to come to terms with the occupation by enslavement to obedience to the Kremlin.

    So when someone says that out of fear of the occupiers, he went to serve evil, betrayed them as patriots, and contributed to the establishment of their power, then there is an answer: but others in the same circumstances did and do differently! Aren't they afraid for their lives, aren't they in danger? But they do not betray the truth, do not make, so to speak, "a deal with the devil."

    Therefore, no external circumstances can ever be an excuse for a person that he did not have freedom, did not have the opportunity to express his will. Free will remains with us always, because it is an indestructible gift of God to us. And it depends only on us, how we use it, whether we do not give it up easily, without even understanding the value of this gift and the consequences of our decisions.

    09/10/2022 (Source)


    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 alrea