Patriarch Filaret: church will support people’s protests

10:45, 25 March 2011
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Kyiv Patriarchate would...

Kyiv Patriarchate would support people’s protests against the government as “it is important for safeguarding of our statehood, because independent Orthodox Church is able to exist only in an independent country,” Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine Filaret said in an interview to Evolution Media.

When asked it there is any outflow of parishioners from Kyiv Patriarchate after Victor Yanukovych came to the presidential office, he answered in the negative. “On the contrary, Kyiv Patriarchate is growing in such critical moments.[…] When we started discussing the topic of suppressions, we are much liked by many people, including members of political parties and NGOs. Parishioners are going to church more often.”

He criticized Moscow’s attempts to subordinate Ukraine to its influence via the Russian Orthodox Church. “The deceased Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II visited Ukraine 3 times over the 18 years of his patriarchy, but his successor Patriarch Kirill I visited our country 3 times only over 1 year! Kirill I arrived not as a spiritual pastor, but to promote a political idea of the “Russian world”, pursuing an idea of subordination of Ukraine, Belarus and, for some reason, Moldova.”

Patriarch Filaret expressed doubts about the possibility of unification of all Christian confessions into a single church because “the Roman-Catholic Church will never give up on it, and the Christian world will never accept it. Let alone mentioning the differences in religious doctrines with Protestant churches… But it makes sense to speak of unification of all Christians for protection of Christian morality, which is catastrophically declining these days. There are no discrepancies between Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant believers in this issue.

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