“What is happening in Ukraine is a tragedy, it is a disgrace that will stigmatize for ever those who caused it, those who turned out to have no fear of God.
Holy Week does not seem to be over for the war-torn Ukrainian people, for the mothers, Ukrainian and Russians, mourning their children. And yet, Christ is Risen “, declares the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
In an interview given to the newspaper “Kathimerini of Cyprus”, the Primate of Orthodoxy sends a message of love and support to the afflicted people of Ukraine, while categorically rejecting speculation that the Ecumenical Patriarchate intervenes in the Church of Cyprus.
Asked if the prolongation of the war worries him, Ecumenical Patriarch said: “Of course it worries us. And it hurts us deeply… We have said many times that war is not the solution. It should not even be the last resort. The way to resolve any disputes should be dialogue and only dialogue.
I would not like to comment on the attitude and choices of the Russian political leadership, which is judged by their outcome, and I am sure that it will be judged further in the near and distant future by other persons and institutions and, of course, by history itself, whose pages are currently written in the blood of the innocent victims of this war.
However, we are convinced that the Russian people, at least our Christian Orthodox brothers, can not agree with what is happening to the detriment of their neighboring Ukrainian people. “And we have all seen this with the reaction of a courageous faction that opposes fratricidal war and is in favor of peace.”
Regarding the attitude of the Patriarch of Moscow in the Russia-Ukraine war, Bartholomew emphasizes that in the face of the death of innocent people, in the bombing of civilians, in the leveling of entire cities, in the face of this human tragedy, sermons can not be heard that characterize a war as “sacred”.
This is something very sad. It causes us deep sorrow and pain. But it causes more pain to the Ukrainians themselves. Because you can not claim to be a brother to another people and bless the war waged by your state.
You can not insist that Ukraine belongs to you ecclesiastically, but let the faithful of the ecclesiastical structure under Moscow be killed and their churches destroyed by the Russian bombing. “Unless they hope that the military invasion will settle their ecclesiastical claims.”
Finally, regarding the speculation about the interventions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the process of electing a new Primate in the Church of Cyprus, the Ecumenical Patriarch clarifies:
“There is no intervention of the Ecumenical Throne, indirect or direct inside the Most Holy Church of Cyprus. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has never interfered and does not interfere in the internal affairs of any local autocephalous Church.
The Church of Cyprus has a Primate and any other discussion wherever it comes from is disrespectful to the person of Brother Chrysostom, who throughout his ministry worked with all his might for the people of God, for the Pan-Orthodox unity. and for the promotion of inter-Christian dialogue “.