Patriarch Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church has expressed solidarity with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia in light of the latest recent events in Ukraine.
“Ukraine is a huge temptation for Orthodoxy in general. And this temptation is of great significance, because it is related to the center of Orthodoxy. This is not something that is outside, but a phenomenon that is taking place inside our home. Those who harbor evil against Orthodoxy probably thought it out well, and what is happening in Ukraine is like a bomb thrown into our home,” Patriarch Irinej said at a meeting with Patriarch Kirill in Moscow on Tuesday.
Patriarch Irinej is visiting Russia to take part in ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of Patriarch Kirill’s election.
The Ukrainian church issue is not canonical or ecclesiastical, but “purely political,” and “Ecumenical Orthodoxy should approach this issue very seriously and settle it,” he said.
Patriarch Kirill called attempts to separate the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Russian Orthodox Church and Kosovo from Serbia “links of the same chain, in some sense.”
“The Lord is leading our churches through trials, and perhaps this is why you understand our pain over the developments in Ukraine better than anyone else,” he said.