Chișinău, Moldova, January 26, 2022
The Metropolis of Chișinău and All Moldova rejects and condemns all forms of interference in Church life or political pressure, including calls for the Church to remain silent or for the Church to speak out on political matters.
The Church published a statement yesterday in response to recent statements from the media and politicians that hurt the people’s trust in their spiritual leaders. Such statements, which have used “inappropriate language” with a “sarcastic and contemptuous tone,” “disappoint and sadden” the Church.
One of the most recent such statements came from Oazu Nantoi, Depurty of the ruling Action and Solidarity Presidential Party, who addressed an open letter to His Eminence Metropolitan Vladimir on Tuesday, calling on the hierarch to speak out on various political matters.
According to EurAsia Daily, Nantoi wrote in particular that the Church has the moral duty to respond to the risks of a war in Ukraine and separatism in the breakaway state Transnistria.
“Today is the time to prove that the Metropolia of Moldova supports the people of the Republic of Moldova, that it belongs to the Republic of Moldova and is not an ideological fiefdom of the Russian Orthodox Church,” Nantoi stressed.
He also accused the Moldovan Church clergy in Transnistria of “serving the Tiraspol regime,” which challenges both the Moldovan constitution and “fundamental human rights.”
The outlet also reports that Chișinău was angry when Met. Vladimir participated in the swearing in of President Vadim Krasnoselsky of Transnistria in December. The independence of Transnistria isn’t recognized by the Moldovan state.
The Church responded with a 6-point statement:
The Church prays for peace every day in the Divine Liturgy, not just on one day. Pope Francis recently declared January 26 a day of prayer for peace in Ukraine, stating his concern for the impact a Russian-Ukrainian war would have on the whole of Europe. According to the Moldovan Church’s statement, “the Pope of Rome, in addition to being a religious leader, is also a political leader, so he can afford the ‘luxury’ of making such statements.”
While Moldova and Transnistria may be politically divided, they are united in the Moldovan Church, and His Eminence Metropolitan Vladimir is always welcome in Transnistria. “Maybe it’s time to acknowledge that the Metropolitan Church of Moldova is today, the only institution that enjoys trust, unites, and has validity on both banks of the Dniester. It is the only thread that connects, in reality, not theoretically, the two shores.”
The Church has partnerships with various Moldovan institutions and always prays for peace, for the nation and its army, and for all the people. The ecclesiastical structures predate the formation of the Moldovan state, and so it has had over time clergy of all ethnicities and social categories.
Met. Vladimir has received various distinctions from both political and religious leaders around the world, which are a recognition of the Church’s cooperation for the well-being of all ethnic minorities in Moldova, and which also oblige him to continue to work to keep the peace and not take particular stances.
The Church has the constitutional right to neutrality. However, political parties and actors often show inaction but blame other institutions, including the Church. Moreover, state institutions of Moldova systematically neglect the appeals of the Church, regardless of the given topic. Politicians are also disturbingly inconsistent, at times insisting that the Church remain silent, and at times insisting that it speak out.
Any interference in Church life is inadmissible, and “we reiterate our desire not to involve the Church in all national or international political misunderstandings and games, but to let the Church carry out its basic mission: preaching the truth of faith and witnessing to the Gospel of the Risen Christ!”
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