Ukrainian Synod calls on Zelensky, Putin, Patriarch Kirill to do everything possible to end war

Kiev, March 1, 2022

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The Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church issued a statement yesterday, calling on Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow to do everything possible to bring an end to the war in Ukraine.

The Synod also once again affirms its support for Ukrainian state sovereignty and territorial integrity, and assures the faithful that churches and monasteries will remain open to help all those in need.

The Synodal appeal follows on the statement of the Ukrainian primate, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine from the first day of the Russian military operation, in which he called upon President Putin to stop the war.

The Synodal statement reads in full:

Beloved in Christ Reverend Vladykas, Fathers, brothers and sisters!

Dear Ukrainian people!

It is sorrowful and painful for us that war has come to our native Ukrainian land. Severe trials have befallen all of us. Military activities between the troops of the Russian Federation and the Armed Forces of Ukraine continue on nearly the entire territory of Ukraine, soldiers and civilians are dying, and the number of refugees is growing. Bringing nuclear weapons to a state of high combat readiness in general sharply calls into question the prospects for the further existence of mankind and the whole world. In such a difficult situation, we call on everyone to be courageous, to strengthen your prayer, and to unite around the defense of our Motherland.

Addressing all our defenders today, we want to testify that we honor you and pray for you, because you, sacrificially risking your life, powerfully testify to how it’s possible to fulfill the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (Jn. 15:13).

For our part, we once again confirm that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has always supported and continues to support the sovereignty of the state and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We fully share the pain and suffering of our people. In these critical days, intensified prayers are offered up in all the churches and monasteries of our Church for an end to the war and the restoration of peace in Ukraine. With the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, our dioceses and monasteries are providing comprehensive assistance to refugees and all those who have suffered from the hostilities. Our churches are open around the clock for those who need protection from shelling. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is expanding its mission to help all those in need every day.

Aware of our special spiritual responsibility, we turn today to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. Your Holiness! We ask you to intensify your prayer for the much-suffering Ukrainian people, to speak your primatial word on the cessation of fratricidal bloodshed on Ukrainian land, and to call on the leadership of the Russian Federation to immediately stop the military actions that are already threatening to turn into a world war.

We also appeal to the President of Ukraine, Vladimir Alexandrovich Zelensky, and the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. On behalf of the multi-million flock of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, we ask you to do everything possible to put an end to the sin of armed confrontation between our two fraternal peoples and start the negotiation process. This terrible war has already dealt a heavy blow to relations between the Ukrainian and Russian peoples. If the bloodshed isn’t stopped, the chasm between our peoples could last forever.

Ukrainian people, brothers and sisters! We hope that common sense will prevail and this war will end soon. We ask each of you to maintain peace among yourselves and not to succumb to provocations. Help one another, take care of one another. It’s also important not to stir up hostility among one another. Our strength is only in unity. We ask the Lord to enlighten our rulers with the light of His grace. We believe that the Lord Who loves mankind will accept our prayers and forgive us our sins. And in the near future the peace of God will once again reign in our blessed Ukrainian land!

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Paulos3/23/2022 6:10 pm
To Je in Ca, Yes, Western Imperialism is an issue not only in Europe but the whole world. Yes, there are far right elements in Ukraine like there are, in the whole world. But it does not justify fratricide, and to assume Vladimir Putin, in all his Imperialist ambitions, has but a tenth of a tenth of good intention, is utter blindness to the man he is. You cannot justify imperialism with someone else's imperialism. To do so is to return to the days of the Great Game in Central Asia and the Cold War across the globe. A time of savagery and barbaric conflict disguised as civilization. The Ukrainian Far Right has never once made up a noticable percentile of Ukrainian Elections, while in Russia, an authoritarian far right government is the norm under Vladimir Putin. Putin has taken from the playbook of Anti-Fascist movements, attacking innocents on the blind notion that they may be "nazis". You cannot go before Christ and justify the murder of women and children, the destruction of cultural landmarks, and the bombing of cities. This is not Orthodoxy's war, this is Putin's war.
LIVV3/15/2022 12:48 am
This is about the damage to the Church and hotel where civilian have sought refuge. Totally understand Chris' prayers on the impact of US & Europe devastating NATO escalation.
JEinCA3/3/2022 9:21 am
I just told the truth Chris. You cannot counter what I just said because what I said was true. All you can do is call me a Putin apologist and a Russian propagandist. You want me to continue to make excuses for American/Anglo/Western Imperialism? I won't. I am a convert to Orthodoxy. I have Mexican blood. My people know all to well about the Imperial Appetites of Washington. I won't make excuses for them anymore. Do you know their record just in the past 30 years. Do you know Washington and their allies are up to their ears in the blood of innocents all across the Globe. For 8 years Ukraine has been on that list. US backed Coups have dire consequences. Washington should have kept it's word to Russia from the end of the Cold War to stay on it's side of the Elbe. Had it done that this tragedy would not have happened. Actions have consequences. Every action causes a reaction. Russia didn't turn Ukraine upside down and Russia has legitimate national security concerns that must be addressed and the US backed Junta in Kiev opening up a full blown assault on the Republics of Donetsk and Lughansk (and it's civilian population) after Russia warned them specifically not to do that resulted in this. Now there are Nazis in the streets of Ukrainian cities holding civilians hostage. Shooting anyone trying to escape. The Americans and the Brits armed and trained those Nazis with US taxpayer money just like they did with Right Wing Death Squads in Latin America for decades now. The heroic defenders of Ukraine are putting heavy artillery atop inhabited apartment blocks hoping the Russians blow it up with all the innocent civilians inside. So before you point the finger at Russia you should point the finger at Washington and London, the Junta in Kiev and the Nazi Brigades they've allowed to run wild in Ukraine. The West has no business setting foot in Orthodox lands let alone overthrowing governments in Orthodox lands. The West and the Orthodox East have been at odds for nearly a 1000 years since the Great Schism of 1054 AD.
Michael Steele3/3/2022 4:54 am
Thanks for the laugh Chris! Hard to justify the unjustifiable. Feeble effort too!
Chris3/2/2022 10:54 am
Wonderful JEinCA, you have won the nonsense bingo. Of course, not each presentation of the West is true and Russia has some valid interests as well. However, Fascists, Nato nuclear weapons, genocide bla bla - no need to sound like a propaganda rentboy as an Orthodox Christian. You see the truth in the courageous words of his Beatitude above. BTW, I am happily married to a Russian woman since many years.
JEinCA3/2/2022 5:31 am
War is terrible, but what's the alternative. Permanent NATO occupation of Ukraine? Nuclear missiles on Russia's doorstep with Banderist fingers on the trigger. The people of Donetsk and Lughansk have been at the receiving end of Ukrainian Army and Nationalist Paramilitary shelling and mortar attacks for 8 years. Bubushkas, Dadushkas, women and children victims of these attacks. Where was the outcry in the West then? Right now the Nationalist Brigades are murdering Ukrainian civilians they suspect of not being loyal enough to the Kiev Junta. Murdering them in cold blood. Elderly, women and children too. Should Russia just turn a blind eye and leave Ukraine to the mercy of such NATO backed, bloodthirsty fascists? Where would be the justice in that? Should Russia stand by until all Right Believing Orthodox Christians and any and every Ukrainian citizen who shares sympathies with Russia is ethnically cleansed if not butchered for their ethnic cultural identity or political and or religious beliefs? These are the hard questions we all need to be asking ourselves. Yes war evil but sometimes it is a necessary evil. Sometimes violence is necessary to protect the innocent. Sometimes wars of liberation are completely justified. We can find examples of that time and time again in the history of Orthodox Peoples especially since the Great Schism of 1054AD and the subsequent Western aggression that has not stopped since then (nearly a thousand years of Western aggression towards the Orthodox East). When is enough, enough?
Nathan George3/2/2022 3:58 am
Johannes, Our Metropolitan Tikhon (OCA) has directed us towards assisting relief of refugees via the Polish Orthodox Church’s ELEOS charitable organization.
Johannes 3/1/2022 3:37 pm
Is there any way we can help the Synod financially to help the victims of this terrible war?
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