New Ukrainian bill calls to sanction Patriarch Kirill and other Russian hierarchs

Kiev, May 2, 2022

Photo: Photo:     

A bill on sanctions against the primate and three other high-level representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church has been submitted to Ukraine’s Parliament, the Verkhovna Rada.

Draft resolution No. 7332 was registered on April 29, reports the Union of Orthodox Journalists with reference to the official Rada website. Similar calls have come from other states and organizations as well.

The bill calls for sanctions against His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Department for External Church Relations (DECR) His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk, DECR Deputy Head Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, and His Eminence Metropolitan Tikhon (Shevkunov) of Pskov and Porkhovsk, who, according to the bill, is “Vladimir Putin's confessor and a person close to the Russian special services.”

The draft law is proposed by more than 20 deputies from the Voice, Servant of the People, European Solidarity, and Freedom parties, including the authors of the recently submitted bills calling for a total ban on the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The text states that representatives of the Russian Church have “repeatedly publicly supported” the “armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine,” which the authors characterize as “genocide.” According to the bill, they “perform the function of civil servants in religion, implementing the policy of the Russian Federation through the means of power and influence available to them.”

The explanatory note points to a number of statements from the Patriarch concerning the fratricidal war, and also identifies the given metropolitans and Fr. Nikolai as the main developers and defenders of the idea of the “Russian World,” which the authors believe “denies the existence of the Ukrainian people as a separate nation, and is based on distorted stories of Orthodoxy and a rewriting of the history of Kievan Rus for the benefit of Moscow.”

The proposed sanctions include a ban on entry and the blocking of assets, the deprivation of Ukrainian state awards, a ban on the acquisition of land and other properties, the temporary restriction of the right to use and dispose of property, the restriction of trade operations, and the prevention of the withdrawal of capital outside of Ukraine, among other measures.

And last week, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said in an interview that they have submitted a proposal to the European Union to personally sanction Patriarch Kirill.

“There is such a proposal… We do not yet have the final answers on whether it will be possible to do so,” Landsbergis said.

Russian Church representative Vladimir Legoida, head of the Synodal Department for Relations Between the Church and Society and the Media, commented that such a proposal can only be called “absurd.” Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia Dmitry Medvedev has also condemned the proposal as part of an “anti-Russian frenzy.”

The Lithuanian Foreign Minister also noted that there is talk amongst some clerics of the Orthodox Church in Lithuania of leaving the Moscow Patriarchate and joining Constantinople. In fact, according to the hierarchs, a handful of clerics have been suspended for schismatic agitation.

His Eminence Metropolitan Innokenty of Vilnius and Lithuania has strongly condemned the fratricidal war in Ukraine, and the Lithuanian Church held a large cross procession for peace in Ukraine and Church unity in Lithuania on Saturday.

The ecumenical organization the World Council of Churches is also facing calls to expel the Russian Orthodox Church, “with detractors arguing the church’s leader, Patriarch Kirill, invalidated its membership by backing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and involving the church in the global political machinations of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

Follow OrthoChristian on Twitter, Vkontakte, Telegram, WhatsApp, MeWe, and Gab!


ANTONO PARRA GALINDO11/18/2022 5:29 am
My deep support and reverence for patriarch Kiril. This war was created by the Freemasons, I can see that a lot of British agents, warmongers, are writing on this page. Zelenskiy is responsible for the effusion of blood of his own people. He is a dangerous man. Who wants to throw the world into the quagmire of Third World War. God bless our patriarch, a man of God. Those English M15 should take care of the poverty of his own country. They want to destroy Russia, as they did with the Romanov. Treacherous lot they are
Ioann5/4/2022 2:49 am
Bob, Re: "...but is there another who would oppose the Putin aggression?" "There is a historic precedent within the Russian Orthodox Church where a brave Saint did the foolish thing by speaking truth to murderous power. There is St. Nicholas of Pskov. "When the Tsar arrived at the cell of the saint, the holy fool offered the Tsar a piece of raw meat. 'I am a Christian and do not eat meat during Lent, said Tsar Ivan to him. 'But you drink human blood,' the saint replied." Où sont les geants d'antan? I'll echo you, Bob: Is there another?
Doug Carlson5/3/2022 7:30 pm
Juan, I didn't say and I'm not saying he should therefore be sanctioned. I was only responding to the idea that he's done nothing more than not call for an end. He has actively supported. I was only correcting that mistake. And he has supported the war with strange declarations like "Russia hasn't attacked anyone," which is just objectively untrue. I leave the moral evaluation of his support to others. I'm only trying to get out the basic facts of his position.
Juan5/3/2022 7:00 pm
Doug Carlson: So according to you and the Ukrainian Rada, Patriarch Kirill should be sanctioned for that? Once the war crimes--not Russia's but the Ukraine's--become more obvious, people may become less quick to attack the Patriarch.
Doug Carlson5/3/2022 5:00 pm
Respected Editor, unfortunately it can't really be said that the only crime the Patriarch is accused of is not telling Putin to stop the war. Rather, he has explicitly come out in support of it several times over. And things he says simply make one scratch their head. In an article that came out today, he said Russia has never attacked anyone, but only protects its borders ( Sorry, even if you believe the war is about Russia's self-preservation, it's still a simple //fact// that that preservation is being carried out via an attack on Ukraine.
Editor5/3/2022 10:06 am
Dionysius: Consider the source. The Ukrainian Rada has also passed a bill to make the canonical Orthodox Church under Met. Onuphry illegal and confiscate its property. The only "crime" the Patriarchate and others have supposedly committed is not telling Putin to stop the war. How do you know they haven't? Are you privy to all their conversations? Met. Tikhon is being targeted simply because he is reportedly "Putin's confessor". Even if it's true: Is it the place of a confessor to tell those who come to him how to carry out their governmental duties? And we also recall U.S. bishops writing to the U.S. government to stop bombing Serbia. Did anyone listen? Obviously not. This is, as V. Legoida said, absurd, and as Medvedev said, no more than anti-Russian frenzy.
Dionysius Redington5/3/2022 12:58 am
Pat. Cyril is probably sincere in his mistaken beliefs. Met. Hilarion Alfeyev surely knows better, but throughout his career he has convinced himself that various positions he initially considered wrong are somehow correct. I do not understand Met. Tikhon, who frequently seems like a very good hierarch but has failed to brake the increasingly atheistic trend of the regime. These three men (or Cyril by himself) could change the situation tomorrow by the simple act of unequivocally condemning what is being done and calling on those who promote it (on both sides, not just the Ukrainian one) to lay down their weapons and repent. Why they do not see this, or why they allow their fear of an earthly prince to bind their tongues, is a mystery. Holy Phillip of Moscow, pray to God for us. --Dionysius Redington
Bob5/2/2022 7:37 pm
This is complicated, but not really. I understand and agree with the sentiment of the sanctions bill, but not with the implementation of it. This is an opportunistic measure being proposed by those who have always been against the UOC. And Pat K has done nothing to argue against it. But canonically speaking, leaving MP for Constantinople? Of course not. There is no justification for that. Constantinople is poisoned by the non-canonical actions it has taken. MP is tarnished because Pat K will not step up to do what he should do. Big difference, but not one many are willing to see. So how to reconcile that? Pray for Pat K. Commemorate him in the services. All men are weak, all come short of the glory of God. We may not judge, but we are known by the fruits of our labor, our actions. In the end it is sad we do not have the level of spiritual leadership demanded in this situation from Pat K. He really should resign, but is there another who would oppose the Putin aggression?
Here you can leave your comment on the present article, not exceeding 4000 characters. All comments will be read by the editors of OrthoChristian.Com.
Enter through FaceBook
Your name:
Your e-mail:
Enter the digits, seen on picture:

Characters remaining: 4000

to our mailing list

* indicates required