The Russian army is fighting against “evil forces” in Ukraine, according to Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church while the Russian army is the aggressor and the Ukrainian people is the victim
By Willy Fautré, Human Rights Without Frontiers
HRWF (03.03.2022) – Surprisingly and shockingly, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia declared “about the events going on in Ukraine,” in his homily on Sunday 27 February, at the Cathedral Church of Christ the Saviour:
“God forbid that the present political situation in fraternal Ukraine so close to us should be aimed at making the evil forces that have always strived against the unity of Rus’ and the Russian Church, gain the upper hand.”
The proximity between the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and the Kremlin is however not only physical, as they are only a few hundred meters from each other, but it is also political, geopolitical and spiritual.
In a long article titled “The Law, the Rights and the Rules,” and published in The Diplomat Magazine in July 2021, Sergey Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign affairs, criticized the “aggressive LGBT propaganda” by the “enlightened Europe”, the US interference in church affairs, openly seeking to drive a wedge into the Orthodox world, whose values are viewed as a powerful spiritual obstacle for the liberal concept of boundless permissiveness.”
Quite often, Patriarch Kirill has presented President Putin as the sole defender of Christianity in the world and even as the savior of Christians in Syria after he had sent his troops to save Bashar al-Assad and his regime.
Last but not least, on 23 February, one day before the invasion of Ukraine, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin on Defender of the Fatherland Day and wished him peace of mind, health and God’s help in his ministry, according to the message published on the website of the Russian Orthodox Church:
“I cordially congratulate you on Defender of the Fatherland Day. <…> I wish you good health, peace of mind and abundant help from the Lord in your high and responsible service to the people of Russia.“
Calling afterwards for “the restoration of good fraternal relations between our peoples,” Patriarch Kirill clarified in his 28 February homely what he means by “fraternal relations” when he said:
“A guarantee of this fellowship is our united Orthodox Church represented in Ukraine by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church headed by His Beatitude Onuphry.”
Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine is the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, but under President Poroshenko, a national Orthodox Church, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine affiliated to the Patriarchate of Constantinople has emerged and has challenged Moscow.
And for those who might not have understood the core message of his homily, Patriarch Kirill insisted that the Ukrainians are the attackers and part of the evil forces, when he said “We prayed that the Lord may give them strength and wisdom to repulse the attacks of the evil one.”
Further in his homily, he points at the West as the enemy of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian people:
It must not be allowed to give the dark and hostile external forces an occasion to laugh at us; we should do everything to preserve peace between our peoples while protecting our common historical Motherland against every outside action that can destroy this unity.
While the EU, the UK and the USA are not at war with the Russian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox believers, Patriarch Kirill is spiritually at war with the “so-called decadent values of the West” when he concludes:
“Wherefrom has the Russian land come”, the land which now includes Russia and Ukraine and Belarus and other tribes and peoples. That the Lord may protect the Russian land against external enemies, against internal disorders, that the unity of our Church may strengthen and that by God’s mercy all the temptations, diabolical attacks, provocations may retreat and that our devout people in Ukraine may enjoy peace and tranquillity – these are our prayers today.
In this warlike language, the Orthodox world and the Russian world end up overlapping and merging. They announce the final regional objective of the current war against Ukraine.
Photo: Valdimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill / pinterest.com