Archbishop Elpidophoros of America slammed Russia’s Orthodox Church for supporting the invasion of Ukraine, signaling out its head Patriarch Kirill in a speech delivered on Monday.
Speaking at an event at the Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church, Port Washington, New York, Elpidophoros said that “responsibility rests squarely on the leadership of the Russian Church and clearly on Patriarch Kirill.”
Kirill has described Putin’s leadership as a religious miracle. As bombs have rained down on Ukrainian cities, he has asserted that it is “God’s truth” that the people of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus should be reunited as one spiritual people. Having become a vassal of the sinful west, Ukraine must be saved and restored to “Holy Rus.”
Elpidophoros said that the images coming out of the Ukrainian city of Bucha “fill our hearts with much pain and righteous outrage.”
He stressed that we should not blame ordinary Russians who are being deceived and victimized by both their civil and religious leaders.
Elpidophoros: Russia’s Church made a bargain with Putin and his cronies
“Even the poor Russian soldiers being sent as cannon fodder into Ukraine deserve our sympathy and our prayers. But for those committing atrocities, there will be justice – in this life or the next,” Elpidophoros noted.
He cited that the members of the Sanhedrin cried out: “We have no king but Caesar!” as Pilate sat in judgment against Jesus Christ.
“From the words and actions of Patriarch Kirill, we can conclude he has made the same bargain with Putin and his cronies. This is, indeed, a sad moment for our Church, and the whole world is watching,” the Head of the Greek Orthodox Church in America said.
He also contrasted the stance of the Russian Orthodox Church with that of Ukraine.
“These actions are in stark contrast to the Moscow Patriarchate’s own Metropolitan of Kyiv, His Eminence Onuphry, who has stood with his flock despite the silence of his brother bishops across the border,” it was proclaimed.
It was also announced that “one can only hope that the Ukrainian Orthodox – who are divided between the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine, under His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphanios, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate – will find a bridge of fraternity and solidarity to come together as Orthodox Christian brethren, so as to sustain their fellow Ukrainians.”
Anyone interesting is watching the recording @Elpidophoros's address last night along with my interview of @SergeiChapnin, an event sponsored by the @OrderStAndrew, the video is available here:https://t.co/Uu0yjG2A4Q
— George Demacopoulos (@GDemacopoulos) April 5, 2022