The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarcate condemns the invasion. Patriarch Kirill remains silent
I receive from Peter Anderson (ecumenist friend):
On February 28 the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) issued an address to the Ukrainian people. https://news.church.ua/2022/02/28/zvernennya-svyashhennogo-sinodu-ukrajinskoji-pravoslavnoji-cerkvi-vid-28-lyutogo-2022-roku/
A good English translation of the entire text of the address can be read at https://spzh.news/en/news/86735-sinod-upc-prizval-ostanovity-krovoprolitije-mezhdu-bratskimi-narodami
. The address leaves absolutely no doubt that the Holy Synod stands with the Ukrainian people against the invasion from the Russian Federation. This is demonstrated by such statements as the following:
In such a difficult situation, we call on everyone to be courageous, to enhance prayer and unite around the defense of our Homeland. Addressing all our defenders today, we want to testify that we honor you and pray for you because your risking your lives sacrificially truly testify how one can fulfil the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends (John 15:13). For our part, we once again confirm that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has always supported and continues to support the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We fully share the pain and suffering of our people. In these challenging times, fervent prayers are offered in all the churches and monasteries of our Church for an end to the war and the restoration of peace in Ukraine.
The address also includes a direct appeal to Patriarch Kirill in Moscow. This appeal states:
Realizing our special spiritual responsibility, today we address His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. Your Holiness! We ask you to intensify your prayer for the long-suffering Ukrainian people, to say your First Hierarch’s Word on the cessation of fratricidal bloodshed in Ukrainian land and call on the leadership of the Russian Federation to immediately stop hostilities that are already threatening to turn into a world war.
The appeal unambiguously asks Patriarch Kirill to call upon the leadership of the Russian Federation (namely President Putin) to immediately stop hostilities (namely begin a ceasefire). However, to this moment, there has been complete silence on the part of Patriarch Kirill and the Russian Orthodox Church in the Russian Federation. There is not much time left for Patriarch Kirill to speak as the final assault by the Russian forces on Kyiv is now beginning. With few exceptions, the appeal was not reported by the Russian secular and religious media.