Patriarch Ilia II addresses head of Phanar due to the situation around UOC

27 March 2023 10:21
Georgian Patriarch Ilia II. Photo: press service of the Georgian Church Georgian Patriarch Ilia II. Photo: press service of the Georgian Church

Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II sent a letter to Patriarch Bartholomew regarding the situation that has unfolded around the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II addressed the head of the Phanar in connection with the ongoing situation in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in particular. The text of the letter was published on the official website of the Georgian Orthodox Church.

Expressing deep pain in view of the Russian-Ukrainian war, His Holiness the Patriarch noted that he was concerned about the circumstances the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has now found itself.

His Holiness explained his appeal to the Patriarch of Constantinople by saying that “the government of Ukraine, which leads the country during the war, has its own position on this issue and does not take into account deep religious considerations.”

He recalled that the vast majority of clergy, hierarchs and parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church showed devotion to their country during this war, and their unanimity also contributed to the strength of Ukraine.

“It is also extremely important that, according to the decision of the Synod, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry separated from the Russian Church and took some steps to start negotiations. It is also important that the desire of this Church to observe the canonical rules in any ecclesiastical matters is due a spiritual way of life pursued by its representatives, which has been recognized for centuries and does not necessarily mean obedience to another church,” the letter of the Catholicos says.

Patriarch Ilia II drew attention to the tense situation around the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, the massive seizures of other churches and monasteries, and added that the UOC is in an extremely difficult situation from all sides.

Addressing Patriarch Bartholomew, the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia called on him to help reduce tension, create conditions for peaceful coexistence at the first stage, and then take a peaceful step towards mutual rapprochement.

“Now the Orthodox world is facing a number of serious challenges, and under these conditions, any positive step would be very valuable. I would like to conclude this letter with the words of the holy Apostle Paul: "Strive to preserve the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:3). May the Lord grant peace to Ukraine and the whole world,” Patriarch Ilia concluded his address to the head of the Phanar.

Earlier, the UOJ reported that the bishops and abbots of the Bulgarian Church came out in support of the Lavra.

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