Two recent statements on the Ukraine crisis from Patriarch Kirill of Moscow:
Patriarch Kirill: My heart is with Ukraine
Statement of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia on a new aggravation of the civic confrontation in Ukraine.
4 May 2014
Blood is again shed in Ukraine. The clashes in the Donetsk Region and tragic events in Odessa have led to the death of tens of people and further destabilization of the situation in the country. Many are in despair and fear for their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
In this hardest of times, my heart is with Ukraine, with each of her sons and daughters who are in pain, grief, anger and despair. I am praying that all the victims of the bloodshed may rest in peace, that the lives of the casualties may be saved and that the injured may recover as soon as possible. My ardent prayer is for the healing of the country and pacification of the enmity, so that blood may not be spilt again and violence may be stopped forever.
Responsibility for what is going on lies first of all with those who resort to violence instead of dialogue. Special concern is raised by the use of military hardware in a civic confrontation. The use of force is often provoked by commitment to political radicalism and denial of citizens’ rights to express their convictions.
In the situation of today’s Ukraine, only one political position cannot be declared the only possible and obligatory for all. It is pernicious to the country. It is my conviction that attempts to assert one’s own point of view by force should be abandoned once and for all. I appeal to all the parties to restrain themselves from the use of arms and to settle all problems through negotiations. In a short-term perspective, Ukraine needs at least reconciliation, in a long-term – a lasting and inalienable peace.
Ukraine can be healed and can take the path of building a dignified life for her citizens only if it becomes a common home for people of various political beliefs who differ from one another in many things. There is no alternative to dialogue. It is necessary, while there is still a possibility for it, to hear one another and try not only to resolve today’s contradictions but also to renew the commitment to Christian spiritual and moral values, which have formed the Ukrainian people and enriched them with wisdom and love of truth. I trust: precisely these values will help them today to find a way to peace and justice without which a dignified future of the country is unthinkable.
O God, one and great, preserve Rus’- Ukraine!
* * *
Patriarch Kirill: A terrible crime has been committed in view of the whole world
4 May 2014
to His Eminence Agafangel, Metropolitan of Odessa and Izmail
Your Eminence, dear Vladyka,
The horrific news about the people, burnt to death in the House of Trade Unions in Odessa, has most strongly affected me and pierced my soul with the deepest pain. A terrible crime, which neither heart nor mind can put up with, has been committed in view of the whole world.
The tragic developments in Odessa have resulted in the death of dozens of people. Millions are suffering grief and despair. People fear for their relatives and for their life, as well as for the future of their country.
My heart is with you, Vladyka, with your flock, and with Odessa, which is mourning over her children, as well as with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, with all those who day after day call to peace and to end of violence in Ukraine.
I lift up my ardent prayer to God for the repose of souls of the dead, for the survival of those, whose lives doctors are fighting to save, and for the recovery of the injured. I also pray for the salvation and healing of Ukraine, for the cessation of bloodshed, and reconciliation of enemies. I pray for the people of opposite political positions to be able, by God’s mercy, to hear one another and to realize that any attempts to impose one’s opinion on the other by force only lead to the death of the beautiful, blessed county.
May this terrible ordeal, occurred on the radiant Paschal days, strengthen us in our commitment to follow the path of our saints – St Vladimir, Equal-to-the-Apostles, St Sergius of Radonezh, the saints of the Laura of the Caves in Kiev, St Seraphim of Sarov, numerous new martyrs of the Russian Church, and St Kuksha of Odessa. May it strengthen us in our adherence to those Christian and moral values that alone can help to save the people of Ukraine.
Let us find strength and consolation in the good tidings that Christ the Saviour has conquered death, falsehood, and enmity, and that the doors of hell will not overcome His Church.
Christ is Risen!
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
* * *