The Ecumenical Patriarch admitted that the “spiritual bonds” of the Russians actually turned out to be unspiritual.
The Russian Orthodox Church shares responsibility with the Russian authorities for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. After the war, a “spiritual renaissance” of Russia will be required.
This was stated by the spiritual head of the Orthodox Christians of the world Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at a conference in Lithuania, writes Reuters.
“The church and state leadership in Russia cooperated in the crime of aggression and shared responsibility for subsequent crimes, such as the shocking kidnapping of Ukrainian children,” he said.
Bartholomew noted that the Russian authorities use the church as “a tool to achieve their strategic goals.” Also, the Ecumenical Patriarch expressed his readiness to help in the “spiritual revival” of Russia.
“Our interreligious dialogue should be focused on ways to resist and neutralize the ability of the leadership of the Moscow Patriarchate to undermine unity and theologically legitimize criminal behavior,” Bartholomew said.
The role of the Russian Orthodox Church in promoting Russian aggression
At the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, openly supported the actions of the Kremlin. At the same time, he tried to convince even the Pope of Rome of the legitimacy of the aggression.
After the failure of the initial blitzkrieg, the Russian command needed a lot of cannon fodder for a war of attrition. Orthodox churches in Russia began to agitate parishioners for joining the army for the war against Ukraine.
When “partial mobilization” was carried out in the Russian Federation, hundreds of thousands of Russians chose to flee the country so as not to go to the front. Patriarch Kirill openly condemned those who are afraid to die in the war in Ukraine.