Moscow, November 8, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate is concerned about President Pyotr Poroshenko's words that "the Russian Orthodox Church" has nothing to do in Ukraine and sees in this the Ukrainian authorities' plans to settle the church dispute by force.
"The Ukrainian president's words are obviously at odds with his assurances that while creating the so-called common local church the right of choice of each believer will be ensured, and no one will force anyone to join it by force," secretary of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations for Inter-Orthodox Relations Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk told Interfax.
As reported, at an international conference in Kiev on Wednesday Poroshenko cited Russian President Vladimir Putin's alleged words that Russia rests on two pillars, that is, the Russian Orthodox Church and nuclear weapons.
"Is it normal when the Russian Security Council led by Putin immediately meets with one question on the agenda: how to protect the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine?" the Ukrainian president asked himself a question and answered himself: "My dear, you have nothing to do here. Your church has nothing to do here, your armed forces have nothing to do here, your weapons have nothing to do here. Go home, to Russia."
"The multimillion Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which Mr. Poroshenko wants to oust from the country, almost completely consists of Ukrainian citizens," the spokesman of the Russian Orthodox Church's Synodal Department said.
"Ukraine is their home, and none of them is going to leave it on their own wish. And this means that the president's wish can be fulfilled exclusively by force," the priest said.