Moscow, December 6, Interfax - The accusations made by the Ukrainian authorities against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of fueling religious enmity are aimed at punishing the canonical Church for its principles, the Moscow Patriarchate said.
"For our brothers in Ukraine, now is the time for confession. The authorities intend to classify allegiance to the canonical Church, calling a schism a schism, as a crime. This is vengeance for the independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, its refusal to take part in the 'unification assembly,' which is the main event of Pyotr Poroshenko, commenting on the report of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) that evidence of an organized network for disseminating material fannin enmity had been found during searches of the dioceses of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
When that report was released, the date of the unification assembly, where the Ukrainian authorities, with support from Constantinople, intend to create a church independent of Moscow, had not yet been announced. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church refused to attend the forum from the beginning, the priest said.
"It is horrible that our brothers from the Constantinople Patriarchate, who are ready to sanctify and legitimize the assembly using the authority of the ancient church institution, are on the side of those persecuting the church behind their backs," he said.