Kiev, December 2, Interfax - Spokesman for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Archpriest Nikolay Danilevich has called for a stop to aggressive rhetoric in the relations between Russia and Ukraine.
"There is no tension between the people of our countries' Churches; the conflict is only between politicians, between the states. I believe we could start reconciliation from 'information peace'. We need to stop fueling the hysteria against each other in the media. We need to give up radical views and statements on both sides," Father Nikolay said in an interview with the publication Apostrophe.
The Church and priests should be calling for peace and reconciliation, not war and opposition, he said. "It says so in the New Testament. This is what we're trying to do," he said.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church spokesman said it is often accused of wanting to "be with Moscow" and support the interests of Russia, "the Russian world," etc. "But it's not so, it's not true. As Metropolitan Onufry said when he was asked this question, 'we are not building a Russian world, we are building God's world'," Father Nikolay said.
He said that people should remember that the Church is separate from the state, Ukrainian, Russian, or American. "The Church should be outside politics. Therefore, what matters to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is not Moscow, not political issues, but church issues, issues relating to the preservation of canonical order in the Church. These things need to be understood and separated," Father Nikolay said.
The spokesman said he is against Ukraine being anti-Russian and Russia being anti-Ukrainian in the future as the peoples of both states suffer as a result, "but it is a mutual process, efforts need to be made on both sides."