Moscow, November 22, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has said he was tremendously saddened by the ecclesiastical schism in Ukraine and assumed that the Ukrainian leadership does not like it, either.
"This is truly a great sorrow for me. I could use an even stronger word: it's a woe to see the division of an Orthodox nation, to see horrible exasperation. I think the Ukrainian leadership is not happy about these developments, either, but a flywheel of hatred, division, and confrontation has been started," Patriarch Kirill said in an interview shown on the Rossiya 1 television channel on his 75th birthday last Saturday.
Patriarch Kirill praised the role of Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine for not letting himself be drawn into this confrontation. "Certainly, he is together with his church and with his people, but nobody can point at him and say: this is the leader of another party, a church party, who leads a campaign against dissenters," he said.
The canonical Ukrainian Church and Orthodox people "do not bear responsibility for this nightmare, it's the politicians who allowed for confrontation within one nation who bear this responsibility, and a divided nation and a divided home is very dangerous," he said.
At the end of 2018, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople supported by the-then Ukrainian administration instituted the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine on the basis of two uncanonical organizations and in spite of protests of the Russian Orthodox Church, whose canonical part Ukraine is.
This step led to the termination of Eucharistic communion between the Russian Orthodox Church and Constantinople.