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Moscow patriarch seemed to bless the war on Ukraine: What does that mean for ecumenism?

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John Burger - published on 03/06/22

Russian Orthodox leader's statement was roundly criticized, even by members of his own Church.

It wasn’t a surprise for most people that the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church would be practically mute about Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Patriarch Kirill, thought to be a former KGB asset — and maybe an agent — is widely seen as intimate with Kremlin officials – and subservient to the Russian president.

But that didn’t soften any of the anger people felt when Kirill, on the day of the invasion, merely referred to the attack as “current events” and called on both parties to avoid civilian casualties. Even some in Ukraine who normally would give Kirill a pass were shocked and angered. A few days later, Kirill seemed to call those fighting the Russian invasion as “evil forces.”

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