Metropolitan Hilarion (L), First Hierarch of ROCOR, greets Patriarch Kirill of Moscow (R)
On March 22, two days ago, we published a report entitled ROCOR Allows Parishes to Stop Commemorating Patriarch Kirill. This turned overnight into one of our most viewed articles to date worldwide.
Yesterday, Father Gregory Joyce, secretary of the ROCOR Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America, writing on behalf of Archbishop Peter, denied our report on the diocesan website. Oddly, the ROCOR website fails to address the question at all.*
It seems worth noting that, on the first day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Archbishop Peter exhorted his flock not to “descend into petty politics” regarding Ukrainian cities reduced to ashes and their citizens—including adherents of the Moscow Patriarchate’s own dioceses and parishes in Ukraine—fleeing their homeland in the millions.
On March 16, the Archbishop addressed his flock again with these appalling words:
According to the media, this war is being conducted immorally by only one side. This is never the case. We call both sides to cease military actions immediately.
Patriarch Kyrill is in a very difficult and delicate situation….
Admittedly, Archbishop Peter’s statements don’t sink to the level of Archbishop Gabriel’s outright justification of the obliteration of Ukrainian newborn babies, small children, teens, women, men, grandmothers, grandfathers, Holocaust survivors, and the pulverization of their homeland, cities, Orthodox churches and monasteries, and on and on the list goes.
We apologize to the Holy Synod of Bishops, clergy, monastics, and laity of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia for inadvertently misreporting that they had summoned the moral integrity to distance themselves from the murderous Patriarch of Moscow. There’s still time to do the right thing and follow the example of their brothers and sisters in Russian Orthodoxy: the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate under Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv, the Archdiocese of Western European Parishes of Russian Tradition under Metropolitan John of Dubna, and various Moscow Patriarchate clergy and parishes outside of Russia.
For a church that broke communion with the Moscow Patriarchate for eighty years to protest the Russian Church’s collusion in state violence, ROCOR’s heinous boot-licking of the murderous Patriarch Kirill is utterly incomprehensible.
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