Press Release – March 15, 2022
For Immediate Release
OPAC STATEMENT ON THE RUSSIAN PATRIARCH
The Orthodox Public Affairs Committee (OPAC) is deeply concerned that Patriarch Kirill of Russia is, contrary to his high office as a Shepherd of the Church and a religious leader to millions in both Ukraine and Russia; enabling the war by giving religious cover to this unconscionable and unjustified conflict. Ukraine represents at least one third of the Moscow Patriarchate’s clergy and laity. Kirill’s statements ring hollow and have the stench of direct government interference. Is this because he owes his position and the lucrative benefits he receives to Vladimir Putin? Why does he not speak out for his Ukrainian Flock? Why does he endorse the Russian military, even presenting them with a holy icon? ( Orthodox Times Article )
Russia is no longer an empire. It is a nation state that tried to recover from the legacy of the economic misery and humanitarian failures of the Soviet Union. Patriarch Kirill owes his allegiance to Jesus Christ, not to Vladimir Putin, an ever-increasing tsar-pretender.
Whether he should be sanctioned like many other kleptocrats and oligarchs remains to be seen, but OPAC believes that for the sake of the Orthodox Church, nothing should be off the table and once again calls on Patriarch Kirill to act like the religious leader he is and decry the fratricide taking place in Ukraine.