Press Release – April 15, 2022
For Immediate Release
OPAC CALLS FOR HOLY WEEK CEASEFIRE IN UKRAINE
The Orthodox Public Affairs Committee (OPAC) calls for there to be a Holy Week ceasefire in Ukraine, from Palm Sunday through the Holy Easter. It is unconscionable that this war against an Orthodox Christian country by another Orthodox Christian country be pursued during this sacred time of the year. Both the Ukrainian and Russian people deserve to observe their faith in peace, despite the leadership – political and religious – of Russia, the unmitigated aggressor.
Patriarch Kirill, who to this moment has shown slavish subservience to the interests of the Putin-controlled Russian State, must at least take public and pronounced steps to advocate for such a ceasefire. If he is unwilling to do so, he no longer can be recognized as the legitimate leader of the Moscow Patriarchate, and the Heads of all the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches must take steps to remove him from power, including but not exclusively to: 1) remove Kirill from the mutual commemorations (diptychs), 2) pronounce excommunication on him personally, and 3) call for the immediate independence (autocephaly) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church by uniting all Orthodox jurisdictions in Ukraine into a single Church, liberated from any allegiance to the Moscow Patriarchate.
Holy Week is the most sacred time of the Church year and its trampling by the Russian Orthodox Church cannot be tolerated.