Ecumenical Patriarch condemns the invasion of Ukraine
by Nikos Tzoitis

Bartholomew yesterday spoke with Epiphanius, metropolitan of the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine recognised by Constantinople. He called on the God of love and peace to enlighten Russian leaders to realise the tragic consequences of their decisions and actions, which might even trigger a world war.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) - Yesterday morning, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople had a long talk with His Beatitude Epiphanius, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine, primate of Orthodox Church of Ukraine, whose autocephaly was granted by Constantinople on 6 January 2018 in accordance with Orthodox rules but strongly opposed by the Moscow patriarchate.

During the conversation, the patriarch said he was shocked by the invasion of Ukraine by the armed forces of the Russian Federation.

In a statement released by Ecumenical Patriarchate last night, Bartholomew expressed his deep sorrow for this act of blatant violation of international legitimacy, as well as his support for the Ukrainian people, who are fighting for the integrity of their homeland.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the statement goes on to say, condemns this groundless act of attack by Russia against Ukraine, an independent and sovereign state in Europe, as well as the violation of human rights and brutal violence against humanity, especially against civilians.

The patriarch urges the faithful to pray so that our God, the God of love and peace, enlighten the leaders of the Russian Federation to realise the tragic consequences of their decisions and actions, which might even trigger a world war.

In an appeal to the leaders of other countries, as well as European institutions and international organisations, Bartholomew calls for a peaceful solution to this critical situation, through honest dialogue. In his view, this is the only way to solve any problem or dispute.

Lastly, the ecumenical patriarch addressed a fraternal appeal to the local Orthodox Churches, as well as all Christians and every person of good will, to join in a continuous prayer on behalf of the Ukrainian people and for the re-establishment of the primacy of peace and justice in Ukraine.