Filipe d'Avillez Profile picture
Sep 12 15 tweets 6 min read
1) Some pretty ferocious words by Metropolitan Epiphanius, from the autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church over the past 10 days.
I'd call attention specially to his sermon on the Feast of the Martyrdom of John the Baptist, with some sharp criticism of Kirill, of Moscow.
2) He compares the choice that John had with the one Ukraine was presented with by Russia.
"Both enemies and friends believed that Ukraine would be able to withstand this onslaught for only a few days, at best – a few weeks. Before us then, in February, at the beginning of March
3) we faced a choice similar to that of John the Baptist: personal safety or truth? Cease resistance in order to save your life at the cost of slavery to the evil empire, or fight, knowing which way is the price of freedom?
We, as a people, chose truth and freedom"
4) Kirill, he claims, is an example of what would have happened to John the Baptist, had he chosen power over truth.
"Look at Cyril of Moscow and you will see what the Forerunner would have turned into if he had remained silent about the ruler's crimes or even approved of them
5) And how many times over these years and decades have we been offered to come to terms with the untruth of Moscow's rule over the Ukrainian soul. If we agreed to serve the "Russian measure", as Cyril serves and all those who continue to consider him their patriarch,
6) then we were promised both church unity and support from the powers of this world, as the Moscow Patriarchate had and even now continues to have.
But we choose the truth. We do not want, neither for ourselves nor for our people, the price of peace to be the restoration of
7) Kremlin slavery. The Lord blessed our people with independence and statehood, blessed us to have our Local Orthodox Church. So would it be wise, correct and worthy to renounce all this for the sake of the Cain's embrace of Moscow?"
8) A word is reserved near the end for Ukraine's spectacular counter-offensive in the Kharkiv region.
"Today, together with all our people, we rejoice at the success of our soldiers who are liberating Ukrainian cities and villages from occupation."
9) Met. Epiphanius was in Greece for a few days, where he concelebrated with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, whom he thanked for his support. In a joint liturgy he compared the Russian Orthodox Church to the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son
10) He mentions the attacks Bartholomew has suffered for supporting Ukraine: "For your courage and determination, you have to suffer many unjust attacks from those who loved the pride of this world more than the humility of Christ.
11) Like the proud brother from the parable, they themselves are ready to stay outside the parental home, if only not to be together with their brother, who is condemned instead of rejoicing in the restoration of unity"
12) Still referring to Moscow: "They rely on power, wealth, and other things of this world (...) However, we prayed for them together today and asked the Lord for mercy for them, so that they would leave their stubbornness and return to unity in love and truth."
13) All on the blog, to be read in full. I also included the speech by the representative of the UOC at the World Council of Churches, in early September.…

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More from @Favillez

Sep 13
1) Right... These excerpts are from Patriarch Kirill's sermon yesterday, so in the wake of massive setbacks for Russia in Kharkiv.
To be very honest, I just can't tell at the moment if he is being serious or cynical, and hoping we read between the lines...
2) "Today is such a time – a time of anxiety, even very disturbing. And we must pray that all dangers will pass our Motherland, that those who dream of crushing Russia as an independent, truly independent state will be left with nothing."
3) "Today, the time has come when we should especially pray for our Fatherland, for our President - what difference does it make what the head of state is called!* for our army."
*Referring not to name, but to title (Grand Duke, Czar, or President)
Read 11 tweets
Sep 12
1) Just added excerpts from two sermons by Patriarch Kirill, of Moscow.
Although he does not refer directly to the war in Ukraine, there is a lot of talk about Russia's special mission in the world, and how Russia is the only state which still distinguishes right from wrong.
2) These could be read only as criticism of relativism, but with Patriarch Kirill's track record, I thought they were worth adding to the list, since they contribute to the overall rhetoric of a messianic Russia, destined to unite historic Rus'.
Some excerpts
3) "even today, as we know, not everything is calm in the world. And in a sense, a very special service, undoubtedly by the will of God, is now being given to this city and our country. Because the strength of modern Russia is capable of resisting many forces, including those
Read 14 tweets
Sep 12
1) Several statements by Major Arch.Shevchuk added, including an interesting one where he effectively accuses Russia of deicide.
Some excerpts follow
2) In a sermon regarding the parable of the vintners who kill the owner's son:
"How often we see today in the life of individual states and even at the level of international relations, that the power of law is replaced by the right of the strong. What does someone who thinks he
3) is strong do? He kills and destroys the weak, because he thinks that he can appropriate for himself what he should give to the needy and defenceless"
Then adding:
"This word of God about violence in man's attitude towards God, I think, resonates in a special way in the ears
Read 13 tweets
Sep 12
1) Metropolitan Onufry, of the Ukrainian Orth. Church (Moscow Patriarchate) continues to speak about the war quite rarely, at least in the excerpts of his sermons which are published on the website.
However, he did so again a few days ago.
2) "May the prayers of Saint Theodosius and all the Pechersk fathers, whose memory we celebrate today, help us overcome all the trials in this earthly life, so that the Lord may send peace to our land, so that people will come to their senses and stop killing each other"
3) This and other statements on the blog…
Read 4 tweets
Sep 2
1) Added several pages of comments by the head of the UGCC, Major Arch. Sviatoslav Shevchuk, from over the past three weeks.
Here are some highlights.
2) From a daily video address: "During war, we can feel a certain devaluation of human life. Sometimes our conscience is dulled when we hear about dozens killed and hundreds wounded. But every person killed is a tragedy. This is the failure of humanity."
3) To the mothers of soldiers: "We are with you in this painful moment. We honor the high price your child paid for the freedom and independence of our Motherland. Thank you, Mother, for understanding the value of your son or daughter's sacrifice."
Read 25 tweets
Sep 1
1) Although the Patriarch of Constantinople's position on the war in Ukraine is well known, he has not spoken about it as often as other international church leaders, namely Pope Francis.
However, he gives it a paragraph in his message, today, about care for Creation.
2) Meanwhile, just over a week ago, he published a long message on the anniversary of Ukrainian independence, in which he sharply criticises the Russian invasion.
Finally, he spoke on the matter during a press conference, on 29 August.
3) All three of these statements can be found on the blog:…
Read 4 tweets

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