Filipe d'Avillez Profile picture
Jan 9 21 tweets 7 min read
1) In his most recent statements the primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (autocephalous) has gone back to slamming the other Ukrainian Orthodox Church (former Moscow Patriarchate).
Excerpts follow, full excerpts and statments here:…
2) His Christmas message was, naturally, very focused on the war.
"We did not want this war, as a people we sought to live peacefully, having understanding with all our neighbors, but the enemy cunningly and treacherously broke the peace and attacked our land, shedding blood,
3) sowing death, wanting to destroy our statehood and our very Ukrainian identity. More than three decades ago, we broke free from centuries-old slavery, threw off the yoke, became independent, and started building our own sovereign state.
4) Those who held us captive could not tolerate our achievements and our success. Devilish malice and envy prompted them to start a war, but in it they will definitely be defeated, because the truth is on our side. And where the truth is, there is God, and with God we will win."
5) During a meeting with medical personnel, he somehow found time to subtly criticise the church led by Met. Onuphry:
"The enemy seeks to act as much as possible in the spiritual sphere, which is almost the only one that has remained under his influence until now.
6) Therefore, the murderous ideology of the ‘Russian world’, sometimes veiled and hybrid, and sometimes quite openly, still continues to be promoted. This is unacceptable during a bloody war for our God-given land, freedom and independence. And this is by no means a question of
7) freedom of religion or the free opportunity to pray, because, as we see, no one forbids this. It is a matter of national security"

This is always a dangerous path for a religious leader to follow, and I would say regrettable. It is the same type of logic that lands priests
8) loyal to the autocephalous Church, or to the UGCC, in jail (or worse) in the occupied territories.
But there was more to come in a speech made on the day he presided over a celebration in the Pechersk Lavra, following intervention by the state
9) He refers to the presence of Moscow loyalists in the Lavra as "unholy"
"More than two decades ago, this shrine was restored from the ruins as a gift to the Ukrainian people for the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Christ, and today we are celebrating the second birth of both
10) this cathedral and our Pechersk Lavra itself. Because the artificial spirit of the unholy teaching of the "Russian world" is leaving them, and the spirit of true spiritual service to the holy Orthodoxy and the Ukrainian people is returning."
11) And then this: "to ensure that the name of the Lavra is no longer disgraced because of the seductive behavior of those who have forgotten about the vocation to be humble workers in the vineyard of God, and not arrogant boyars in the midst of their alleged fiefdom."
12) After the punches, comes the open hand: "the doors of our Church are open, we want to achieve the unity of all Orthodox around the Kyivan Throne, around the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine - one of the equivalent and equal autocephalous Sister Churches of Ecumenical
13) Orthodoxy, which on the Ukrainian land carries out its service to the native people without any external control, interference or coercion (...) I appeal to the brethren of the monastery: it is time to finally free yourself from the non-canonical rule of Moscow and its
14) servants, to follow the Tomos, to begin a new page of the life of the monastery as a truly monastic monastery dedicated to the service of the one Church of Christ and its neighbors - the Ukrainian people"
15) The most recent statement is from yesterday's sermon, where he likens Putin to Herod, and Russian soldiers to those who killed the innocent babies, trying to kill Jesus.
16) "In the time of indescribable suffering brought to our land by the newest Herod and his embittered servants, these memories directly echo with pain in our souls. After all, millions of our fellow citizens became forced refugees due to Russian aggression, just as the Mother of
17) God and the Child and Elder Joseph - Her betrothed and guardian - were refugees. Women, children, people of the older generation, escaping from the murderers of the Kremlin dictator"
18) And he ends with: "Therefore, we too, dear brothers and sisters, being in these difficult circumstances of the war, will not lose heart and despair, but let the example of the victorious humility of the Son of God inspire us. No matter how long the temporary triumph of evil
19) lasts, the sword of God's justice will punish it. Every unrepentant criminal, like Herod of old, will be judged. And everyone who suffered innocent suffering will receive a reward from the Righteous Judge, who himself suffered unjustly."
20) So the battle between the Churches continues. Amidst all of this we continue to not really know where the other Ukrainian Orth Church stands in relation to its status with Moscow.

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More from @Favillez

Jan 10
1) Patriarch Kirill, of Moscow, generally seems to avoid bringing up Ukraine in his sermons and messages, but over this Christmas season he just couldn't get enough!
All the relevant passages here:…
Excerpts follow.
2) In his message on New Years he expresses hope that 2023 will being an end to war and that "common sense will prevail and that people with different political views and beliefs will be able to find a common basis for a peaceful and just life."
That's it for common sense though.
3) He then repeats the familiar line about how Russia is undergoing this massive spiritual renewal, building hundreds of new churches, expressing a rather un-Christian belief that this will somehow make Russia "invincible".
Read 29 tweets
Jan 9
1) A few more statements by Pope Francis about the situation in Ukraine.
All here:…
Excerpts follow
2) On New Year's Day: "The war in Ukraine is reaping innocent victims and spreading insecurity, not only among those directly affected, but in a widespread and indiscriminate way for everyone, also for those who, even thousands of kilometres away, suffer its collateral effects."
3) On the Angelus on Friday he sent greetings to those celebrating Christmas according to the Julian calendar: "In a special way, I would like to it to reach the brothers and sisters of the suffering people of Ukraine. May the Lord’s birth instil comfort, instil hope; and may it
Read 10 tweets
Jan 3
1) A busload of new statements by the primate of the UGCC just posted to the blog.…
Excerpts follow
2) In his video address on 15/12 he said: "God, help us all to understand that in order to defend the freedom of our Motherland, we ourselves must be free people."
And labelled #Bakhmut the Stalingrad of the III Millenium
3) During a pastoral visit to East Ukraine
"Everyone who experienced shelling, heard the sound of Russian explosions, forever received a certain wound in his soul, which will always make itself known. And what can we say about our women who lost their husbands and children in the
Read 25 tweets
Dec 30, 2022
1) I have updated the statements by Patriarch Kirill. Nothing special in his sermons, but he made a report to the ROC Synod, which is chockfull of very interesting things, so brace yourselves!
Remember, the full texts of the statements are on the blog…
2) A very large part of the report is dedicated to the situation in Ukraine. The Patriarch recalls that this problem began in 2014, not in February, and that Russia had no choice but to step in to the Donbass, to act as a peacekeeper.
3) "This war was started by those in Kyiv who allowed the diabolical darkness into their hearts and blindly followed instructions to sow enmity among the united people of Holy Russia, united by a common history, culture and traditions. As time passed, it became abundantly clear
Read 23 tweets
Dec 30, 2022
1) In a few minutes I will be posting a thread on Patriarch Kirill's most recent statements about the war, and there is a lot to go through, but first I thought I'd point out this curiosity.
This year the Patriarch sent Pope Francis a message on Christmas. He also sent one to
2) heads of other non-Orthodox churches.
I thought the message to Pope Francis was unusually short, and reckoned this could because of recent tensions between the two, following their video-conference conversation, which did not end well.
3) So I searched back to previous years, and was surprised to see that actually this was the first year the Patriarch sent a message only to Francis. In previous years he had always included him in the general one. So it seems that this year he actually went out of his way
Read 5 tweets
Dec 27, 2022
1) Just updated the statements by Met. Onuphry, of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which used to be loyal to Moscow.…
As usual, nothing in his sermons about the war, but the Synod just published two very important documents, excerpts follow.
2) Firstly, the conclusions of the Synod meeting, which again denounce the invasion and pledge loyalty to Ukraine, but also complain of persecution.
"On February 24, 2022, the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine began, which brought death and destruction
3) to Ukrainian land. Regrettably, during the armed conflict there were casualties among the clergy and monastics of our Church, and many churches and monasteries of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church were destroyed."
Read 25 tweets

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