Every second Saturday of the month, Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ.
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Every Sunday - 9am Divine Liturgy in English (fully or mostly) at the Holy Family Cathedral

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The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email for details.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Patriarch Filaret: Russia has embarked on a path of lies - Kyiv Post

Speaking at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center on March 13, Patriarch Filaret, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv, condemned the Russian occupation of Crimea.

Filaret said, “Russia has embarked on a path of lies” and is upsetting fundamental tenets of international law: “Russia has opened the door for non-recognition of international treaties in general.” He said that the Kremlin is “acting like a wolf in a sheep skin” by refusing to admit that Russian forces have invaded Crimea.

Filaret attacked the head of the Russian Orthodox Church of Moscow, Patriarch Kiril, saying that the Church is complicit in the Kremlin’s campaign of misinformation. “They did not condemn the [Russian] occupation.” He noted that the Russian Orthodox Church has often acted as a puppet of the Russian state: “They possess no freedom. They cannot tell the truth because their hands are tied…They are afraid of the Moscow leadership.”

Because the Russian Orthodox Church is so closely associated with the Kremlin, Filaret said that “church diplomacy” would be impossible.

He asked the Russian Orthodox Church rhetorically, “Are you with God or are you with earthly authorities.”

Filaret said that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church had received information that parishes in Crimea would be subordinated to the Moscow Patriarchy. Those loyal to Ukraine have already been targets of attacks, Filaret said. “Believers [in Crimea] have been kidnapped because they were against the separation of Ukraine.”

He doubted that Russian aggression would stop at Crimea’s borders, saying that Russia “has an appetite for eastern Ukraine.”

The oatriarch emphasized that the territorial integrity of Ukraine should remain intact, saying “The Ukrainian people are one people, from east to west.” Filaret, who is from the Russian-speaking Donetsk Oblast in Eastern Ukraine, said that ethnic Russians are not threatened in Eastern Ukraine: “Anyone who wants to speak Russian speaks Russian anywhere they want.”

Filaret continued his campaign for the unification of Orthodox Churches in Ukraine, saying that they have set up a commission to “create a single Orthodox Church in Ukraine,” though there had been no progress in attempts to engage in dialogue with the Moscow Patriarchy.

Filaret also voiced the church’s support for European Union integration, saying, “Ukraine’s statehood will be preserved if it is in Europe.” He tried to lay to rest fears that closer political ties would mean that Ukraine would be forced to endorse same sex marriage: “We do not worry about that.”

Filaret joined other Ukrainian leaders in appealing to NATO, and individual Western nations to protect Ukraine’s territorial integrity. He called on the United Kingdom and the United States, signatories of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, to defend Ukrainian sovereignty.

Kyiv Post staff writer Isaac Webb can be reached at or on Twitter @isaacdwebb

Patriarch Filaret: Russia has embarked on a path of lies - Kyiv Post

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