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“I was convinced that when he was at the helm of clerical authorities in Ukraine, our Church would not be subject to a split and no steps were taken that would undermine canonical Orthodox faith on Ukrainian soil. And I thank the God that my confidence and my calm were fully justified,” Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia His Holiness Kirill said in an interview with TV channel Inter.
The supreme hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church paid tribute to pastoral care of the late church hierarch about observance of virtues by Ukrainian believers. “He is a son of Ukraine. I would say he was a very intelligent Ukrainian, he knew Ukrainian language perfectly well, could write and speak Ukrainian, meanwhile, an ideal language. Meanwhile, he was a really loyal servant of the Church - a common Russian Orthodox Church,” Patriarch Kirill said. In his words, Metropolitan Vladimir “adhered very firmly to a canonical position, therefore, neither surprises, nor intrigue nor any unpredicted steps should have been expected from him” and the whole episcopate trusted him.“His Beatitude Vladimir attached major importance to current status of Ukrainian Orthodox Church. This is a self-governing Church with the broadest autonomy,” the patriarch noted, adding that “He said that this status would also help to preserve canonical Orthodoxy and build up Orthodox faith in Ukrainian people.” The patriarch noted that Metropolitan Vladimir “found this as an optimal form and has never said that it should be done somehow in another way in the future; he insisted that current status gives Ukrainian Orthodox Church a full opportunity to serve for the benefit of Ukrainian people.”
Meanwhile, the demised hierarch “was feeling a quite acute human pain for a split and was praying constantly for reunification of Ukrainian Orthodox community, but did not see this reunification beyond canonical frameworks and beyond canonical borders.”
“This is a pastoral talent to say the truth, never to go into compromises, behind which betrayal is hiding and at the same time he sounded convincing for different people. This is what His Beatitude Metropolitan Vladimir was like,” the Russian patriarch said.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is a self-governed church within the Moscow Patriarchate with the largest number of 35 million believers and 11 thousand parishes. Along with it, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate with 3.5 thousand parishes and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church with 1.2 thousand communities not recognized by the Christian Orthodox world act in Ukraine.
Patriarch’s interview was broadcast in documentary titled “His Beatitude Vladimir” on TV channel Inter on the ninth day of commemorating the deceased metropolitan.