MOSCOW, December 19. /TASS/. The creation of a new church in Ukraine by schismatics will lead the country to spiritual death, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said during a church service in St. Nicholas Ugresha Monastery in the Moscow Region on Wednesday.
"Today we are concerned about everything happening in Ukraine. That’s a vivid example of how lies lead people astray. <…> When people are shown a false path, which breaks them away from the true church, when they are told to give their souls to impostors and see the schismatic community as a grace-filled church, that’s the path to spiritual nowhere, that’s the path to death," he stressed.
The primate of the Russian Orthodox Church added that "lies were a powerful tool of influencing human consciousness." "Lies <…> distort life, immersing us in a different reality, which is a far cry from the truth. Today lies acquire fantastic scales. We are immersed in to an alternative reality in different ways <…> through the arts, cinema, leading people in the wrong direction, because false ideas are offered as beacons, which help one wend one’s way through life," he said.
Church crisis in Ukraine
On December 15, Kiev hosted the so-called ‘unification’ council held under the supervision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and brokered by the Ukrainian authorities. After the council, Pyotr Poroshenko, the president of a secular state who had attended the schismatic gathering, declared the establishment of a new church, the Autocephalous Local Orthodox Church. Metropolitan Epiphany of Pereyaslav and Belaya Tserkov who had earlier served as a bishop of the non-canonical Kiev Patriarchate, was elected as the head of the new religious institution.
The canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate declined Constantinople’s invitation, stressing that both the ‘unification council’ and the newly-founded church were illegitimate.