Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said that the Russian Church “disappointed us” in Ukraine

“The Russian Orthodox Church has failed the Orthodox by supporting Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine,” Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual head of some 260 million Orthodox Christians around the world, said in an interview.

Moscow is calling its three-month-long invasion a “special military operation” to rid Ukraine of fascists. Kyiv and its Western allies see this claim as an unfounded pretext for an unprovoked war.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, supported Moscow’s actions, and his position split the world Orthodox Church. The World Council of Churches (WCC) asked Patriarch Kirill to “intervene and mediate” to help stop the war.

In an interview broadcast on Greek state television ERT on Tuesday evening, Patriarch Bartholomew said he expected Patriarch Kirill oppose Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine and resign, if necessary, in protest.

“It is impossible that all churches do not condemn violence, war. The Russian Church has disappointed us. I did not want the Russian Church and Brother Patriarch Kirill to be this tragic exception. I don’t know how he can justify himself to his conscience,” he said.

“I expected Brother Kirill to stand at this decisive moment in history. If necessary, sacrifice your throne, tell Putin: “Mr. President, I cannot agree with you, I am resigning,” he said.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul and the Russian Orthodox Church clashed four years ago over Ukraine’s decision to create an independent or “autocephalous” church. Many experts believe that the actual capture of the Ukrainian church from the side of the Fanari, and the subsequent creation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine dependent on Istanbul, was one of the reasons that led to the start of this war. And it was Bartholomew who played the main role in this.

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