The policies of Ukraine’s former President Petro Poroshenko, who spearheaded the establishment of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), were among the reasons for Russia’s war of aggression, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate (UOCMP) said in a statement on May 12.
“All these facts are the consequences of Petro (Poroshenko’s) erroneous religions policies, as well as the destructive ideology of the so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” the message reads.
“(We are) convinced that the activity of the previous administration and the OCU were among the causes of the (Russian) military invasion of Ukraine.”
UOCMP made the statement in response to a proposed bill that, if passed by Ukraine’s parliament, would ban the Ukrainian branch of Moscow’s eastern orthodox church.
At the same time, UOCMP condemned the war, and urged the sides to “settle the conflict with words, not weapons.”
On May 4, Konotop – a town in Sumy oblast – voted to suspend UOCMP operations in its jurisdiction.
On May 6, the city council of Brovary, a suburb of Kyiv, made a similar decision.
The Moscow Patriarchate has been accused of outright collaboration with the Russian invaders, and numerous priests belonging to that church have been identified as collaborators with the Putin regime.
Moscow Patriarchate head Kirill has supported Russian invasion, leading to sharp criticism from the head of the Catholic Church, Francis, for being “Putin’s altar boy.”