His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, explained the actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople as a global order to destroy the “island of freedom” in Ukraine, meaning the Orthodox Church.
“The stakes are very high, and the order to destroy the unity of our Church is an order that has a global dimension. This is not just a fight for jurisdiction, this is a fight for the destruction of the only powerful Orthodox force in the world. When we’re talking about 150 million [Orthodox believers], this is truly so,” Patriarch Kirill said at a meeting with participants in the Faith and Word festival in Moscow on Tuesday.
“Certainly, someone had to strike a blow to this island of freedom. Why do I call Orthodoxy an island of freedom? Because we are free from global brainwashing and the dominance of someone else’s thoughts over us,” the Primate added.
Thus, in his opinion, “the tragedy of Ukraine goes beyond the boundaries of the political field, it has a mystical dimension”.
His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill, also spoke about the preparation for his closed meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul on August 31, which he said was the last attempt to diplomatically resolve the conflict with Constantinople over Ukraine.
According to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, he suggested that Patriarch Bartholomew and he meet on neutral territory, such as the Swiss town of Chambesy, but Patriarch Bartholomew insisted on meeting in his residence in Istanbul. Patriarch Kirill said some people in Moscow tried to talk him out of the visit, because they were certain it would be humiliating for him.
“I realized that this was [Constantinople’s] desire to cut us down to size. But this is [only] humiliating to those who pay attention to such trifles. I am ready to walk anywhere in order to prevent such developments of events that we are witnessing today,” he admitted.
According to him, Patriarch Bartholomew’s position on Ukraine was “quite harsh and radical” already then, at that meeting.