After getting acquainted with and discussing “the current religious and social situation in Ukraine,” the Council of Bishops of the Polish Orthodox Church issued a statement today, calling for an end to the fratricidal war in Ukraine. As did His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine earlier, the Polish hierarchs evoke the image of the sin of Cain.
The Council’s full statement reads:
On February 24, 2022, unexpectedly, Russian troops invaded the lands of Ukraine, and hostilities began. It was a difficult time of fratricidal fights, which continue to this day. As a result, the normal life of citizens was destroyed, many innocent people were killed, and the degradation of Church and social life is progressing. Material goods are destroyed: churches, monuments, critical infrastructure, and residential buildings.
War itself is a great experience in the life of societies. Ukraine and all people of peace are in great pain; brotherly blood is being spilled, as was the blood of Abel in the murder committed by his brother Cain.
Millions of Ukrainian citizens are leaving their homeland. The nation is suffering, is at a loss and is lost.
As in the Old Testament, and today God calls out to all participates in hostilities: The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto Me from the ground (Gen. 4:10).
The Holy Council of Bishops of the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church, guided by this Biblical truth, calls on the authorities of the Russian Federation, headed by the President, to stop hostilities in Ukraine, considering them wicked and incomprehensible. It’s difficult to understand why two fraternal Orthodox and Slavic nations are fighting with each other. Let us not destroy what our fathers and mothers have left us, beginning with the Baptism of Prince Vladimir.
The Holy Council of Bishops expresses gratitude to His Eminence, the Most Blessed Sawa, the Orthodox Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland for his earlier letter to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia with an appeal to contribute to the end of hostilities conducted by the Russian army in Ukraine and to express his opposition to the bloodshed.
Our prayer, as the most powerful spiritual weapon, accompanies all those who raise it to the Lord of Peace. Let us do everything in our power not to let brother kill brother.
At the same time, the Holy Council of Bishops thanks the clergy and faithful of our Church for the broad, comprehensive help shown to refugees from Ukraine—both spiritual and material. It is substantial. We express our appreciation and gratitude to all of them. God bless you!
The scope of help provided to Ukraine by our Orthodox Church can be found on the website of the ELEOS Orthodox Metropolitan Center of Mercy—an Orthodox unit dealing with charitable activities, and on the websites of individual dioceses.
Great and Mighty God, grant Ukraine and all of us peace!
The referenced letter of Met. Sawa to Pat. Kirill, dated March 14, reads:
I cordially greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I appeal to you on behalf of the Polish Orthodox Church with a request to raise your Patriarchal voice, that the war taking place in Ukraine, carried out by the Russian army, might come to an end.
It’s impossible to understand how two Orthodox Slavic nations, coming from one Baptismal font from the Holy Prince Vladimir, could wage a fratricidal war.
Knowing the power of your spiritual authority, we believe that your voice will be heard.
I wish Your Holiness God’s help in your serious primatial labors.
May the Almighty Lord help you to have a soul-saving Holy Lent and to worship the holy Resurrection of Christ. (Quelle: www.orthochristian.com, 22. März 2022)