A campaign "to win the souls"
By Oksana MYKOLIUK, The Day
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, arrived in Ukraine recently on a visit that will last until August 5. While the anniversary of the baptism of UkraineRus has been kept low-profile, preparations to receive the distinguished Russian guest were launched a long time ago.
"Security arrangements for Patriarch Kirill's visit are tighter than for the last year's visit of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and all the other guests taken together. Our information says there will be over 300 guards wearing church attire, not to mention the other security personnel. Incidentally, Patriarch Kirill is on the list of closely-guarded persons as one of Russia's leaders. He is guarded by the Russian Federal Protective Service," Bishop Evstratii (Zoria) of Vasylkiv, head of the Kyiv Patriarchate's information and publication department, says.
A few days ago the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAPTs) urged all priests to take a wise and tolerant attitude to Patriarch Kirill's visit to Ukraine. "Let us be hospitable! Let us refrain from any actions that can upset a fragile interdenominational peace in Ukraine," the UAPTs primate announced and called on the Russian Orthodox Church and Russian society to enter into dialogue and respect Ukraine's cultural, religious, and political sovereignty. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate is essentially taking the same stand.
"When Kirill was elected patriarch, Patriarch Filaret sent him a letter of congratulations with a proposal to meet in person. The proposal was ignored. As we do not have a direct channel of communication with the Moscow Patriarchate, we are suggesting to Patriarch Kirill through the media that such a meeting be held. Should our proposal be declined, we will make our position public again through the media," Bishop Yevstratii says.
"We will be very glad if Patriarch Kirill displays true, rather than seeming, respect for Ukraine's independence and Ukraine as a state. We should maintain a fraternal relationship. In this country this relationship is poisoned with political troubles, but we are making our position clear without undue emotions or insults so that Patriarch Kirill and his entourage will take this into account."
It should be added in conclusion that the advertisement of Patriarch Kirill's visit on the Inter TV channel says that the greatest human wisdom is the ability to separate evil from good and adhere to this good. Obviously, it is about the unshakable truth: there are many churches but only one God.
However, well before the emergence of Christianity, in the 5th6th centuries BC, Confucius also spoke about this truth. In an interview to The Day, Prof. Serhii Krymsky notes that when Confucius was asked if it is possible to find just one word that would express the positive meaning of all philosophies and religions, the thinker answered: "Reciprocity is the word."
¹22, â³âòîðîê, 28 ëèïíÿ 2009