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Ukrainian Orthodox Believers' Plight Worries Moscow Patriarchate

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    2005.04.25 RIAN: UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX BELIEVERS PLIGHT WORRIES MOSCOW PATRIARCHATE 25/04/2005 17:59 MOSCOW, April 25 (RIA Novosti) - The Moscow Patriarchate is
    Message 1 of 1 , May 5, 2005
      2005.04.25 RIAN:

      25/04/2005 17:59 MOSCOW, April 25 (RIA Novosti) - The Moscow Patriarchate
      is not at all sure Ukrainian secular authorities will put an end to
      violence against Orthodox believers-in particular, attempts to seize
      churches of the canonical Orthodox community in the country's south and
      east. The warning came from Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, second in charge
      of the Moscow Patriarchate Department of External Church Relations, as he
      addressed a Novosti news conference.

      The outrages must urgently stop before they trigger off bad social
      clashes, said Father Vsevolod.

      "Whenever politicians are out to redistribute the sphere of religion,
      they give start to clashes that persist for centuries," he stressed to go
      on with a retrospect.

      Greek Catholics are now blatantly pressuring Orthodox Christians. The
      former denomination emerged late in the 16th century, when Polish secular
      rulers attempted to bring local Christians by force under the Vatican
      aegis, while retaining the Eastern Rite. "The issue of Orthodox Christians
      and Greek Catholics, or Uniates, remains to this day the direst factor of
      Ukrainian disunity, and the worst stumbling block in our contacts with the
      Roman Catholic Church," he added.

      "Ukraine's secular rulers-in particular, President Victor Yuschenko-have
      pledged the state will never intervene in internal religious affairs. It is
      evident now, however, that local nationalists-some of them at the
      helm-enjoy schismatic public support to seize houses of prayer that belong
      to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church," pointed out Father Vsevolod.

      The drama of the early 1990s is being re-enacted in Ukraine, with
      coercive attempts to redistribute its ecclesiastical territory. "The same
      is on now in Ukraine's south and west," he emphatically remarked.

      © 2005 "RIAN Novosti"
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