Patriarch Kirill invites Greek-Catholics of Ukraine to abandon hate speech

February 24, 2016. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has expressed regret at the negative reaction from representatives of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church to his and the Pope’s joint declaration, as the website Interfax-Religion reports.

“I am very frustrated by the negative reaction in Ukraine because this declaration also gives a chance for dialogue with the Greek Catholics. If they operate within the paradigm outlined by this declaration, this is the foundation for normalization of the relations,” the patriarch told Russian reporters at the Brazilian city of San Paulo at the end of his Latin America tour on Saturday. “And instead of rejecting it at once, straight away, talking about the aggressor church, about having no fratricidal war, instead of using political cliches, they should think and say: stop, stop, stop, it is opening a chance for us. But apparently, this is not the way people there are reasoning now,” he said.

Having pointed out that even the most radical nationalist forces in Ukraine call for a united Ukraine, the patriarch stated that persecutions and violence is not the way to bring people together. He drew parallels with marriage, stressing that it cannot be preserved through conflict and incitement of hatred.

“If you want to consolidate any group of people, you must find the right language, you must take each other’s interests into account. Only by using this method that one can build a united Ukraine. This is the position of the Moscow Patriarchate, the Roman Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” the patriarch said.

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