Moscow, March 19, 2014
The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church at its meeting on March 19, 2014, has testified that it is willing to do anything it can to restore fraternal relations between Russia and the Ukraine, as to bring peace to Crimea, stated chairman of the Synodal Information Department V.R. Legoida.
"The Holy Synod has stressed that Crimea has been and remains an integral part of our one, multinational Church," said V. Legoida.
"In this crucial moment of the Crimean history, the Russian Orthodox Church is offering up a fervent prayer to the Lord: that fraternal blood might not be shed on the Crimean land; that the Lord may keep all residents of the peninsula—Russians, Ukrainians, Tatars, and representatives of other nationalities—in peace, prosperity, integrity of views and love," said Legoida, citing the statements of the Holy Synod (minutes no. 4), which express the belief that "There should be no issues between the fraternal nations of Russia and the Ukraine, decided by force of arms, in defiance of the will of the people".
"The Holy Synod has testified that the Russian Orthodox Church, which embraces the peoples of Russia and the Ukraine, prompted by their pastoral responsibility, is ready to do its best to restore brotherly, good-neighborly relations, based on mutual respect, between Russia and the Ukraine," head of the synodal department added.
The Holy Synod has also made a separate statement dedicated to the situation in the Ukraine:
"The Russian Orthodox Church has many times called for the prevention of violence, bloodshed, and the fratricidal conflict on the Ukrainian land. Unfortunately, the tragic events have not been avoided: people have been killed, and many have been injured. Thus, today we are again and again calling upon everyone, for whom the Ukrainian people and peace in the Ukraine are of great importance: violence must not be repeated. Church boundaries are not determined by political preferences, or by ethnic differences, nor even by state boundaries. The Church keeps its unity in spite of all changing circumstances. At the same time, it is important for the Church that the peoples of historical Rus’ preserve those values on which Christian civilization is founded. These values enabled us to build the glorious past, and we believe that they will enable us to build a worthy future".