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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

“Christianization converted our nation”

2 August, 2011 - 00:00
Photo by Kostiantyn HRYSHYN, The Day

On June 28, the Cross-bearing procession went through the central streets of Kyiv, organized by the UOC-KP (Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate – Ed.) on the occasion of the Baptism Day of Kievan Rus’-Ukraine. About 10,000 believers have taken part in it. The procession started from St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral and headed for the monument of St. Volodymyr. This year’s feature (the event is organized third year in a row) was stopping at St. Sophia’s Square, as we will soon celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of the foundation of St. Sophia cathedral in Kyiv.

After the public prayer at the Volodymyr hill was over, the head of the UOC-KP appealed to the believers with a solemn speech, in which he emphasized the extreme importance of the adoption of Christianity for Ukraine-Rus’: “Christening converted our nation from falsehood to truth.” Then Patriarch Filaret stressed the need of uniting Orthodox churches of Ukraine and establishing a unitary local Orthodox church. Before that he told about it in detail in an interview for The Day: “In 2009, there were several meetings of the representatives of the UOC MP [Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate – Ed.] and UOC-KP in order to prepare a dialog between the two Churches. But soon, due to the pressure of Patriarch Kirill, they were stopped. ROC [Russian Orthodox Church – Ed.] stands for overcoming the division of Orthodoxy in Ukraine. But it wants us to unite under the Moscow patronage. Despite the fact that these negotiations were ceased, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate continues tending to independence from Moscow. Particularly, this was discussed at their Local Council held in July. Obviously, there was much clamor about this question. And since there are such talks, there are forces that stand for independence, which, we all hope, will win. Then they will have no other way, but to unite with the Kyiv Patriarchate.”

“We are not the enemies of Russia or the Russian church,” the head of the UOC-KP went on in his speech at the monument of Prince Volodymyr. “We are brothers, sincere brothers. But we want to have this fraternity as equals and not to be subordinated.”

By Nadia TYSIACHNA, The Day