Russian Orthodox Patriarch, Vatican Cardinal to discuss Ukrainian crisis

Many Orthodox Churches in Ukraine continue to be persecuted by the state

MOSCOW,(Sputnik) – Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill and Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin will discuss Ukrainian crisis in all its various aspects during the cardinal’s visit to Moscow scheduled for August 20-23, a representative of Moscow Patriarchate said Thursday.

“The Ukraine issue is extremely important because the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church serves within the Roman Catholic Church and is one of the Eastern Catholic Churches. And we are aware of the attention that Pope Francis pays to the humanitarian aspect of Ukraine’s crisis … That is why Ukraine cannot but be discussed at the meeting in its various aspects at such a level,” Hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov), a secretary with the Moscow Patriarchate‚Äôs Department for External Church Relations, said.

He added that the Moscow Patriarchate and the Vatican have the same position on Ukrainian crisis in its peacekeeping dimension, saying that both the Holy See and the Russian Orthodox Church have been making efforts in order to resolve the Ukrainian crisis and ensure civil peace.

The military conflict in Ukraine erupted in 2014, after residents of the Donbas region refused to recognize the new Ukrainian government that came to power in what they perceived to be a coup. In February 2015, the conflicting parties signed the Minsk peace accords in order to end the fighting in the crisis-torn region. The truce, however, has since been repeatedly breached, with Kiev forces and Donbas militia accusing each other of violating it.

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