Geneva, 11 March 2022 (dpa/MIA) — Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill never responded to a request by the World Council of Churches that he use his influence to help end the war in Ukraine.
Instead, in a letter to the Geneva-based organization, Kirill blamed “the forces overtly considering Russia to be their enemy” as responsible for the conflict.
He accused NATO of expanding its military presence on Russia’s borders and ignoring Russia’s fears of an attack, repeating arguments made by the Kremlin.
Kirill accused foreign forces of deliberately driving a wedge between Russians and Ukrainians and trying to “re-educate” the people of Ukraine to make them enemies of Russia.
“This tragic conflict has become a part of the large-scale geopolitical strategy aimed, first and foremost, at weakening Russia,” he wrote.
The World Council of Churches published an English translation of Kirill’s letter, dated March 10, on its website.
In a letter dated March 2, Ioan Sauca, the council’s acting general secretary, had asked Kirill to mediate in order to bring about an end to the war. That request was never acknowledged in Kirill’s response.
The Council represents 580 million Christians worldwide, organized into 352 churches in some 120 countries. The Russian Orthodox Church has been a member of the council since 1961.