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Ukrainian patriarch describes Putin as ‘the new Cain’

12 September 2014


Critic: Patriarch Filaret before the press in Kiev after blessing a monument to fallen heroes

Critic: Patriarch Filaret before the press in Kiev after blessing a monument to fallen heroes

THE head of the Patriarchate of the independent Ukraine Orthodox Church (Kiev), Patriarch Filaret, has described the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, as "the new Cain", and has warned that Mr Putin faces eternal damnation unless he repents.

The Patriarch made his comments at the National Pedagogical University last week, during a service to consecrate a memorial cross to the "Heavenly Hundred" - the 104 people, mostly young, who were killed during the protests in Independence Square, Kiev, earlier this year (News, 21 February).

He said that Russians and Ukrainians saw each other as brothers; and that by his actions, President Putin was committing fratricide.

Later, in a statement published on the Church's website, he elaborated on his comments. He said that Mr Putin was doing the work of the devil: "You separate yourself from the Orthodox Church and God, doom yourself to an ignominious end of this life, and eternal damnation in hell in the life of the future world.

"From the holy scriptures we know that there are two great sins," he said. "Murder and lies are in close unity with each other, and the inspirator of both is the devil. Therefore, anyone who indulges in these sins, according to the Saviour, has the devil as his father."

He said that Mr Putin was "cynically lying" by "saying that his country is not a party to the conflict in Ukraine, even though he did everything in order to foment the conflict and maintain it."

The Patriarch, whose Church is not recognised as part of the canonical Orthodox Communion, said that President Putin had the power to "immediately stop the bloodshed and death, but is - for the sake of his pride - continuing to multiply evil. He calls himself a brother to the Ukrainian people, but in fact, by his deeds, he has become the new Cain, shedding the brotherly blood, and entangling the whole world with lies."

At the service to consecrate the memorial cross, Dr Victor Andruschenko, Rector of the National Drahomanov Pedagogical University in Kiev, and President of the Association of Rectors of Pedagogical Universities in Europe, said: "In God we have victory, and any evil will disappear because it is temporary."

Dr Andruschenko said that Ukraine would "pass this difficult historical period . . . with dignity and calm", and that "our teachers, the future university graduates, [will] bear these values in society, and will bring up the children to become great patriots of our country."

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