Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios says the Russian church has “disappointed us” over Ukraine

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The Russian Orthodox Church has let Christian Orthodox fathers down by supporting Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual head of some 260 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, said in an interview.

In an interview shown on Greek state TV ERT on Tuesday evening, Patriarch Bartholomew said he expected Patriarch Kirill to stand up against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine and resign, if needed, in an act of opposition.

“It would not be possible for all churches not to condemn violence, war. The Russian church disappointed us. I did not want the Church of Russia and Brother Patriarch Kirill to be this tragic exception. I do not know how he can justify himself in his conscience,” he said.

“I expected Brother Kirill to stand up to this crucial, historic moment. If needed, to sacrifice his throne, to tell Putin, ‘Mr. President, I can not agree with you, I resign’,” he said.