Gay pride blamed for Ukraine invasion

Ukrainian people’s gay pride and sinful behaviour caused the Russian invasion into their country, says Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill.

Taking to the pulpit Kirill told the people that spiritual danger justified his country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Depicting the war in spiritual terms, he said, “We have entered into a struggle that has not a physical, but a metaphysical significance.”

An unnamed world power is posing a “test for the loyalty” of countries by demanding they hold gay pride parades to join a global club of nations with its own ideas of freedom and “excess consumption.

“Pride parades are designed to demonstrate that sin is one variation of human behaviour,” he said.

President Putin’s longtime ally told Ukranian and Russian Orthodox worshippers in a homily that Russia’s “military operation” in Ukraine was about “which side of humanity God will be on”: Russia’s side, or Western countries that embrace more progressive values.

Despite his focus on sin, Kirill made no mention in his homily of Russia’s widespread invasion and its bombardment of civilian targets.

Many Orthodox Christians in Ukraine and elsewhere are appalled by Kirill’s stance.

For centuries the Moscow Patriarch claimed the ultimate loyalty of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, even though the latter retained ample autonomy.

Even as recently as three years ago, many priests, monks and faithful had remained loyal to him, even with the formation of a more nationalist, Kyiv-based Orthodox Church of Ukraine in 2018 and 2019.

Kirill’s recent comments, however, have led many Ukrainian Orthodox bishops to authorise their priests not to commemorate him in prayers during public worship services.

This is a symbolically important statement in Orthodox tradition, which puts a premium on the faithful being in communion with their divinely ordained hierarchy.

Elsewhere, a Stockholm-based professor of ecclesiology, international relations and ecumenism says Kirill’s comments show him to be in a “golden cage.”

He said Kirill helped “supply the ideology” that Putin has used to justify Russian hegemony over the region. In return, the church has received strong government support.

While many Orthodox and other religious conservatives, including in Ukraine, share Kirill’s stance on sexual ethics, Ukrainians and Ukrainian Orthodox are under attack, are suffering, and are afraid for the future for the nation,” a US commentator says.

“None of that is reflected in the sermon. If rockets are falling on Kharkiv and Kyiv and the patriarch starts talking about gay parades, it seems like something is odd here.”


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