KYIV. UkraineGate .25 . December .2022 | Society .
Ecumenical Patriarchate Bartholomew congratulated the Ukrainian nation on Merry Christmas.
“Today, our Holy Church celebrates Christmas in the flesh of the eternal Son and the Word of God. This is one of the greatest holidays of our Christian faith, which we celebrate with spiritual freedom and joy, regardless of tragic external circumstances. Unfortunately, this year the news of the good news of Christmas is heard alongside the homonym of war and the rattling of weapons in your homeland, which is experiencing the terrible consequences of a provocative and unjust invasion. This war, provoked by the aggression of the Russian Federation in February last year, is the worst European geopolitical and humanitarian crisis since the end of the Second World War, which negatively affects the environment and society around the world,” the Patriarch said.
Patriarch Bartholomew quotes Matthew 5:9, which says that “our Savior blesses peacemakers, for they shall become sons of God.” He promotes the idea of righteousness and love even for our enemies.”
He also added that any distortion of the gospel message for political purposes and an attempt to find a theological reason for war and violence to justify the unjustified turns out to be not only a caricature of the Gospel, but above all a “hull on the God of mercy and the Prince of Peace.”
“We believe that only by solidarity with the Ukrainian people can evil and darkness be overcome. We hope, when time permits, to visit your unconquered homeland again, then finding all Orthodox Christians of Ukraine united in one flourishing Church! We wish you all long and blessed years!” he added.
The OCU and the UGCC will create a joint working group to reform the church calendar.