Romania’s Orthodox Church on Sunday likened Russian Patriarch Kirill, who is a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, to the “anti-Christ.”
Church spokesman Vasile Banescu blasted Kirill of Moscow as „an opulent” prelate who’d cynically aligned himself with Russia’s “murderous” invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian leader and the Kirill share a vision of history in which Ukraine does not exist as a distinct nation or an independent state.
To their way of thinking, the 10th-century conversion of the Kievan Rus forever unites Russians and Ukrainians as a single people, rightly ruled from Moscow.
The Russian invasion began on Feb. 24 after Russia amassed more than 130,000 troops for weeks near Ukraine’s borders.
Four days into the invasion, Kirill, 75, appeared to decry Russia’s opponents in Ukraine as ‘evil forces’ in an address to the faithful.
Following that, the Ukraine Orthodox leader likened Mr. Putin to the Antichrist.
Romania’s Orthodox Church spokesman Vasile Banescu on Sunday said: „We are compelled to be lucid and discern between what is an authentic and worthy head of the church, and an opulent and unworthy patriarch …. who is a cynical accomplice of murderous policies.”
“This anti-Christ… has associated himself with the most hideous of things and is capable of committing atrocities in this dreadful and unjustified war.”
“He mimes his faith in God and patriotism,” he went on in a message posted on Instagram, Hotnews reported.
Many of Ukraine’s Orthodox Christians declared independence from the Orthodox Patriarchate in Russia in 2018, a move Russian Orthodox leaders rejected.