A few weeks ago I wrote about how the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) in general and Patriarch Kirill in particular were quite supportive of Vlad the Invader and his invasion of Ukraine. I noted how Kirill was facing a bit of blowback for his full throated endorsement of the invasion.
The disapproval of other religious leaders both in and outside the ROC has done nothing to stem Kirill’s aggressive behavior. Kirill and many other ROC clergy have largely doubled down over these past few weeks, with Kirill basically telling his flock that they needed to kiss Vlad’s ass and support the invasion. Other ROC clergy have said the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is not a “real” church, largely because that church has no desire to be under Kirill’s thumb anymore.
In the meantime, the blowback against Kirill and his buddies continues. About 300 Ukrainian Orthodox clergy signed a letter calling for Kirill to be held accountable in a church tribunal. Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury has called for the ROC to be expelled from the World Council of Churches. Williams said that the ROC refuses to even call for a cease fire, which is the minimum he would expect, and continues in their support of the war.
Some may argue that isolating Russia religiously may cause Russians to become even more entrenched in their support of the ROC and Vlad, but honestly, I don’t know what else to do. Trying to reach out to Kirill is about as effective as trying to redirect the Mississippi River with an eyedropper. Kirill refuses to listen to even his own people when they have a different opinion than his, so I think it’s time to isolate the ROC from larger groups like the WCC.