Political leaders have no right to deprive the peoples of historic Rus ‘ Church unity, said Metropolitan Hilarion

*** No did not exist in Ukraine in 988, when Prince Vladimir baptized Rus

Moscow. July 28. INTERFAX – the head of the Synodal Department for external Church relations Metropolitan Hilarion said that the celebration 1030-anniversary of the Baptism of Rus unites the peoples of different countries and political leaders are not entitled to encroach upon this unity.

“If we talk about the celebration 1030-anniversary of the Baptism of Rus, this celebration is not a coincidence takes place today in Moscow and in Kiev and Minsk. This celebration, which unites our Nations, and nobody has the right, no political leaders may not be taken away from us is our Church’s unity,” he said on Saturday in the program “Church and world” on TV channel “Russia-24”.

Answering the question about the opinion of the Ukrainian President Peter Poroshenko about the fact that Prince Vladimir baptized the Ukraine, not Russia, the Metropolitan said that “here is a distortion of history.”

“No did not exist in Ukraine in 988, when Prince Vladimir baptized Rus, and for centuries this event was seen as the Baptism of Rus. But what Russia is a question for historians, and there may be different interpretations, but from our point of view Russia is not Russia is not Ukraine, not Belarus, it is the historical predecessor of both Russia and Ukraine, and Belarus, which continues now not only in people’s memory, but also in being the one Russian Orthodox Church, uniting Christians in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, and a number of neighboring States, as well as our compatriots living abroad. Here is the historical reality that for some reason Ukrainian President refuses to take” – said the Hierarch.

He reminded that Petro Poroshenko, not as a President, participated in the worship of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, but when he headed the country’s changed political circumstances, was to maintain the split.

“And now he’s talking about what he was talking about his predecessors in this position – that an independent Ukraine must be an independent Church. To this end, it gathered the representatives of these two schismatic structures, initiated a collection of signatures from them to address the Patriarch of Constantinople and is now pushing the idea of autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church,” said Metropolitan Hilarion, noting that now the split is almost no monks, and that, in his opinion, one of the indicators that schism is not a Church.

“They want such a violent way, in fact by eliminating the canonical Church, which is the majority Church, to usurp her property, its monasteries and its monks. But that’s not going to happen because neither the monks of the canonical Orthodox will not go into this newly created Autocephalous none believers do not support and do not support now”, – concluded the head of the Synodal Department.