Patriarch Kirill blesses the killing of Ukrainians
A Petition of Orthodox Christians to the Primates of the Ancient Orthodox Churches Advocating the Trial and Removal of the Patriarch of Moscow, Kirill (Gundyayev)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
On 24 February 2022, without provocation the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine and unleashed a barbaric war in the middle of Europe. Statements and actions by Russia disclosed their intention to remove Ukraine’s government, to destroy Ukraine’s sovereignty and self-defense, and to destroy Ukraine’s culture and people.
The Russian Federation directed its armed forces to commit mass killing of civilians by targeted bombing of civilian areas, including hospitals, schools, and cultural institutions. Russia has directed the torture and the murder of captive civilians, and the systematic torture and rape of Ukrainian women and children. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilians have been intentionally killed. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have been forcibly relocated to Russia by Russia’s military. Millions of Ukrainians have become refugees, forced to flee their homes.
A coalition of international criminal lawyers has concluded that Russia is committing genocide in Ukraine. The International Criminal Court and other competent courts are outlining charges for numerous war crimes, including genocide. By their nature, war crimes and genocide criminally implicate Russian State officials and Russian Orthodox Church officials who directed or promoted these crimes.
The Russian Orthodox Church is promoting war and is abetting war crimes in Ukraine.
After a few days of guilty silence, the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church began to justify and bless this war. The Patriarch of Moscow, Kirill (Gundyayev) has attempted in numerous public sermons to present Russia’s criminal invasion as morally justified and necessary. While the orthodox flock in Ukraine is decimated, Patriarch Kirill encourages and blesses the slaughter. Many of Kirill’s underlings have echoed him, presenting the aggressor as victim, and evil as good. The Moscow Patriarch openly aids and abets the atrocities in Ukraine.
Numerous hierarchs and synods have condemned the Russian Federation’s aggression unambiguously. Yet they have said almost nothing about the Russian Orthodox Church providing the ideological platform and public blessing for this criminal undertaking. There has been very little clear public denunciation of this subversion of Christianity from the episcopate of the Orthodox Church. There has been none at all from any synodal body outside Ukraine.
Moreover, a serious accusation of heresy by the Moscow Patriarch has been leveled by respected and responsible theologians who signed 'A Declaration on the “Russian World” (Russkii Mir) Teaching’. Those charges of heresy have not been addressed by the Primates of ancient Orthodox Churches competent to try and depose the accused heretics.
Hundreds of priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church signed a petition to the Primates of ancient Orthodox Churches to convene in synod and try Patriarch Kirill for blessing and promoting bloodshed, and for heresy. The Council of Bishops of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has also appealed to the plenitude of the Orthodox Church to condemn Patriarch Kirill.
To the Primates of the ancient Orthodox Churches,
Your All-Holiness Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople and
Your Beatitude Theodore, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa,
Your Beatitude John, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East,
Your Beatitude Theophilos, Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and of all Palestine and Israel,
Your Beatitude Chrysostomos, Archbishop of Nova Justiniana and all Cyprus
We the undersigned are Orthodox Christians of all ranks, nations, and jurisdictions. We raise our voice on behalf of the victims of unprovoked Russian aggression against Ukraine. We cry out for the innocent child, for the weak, for the refugee, for the abducted, for the murdered, for the raped women and the raped children, for the brutally tortured. In sacred duty to Christ himself, we urgently appeal to you now, and We affirm that;
1. The Patriarch of Moscow, Kirill (Gundyayev) has argued for, encouraged and blessed the murder of innocents. He is bloodguilty. He should be tried for murder.
2. We add our voice to support those hundreds of Ukrainian priests, and we request that the Primates of the ancient Orthodox Churches hold a canonical trial, and depose Patriarch Kirill of Moscow.
3. We request that the Primates of the ancient Orthodox Churches examine the charges of heresy brought by the authors and signators of the ‘Declaration on the “Russian World” (Russkii Mir) Teaching’.
Any Orthodox Christian in communion with the Eastern Patriarchates may sign this petition on the form below. We especially request that Orthodox laity and clergy, both inside and outside Ukraine, sign the petition with their name and their title, if any. Let us reject complicity by silence! Let our actions be a clear statement of Christian conscience, honoring God above earthly rulers and worldly interests.
by Gregory Adair and Luben Stoilov, parishioners of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, San Anselmo, California.
 Russian official state media declaration describes war aims as the total annihilation of Ukraine: <https://ria.ru/20220403/ukraina-1781469605.html>.
Russia states that its aims are genocide.
The Israeli Press called Russia’s stated war aims “fascistic”:
 ’An Independent Legal Analysis of the Russian Federation’s Breaches of the Genocide Convention in Ukraine and the Duty to Prevent’:
 The International Criminal Court (ICC) has been asked by numerous Rome Statute signature states, and by Ukraine, to exercise jurisdiction for war crimes in Ukraine. <https://www.icc-cpi.int/ukraine>, and; <https://www.icc-cpi.int/news/statement-icc-prosecutor-karim-aa-khan-qc-situation-ukraine-receipt-referrals-39-states>
ICC involvement in prosecuting Russian crimes in Ukraine is further described at:
 State propaganda agents acquire liability for war crimes. Dr. Steven Minas, a senior research fellow at the Transnational Law Institute of King’s College London writes,
“The words of influential propagandists can have real impact. Recognizing this,
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides: 'Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law’.”
The analysis of Human Rights Without Frontiers recognizes the Russian Orthodox Church’s liability in promoting war crimes. <https://hrwf.eu/russia-patriarch-kirills-crucifixion-on-the-cross-will-he-be-the-gravedigger-of- the-orthodox-church/>
 An early example explaining the ‘metaphysical’ necessity of the war with the West’s insistence on forcing people into sin by allowing gay parades and with the population of Donbass suffering because of their principled rejection of such is found here: http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/5906442.html. The main parts of this sermon were aired on mainstream news channels in the US.