Ukrainian priest/monks from Kiev stand between protesters and soldiers during recent protests, acting as peacemakers.

Ukrainian priest/monks from Kiev stand between protesters and soldiers during recent demonstrations, acting as peacemakers.

This weekend on Ancient Faith Radio, host Kevin Allen interviewed Metropolitan Antony, primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the United States about the ongoing crisis in the Ukraine. The bishop offered very good insights into the religious, cultural and political factors at play now in the Ukraine, carefully pointing out that the situation is very fluid and subject to change almost by the hour.

Allen asked the bishop what role the Orthodox and Greek-Catholic churches should play in this crisis going forward.

The Churches have an “enormous” role and indeed a “primary” role, Metropolitan Antony said. He continued:

We have all along, and so have all the churches in Ukraine have called upon those involved to remember the dignity of the human being, to remember the sanctity of life throughout this whole conflict. The Church and the clergy will be required to refrain from participation in any kind of political maneuvering or machinations, and to simply preach the word of God, and preach the love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to overcome the difficulties first and then to begin the process of forgiveness, because this is a process that I believe will go on for some time to come.

I do not believe that Ukraine is headed for civil war. I believe that there is a feeling throughout the boundaries of the nation today that Ukraine is one nation and will stay that way. The conflicts between east and west have always been there, and I believe that they will be in the future, but I don’t believe that it is a threat to the stability and the existence of one, single Ukrainian nation.

But the churches must take on their responsibility, and we have been saying it here in our epistles to the faithful and our statements to the faithful throughout this situation and earlier situations: The Church of Ukraine must do everything it can, and this may be an opportunity for the unification of the churches, the process to begin. I understand that the patriarch has issued a statement calling for the unity of the churches now at this difficult time in the life of the nation. But our statements here and our call has always been that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church must regain what its primary role was in the life of the nation. It must once again become the moral conscience of the nation.

Read the transcript of the interview or listen to the 29 minute podcast at Ancient Faith Radio.

If you haven’t caught up to it yet, give a listen to the latest Radio Free Acton podcast on the Crisis in the Ukraine posted on this blog Friday.

Creation and the Heart of Man: An Orthodox Christian Perspective on Environmentalism

Creation and the Heart of Man: An Orthodox Christian Perspective on Environmentalism

Rooted in the Tradition of the Orthodox Church and its teaching on the relationship between God, humanity, and all creation, Fr. Michael Butler and Prof. Andrew Morriss offer a new contribution to Orthodox environmental theology. Too often policy recommendations from theologians and Church authorities have taken the form of pontifications, obscuring many important economic and public policy realities. The authors establish a framework for responsible engagement with environmental issues undergirded not only by Church teaching but also by sound economic analysis. Creation and the Heart of Man uniquely takes the discussion of Orthodox environmental ethics from abstract principles to thoughtful interaction with the concrete, sensitive to the inviolability of human dignity, the plight of the poor, and our common destiny of communion with God.

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