Moscow, February 4 (Interfax) - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has criticized the policies pursued by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and has thanked the Vatican for its balanced approach toward the Ukrainian crisis.
"Today, fresh conflicts in Ukraine in light of the latest political events in the country are causing concern in our relations with the Roman Catholic Church," the patriarch said in Moscow.
Starting with the very first protests in Kiev at the end of 2013, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church supported one side, "which pushed for the overthrow of the authorities using nationalistic and often Russophobic slogans as its cover," he said.
The leadership of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and most of its representatives "made extremely politicized statements, which did not help end the civil confrontation," Patriarch Kirill said.
"At the same time, I would like to note with satisfaction that the Holy See itself has always pursued a balanced stance toward the situation in Ukraine and has avoided any lop-sided assessments, but has called for peace talks and an end to armed clashes," he said.
On the whole, relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church "demonstrate positive dynamics, primarily thanks to their clear understanding of the need for Orthodox and Catholic believers to act jointly in order to protect traditional Christian values and counter modern challenges such as secularism, discrimination of Christians, family crisis and the dilution of moral principles in private and social life," the patriarch said.