The church announced this on Friday in Kyiv. They condemn the war and appeal to Ukraine and Russia to continue the negotiation process and stop the bloodshed, it said. Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, is firmly behind Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Ukraine war.
Most recently, the pressure within the Church to break away from Moscow had increased. Hundreds of priests had even called for a church tribunal against the patriarch in Russia.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is the largest of the three main churches in Ukraine in terms of the number of congregations.
Despite the previous assignment to Moscow, church leader Onufri had clearly condemned the Russian war of aggression. Most recently, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, founded in 2018 with massive help from then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, laid claim to the Kiev Cave Monastery administered by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The Orthodox Church of Ukraine submitted to the Patriarch of Constantinople (Istanbul), who is comparable to the Pope in the Orthodox world. The Moscow Church traditionally sees Ukraine as its sphere of influence.