Only the Orthodox Church may be the only link, located above the confrontation, says the Metropolitan.
Metropolitan of Odessa and Izmail Agafangel appealed to the Patriarch Kirill with a request to facilitate the release and repatriation of the detained Ukrainian sailors.
In an open letter, published on 3 December on the website of the Odessa diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan of Odessa and Izmail Agafangel calls the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill to help a speedy return of detained Ukrainian sailors Home.
“In these difficult days, by God’s permission, our country entered a period of fiery testing that can cause an unprecedented military conflict that could bring a huge number of casualties, destruction, pain, grief and tears, – stated in the letter ruling Bishop of the Odessa diocese. In the Black sea 25 November 2018 the incident occurred, the legal assessment of which is beyond the Church’s competence and is the prerogative of the political and human rights institutions. As a result, 24 sailors, many of whom are natives and inhabitants of Odessa and Odessa region have become hostages of the political situation, was detained by the border service of the Russian Federation. The media reported that among them there are wounded in need of medical care.”
Metropolitan Agafangel noted the special role that could be played by the Orthodox Church in the issue of the return of the detained Ukrainian sailors.
“At the moment, only the Orthodox Church may be the only link, located above the opposition, whose authoritative voice can be heard on both sides of the conflict, – said the Metropolitan. – Therefore, as the ruling Bishop of the Odessa diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, whose heart is filled with pain, sorrow and perpetual care given to me by the Pastor of Christ congregation, encourage daily appeals to me Odessa, I beg Your Holiness to hear the cries of mothers, the moans of the wives and children pain family whose sons are in prison, involved in a political conflict, and to facilitate their early release”.