Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios of Constantinople described Russia’s invasion as “beyond every sense of law and morality” and pleaded for an end to the war.
Vartholomaios made his plea for war during Sunday Mass at an Istanbul church.
The Patriarch noted that, during the past few days, a “tragic humanitarian disaster” is unfolding in Ukraine and expressed his support to the families of all the dead and wounded.
According to a statement put out by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Vartholomaios reiterated his “support to the Ukraine Orthodox Church, and to the whole Ukrainian nation, which has chosen to live free and determine its own destiny.”
Patriarch Vartholomaios is considered the spiritual leader and first among equals of Eastern Orthodox Christians worldwide. He granted the independence of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which severed it in 2019 from the Russian church to which it had been tied since 1686. The Russian Orthodox Church severed relations with him as a result.