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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Patriarch Warns of ‘Progressive’ West

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, lashed out at Western clergy on Wednesday, accusing them of supporting liberalism.

 He also said a Ukrainian Orthodox Church independent of the Moscow Patriarchate would not be able to unite believers around itself.

Speaking in Kiev as he tours Ukraine for the first time as patriarch, Kirill said the “progressive” Western clergy was reorienting the public toward liberal values that don’t distinguish “between sin and sanctity,” RIA-Novosti reported.

“And this means apocalypse,” he said, the news agency reported.

Referring to the attempts by some senior Ukrainian clergy to establish an independent church, Kirill said that ending a millennium of church unity between Ukraine and Russia would undercut the position of the broader Russian civilization in its dialogue with Europe.

He traveled to Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, later Wednesday.

The Russian Christian Orthodox Church controls about two-thirds of the parishes in Ukraine. The remaining third are managed by the independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church.