John of DubnaPublished on 09.03.2022

Open Letter by Metropolitan John of Dubna to Patriarch Kirill

On March 9th 2022, Metropolitan John of Dubna (Archbishopric of the Orthodox Churches of Russian Tradition in Western Europe) sent an open letter to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow calling for peace.


Paris, 9th March 2022

Your Holiness,

In these dark days when war is raging in the middle of Europe following the military intervention of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, allow me to express the consternation of the entire Archdiocese and our total solidarity with the victims of this conflict.

The turmoil and disarray caused by this violent attack throughout the world has not spared the Western European Orthodox community, and in particular the Archdiocese of the Russian Orthodox Parishes of Western Europe, which brings together the faithful of all origins. Our very unity is threatened by the situation that has been created. Our faithful expect their pastors to carry the voice of the Church and the Gospel message of peace.

We have learned with emotion of the appeal addressed to you by the members of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, asking you to intervene with the political authorities of the Russian Federation to put an end to this bloodbath.

In the name of all the faithful of our Archdiocese, I turn to you to raise your voice as primate of the Russian Orthodox Church against this monstrous and senseless war and to intercede with the authorities of the Russian Federation so that this murderous conflict, which until recently seemed unthinkable between two peoples and two nations united by centuries of history and their common faith in Christ, will cease as soon as possible.

Your Holiness, in your "homily" for Forgiveness Sunday, delivered in the Patriarchal Cathedral of Christ the Saviour on 6 March, you suggest that you justify this cruel and murderous war of aggression as "a metaphysical struggle", in the name of "the right to stand on the side of the light, on the side of God's truth, on the side of what is revealed to us by the light of Christ, by his word, by his Gospel...".

With all due respect, from which I do not withdraw, but also with infinite pain, I must bring to your attention that I cannot subscribe to such a reading of the Gospel. Nothing can ever justify that the "good shepherds" that we must be cease to be "peacemakers", whatever the circumstances.

Your Holiness, humbly, with a heavy heart, I beg you to do all you can to bring an end to this appalling war that divides the world and sows death and destruction.

† Metropolitan JOHN of Doubna

Archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe