Lithuanian Orthodox Christians invited to procession for 'church unit', 'end of war'

  • 2022-04-28
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Metropolitan Inokentiy, head of the Lithuanian Orthodox Archdiocese, has invited the faithful to take part in a procession to be staged in Vilnius this weekend in support of the unity of the Church and the end of the war in Ukraine.

The procession will begin at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in the capital's Ausros Vartu Street at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday and will head for the Cathedral of the Mother of God in Maironio Street, the Chancellery of the Lithuanian Orthodox Archdiocese said in a press release on Thursday.

The procession will include "prayers for the unity of the Church and for the cessation of the fratricidal war in Ukraine".

It comes against the backdrop of divisions among Lithuanian Orthodox Christians over the Church's position on Russia's war in Ukraine.

Inokentiy has recently dismissed three priests, Vitalijus Mockus, Gintaras Jurgis Sungaila and Vitalis Dauparas, who have been critical of the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine and the Russian Orthodox Church's support for the war.

Some Lithuanian Orthodox priests have decided to appeal to the patriarch of Constantinople to allow them to switch jurisdictions.

Metropolitan Inokentiy says that the Orthodox Church in Lithuania is going through a difficult time and calls for "the support of all the faithful".

"Today our Church is being bombarded with a barrage of unfair accusations; attempts are being made to discredited and split it," he said in the press release. 

"Unfortunately, the instigators of this have been our brother priests, who have already stopped hiding the fact that their goal is to create a parallel church structure in Lithuania under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople." 

Participants of the procession "will be provided with refreshments and the opportunity to sign a parishioners' appeal in support of the Orthodox Church in Lithuania", according to the press release.  

The Lithuanian Orthodox Church, one of Lithuania’s nine traditional religious communities, is a metropolitanate within the Patriarchate of Moscow and All Russia.