[Diocese in Europe, Church of England] The chaplain of St. Andrew’s, Moscow, the Rev. Malcolm Rogers, has criticized the United Kingdom government’s decision to impose sanctions on the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, for his support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a letter to The Times newspaper, Rogers described the move as “one of the more foolish responses to the conflict in Ukraine” and warned it would have a negative impact.
“While the U.K. government may wish to express its rejection of the support given to the conflict by the patriarch by imposing sanctions on him, the U.K. is playing into the narrative that the conflict in Ukraine is a defensive fight for the survival of Russia against expansionist Western forces,” he says in the letter. “Unfortunately, this is being portrayed here in Moscow as a U.K. attack on Russian culture and people, and another reason to justify sending soldiers into Ukraine.