Rowan Williams urges the WCC to expel the Russian Orthodox Church

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The former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Wiliams has urged the World Council of Churches to expel the Russian Orthodox Church from the ecumenical organization.

Speaking on the BBC’s Radio 4 on 3 April 2022, Lord Williams said the Russian church’s support of its government’s attack on Ukraine disqualified it from the family of Christian churches. “When churches are actively supporting the war of aggression, failing to condemn nakedly obvious breaches in any kind of ethical conduct in wartime, then other churches do have the right to raise the question.”

“I think there is a strong case for expulsion, because we have seen those signs,” he explained.

Lord Williams, who served as archbishop of Canterbury from 2003 to 2012 urged the Orthodox Churches to press the Moscow Patriarchate to engage its government over the war. He added that he believed “there are many people in the Orthodox world who feel that orthodoxy itself is compromised” by the silence of the Russian church” and “who feel almost ashamed to be associated” with it.

Lord Williams urged Patriarch Kirill to act.  “Your own flock are being killed in Ukraine, by other members of your own flock,” adding “It is your responsibility to condemn the killing of your own flock, for who you are answering to Jesus Christ.”