Speech in support of General Synod Resolution on Ukraine

Posted on May 20, 2022 
Filed under Anglican Church of Australia, General Synod

The question of the blessing of same-sex relationships was the big news at General Synod, however there were Resolutions on other topics, including this one on Ukraine, which passed unanimously:

General Synod 18 Resolution on Ukraine

That General Synod

(a) deplores the clear and flagrant breach of international law by the Russian government invading Ukraine and also the crimes against humanity and war crimes that have been and are being allegedly committed there;

(b) condemns the actions of President Vladimir Putin of Russia in initiating and continuing the war against the democratically elected government of Ukraine and the slaughter and dispossession of the people of Ukraine;

(c) expresses its support and prayers for the people of Ukraine and the extraordinary suffering that they are experiencing in so many ways and assures them of the love and sympathy of this Church for them in their plight;

(d) calls upon our Christian brothers and sisters of the Russian Orthodox Church and Russian Protestant churches to use their voices and influence to oppose the continued deaths, destruction, displacement and dispossession of the people, the homes and the country of their neighbour, Ukraine and their fellow Christians; and

(e) commends those priests and laity of the Russian Orthodox Church and Russian Protestant churches who have called upon their Church leadership and the Russian state leadership to condemn and desist from this invasion and war.”

(Passed unanimously, special Synod prayer for Ukraine following immediately thereafter.)


The Rev Patrick Cole, House of Clergy, Canberra & Goulburn, gave this speech in support of General Synod Resolution on Ukraine, 13 May 2022.

Mr President, on 24 February Russian armed forces started an unprovoked, premeditated, and violent invasion of Ukraine. We’ve seen massive aggression; indiscriminate attacks on civilians; apparent mass murder of civilian men, women and children; and Russian threats of the use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states.

Reckless destruction of human life; breaches of international law, the laws of war, and humanitarian law.

Barbarism and destruction unparalleled in Europe in kind since the Yugoslav crisis, and in scale since World War 2.

On its independence in 1991, Ukraine inherited one third of the Soviet Union nuclear arsenal. In return for giving up these weapons, and becoming a non-nuclear weapon state, in 1994 Russia, the United States and the UK agreed at treaty level “to respect the independence and territorial sovereignty of Ukraine”, and “refrain from the threat or use of force against Ukraine”. An undertaking flagrantly and unilaterally breached by Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

The catastrophic results are not only a huge humanitarian disaster, but an immediate threat to the basic fabric of international order, and – unthinkably – genuinely risk full nuclear world war.

As humans knowing the compassion of Christ, our hearts are torn and outraged as the innocent suffer and are forced to flee, and as others as conscripts are forced to fight and kill.

As Christians, we know Kyiv’s role as the cradle of Orthodox mission outreach to bring the gospel of the Prince of Peace to Russia itself.

As Christians, we grieve the way President Putin has garnered support and spiritual endorsement for this invasion from Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, and from some other churches.

We commend those priests and laity of the Russian Orthodox Church and of other Russian churches in Europe, the US, Canberra, and even Russia itself, as they act in costly courage in publicly condemning the war, and church leaders supporting it.

Sisters and brothers, faced with a broken world that needs Jesus, what do we do?

We pray. Pray that Jesus, the Lord of peace and justice, brings his peace and justice, and as Lord of hosts, turns back the armies and causes war to cease.

We speak. And commend that the Synod now speak to:

Image with thanks to David Ould.