Archimandrite Venedykt (Khromiy) is convinced that “the Lord is with them” and prayed – in Russian – for “those who got lost – for Patriarch Bartholomew and his allies, so that the Lord would talk some sense into them and soften their hearts.”
The video with the speech of the Zakarpattia-based cleric was uploaded on the Youtube channel of the Russian Orthodox Church’s external relations department, headed by Illarion (Alfeev). In the video, he was presented as the one “spiritually nurturing the canonical community of the Zakarpattia village of Dilove.”
It should be recalled that Venedykt (Khromiy) used to promote separatist ideas of the so-called “Rusyn People’s Republic. Also, his page on a social network hosts a bingo combo set of things traditional for the “Russian World” adepts: “75th anniversary of the great victory”, a fake flag of “Subcarpathian Ruthenians”, posts involving Patriarch Kirill (Gundyaev) of the Russian Church.
Archimandrite Venedykt, like many ministers of the Moscow Patriarchate, claims he’s “beyond politics” and that he “stands for peace.” At the same time, among his reposts are publications by local deputies with the pro-Russian OPZZh and even Anatoliy Shariy, a fringe blogger who was recently charged in Ukraine for inciting religious hatred. Venedykt also supports Russian propaganda narratives on the issue of the Russo-Georgian war, claiming that it was not Russia that attacked Georgia, but Georgia that “attacked” its own town of Tskhinvali.
It should be noted that last year, representatives of the Khust Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine assaulted an elderly woman who, echoing the community, expressed her will to join the canonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine. In January-February 2019, the Orthodox community in the village of Dilove, Rakhiv district, voted for the local church to transition from the ROCinU to the OCU, and registered their new religious community, but local priest Venedykt, as well as a smaller share of those who stood against the transition, never accepted the move.
The OCU envoy in Zakarpattia had windows shattered in his home and notes thrown in, with threats against any attempts to facilitate such transition of communities. The attackers also set fire to a garage and a number of homes of OCU believers in the region. In this case, Archimandrite Venedykt (Khromiy) neither speaks up nor prays for “talking some sense” into the Moscow faithful in Zakarpattia after what they’ve done…
In February 2021, the OCU community in Dilove held their inaugural liturgy, following a long litigation with the Moscow church. As the temple was being handed over, parishioners found baseball bats inside of it, which the ROCinU supporters had apparently stocked up on to use in violent provocations.