Wednesday, May 22, 2024

    In occupied Crimea, so-called “UOC” has long been quietly renamed with no protests seen as in Kyiv

    Candidate of Theological Sciences, lecturer at the Theological Academy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), Kostiantyn Moskaliuk has noted the change that has largely gone unnoticed regarding a Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) diocese in the Crimea.

    The expert posted on Facebook photocopies of document forms used by the diocese in 2012 and 2021, showing that the very mention of the “Ukrainian Orthodox Church” disappeared in 2021, clearing the way for the “Moscow Patriarchate.”

    “Another example of how the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine respects and faithfully obeys the ‘laws’ of the occupiers in Crimea. Meanwhile, Metropolitan Lazar simply quietly dropped the name ‘Ukrainian Orthodox Church’ from his official document forms. No one is saying over there that they’re “beyond politics” as this cunning narrative is intended for use in the Ukrainian government-controlled territories to somehow cover up the fact of non-recognition of Russian aggression and occupation,” the theologian wrote.

    He noted that in Kyiv you can see organized “prayer” rallies of the Moscow Patriarchate opposing what they claim is a “violation of freedom of conscience.” In fact, it is against a completely natural requirement to bring the name of this religious organization in line with Ukrainian legislation and objective reality.

    “In Crimea, the Moscow Patriarchate independently and voluntarily dismisses all that’s Ukrainian, while in Kyiv they actively oppose an obligation to simply state the truth in their name. So they need the Ukrainian name only where there are no Russian occupation ‘authorities.’ At the same time, if such occupation authorities are in place, the need for such name immediately vanishes for some reason. So much for their principles, consistency, and standing for the truth,” Kostiantyn Moskaliuk jokes.

    “They could indiscriminately brand manifestations of Ukrainian national identity there as ‘fascism’ and ‘neo-Nazism,’ while quietly consecrating missiles for the invaders, ordaining some outspoken collaborator for yet another bishop post, and generally supporting ‘Russia’s greatness’ in spite of the thousands killed because of its actions. The main thing they don’t forget is to constantly emphasize that they are a ‘true Ukrainian Church’,” the theologian summed up.

    In 2012, the Crimean Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine would wrote in its title “Ukrainian Orthodox Church”, without mentioning the Moscow Patriarchate.

    However, after Russian troops occupied the peninsula, the ROCinU decided to remove the UOC name and switch the title to “Moscow Patriarchate.”