A spokesman for the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Archbishop Yevstratiy (Zorya), has exposed a fake story circulated across social networks and some fringe media about an “OCU priest who accused the Jews” and explained who would be likely to spread such lies.
Today, with reference to Eduard Dolinsky’s post on Facebook, a number of sites began to spread “news” about the alleged “accusations targeting Jews by an OCU priest.”
Simultaneous distribution and text uniformity proves a coordinated campaign. The task can be seen from the headline – on the eve of the 80th anniversary of the Babyn Yar tragedy, to link the OCU to anti-Semitic statements and create the relevant noise,” the OCU spokesman wrote on Facebook.
Pro-Russian Ukrainian public figure Eduard Dolynsky, referring to comments voiced on a social network by an “OCU priest Savradym,” said “the OCU priest has a negative attitude towards Jews.”
According to the OCU spokesman, the church doesn’t use such name as Savradym. The page, allegedly run by “OCU priest Savradym” is fake and contains doctored photos, while no one in the OCU’s local diocese has ever heard of such a minister.
“Judging by the profile that uses a fictitious name, he is a Photoshop fan, which entertains his few friends. Among the photos he posted was the one where his face is superimposed on a police officer. “Photo” in the church outfit is also an OBVIOUSLY manipulated image. No other photos or information is available, including on where this “cleric” serves, where is his parish, and what is his church activity (photos from services, along with parishioners) – NOTHING of this kind. In the comments below the photo you can see that he just entertains himself and his commentators, calling himself a “priest” and “Father Savradym, an OCU clergyman,” the spokesman for the OCU emphasized.
According to Archbishop Yevstratiy, the fake OCU priest claims on Facebook that he was allegedly invited to the service by “Bishop Epifaniy.” And then he comments under one of the doctored photos, where he is shown “standing next to” Archbishop Job Getcha near the banner of the All-Orthodox Cathedral in 2016, writing that it is allegedly a “photo taken at the Lviv forum,” where next to him allegedly stands “Svyatoslav,” the Supreme Archbishop of the UGCC.
“In the OCU Odesa eparchy (the reporter reportedly lives in Odesa), no one’s ever heard of ‘Father Savradym.’ Neither the incumbent nor the previous bishops are aware of him, and neither are the priests of the OCU serving in Odesa. So, this man is not an OCU clergyman, and his comments have NOTHING to do with the Church’s position,” the spokesman for the OCU stressed.
“So in the end there is only one conclusion: Mr. Dolinsky and a number of agencies and sites resort to spreading (through sharing) offensive anti-Semitic statements of eccentric freaks (which would otherwise be seen by almost no one). Is this how they are preparing for the 80th anniversary of the Babyn Yar tragedy – by inciting hatred with lies? Disgusting, gentlemen! ”Archbishop Yevstratiy summed up.