Monday, November 29, 2021

    “Since 1991, we’ve been saying that the Russian Church is the Kremlin’s fifth column” – OCU Archbishop Nestor

    Ukraine’s multi-religious environment can be used to exert pressure and destabilize the situation to split the country. Back in 1991, the Ukrainian church was already sure that the ROC was, in fact, the Kremlin’s fifth column. Now the Ukrainian government must take a clear and firm position in this regard.

    Archbishop Nestor of Ternopil told about it in an interview with

    “We have a multi-religious environment, and some can use it to put pressure on the situation and split the country. The question of faith is supposedly untimely for many today. But when a few years ago the issue of language was untimely for most, then after the adoption and implementation of language laws, our society started changing. Some didn’t need an army, and we almost lost our country. The Army used to be associated with drunk soldiers and hazing, but now it’s about professionals defending their Homeland. Transformations have taken place both in people’s attitude to the Army and in the Army itself. It’s the same with the Church. Since 1991, we’ve been saying that the Russian Church is the Kremlin’s fifth column, and if they are allowed to do what they do, Russia will absorb us. And then, later, when things ‘exploded’ in the east, many could not grasp how it all happened,” the archbishop reflected.

    According to the OCU hierarch, there should be a clear state policy in Ukraine in this regard.

    “By no means do we expect the government to put any pressure on the MP communities to join us. But there should be no indifference, there should be a firm position of our statesmen. This is good for both the government and the people. After all, if we are talking about heredity from the times of Prince Volodymyr, we must remain consistent,” he said.

    Archbishop Nestor added that he did not imply cooperation of government and Church, but of the people, Church, and government acting on behalf of the nation.

    “Indeed, in Ukraine, there’s never been such thing, inherent in Russia, as a ‘father tsar’ and a Church under him being a ministry of ideology. It’s Vice versa. If our princes ruled unjustly, the Venerable Theodosius of Pechersk came and admonished them not to violate the law of God and the law of man. And this scheme needs to be revived. As in Greece, Georgia, and Poland, where issues of faith are ideological. Faith and the Church are not a hobby there, as it is perceived in our country, but an integral part of public life,” the OCU archbishop concluded.

    It should be recalled that Archbishop Nestor (Pisyk) visited Phanar on October 22, where he and Ukrainians congratulated the Ecumenical Patriarch on the 30th anniversary of his enthronement.