After the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the country’s parliament, adopted the law on military chaplaincy service and the spokesman for the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) issued a statement on a legislative ban on members of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine (Moscow Patriarchate) to become chaplains in the Armed Forces, the ROCinU said it would fight to secure for their priests access to military units and brigades of the Ukrainian Army.
In particular, ROCinU Archimandrite Luka (Vinarchuk), who is Deputy Chairman of the ROCinU for cooperation with the Armed Forces and other military formations of Ukraine in a comment to the ROCinU-supervised propaganda outlet said the Moscow Patriarchate would “fight” to gain access to the Ukrainian Army.
“There’s plenty of work ahead of us to restore fair treatment of servicemen who are members of our Church,” said the ROCinU cleric.
Without revealing names, he also thanked several lawmakers who lobbied the interests of the Russian Church in Ukraine, while adding that “it is certainly early to rejoice.”
There’s a big difference, when we’re referred to as “Moscow Church” and when they turn a deaf ear to the rights of believers enshrined in the Constitution. We realize that there will be many more difficulties,” said the Deputy Head of the ROCinU.
It should be recalled that on November 30, the Verkhovna Rada passed the law on chaplaincy. Archbishop Yevstratiy (Zorya), a spokesman for the OCU, noted that ROC priests shall not be chaplains with the Armed Forces because it is prohibited by law.
It is worth noting that the ROCinU officials have repeatedly helped the Russian occupation forces and continue to do so, as religion is another front on which Russia has launched a campaign against Ukraine. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has denied the fact of the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine and recently addressed a meeting of the Russian defense ministry. Despite this anti-Ukrainian position of ROC Patriarch Kirill, the head of the ROCinU, Metropolitan Onufriy (Berezovsky), continues to refer to him as “Our Father, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow.” Onufriy sees nothing wrong with Kirill’s attitude to Ukraine because he himself called not to consider terrorists with the so-called ‘LPR/DPR’ as enemies, while his bishops consecrated monuments of fallen Russian proxies and flags flying on Russian navy warships in the occupied Sevastopol. Priests with the UOC-MP in Crimea even blessed Russian navy troops ahead of combat missions, and the governor of the Svyatogorsk Lavra believes that it’s Ukraine that unleashed the war.
According to a number of resolutions and other official documents of the United Nations, OSCE, Council of Europe, European Union, other international and Ukrainian organizations, the Russian Federation remains an occupying power as regards Ukraine. Also, priests with the Moscow Patriarchate, including the ROCinU, continue to provide comprehensive support to the Russian occupation forces in Crimea and certain regions of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, consecrating military hardware and working out the optimal scheme for the priests to serve in Russian combat positions and during the Caucasus 2020 military exercises.