Wednesday, May 18, 2022
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    New “prophets”? ROСinU cleric claims God calling to protect Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine

    It might seem that some kind of “prophets” have emerged in the ROCinU, to whom the Lord speaks directly. ROCinU bishop Viktor (Kotsaba) claimed that “the Lord is calling on us today to raise our voice in defense of the Mother Church, not to be silent witnesses to its abuse but be its guardians. Laymen are those who care about the fate of the Church.”

    Kotsaba made the statement while speaking to members of the pro-Russian NGO Myryany (translated as “Laymen”) in Kyiv. Kotsaba did not specify how exactly he received such revelations and direct instructions from the Lord. The ROCinU bishop also chose not to explain why most of the ROCinU failed to act in accordance with the decisions of the true Mother Church, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, including when they didn’t attend the Unification Council. After all, in this case, Kotsaba would have to explain why unity with the Russian Church is dearer for the ROCinU than the consolidation of Ukraine amid an ongoing war with Russia.

    Kotsaba also thanked the nonprofit members on behalf of the ROCinU leader Onufriy for holding rallies outside the Verkhovna Rada, the President’s Office, and across regional centers. It should also be recalled that the Myriany NGO is financed by Viktor Vyshnevetsky, who was earlier accused by the SBU security service of financing terrorism. He is engaged in reconstruction of ROC churches in parishes where most members have converted to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. He is thus financing the split in Ukrainian society to cement the presence of the Moscow Patriarchate, albeit a small one, in villages where the community has shifted to the OCU.

    ROCinU bishop Viktor (Kotsaba) avoided in his address the issue of Moscow’s anti-canonical annexation of the Kyiv metropolis in 1686. In addition, he apparently sees nothing wrong in having in Ukraine a Church that is subordinate to the aggressor power, Russia, which has been waging a bloody war with Ukraine for several years already.

    Earlier, Kotsaba was put on the Peacekeeper Center’s list as a critic of Ukrainian Orthodoxy’s independence from Moscow and an agent of influence of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) in Ukraine. Viktor (Kotsaba) is being accused of spreading Kremlin propaganda, promoting the so-called “Russian World” on behalf of the UOC-MP. The Peacekeeper noted that the ROCinU hierarch  “by abusing his position is engaged in circulating false, manipulative information on the events in Ukraine, inciting ethnic and interfaith hatred through the affiliated platforms, such as the Union of Orthodox Journalists, the Union of Orthodox Journalists, Pershyi Kozatskyi, and Raskolam.net.

    It should be recalled that the OCU hierarch, Metropolitan Mykhailo of Lutsk and Volyn stated that the ROCinU is in a schism and operating in Ukraine illegally after the OCU received a tomos of autocephaly. He also noted that the OCU stands on the positions of statehood, while the ROCinU – on those of the Russian empire.

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