An absurd show is unfolding before our eyes in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. While Ukraine is at war with Russia, the UOC hierarchs of the Moscow Patriarchate are ready to do anything to maintain unity with the blood-thirsty Moscow Patriarchate.
On May 12, the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church addressed President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky with an appeal to “take the necessary measures against religious lawlessness.”
This was reported by the press service of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine.
The ROCinU expressed concern over “frequent cases of incitement to enmity and religious strife in Ukraine.” “Religious strife” in the ROCinU’s logic are legislative initiatives aimed at pushing the ROCinU to sever ties with the Russian Church and unite the Ukrainian people into one Local Orthodox Church.
All bills aimed at banning Moscow’s influence on Orthodoxy in Ukraine the ROCinU has decried as “anti-church.” In addition, the ROCinU is dissatisfied with the fact that “local governments in various regions pass illegitimate decisions to ban or restrict local religious communities” of the Moscow Patriarchate.
In addition, all transitions to the OCU, the ROCinU has referred to “seizures” – in the spirit of pro-Russian propaganda. It is worth noting that, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, more than 210 parishes of the ROCinU have shifted to the OCU. Of course, the Russian Church and its branch, the UOC-MP, which continues to value ties with the occupiers, may not enjoy these developments.
In order to finally tell in the current government off fighting against Moscow’s influence on Orthodoxy in Ukraine, the ROCinU decided to declare that “all these facts” (meaning the ban on the Moscow Patriarchate) “are the result of erroneous religious policies pursued during Petro Poroshenko’s presidency and the destructive ideology of the so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine. We are convinced that such activities of the previous government and the ‘OCU’ became one of the pretexts for the military invasion of Ukraine. ”
Thus, according to the ROCinU, it is not the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine that is the result of troubles and splits in Ukraine, not the imperial plans of the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin, but the Kremlin-independent Church – the OCU – and the former president. And this is despite the fact that the ROCinU has constantly stated that they are “beyond politics”, but, as we see, they can mention politicians when they need and when they feel their pants are on fire.
At the same time, not a word about Putin’s criminal orders, not a word about the atrocities committed by the Russians in Bucha, not a word about the ruscist capture of Kherson region and the torture of Mariupol residents or hundreds of other Russian crimes. And this is in the third month of the war! At the same time, they are vocal in complaining to Zelensky about the “crimes” of the former Ukrainian government. So much for the priorities of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine.
It should be noted that all the efforts of Ukrainians and the Ukrainian authorities to force the ROCinU to break with Moscow the ROCinU stubbornly call “religious strife,” although it seems there is nothing in common between the concept of religion and Putin’s Russia as Patriarch Cyril has blessed the Russian army to kill Ukrainians, while the UOC continues to hold on to this vampire and continues to be an instrument in the hands of the Kremlin invaders.
The Synod of the ROCinU addressed President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova with an appeal to intervene in this complex situation, stop religious enmity in Ukrainian society, and take necessary measures against what is said is the “illegitimate activity” against the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate.
So, instead of uniting into a single canonical and recognized church – the Orthodox Church of Ukraine – the ROCinU is complaining about “persecution.” The ROCinU just can’t understand that the persecution of the occupiers and everything affiliated with them began in Ukraine back in 2014. The pro-Russian OPZZh party is now banned, the influence of the Russian language is minimized as Ukrainian has been made the only state language. Streets and monuments are being “de-communized.” Ukraine has lost almost everything affiliated with Moscow, perhaps except the Moscow Patriarchate. Now is the time to get rid of the so-called “UOC” of the Moscow Patriarchate. Therefore, the sooner the ROCinU gets the idea, the better it will be for them. The ROCinU is required to do the simplest thing – break with the invaders and stop obeying them. Perhaps when they stop manipulating the facts and simply sever all ties and subordination to the Kremlin, then the “persecution” will end.
Author: Ivan Petrushchak, Master of Theology, Deacon with the Orthodox Church of Ukraine