Monday, March 20, 2023

    ROC lacks priests in war zone, asking for privileges for its clerics

    There are not enough military priests from the Russian Orthodox Church in the zone of “special military operation” in Ukraine.

    This was stated by the Deputy Head of the Synodal Department for Public and Media Relations of the ROC Vakhtang Kipshidze. In his opinion, the adoption of the amendments developed by the Russian Orthodox Church regarding the status of the Russian “military clergy” would allow the situation to be fixed, Russian media report.

    According to Kipshidze, this concerns, first of all, the deployment of priests in the war zone. He also pointed out the need for clergymen to spiritually feed “SMO participants”.

    As the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church clarified, it is impossible to give exact figures for the number of priests in the SMO zone. “Many clergymen come and go, others are in the process of being deployed, some are in units of the irregular army, such as Cossack units, where it is also difficult to obtain statistical information,” Kipshidze said.

    At the same time, he expressed the opinion that “now there are not enough military priests.” In order to correct the current situation, according to him, “it is necessary to regulate their activity, social guarantees, the rules of deployment — the whole complex of issues related to this.”

    Earlier, the head of the legal department of the Russian Orthodox Church, Abbess Ksenia (Chernega), said the amendments were being drafted, according to which military priests would become subordinate to the top clergy, and now they would receive social benefits and compensation similar to those belonging to the Russian military.