Sunday, October 1, 2023

    New manipulation by UOC (MP): We are being persecuted for believing in God, not for cooperation with occupiers

    While the SBU exposes new occupiers in cassocks every week, representatives of the clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (MP) convince their faithful that their Church is being “persecuted for believing in God.” This is how the archbishop of the UOC (MP) Sylvester (Stoychev) told his believers that “our Church is the Church of martyrs because it is faithful to the commandments of our Savior Jesus Christ.”

    Then the hierarch convinces the audience that they are not doing anything wrong, but are allegedly just trying to “love their neighbor” and that is why others allegedly hate them so much. The video was published on the social media of the UOC (MP).

    “And we all know the commandments of God – they are love for God and love for our neighbor. What is wrong with these commandments? Nothing. But the world does not love God and neither does it love its neighbor. And Christians have always been persecuted because they reminded the world with their lives that the world doesn’t live the way it should,” says Stoychev.

    Of course, Stoychev carefully tries not to mention the fact that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (MP) is hated for its ties to the Moscow Patriarchate. The archbishop also “did not hear” that the UOC (MP) ignores the crimes of its own clergy against Ukraine and punishes those priests who joined the autocephalous Church. Otherwise, his sermon would have been completely different. They would have to admit that “we are being persecuted not for Christ, but for love of the occupiers.”

    With all that, Stoychev makes the following conclusions: “At the root of hatred of Christians lies hatred of God and of those who want to live by God’s rules. The Church was, is, and will be persecuted.”

    Probably, for the UOC (MP) hierarchy, love for God is the same as love for the Moscow Patriarchate? Only in this way will Stoychev’s manipulations acquire at least some “logic”, if you can call it that. Especially since he recently spoke about the harmfulness of a break with Moscow and the benefits of staying in unity with the Russian Church, which blesses the killing of Ukrainians.

    “The Council (held in Feofania) did not follow the path of self-proclaimed autocephaly. Such a step would not solve the problems of the UOC, but would only complicate its situation. It is quite obvious that such autocephaly was not recognized by any of the Local Orthodox Churches. Moreover, other local churches could even sever communication with the UOC, which would mean the canonical isolation of our church,” Stoychev wrote in his article.

    So, Archbishop Sylvester (Stoychev) tries to portray this criticism of the UOC (MP) as alleged enmity toward “those who want to live according to God.” But this is not true – as most people criticize not religious views, but the political position of the UOC (MP), its propaganda of the “Russian world,” and the fight against the autocephaly of the OCU and against unity of the Ukrainian people in the Local Church.

    Such rhetoric offers nothing new as the head of the UOC (MP), Onufriy, also stated that someone is “inciting” a war against the UOC (MP). At the same time, he did not mention the bishopric of the UOC (MP), which blessed the invaders and fled to the territory of the aggressor state.

    It should be recalled that the Archbishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (MP) Victor (Kotsaba) praised the Feofania Council, which did not declare independence from the Russian Orthodox Church.

    Earlier, the SBU exposed the abbess of the UOC (MP) church in Cherkasy region over the scheming with paperwork on land plots. The SBU is also investigating the subversive activities of a staffer of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and pressed charges against an e UOC (MP) Metropolitan in Bukovyna.