Saturday, May 18, 2024

    OCU chaplain: No chaplains from Moscow Patriarchate at front lines

    There are no representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate among chaplains. There is a law that prohibits them from joining the army.

    This was reported by the archpriest with the OCU, Chaplaincy Service Major Kostiantyn Kholodov, who spoke with Ukrinform: Evening Stream on the topic entitled “War and faith: chaplains at war.”

    “There are no military chaplains from the Moscow Patriarchate and there cannot be, because the law forbids it. The law adopted in 2018 – amendments to the Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations – basic legislation by which we are guided in our lives, prohibits representatives of faiths whose HQ is located in a country that has carried out aggression against Ukraine and annexed its territories, prohibits representatives of this confession access to military facilities, to provide any kind of pastoral care,” Kholodov said.

    He clarified that it is not about the law on military chaplaincy, but rather about the Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations.

    As a reminder, on December 20, 2018, the Verkhovna Rada amended Article 12 of the Law of Ukraine on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations regarding the name of religious organizations (associations) that are part of the structure of (are part of) a religious organization (association), the headquarters (top management) of which is located outside of Ukraine in a state recognized by law as having carried out military aggression against Ukraine and/or temporarily occupied part of the territory of Ukraine.

    On November 31, 2021, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the Law on Military Chaplaincy Service.