Wednesday, April 17, 2024

    Why is Bob Amsterdam silent about annexed dioceses and prisoners held in UOC (MP) church in Borodianka?

    Recently, UOC (MP) lawyer Robert Amsterdam completed a visit to Ukraine during which he allegedly documented cases of persecution and false statements. Amsterdam also met with Metropolitan Feodosii (Snigiriov), who is suspected of collaborationism, the UOC (MP) reports.

    However, his research raised many questions. Why did Amsterdam fail to mention the slain OCU priest in Kherson region, who was tortured by the invaders, or the occupation of dioceses by the Moscow Patriarchate?

    Russian invaders tortured 59-year-old Stepan Podolchak, abbot of the OCU church in Kalanchak, to death. This is a terrible tragedy that testifies to the brutality of the occupiers and their disdain for religion, but it seems that the lawyer for the UOC (MP) does not care about these terrible crimes.

    Why did Amsterdam not meet with the priest of the UOC (MP) from Borodianka, in whose church the prisoners were held?

    There were even reports that in Borodianka, a priest from the UOC MP instructed invaders which residents should be detained and which should be released.

    Well, let’s leave the topic of murders and war aside. But what about the capture of entire dioceses of the UOC (MP) by the Moscow Patriarchate in the temporarily occupied territories, wherever the invaders stretched their grip? Is Robert Amsterdam going to say anything about the Crimean dioceses of the UOC (MP), those in Luhansk region and Donetsk region, which were forcibly taken from the UOC (MP) during the Russian invasion?

    Here are some facts that testify to the violation of religious freedom and non-canonical crimes of the Russian Orthodox Church:

    The Russian Orthodox Church annexed the Rovenky, Berdyansk, Donetsk, Horlivka, and Luhansk dioceses of the UOC (MP).

    In the occupied part of Kherson region, the Russian Orthodox Church established the Skadovsky Diocese

    In the occupied territories, the Russian Orthodox Church puts pressure on the priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (MP), forcing them to come under its jurisdiction.

    The UOC (MP) lost control over a significant part of its dioceses in the temporarily occupied territories.

    Isn’t that about religious freedom in Bob Amsterdam’s vision? Doesn’t he think that the actions of the Russian Orthodox Church in the occupied territories constitute a violation of religious freedom? Is he going to investigate and evaluate this at all?

    Disappointing conclusions come to mind. If Amsterdam is silent about all these cases of occupation of dioceses, then the UOC (MP) agrees with these developments and recognizes as normal the abduction of entire dioceses with thousands of parishes.

    In addition, ignoring these and other facts shows that the Amsterdam’s study is far from objective, but tendentious and aimed to fight the OCU and the law, which should limit the influence of the Moscow Patriarchate on Ukraine.

    A lobbyist from the USA saw bruises on Metropolitan Longin, but failed to see murders of priests, cooperation with the enemy on the part of UOC (MP) clerics, and the seizure of entire dioceses.