With the approach of the Unification Council scheduled for Dec 15, the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) clerics continue their attempts to prevent the creation of a new local Ukrainian Orthodox Church, independent from Russia.
Yesterday, the SBU said they had revealed plans of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), to set up bloody provocations against the background of the historical event.
Provocations were to be orchestrated by a cleric from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Metropolitan Pavel.
For its part, the ROC led by Patriarch Kirill (aka Gundyaev) is trying, now at the international level, to prevent Ukraine from getting a tomos on autocephaly.
According to the ROC press service, Kirill sent letters to the United Nations, the Pope, as well as leaders of France and Germany, claiming “violation of rights of believers in Ukraine and pressure the official Kyiv exerts on the church.”
“Recently, the intervention of the leaders of the secular Ukrainian state in church affairs has acquired the features of gross pressure on the bishops and clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC-MP), which suggests the start of full-scale persecution,” the statement reads.
Gundyaev claims the “persecution” began after representatives of the UOC-MP had refused to participate in the unification council.
He also complained the bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine were allegedly oppressed in their rights, while Kyiv sought to “deprive the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC-MP) of the legal rights to use the Kyiv-Pechersk and Pochaiv lavras.”
It is noteworthy that, while accusing Ukrainian authorities of “interfering” in the affairs of the UOC-MP, the church that has recently been mentioned in various reports without the last two letters of the abbreviation [thus claiming the status of the only valid Ukrainian Orthodox Church], Kirill, himself, intervenes in the church affairs of the neighboring country.
After all, this contradicts the claim of “independence” of UOC-MP from Moscow, which the ROC has been actively spinning in the information space.
While calling on the international community “to make every effort to protect the bishops, clergy and believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from discrimination and pressure on part of the Ukrainian authorities, to defend the freedom of conscience and religion enshrined in international law,” Patriacrh Kirill remains modestly silent about the Moscow control over the UOC-MP, and secondly, about those active, provocative attempts by the ROC to prevent the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from obtaining autocephaly.