UOC hierarch: Can we call lawlessness and violence a path to Christ?

Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) of Borispol and Brovary. Photo: antoniy.com.ua

Fidelity to Christ and His Commandments, love for others is a main criterion for serving Truth, said His Eminence and added how to withstand hard times of persecution.

The UOC Chancellor, Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) of Borispol and Brovary, commented on what is happening in the religious life of Ukraine and explained how believers should behave in this situation.

“People, who associate themselves with Christ, expel other Christians from their churches (and sometimes from their homes), beat and insult them for their loyalty to Christ and His Church,” portal “Pravlife” cited the Metropolitan’s words.

Vladyka Anthony drew attention to the absurdity of the claims of the persecutors of the canonical Church.

“Can we call lawlessness and violence a path to Christ? But this is exactly how our former brothers in Christ who are off the right track and who are trying to convince us that their outright violent actions against their unconditional brothers (they do not doubt our canonicity) are manifestations of brotherly love,” he noted.

In fact, the actions of the persecutors are filled with hatred, deceit and the desire at any cost (even at the cost of the life of believers) to achieve "the implementation of specific earthly plans of a certain group of people," Metropolitan Anthony added.

“Christ said: ‘He who is not against you is for you’ about those who do not act along with the devil. Whoever is not against God is for God, but whoever sides with the devil no longer serves the One God,” the UOC hierarch explained. “Fidelity to Christ and His commandments, love for one's neighbors is the main criterion for serving the Truth, everything else being from the evil one and therefore against the Truth.”

He urged believers, in spite of all the tragic developments, to keep the spirit peaceful and to thank the Lord for the fact that He has revealed the ulcers and diseases of everyone.

“Despite the tragedy of the current situation due to the split, we must keep the spirit peaceful and thank God for all the revealed ulcers and illnesses both in our souls and in the Church Body. We will pray to the Almighty for strength, patience and love in knowing His truth and not to forget that the last word is always with God,” concluded Vladyka Anthony.

Recall that in 2018 the head of the OCU Epiphany Dumenko said that once the Tomos had been granted his church structure would begin to treat the “Moscow Patriarchate” with love and then believers would have no choice but to join the OCU. “When the Tomos comes, this will bear testimony that we are de facto an autocephalous independent Church. Then we will begin to work, communicate, invite, show our love and mutual respect. On this basis, I think, gradually they will understand that there is no other way out than to be in this united Ukrainian Church (OCU – Ed.) and build our future together,” he said then.

However, after this statement and the arrival of the Tomos, activists of the OCU launched a wave of illegal seizures of the UOC temples and the forced re-registration of religious communities, which continues to this day. For example, on October 26, 2019, activists of the OCU together with the ex-head of Zdolbunov RSA seized the temple in Buderazh village, while in Luka-Meleshkovskaya village, the supporters of the new church structure organized as many as 3 provocations in a short period of time. During one of such provocations, the clergyman of the UOC suffering from diabetes was blocked in the premises of the village council and forced to give his consent to give them (OCU – Ed.) the Sunday school premises.

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