UOC hierarch: Ill-wishers can use quarantine against the Church
The UOC is the liturgical Church, and its opponents may try to use it against it under coronavirus quarantine, Abp. Theodosy warns.
Opponents of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church can use the situation that arose in Ukraine because of the coronavirus spread against it, Archbishop Theodosy (Snigirev) of Boyarka, the vicar of the Kyiv Metropolis, warned the flock in an exclusive interview with the UOJ.
“We have a liturgical Church, the most populous in the number of practicing believers. For us, closing all churches even on one Sunday is a disaster. And even more so – for the Great Lent. This is what makes the UOC different from the others. And our opponents also know about this. And they may want to play on it, do harm,” he said in an interview with a UOJ correspondent.
Vladyka Theodosy emphasized that the archpastors and pastors of the UOC in the coming month should show "serpentine wisdom and pigeon simplicity".
According to the bishop, possible provocations on the part of ill-wishers will not go unnoticed.
“But still I want to hope that our opponents have enough intelligence and conscience not to fall to such a level, using the common misfortune of our people,” added Archbishop Theodosy.
He said that in the event of undeserved attacks on a particular clergyman, the Church will resort to legal and information protection at the local, state, and, if necessary, international level.
“Any such accusation will be made public as much as possible, will be under the scrutiny of independent journalists and the international community,” Vladyka Theodosy noted.
According to him, if some cleric is accused of negligence or violation of sanitary order, the Church will support a fair investigation so that no one dares to take advantage of the people’s sorrow and unfairly lynch the priest.
“God forbid that such a pastor should really be guilty,” the bishop added.
He also explained that, under quarantine, the rector of the church would decide on the form of the service.