Arestovych: Breaking the UOC over the knee is wrong

24 November 2022 10:14
Advisor to the OP head Oleksiy Arestovych. Photo: Evhen Kotenko Advisor to the OP head Oleksiy Arestovych. Photo: Evhen Kotenko

The adviser to the OP head said the UOC has no prospects, but it’ll be hard to ban it, as it has millions of believers and thousands of parishes across the country.

Oleksiy Arestovych, adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, on the air of the FeyginLIVE YouTube channel said that the UOC should be treated according to the “do no harm” principle.

“On the one hand, we must be protected; on the other hand, hurting the feelings of believers now is not the best solution. Therefore, we will act carefully, as a strong democratic country. In Ukraine, they don’t punish for views, they punish only for actions, which must be proven,” Arestovych said.

He also added that it would be difficult to simply ban the UOC.

“The fact that the UOC has no prospects is obvious. It will not disappear right tomorrow – that's for sure, because the UOC is millions of believers, thousands of parishes and huge influence," said the adviser to the head of the OP.

“I don’t think that the UOC should be broken on the knee, especially since there are absolutely crystal-clear people among the priests. Let me remind you that Metropolitan Onuphry condemned the invasion on the very first day, at seven o’clock in the morning, when it was not at all clear whether he would be asked very severely for this condemnation in a few hours,” the politician recalled.

Arestovych added that in his opinion, there are undoubtedly direct agents in the UOC, and the task of the SBU is to figure it out.

“But I would not indiscriminately qualify people as traitors just because they have a family tradition to go to this Church. Moreover, many parishioners of the UOC are now fighting with weapons in their hands. Therefore, despite the war, despite the deep hatred that has accumulated over the centuries, there is no need to rush. It is necessary to carefully ‘give all the sisters an earring’: if there is en evidence that certain people are traitors, work for Russia, they must be punished according to the law. Whoever is an honest person should gradually understand that Ukraine needs an independent Church, without the prefix ‘Moscow’,” the adviser to the head of the Presidential Office of Ukraine summed up.

Earlier, the UOJ reported that Arestovych called the decisions of the Feofaniya Council on the independence and autonomy of the UOC "metahistorical events."

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