Bishop and secretary of Rivne Eparchy sue MPs for slander

28 November 2022 10:29
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Archbishop Pimen and Archpriest Viktor. Photo: the press service of the Rivne Eparchy Archbishop Pimen and Archpriest Viktor. Photo: the press service of the Rivne Eparchy

Archbishop Pimen and Archpriest Viktor Zemlianyi have filed a lawsuit to protect their honour and dignity against the two deputies.

The head of the Rivne Eparchy, Archbishop Pimen, and its secretary, archpriest Viktor Zemlianyi, have filed a lawsuit to defend their honour and dignity against two people's deputies, reports by the press service of the Rivne Eparchy.

People's deputy Solomiya Bobrovska (party "Holos") and former deputy Andriy Lozovyi (Radical Party) on their personal Facebook pages spread messages in which they resort to blatant lies and slander against Bishop Pimen and the Secretary of the eparchy, Archpriest Viktor Zemlianyi.

"Andriy Lozovyi accuses me of working for the FSB and immediately talks about my friendly relations with the SBU. Aren't you amused? I want this gentleman to prove by facts in court all that he stated on his page. I want him to present to the court the evidence of my, as he writes, bragging about my friendship with the head of the SBU: where did I brag, when did I do it and under what circumstances? I am convinced in advance that there will be no evidence, but there will be responsibility for words and actions. Actually, a people's elected representative, even in the past, should take responsibility for everything that he gives out in public, the court will teach him to do so," commented Bishop Pimen.

Russian citizen Lozovyi calls archpriest Viktor Zemlianyi, the secretary of the Rivne Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the FSB agent, saboteur of a hostile country and, and calls on the SBU to take decisive action. The former MP also testifies that he is aware of a network of Russian agents in the Rivne region.

"I want to look this man in the eyes when he answers argumentatively before the court to all these fake reproaches. I also want to ask him some questions concerning his parliamentary activities. I am ready to pass a polygraph in court together with Andriy Lozovyi in order to prove to the whole Ukraine that I am not a collaborator, an FSB agent, as he writes, I do not serve Russia, my only service is to God, every Sunday in church. Lozovyi, on the other hand, deliberately incites enmity and hatred. Sitting in the rear, he writes dirty posts about the UOC every day and lies, opening a second front in the country. By filing a lawsuit, we want to get a fair reaction from society regarding the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its people, we want to stop manipulatively dragging the Church into dirty political games".

MP Solomiya Bobrovska also wrote convincingly about Father Viktor Zemlianyi's collaboration with Russian journalists, adding a screenshot of a video from seven years ago.

"By giving interviews in 2015-17 to various journalists, I was defending the Constitutional rights of the citizens of Ukraine, the faithful of the UOC. And in my opinion, it is them who violate these rights and discredit and humiliate the honour and dignity of believing Ukrainians who undermine the authority of Ukraine," Father Viktor notes.

Rivne Eparchy clerics say that they go to court to prove their loyalty to the country and the Church and to expose local officials for lying.

As earlier reported, pro-OCU MPs started an organized persecution of a UOC priest in social networks.

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