A case of meddling in Church affairs opened against Montenegro diplomats
The criminal proceedings were opened upon provocative statements by the Ukrainian diplomatic service after the visit of His Beatitude Onuphry to Montenegro.
The Goloseyevo Police Department of the General Directorate of the National Police in Kiev is conducting a pre-trial investigation into the commission of a criminal offense by representatives of the Ukrainian Embassy, provided for by Art. 161 of the Criminal Code "Violation of the equal rights of citizens based on their race, nationality or attitude to religion". This is evidenced by the documents received by the editorial board of the Union of Orthodox Journalists.
The criminal proceedings were opened upon the statement of the MP of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Derkach of March 3, 2020.
The document states that publications on official diplomatic resources, made during the visit of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine to Montenegro in February 2020, are presented in an inappropriate tone and constitute interference in the affairs of the Church. The diplomats’ rhetoric, in which the Primate of the UOC was referred to as "the metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church, not authorized to express the opinion of the Orthodox," is nothing more than inciting religious hatred.
“The Embassy of Ukraine in Montenegro as a state body intervened in the church affairs and committed deliberate actions aimed at inciting religious hatred and animosity, humiliating national honor and dignity or insulting the feelings of citizens in connection with their religious beliefs. There are all the signs of a criminal offense under Article 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine in the actions of officials of the Ukrainian Embassy in Montenegro,” the Parliamentarian emphasized in his statement.
As it became known to the UOJ, on March 17, the facts of criminal offenses set forth in the deputy’s statement and provided for in part 2 of article 161 (Violation of the equal rights of citizens based on their race, nationality, religious beliefs, disability, and other grounds) are included in the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations.
The “summary of circumstances that may indicate the commission of a criminal offense” in the document says: “Officials of the Ukrainian Embassy in Montenegro committed deliberate actions aimed at inciting hatred and animosity, insulting the feelings of citizens in connection with their religious beliefs.”
Recall that earlier the Department for External Church Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church issued an official statement in connection with the provocative commentary by the Embassy of Ukraine in Montenegro in the wake of the visit of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine to this country, which stated that diplomats had exceeded their official authority, which violated the Criminal Code Ukraine, and therefore the UOC called on to bring those responsible to justice. A number of deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine demanded that the scandalous statement of the Embassy be withdrawn.