UOC hierarch comments on Goncharenko calling to seize Lavra from the Church

Metropolitan Varsonofy (Stoliar) of Vinnytsia and Bar. Photo: sobor.in.ua

Politicians should be concerned not so much with resolving their interests at the expense of the Church as with resolving their spiritual problems, Met. Varsonofy noted.

One mustn’t manipulate with the church discourse in order to be on the crest of a political wave. Metropolitan Varsonofy (Stoliar) of Vinnytsia and Bar said this in a commentary on the recent statements by Alexei Goncharenko, MP from "European Solidarity" party  about the need to immediately take away the Assumption Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

“Such rhetoric from state agents sounded so often under President Poroshenko that we were almost ‘used’ to them,” the UOC hierarch noted. “It seems to me that all these words cater for one function –to get the Ukrainian society agitated.”

According to the hierarch, “it seems to such politicians that to incite hostility towards the Church and believers is the best way to draw attention to their person.”

“Why is this done over and over? The answer is simple – both the Church Herself and Her children, for gospel and moral reasons, will not respond symmetrically to insults. We are people of peace, not war. On the other hand, we cannot but grieve over such statements that harm the souls of both ‘loud hailers’ and those who agree with them. They’d better not care so much about resolving their political conflicts at the expense of the Church, but rather about resolving their spiritual problems, which sooner or later will have to be solved anyway,” he added.

Metropolitan Varsonofy emphasized that one cannot manipulate with the church discourse in order to be on the crest of a political wave.

“History proves that none of those who attacked the Church could safely get to the shore of the sea of life,” the hierarch summed up.

As reported by the UOJ, on June 22, Alexei Goncharenko released a video demanding that the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra be immediately transferred to the OCU, because "this issue is long overdue" and also said that "returning the main shrine to Ukrainian hands is our first goal."

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