UOC Сhancellor: Imbalance in chaplaincy needs to be corrected soon
We’re talking about the spiritual and mental state of people called up to the army, most of whom are believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Met. Anthony stressed.
The UOC Chancellor, Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) of Boryspil and Brovary called the situation with chaplaincy in the Ukrainian army, where only one priest of the UOC is still serving, a blatant imbalance that should be corrected in the near future. The hierarch said this in the programme of Yan Taksiur “The Right to Faith” on the “1Kozak” channel.
“We always declare: despite the fact that we are the largest faith in Ukraine, we do not demand any privileges for ourselves,” the metropolitan emphasized. “It is important for us that all the norms of the Constitution and legislative acts that were adopted correctly and objectively are always respected. This is a guarantee that the society will develop normally, without shocks, without confrontation, excesses, beatings, without dividing citizens into friends and foes.”
The UOC Chancellor noted that recently everything has happened in a completely different way - there was political expediency, which “dictated to our former leaders everything they wanted”, the basic principle of Church-state relations was violated. The consequences of this, he said, continue today, in particular in chaplaincy.
“So far, we have only one chaplain from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church serving, the whole field is given either to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church or the so-called OCU,” Metropolitan Anthony explained. “Despite the fact that most of the citizens who are called into the army are somehow members of the UOC. This blatant imbalance must be corrected in the near future. Because we are not only talking about the fact that we are defending some of our interests, we are talking about the spiritual and mental state of those people who are called up for military service. They are members of our Church, they’ve defended their temples recently, and now, when they are called into the army, the so-called pseudo clergymen come to them. People who need a stable internal state want a priest of the UOC, the Church to which they belong, to come to them.
The UOC Chancellor expressed the hope that this situation will be corrected, because “we are talking about a whole chain of violations – you cannot choose from the basic law any postulates that we like and we fulfill today, and those we do not like and for the sake of political expediency or some other ideas we will violate them.”
As reported, previously the deputy chairman of the UOC Synodal Department for Cooperation with the Armed Forces and other military units of Ukraine, Archimandrite Luke (Vinarchuk) said that the Ukrainian army continues to discriminate against the rights of UOC believers.