Serbian bishop: Ukrainian authorities support a non-existent "church"
The Serbian hierarch said that the Ukrainian authorities found the UOC an enemy of the state.
The hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Bishop Irinej of Bačka, in an interview with the YouTube channel Relativizacija, said that the Ukrainian authorities support the non-existent "church", at the same time trying to turn it into a state inquisitorial structure.
"The Ukrainian authorities support a schismatic, totally illegal and non-existent "church", imposing it on the population of the country and trying to turn it, as I said recently, into a state church and a kind of inquisitorial structure, which carries out trials, arrests and generally behaves in a way that is totally unfit for the Church. The Church cannot resort to any kind of violence, cannot take churches and monasteries by force, cannot insult people or arrest clergy," said the Serbian hierarch.
According to him, the authorities in Ukraine found the UOC an enemy of the state, Bishop Irinej of Bačka added that it was unacceptable to involve the Church in a military conflict between countries.
"Until now it has never occurred to anyone to try to divide the Church or to make decisions about its fate, its organisation and structure on the basis that its confession is held by the majority of the population of each of the countries that are parties to the armed conflict. This is what is actually happening now, unfortunately, in Ukraine, where the authorities have considered themselves entitled to declare the Church in addition to Russia as their enemy, or rather the UOC, which has an autonomous status and is almost completely independent of the Moscow Patriarchate, with which, at the same time, it is in a normal state of communion and unity, as with all other churches, including our Serbian Orthodox Church," he noted.
As earlier reported, the Serbian bishop called on Croatian authorities to protect the UOC.