Lawyer: RCC is complicit in violations of Orthodox rights in Ukraine
Oleg Denisov believes that the Vatican can influence the UGCC, whose clerics participate in church raiding and use hate speech against UOC believers.
The Catholic Church is complicit in violations of the rights of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's believers because, being able to influence specific conflicts involving clerics of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, it does not do so. This view was expressed by Oleg Denisov, head of the NGO "Public Advocacy", in an interview published on the website of the human rights organization.
The human rights defender noted that the UGCC – "a division of the Catholic Church in Ukraine" – is one of the strongest opponents of the UOC, "in particular, the UGCC clerics often lead the seizures of UOC temples and widely use radical nationalist slogans and hate speech against UOC believers”.
For example, this is the case in Zolochiv, Lviv region, where UGCC clerics catalyzed an attack on the home property of a UOC priest who "dared" to use his own land plot to conduct religious services there. As a result, the mayor of Zolochiv, with a sledgehammer in his hands, held a "people's veche" in front of the cleric's house and adopted an appeal to the President of Ukraine demanding that the Moscow Patriarchate be banned in Ukraine," Oleg Denisov reminded. “These actions were actively supported by the clerics of the UGCC. Also, the clerics of the UGCC seized the church of the UOC in the town of Kolomyia, Ivano-Frankivsk region, and participated in many other conflicts. Many examples of their open hostile rhetoric towards the parishioners of the UOC are widely known only because this Church is canonically associated with the ROC.”
He added that in the case of the seizure of the temple of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Kolomyia, the NGO "Public Advocacy" directly addressed the representatives of the Vatican during the OSCE meeting “but they left this appeal unattended".
"Therefore, yes, we can say that the Catholic Church, being able to influence specific conflicts in Ukraine, does not do this and is thus complicit in human rights violations against Orthodox Christians in Ukraine," said the head of the NGO "Public Advocacy”.
As reported, during the 45th regular session of the UNHRC, which is held in Geneva from September 14 to October 7, 2020, representatives of the NGO "Public Advocacy" reported the violations of UOC believers’ rights.