UOC cleric detained for selling weapons is banned from priesthood
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has banned from priesthood a cleric of the Kherson Eparchy who was detained by SBU officers for selling weapons and ammunition.
On 26 September 2023, Metropolitan Ioann of Kherson and Tavria banned Hieromonk Viktor (Iniakin) of the UOC detained by SBU officers for trafficking in weapons and ammunition from the priesthood. The corresponding document was published on the website of the Kherson Eparchy.
In his decree, the bishop noted that the cleric grossly violated Church rules and committed actions incompatible with the title of priest.
"The Kherson Eparchy strongly condemns the actions of Hieromonk Victor (Iniakin), which are a sin before God and a crime before the state and discredit the Church, sow seduction in society and can be used for provocative purposes," says the UOC’s statement.
According to the SBU, the cleric kept arsenals of weapons and ammunition on the territory of the construction site of a new UOC church in Kherson and in the basement of a multi-storey building. The law enforcers detained the priest "on the hot", during the sale of two Igla SAMs.
The man has already been declared a suspect under Part 1, Article 263 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (illegal handling of weapons, ammunition or explosives). The sanction of the article provides for up to 7 years of imprisonment.
As reported, thanks to the UOC a former cleric was detained in Odesa for helping evaders.