Off the air: UOC priests' answers to questions from "patriotic" media
We offer to your attention a selection of video interviews given by Orthodox priests and monks to the "patriotic" media.
Today is the fourth day of the prayerful standing for the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. During this time, we have all seen a lot of provocations from the radicals, who tried their best to create the right image for the media. They were jumping, dancing, and calling the worshippers names, all in order to implement the methodology of Yevhen Karas, which appeared on the Network on the first day of the standing.
However, now that it has become clear that the radicals near the Lavra are failing in terms of provocations, the "patriotic" media, which work, apparently, according to the same methodology as Karas' supporters, have taken up the cause.
Journalists from various channels, who were given the task by the editors to show the "inadequates" from the UOC, began to ask questions with one purpose - to satisfy their superiors and show all Ukrainians the "aggression" and "intolerance" on the part of "Moscow's priests".
We have gathered for you a selection of video interviews given by Orthodox priests and monks to the "patriotic" media. These interviews are so out of place in the picture that "Ukrainian society" (in fact, those who are behind the persecution of the Church) needs, that they are unlikely to be broadcast or used as the basis for news stories.
This is the gap we fill. All the more so, the answers of Orthodox priests will be of interest not only to Christians but also to all those who try to understand the situation.
How should the law work in a state governed by the rule of law?
Hieromonk Raphael (Mosulov), a lecturer at the Kyiv Theological Academy, answered this question from a Channel 5 journalist. The girl asked Father Raphael if he was confused by the "tapes" on which the voice allegedly belonging to Metropolitan Pavel was recorded. Father Raphael explained to her that Ukraine is a state governed by the rule of law, which means that if there are any complaints to the citizens of this state, they must be solved exclusively in the legal field.
In addition, Father Raphael had to give the "Channel 5" journalist a short lecture on canon law. As a result, the representative of the Poroshenko channel could not answer the question of whether Dumenko was remembering the name of Patriarch Kirill.
Opponents of the UOC humiliate entire Christianity
Another representative of the "patriotic" channel "1+1" decided to ask the same question (about the "tapes" with the alleged voice of Metropolitan Pavel) to the hieromonk and student of the KDA Pavel (Vitriuk). Father Pavel explained to the journalist that, first of all, no expertise that would prove that the voice on the "tapes" belonged to Metropolitan Pavel had been conducted. Secondly, he reminded the representative of "1+1" that she was not talking to Metropolitan Pavel. When he brought up the fact that the abbot of the Lavra was accused of "inciting inter-religious hatred", Father Pavel asked the journalist why all those who attack UOC believers are not charged with the same. "Probably because they have evidence?" she replied. At the same time, the journalist did not specify what kind of "evidence" makes it possible to call the parishioners of the Lavra the last words. Nor could she answer the question of why her channel could not see the lawlessness going on near the Lavra.
"All these people who arranged satanic dances around the girl with the cross, they did not humiliate her, they humiliated entire Christianity," stressed Father Pavel.
This is how the words of the Lavra's liturgist, Archimandrite Polikarp (Linenko), can be described. He explained to Channel 5 journalists that the Kyiv Caves monastery and the land on which the monks built it have belonged to the Church since the 11th century. However, according to Father Polikarp, the Ukrainian authorities, in the tradition of the USSR, continue to consider the Lavra as state property and the holy relics as "museum exhibits". "Our state, unfortunately, still lives according to the precepts of Illich (Lenin – Ed.), it has declared that it is all "people's" – belongs to some "people". That 'people' who say that the reverends are 'exhibits'?" the archimandrite asked the journalists. Those, realising that "something had gone wrong", rushed to retreat, but Father Polikarp did not let them go:
"They (Ministry of Culture – Ed.) want to hold exhibitions here. Let them build something of their own and exhibit there whatever they want. What has always belonged to the monastery, no one has given it to us. This is our property, but they have not given it to us – they say it is state-owned," the Lavra's liturgist said in astonishment.
Breaking the pattern
The same “1+1” journalists decided to ask a question about the "tapes" with Metropolitan Pavel. They approached Archpriest Alexiy (Godun), who explained that he had not heard the tapes, but had just returned from near Bakhmut. The journalist was speechless for a moment and her cameraman coughed. To at least get out of the situation, she asked Father Alexiy the question "Who is the aggressor?" But here, too, she was completely disappointed, because the priest reminded her that the first religious leader in Ukraine to condemn Russia's aggression was the Primate of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.
He also explained that since the first day of the war, the UOC has been involved in extensive charitable activities, which do not stop for a minute. "A few days ago, we carried material aid from churches of Kyiv and the region in the amount of 500,000 hryvnias," Father Alexiy said.
The UOC is the Church of the Ukrainian people
An even more unexpected answer to their questions was received by journalists of Channel 5, to whom the military chaplain, priest Viacheslav Yakovenko, said that "the strength of the Ukrainian people is in its unity" and that "the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is the Church of the Ukrainian people". He stressed that anyone who is a collaborator, in the police, the SBU, the Church or the media, must answer under the law.
The media representative ended the conversation by saying "I understand everything".
We really hope that not only our readers have understood, but also those who are not yet on this side of the Lavra barrier.