Ukrainian Orthodox Believers' Plight Worries Moscow Patriarchate
- 2005.04.25 RIAN:
UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX BELIEVERS' PLIGHT WORRIES MOSCOW PATRIARCHATE
25/04/2005 17:59 MOSCOW, April 25 (RIA Novosti) - The Moscow Patriarchate
is not at all sure Ukrainian secular authorities will put an end to
violence against Orthodox believers-in particular, attempts to seize
churches of the canonical Orthodox community in the country's south and
east. The warning came from Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, second in charge
of the Moscow Patriarchate Department of External Church Relations, as he
addressed a Novosti news conference.
The outrages must urgently stop before they trigger off bad social
clashes, said Father Vsevolod.
"Whenever politicians are out to redistribute the sphere of religion,
they give start to clashes that persist for centuries," he stressed to go
on with a retrospect.
Greek Catholics are now blatantly pressuring Orthodox Christians. The
former denomination emerged late in the 16th century, when Polish secular
rulers attempted to bring local Christians by force under the Vatican
aegis, while retaining the Eastern Rite. "The issue of Orthodox Christians
and Greek Catholics, or Uniates, remains to this day the direst factor of
Ukrainian disunity, and the worst stumbling block in our contacts with the
Roman Catholic Church," he added.
"Ukraine's secular rulers-in particular, President Victor Yuschenko-have
pledged the state will never intervene in internal religious affairs. It is
evident now, however, that local nationalists-some of them at the
helm-enjoy schismatic public support to seize houses of prayer that belong
to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church," pointed out Father Vsevolod.
The drama of the early 1990s is being re-enacted in Ukraine, with
coercive attempts to redistribute its ecclesiastical territory. "The same
is on now in Ukraine's south and west," he emphatically remarked.
© 2005 "RIAN Novosti"