Top bishop asks forgiveness for the attack on a Kyiv Patriarchate church in Crimea
In a move which may indicate the growing divide between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church, one of the UOC MP’s leading clergy, Metropolitan of Pereslavsk-Khmelnytsky, Oleksandr [Drabynko] has condemned the attack by armed Russian Cossacks [and so-called ‘self-defence’ paramilitary] on June 1 in Perevalne, outside Simferopol.
, he writes that “the actions of those who burst into the church of the UOC KP and carried out an act of vandalism violate not only the laws of Ukraine on the territory of which this shocking incident took place, but also God’s eternal commandments. Therefore all those who took part in this shameful action are criminal both from the point of view of secular law, and from the point of view of Christian ethics and Church law”.
He “sincerely asks forgiveness for the crime committed by people who consider themselves to be representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate and ask them to show wisdom and refrain from mutual acts of violence with regard to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church”.
The attack by armed men on June 1 was one of the most shocking acts of violence but not, unfortunately, the first form of pressure against the Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate in the Crimea. See: Crimean Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate and its believers attacked for more details.