Ukrainian Orthodox priest of Moscow Patriarchate addresses Orthodox ‘brothers’ in Russia

2014/04/17 - 21:48 • Analysis & Opinion

Hello. My name is Ihor Hryhola. I am a priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate. I would like to address those citizens of the so-called “Russian World” who are eager to save Ukraine from Banderites and other “bad guys.”

Friends, Orthodox Christians, brothers and sisters! All of you who made the decision to “save” Ukraine, please, go to hell! What you are doing is horrible, it is dreadful. The degree of your downfall is terrifying. Do you understand? What the government of the Russian Federation is doing, and what, obviously, is being approved by the Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church – that’s a military aggression and the imperial ambitions, which, unfortunately, an overwhelming majority of the Russian people supports.

Friends, what happened to you? Where was the Church all these years? What kind of people your Church raised? I am stunned, my friends. I am stunned. The thing is, no one in Ukraine needs your “salvation.” As many others said it thousands of times: we can sort things out without you. There are less “Fascists” in all Ukraine than in Moscow alone.

When you are watching your TV news, please understand that it must be received critically, dissociating the visual images from the newsmen’s comments. Please do that when you watch Russian news programs, or any news programs for that matter. Because what you see is something that you can, and should, check out and verify. But what they say… it is very different. They make you to believe them uncritically. They tell lies. Russian TV news is a frightful thing. Friends, don’t even turn them on. Well, I know, you will not listen to me. And it is up to you.

Still, I want to repeat, again and again: please, do not try to “save” Ukraine from whatever. Better try to save your own country. Just look at yourself. And please, understand: Sodom and Gomorrah are not in the West, not in America. Sodom and Gomorrah are a state, in which the population of Russia remains. This population is being decimated by alcoholism, and by some complete loss of the sense of purpose. And where is your Church? Where is your Church? Your nation is dying off…

Look, we have our problems, and it is up to us to solve them. You have your own problems – but you are not willing to solve them; instead, you want to solve Ukraine’s “problems.” Friends, come back to your senses. Please, come back to your senses. You know what is really horrible? Look, don’t you see that many of those who call themselves Orthodox Christians, even those who are ordained priests or hierarchs, are, in my opinion – and in the in the opinion of many others, – adulterers. Why am I saying this? I will explain. You should know that the Crimea peninsula was a part of Ukraine, according to the existing laws, which are to a certain extent the mirror of Divine Law.

Crimea and Ukraine were one. But then… “Brothers” came and abducted it, like someone abducts his brother’s wife and makes it his own wife. To me, this is the sin of Herod, who took his brother’s wife. Dear friends, you are not Orthodox Christians if you justify what happened – and what continues to happen, as the Russian commandos are trying to capture other parts of Ukraine and tear them off Ukraine. If you justify this, you are not Orthodox Christians, you are adulterers. You are adulterers, liars, thieves, and murderers, – because you take something that belongs to your brothers, and, while at that, put the lives of many innocent people in harm’s way. Friends, and adversaries! I am asking you all to return to your senses.

I am also addressing my fellow Ukrainians, Orthodox Christians who are under the jurisdiction of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate: if you support the Russian aggression, if you are in favor of separation of any parts of Ukraine from the Unitarian Ukrainian state, then you are breaking the laws of your state, let alone committing crime in your hearts.

And you, my brothers the clergy: if you call the Russian invaders “saviors,” – I despise you. I believe that you should be defrocked and indicted according to the laws of Ukraine. At this time, one must be either blind, or stupid to not understand that a real war is raging on the territory of Ukraine.

And I condemn, and accuse those who are guilty in it: the Russian government, and the Russian Orthodox Church, which did not side with the people of Ukraine. Your rhetorical excuses do not sound convincing to me. I despise and condemn you for everything you have done, and what you have been doing for years. You have been humiliating the people of Russia, and now you started the war against Ukraine. In other words, this war became possible because of your approval, or your compliance.

I also condemn all Ukrainians who support the Russian aggression. People, you are not Christians. You are stupid. Or, if you are not stupid, then you are conscious murderers, adulterers, and thieves, and you have nothing to do with the Church. Forgive me if I insulted someone. My all best wishes to all of you. Friends, if you really care about Ukraine – please pray. Pray for Ukraine’s unity, and pray for the coming of tranquil, serene times. And please know that in Ukraine, there are no “Banderite killers.” We do have some marginal extremists, but even the current government in Kyiv can easily subdue them. Remove your soldiers, or, otherwise, it will be bad, bad for Russians as well as for Ukrainians. Thank you.

Translated by George Pinchuk

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