In fighting Russia, Ukraine must not become like it, Ukrainian churchman says

Archbishop Eustratius (Zorya) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate. Image: gordonua.com

Archbishop Eustratius (Zorya) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate. Image: gordonua.com 

Analysis & Opinion, Culture, Russia, Ukraine

One of the gravest dangers — and potentially most serious defeats –any country combating an authoritarian aggressor is that in the name of defending itself against aggression, it will take steps that will make it resemble in some ways those against whom it is being forced to defend itself.

The Western allies faced such risks in combating fascism during World War II. The democracies of the world were confronted by other such dangers when opposing the communist dictatorships during the Cold War. And now Ukraine is facing a similar kind of threat in the course of its struggle against an aggressive and authoritarian Russia.

One area where this risk is greatest is in the area of religious affairs. There, many Ukrainians believe, entirely reasonably, that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is the Kremlin’s handmaiden in its aggression against Ukraine and thus should be banned.

But Archbishop Eustratius (Zorya), the secretary of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, warns that such a step would be a mistake as a matter of principle and of practice as well.

“I am absolutely convinced,” he says, “that the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine should not be prohibited. When fighting with a dragon, we must not become one, and when struggling with Russia, we must not become like Russia. This is complicated because it is always more difficult to do good than to do evil. But good is constructive while evil is only destructive.”

Ukraine must deal with religious organizations using the laws it already has and pursue those who work against Ukraine “under the cover” of a religious organization,” the churchman says. And Ukraine must expose those who are doing so, a relatively small number but ones who are seeking “to subordinate the entire structure of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine.”

At the same time, Eustratius says, “it is very important that this church receives its correct name, that it be called the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine and not cover itself with the name of a Ukrainian church. Were Ukraine to proceed along the path of prohibiting an entire church, this would be a big gift to the Kremlin.”

That mistaken action, the Ukrainian patriarchate official says, would allow the Kremlin “to set off a genuinely religious civil war,” to “set our democratic allies in Europe and America against us,” and thereby to “help the aggressor win. We must be wise and not allow such things to happen.”


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Edited by: A. N.

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  • WorldCommenter

    Do not ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, just point out to the people of Ukraine and the world the positions that the Moscow Patriarchate has take with respect to the invasion, occupation and annexation of Crimea, plus the invasion and occupation of eastern Ukraine by Russia. You can also point out how they believe that Ukrainian language, culture and traditions are of less importance than Russian language, culture and traditions. Also you can inform the people that the Great Orthodox Council is still considering if the Moscow Patriarchate is canonical under Orthodox regulations, because it illegally and without approval moved the Kyiv Patriarchate to Novgorod and Moscow, when the Muscovites joined the Mongols in sacking Kyiv. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate retreated west to stay out of Mongol control and then re-established it self first in Halach and then in Kyiv.

    • Andrew Chmile

      JUST BAN THEM!!!

      FAST, QUICK — HONEST & SIMPLE!!!

      • WorldCommenter

        And it inflames cultural and heritage issues between Ukrainians and Russians, providing an “excuse” for Putin to send even more “volunteers” in defense of the “poor” Russians living in Ukraine. NO! Take the ‘high road” and educate the Ukrainian Orthodox believers in the significant differences between the Moscow and Kyiv Patriarchates. Then the Moscow Patriarchate will “wither” in Ukraine on its own.

        • Andrew Chmile

          Russians are “inflamed” ANYWAY!!! :)

          Nor do they at all need an excuse!!!

          DO THEY?

          Why allow the ***RUSSIFICATION*** and ***TREASON** & EVIL to continue to do more **DAMAGE**?!

          That serves ABSOLUTELY NO JUSTIFIABLE PURPOSE!

          Why not **RUSSIFY** Ukraine so Russo-mongolians won’t get mad? :)))

          … and scream about:
          “GENOCIDE OF RUSSIAN SPEAKERS!!!!
          A-A-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-E-E-E-E-eeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!”

          WTF are they gonna do?

          Invade Ukraine?
          They are ALREDY doing that — you STUPID RUSKI POS!

          Fück you RUSKI MOLE!!!

        • Andrew Chmile

          Also ….

          Ya’ know …. it seems to me, from WTF I hear & C on youTube ….
          that Ruski language is THE language of & for homosexuality in
          Ukraine…. just as it was (& still is) for communism, so it is
          for homosexuality in Ukraine.

          But it makes sense when I think about it ….

  • Terry Washington

    Well said- he who fights monsters had best make certain that he/she does not become a monster in his/her own right!

    • Andrew Chmile

      WRONG!

      DESTALINIZATION USED “STALINIST” METHODS….

      • Terry Washington

        HOW SO???

        • Andrew Chmile

          Read after “The Secret Speech” — by Khrushchev.

          One at times, DOES “fight fire with fire.”

          Some good executions in Ukraine are in order really …. Excellent for TREASON & such…

          • Terry Washington

            And HOW do you who is a “traitor” in Ukraine???!!!

          • Andrew Chmile

            They are usually homosexual.

  • Murf

    When you are standing the precipice staring into the abyss and the abyss is staring back at you, you find what kind of person you truly are.
    Some men find themselves.
    Some men find God.
    Some men no longer see the difference.
    The most important thing is not to let the in.
    To become that which you abhor.
    Because it is not enough to win or survive.
    You have to deserve it.

  • Ihor Dawydiak

    Archbishop Eustratius (Zorya) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate) may be onto something more than just allowing the so called “Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)” to exist in Ukraine. This so called “Church” within the confines of Ukraine should be forced to rename itself as the “Church of the Muscovite Patriarchate” since it is neither Ukrainian nor is it Orthodox. However, should Kirill and/or Putin be unhappy with the new name of their “Church” in Ukraine, and to be completely fair, they should be allowed alternative names such as “The Putynysta (aka Putinista) Church of Ukraine” or perhaps “The Kyrylian (aka Kirillian) Church of Ukraine” or maybe “The Church of Volodymyr Mykhailovych Hundyayev” (aka Vladimir Mikhailovich Gundyayev). Other possible favorites that might be suggested by Ukrainian patriots not connected with this “Church” such as “Church of the Black Saint”, etcetera, would probably be denied as some people might deem it as inappropriate or on the other side of the coin, not sufficiently offensive. In any case, Archbishop Eustratius remains correct in avoiding the many pitfalls employed by Russian Stalinists/Hitlerites/Putinistas. The Muscovite “Church” in Ukraine will gradually fade into a shadow of itself (within Ukraine) on its own accord since it is destined to irrelevance.

    • Andrew Chmile

      YOU ROTE:

      “The Muscovite “Church” in Ukraine will gradually fade into a shadow of
      itself (within Ukraine) on its own accord since it is destined to
      irrelevance and it doesn’t require any additional assistance to make it
      so.”

      WRONG!!

      YOU NASTY RUSKI PAID ***MOLE** & SCUMBAG!!!

      ELIMINATE IT (Ruski BS “church”)!
      It’s Patriarch is a well-known to be KGB (now FSB) agent.

      — SEIZE ALL IT’S (stolen originally!) PROPERTIES IN UKRAINE!

      Because:
      1) It’s an enemy agent for the Ukrainian State & people BOTH!
      2) it’s TREASONOUS!
      3) It’s a Russification agent.
      4) It’s CORRUPT!

      WHY WASTE TIME & MONEY AND ALLOW SUCH AN EVIL RUSKI ORGANIZATION TO EXIST?