Hierarch of UOC: Video from the Lavra cannot affect the whole Church

15 November 2022 10:39
Archbishop Victor (Kotsaba). Photo: politica.com.ua Archbishop Victor (Kotsaba). Photo: politica.com.ua

Archbishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshivka is sure that the publication of the video from the Lavra is another attempt to incite hatred towards the UOC.

Commenting on the singing of a song in one of the churches of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, where the word “Russia” is mentioned, Archbishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshivka stated that “this is exactly the case when, based on the actions of one or several people, it is proposed to sue the entire UOC,” writes the Politica portal.

According to Vladyka, “information today is the same weapon as tanks with missiles,” and “recently, the media space has simply gone wild producing numerous fakes and lies.”

He emphasized that "even if the video is genuine, it cannot influence the fate of the Lavra, the leadership of the UOC, or even more so the entire Church."

The hierarch recalled that the UOC had repeatedly stated that “only officials can express the official position of the Church on any issues and only through the official resources of the Church.”

“Several official statements were made regarding the attitude towards the invasion of the Russian Federation, such as the address of the Primate of the UOC on February 24, the Synod of the UOC on May 12, the Council of the UOC on May 27. They condemn Russian aggression in the most categorical form,” the archbishop noted.

According to him, the performance of a certain song by a group of lay women captured on the video, as well as other similar singing at the end of a prayer service, “is always a personal initiative of the singers, but not a special blessing of the monastery’s hierarchy.”

“Accordingly, if law enforcement officers find corpus delicti in these actions, then the responsibility falls on specific people, but not on the whole Church, because many of our rural priests and parishioners, for example, will never know about this event. This is the very principle of the division of individual and collective responsibility,” the hierarch believes.

He also drew attention to the fact that “the Internet has already found out that the words from the video ‘the ringing of bells is rising over Russia’ is one of the verses of the ‘Song of the Blessed Virgin,’ written in the early 2000s, when the old churches were restored and new churches built after the fall of the USSR in the post-Soviet countries.”

“To tell the truth, I do not consider myself a fan of such creativity and do not think that it should sound in the temple. In order to glorify the Mother of God under the church vaults, it is much better to sing the prayer ‘My Mist Gracious Queen’, where there is not a single word having a political connotation. Nevertheless, even the words ‘Rus-mother is waking up’ are not about politics at all, but about the revival of faith among the people. They were cut out of a long song and overlaid in the video ‘coincidentally’. But this is clearly not a coincidence,” assures the hierarch of the UOC.

As reported by the UOJ, on November 15, 2022, the SBU opened criminal proceedings due to a video from the Kyiv Lavra.

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