Yelensky on UOC-ROC "ties”: Can be removed from Statute but we know better

29 October 2023 12:57
Yelensky urges to believe DESS Yelensky urges to believe DESS "experts" rather than the UOC. Photo: Suspilne

The head of DESS, commenting on the law banning the UOC, recalled that his "experts" found a "connection" of the UOC with the "Moscow Church".

The head of the State Ethnopolitics Service (DESS), Viktor Yelensky, said in an interview with "Ukrainian Radio" that in the issue of the UOC's ties with the Moscow Patriarchate, one cannot believe the Statute of the UOC, one should believe DESS experts.

Answering the journalist's question of how the UOC can have a connection with Russia if it is not in the Statute, Yelensky said, "Anything can be removed from the Statute".

"The religious expertise that was carried out, for example, in January this year, determined that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church remains part of the Russian Church. And it determined not just ties but that it is a part of this Church. The experts asked the UOC-MP to provide additional documents, reasoning, remarks, and comments that would refute this. We have not received them. That is why such a conclusion was made," Yelensky said.

He says that "the dismantling of Moscow Patriarchate structures should not affect the ability of a certain person in a certain village or town to practice his religion." According to his belief, "people can pray without a structure, they can choose another jurisdiction or not choose any."

Earlier, Yelensky assured that the UOC ban would not violate the rights of its believers.


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