OCU rescues its "priest" taken by military officers on the street

10 December 2023 13:05
Illia Kuziuk. Photo: Kuziuk’s Facebook Illia Kuziuk. Photo: Kuziuk’s Facebook

The OCU cleric, who was going to the "service" in secular clothes, was picked up by TRC officers right on the street.

On 5 December 2023, in the centre of Chernivtsi, TRC officers stopped a 45-year-old OCU "priest" Illia Kuziuk from the village of Chervona Dibrova, put him in a car and took him to the military recruitment office, the Zaxid resource reports.

Kuziuk was in secular clothes. He was held for 2 hours in the Chernivtsi Territorial Recruitment Centre (TRC) and then sent to Rivne. To Kuziuk's objections that he is a "clergyman", the military replied that they would send him to serve as a chaplain, as the army is very short of them. The OCU called Kuziuk's detention a "kidnapping." According to the Orthodox Spiritual Centre, the head of the Chernivtsi TRC, Serhiy Potiakov, said that this was his principled position: "This priest will serve in the army!".

Nevertheless, the OCU managed to get its cleric out of the TRC, claiming that he "did not attend the military department during his studies".

"We have a queue to register as a priest at a military unit. One must have the appropriate training. Fr Illia does not have such, he came to our eparchy immediately after studying at the Kyiv seminary," said "priest" Roman Hryshchuk.

Kuziuk himself on his Facebook wrote that he "does not refuse to serve in the AFU", but in the rear, he will be more useful.

As reported, OCU and UGCC clerics do not want to go to the front as chaplains.

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