Metropolitan Yevstratiy Zorya expresses his sarcastic opinion on the UOC’s failure to respond to collaboration issues among some hierarchs with the Russian Orthodox Church. He highlights the lack of answers and unacceptable excuses while emphasizing the need for open discussion and analysis of similar situations.

UOC and Irreversible Consequences of Collaboration: Archbishop Yevstratiy Zorya’s Reaction Without Assessing the Situation within the OCU

In his recent comments, Archbishop Yevstratiy Zorya, the Archbishop of Chernihiv and Nizhyn, raises uncomfortable questions about the collaboration of some hierarchs of the UOC-MP with the ROC and expresses his sarcastic opinion on the matter.

“By the way, all the proven cases of collaboration by clergy, except one, which was ultimately closed due to the absence of a crime, concern only the clergy of the UOC-MP. Coincidence?”

In an ironic tone, Zorya ridicules the inability of the UOC-MP to respond to situations such as the annexation of parishes or the sentencing of collaborators. He also points out the lack of answers from the UOC-MP regarding the evidence of their rupture with the ROC, as posed by clergy and laity. Zorya emphasizes that the answers can be quick and comprehensive, as exemplified by the explanations regarding the DECR recommendations.

“By the way, one small observation.
To write and disseminate extensive explanations in response to the DECR recommendations on ‘how to convince others that you are no longer the UOC-MP,’ the Information Department of the UOC-MP only needed a few hours. Hours. Not days, not weeks, not months.”
But publishing their own statute, allegedly adopted back in May of the previous year (13 months ago!), they are still incapable of doing so. They are incapable of reacting to the annexation of parishes by Gundyaev. They are incapable of addressing the convicted collaborators sanctioned by Ukrainian courts.

In the concluding part, Zorya notes that the conclusion is clear: the UOC-MP simply does not want to answer questions, although they are technically capable of doing so. He points out that the excuse of “not authorized” is unacceptable, especially when it comes to reconciling religious communities. Yevstratiy Zorya is a Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the spokesperson for the Holy Synod, as well as the Deputy Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the OCU.

It is regrettable that an experienced and authoritative hierarch like Metropolitan Yevstratiy Zorya focuses attention on collaborators only within the UOC-MP, excluding mention of a similar problem in the OCU.

However, it is worth noting that there are also hierarchs in the OCU who have been subject to criticism for their connections and actions that could be defined as collaboration. For example, Archbishop Tikhon, who governs the Ternopil-Buchach Diocese of the UOC/OCU (in the secular world, Taras Ivanovych Petranyuk), has repeatedly been in the spotlight of religious and law enforcement circles, as he has been accused of cooperation with the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), possession of a passport from the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), and a criminal investigation for fraud in particularly large amounts, with a signed order to close the case from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the terrorist quasi-entity LPR.

These facts raise doubts about the spirituality and honesty of the hierarch of the OCU, Tikhon Petranuk, and raise questions about whether the OCU is investigating and taking necessary measures regarding these circumstances. Therefore, there should be room in public discourse to discuss these issues and analyze the actions and reactions of the OCU in such situations.

It is important to note that both churches, the OCU and the UOC-MP, have their hierarchs who may be involved in questionable actions and connections and may be associated with criminal activities. In any case, these facts need to be considered in the context of a broader understanding and with the realization that within any organization, there may be individuals who do not reflect the overall views and behavior of the entire Orthodox community. Such elements are exceptions rather than the rule among the hierarchs.

Therefore, when discussing collaborators within the churches, it is important to maintain objectivity and carefully consider all the facts and aspects of the individuals involved, regardless of their religious affiliation. This will help achieve an understanding of the situation as a whole and prevent distortion of the truth through a one-sided approach to analysis.

Press Service of Metropolitan Methodius Memorial Fund.