"Church should save souls, not fight other Orthodox," MP to Head of UOC-MP Orthodox
Kyiv - Ukrainian National Deputy Mykola Tomenko, head of the Parliamentary Committee for Freedom of Speech and member of the Our Ukraine bloc, has sent an open letter to Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan), head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP). Tomenko asked the metropolitan to "clearly and unambiguously speak out with regard to actions that encourage animosity in society with participation by representatives of the UOC-MP." This news was reported on 28 January 2005 by razom.org.ua
Tomenko recalled campaigning for one of the candidates that happened in UOC-MP churches before the presidential election and churches storing "dirty printed materials" (with scandalous accusations against current President Viktor Yushchenko) during the election campaign. "Even now, despite your blessing for Viktor Yushchenko's work as president for the good of the Ukrainian people, some priests in your church continue activities aimed at inflaming animosity in Ukrainian society," said Tomenko. "This refers, among other things, to religious processions [demonstrations] organized by the priests of the Kyivan Monastery of the Caves."
"In addition to inflaming animosity among the regions and religious denominations in Ukraine, actions of this sort spread chauvinistic moods that are not only directed against the vital interests of the Ukrainian people, but are contrary to the biblical truth that for Christianity, all nations are equal. For God, 'there is no Jew, nor Greek,'" Tomenko said.
Tomenko called the metropolitan to "explain to all believing Christians whether your church supports the right of the Ukrainian people to defend, with God's help, the Christian ideas of morals, freedom, free choice, and to resist those who think that violence, lies, fraud, extortion, bribery and immorality will always be the norms of life of the Ukrainian people" and to "unambiguously and clearly state: Does the UOC-MP support the right of the Ukrainian people to live freely in its own God-given land, or does it think this right is reserved only for selected peoples?"
National Deputy Tomenko said that he hopes that the UOC-MP "will in future direct its efforts above all at carrying out its principal functions, saving souls, and not spend its efforts in fighting other Orthodox Christians."
Follow-up. Tomenko was appointed Vice Prime Minister in Yukia Tymoshenko cabinet.
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