Archbishop of the UOC-MP explains how a terrorist from Brazil got to their monastery
Representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), where in one of the monasteries Brazilian Raphael Lusvarga was found, say that the monks did not realize that he participated in the hostilities in Donbas on the side of the separatists.
This was stated by Archbishop Klyment, chairman of the Synodal Information and Educational Department of the UOC-MP in an interview with BBC News Ukraine.
“It is unlikely that the monks of this monastery realized who this man is. Second, he was not involved in any destructive activity in the monastery,” Archbishop Klyment said.
Earlier, the Ukrainian court sentenced Raphael Lusvarga to 13 years in prison on two charges: setting up a terrorist organization and setting up illegal armed groups.
During the trial, he acknowledged his guilt.
But subsequently, another court quashed this verdict for a possible exchange of prisoners and appointed a new trial.
The Brazilian was initially in custody, and then he was changed to a preventive measure, and he was released - he lived in one of the monasteries of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) in Kyiv.
“Why this happened is not a question to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, but for Ukrainian justice, the prosecutor's office, the SBU, and other institutions, which resulted in this person got right to live on the territory of the monastery or in any other premises of the city of Kyiv,” Archbishop Klyment explained in an interview with BBC News Ukraine.
“It is therefore strange to hear that the UOC monastery was hiding someone,” he added.
“This man lived there because he had the full right to do so, and it was provided to him by the Ukrainian state ... Just like thousands of other people, he could pray there or perform obedience that does not pose a threat to the security of Ukraine,” he explained.
Last week, the information that Raphael Lusvarga lives freely in the monastery got to the media.
On Friday, representatives of nationalist organizations National Corps, C14 and Traditions and Order forcibly took him to the SBU.
The SBU thanked the nationalists for their “active position” and assured that they would act only in the legal framework.