Sponsors get nervous: experts tell why UOC (MP) staged a procession
The procession, organized by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) is an attempt by priests and "sponsors" of this Church to demonstrate that “Ukraine will not go and nobody will let it go.”
This opinion was expressed in the comment to Obozrevatel by Ukrainian MP (fraction “People's Front”), president of the Ukrainian Association of Religious Freedom Viktor Yelenskyy.
He noted that “the Orthodox Church processions are organized quite often, including on the anniversary of the Baptism of Rus. However, he believes: “This case is an attempt to demonstrate the dimensions and consolidation of the Church.”
“I know that the sponsors of this Church attach particular importance to this procession, irrespective of whether they feel themselves believers. They wanted to demonstrate loyalty of clergy, and perhaps the immutability of the status in which this church exists. But I know for sure that there are different sentiments among believers, clergy and even the episcopate of this Church,” Yelenskyy said.
Asked whether a similar initiative be linked to the prospect of granting the autocephalous status to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the expert said: “Of course, the appeal of the Parliament and the sentiment among the Orthodox believers in Ukraine and in the fullness of Orthodoxy, make Moscow Patriarch feel nervous and urge him to make the steps that would have to demonstrate that Ukraine will not go and no one will let it go. So, priests and sponsors of this Church pursued the same objectives.”
As previously reported, on July 3, a procession called "Peace, love and prayers", organized by the UOC (MP), set off from Sviatogorsk Lavra, which will end on the eve of the Baptism of Russia, July 27, in Kyiv.