UOC-MP Metropolitan Ready to Sue for His Depiction in a Campaign Ad for Yanukovyvh
CHERKASY — Metropolitan Sofronij of the eastern Ukrainian Cherkasy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate expressed his indignation at his depiction in a TV campaign advertisement for Viktor Yanukovych. The hierarch stated he would go to court. “About five years ago Ukraine’s [then] Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych visited our cathedral and I received him as the head of Ukraine’s government should be received, I led him to the church, told him about the cathedral. It was filmed. But that was it. During Viktor Yanukovych’s last visit to Cherkasy, which this time was for the purpose of agitation, I was not even in Ukraine. Obviously, I did not meet him,” added the bishop.
According to the Press Center agency, Bishop Sofronij stressed that he “has not seen the commercial yet.” “But many people have called me wondering why I violated the principle that ‘the church is outside politics.’ In fact, I consider the commercial fabricated,” he said.
The metropolitan stated he would go to court as he suffered “significant moral damage.” “What right has one to produce agitation material and demonstrate it to all of Ukraine without my consent and even knowledge? I am against it. First of all, I personally am not going to vote for Viktor Yanukovych. I have my own position, viewpoint, of which I am entitled as a Ukrainian citizen,” says the hierarch’s commentary.
“He demands that the ‘fake’ ad should be removed from broadcast and called all the believers who are going to come to the precincts on the day of election to make their conscious choice, their own one without external influence.”
However, the bishop noted that one should not view people supporting different candidates as enemies as everyone is entitled to their own opinion and choice.