A church leader from Ukraine who believed that coronavirus was the result of same-sex marriage found himself contracting it. Although the condition of this church leader, Patriarch Filaret, is stable- he has found himself in quite a situation. The leader of the largest denomination of Ukrainian Orthodoxy embraced controversy all the way back in March by making such a remark. While giving an interview for a Ukrainian TV channel, he stated that this pandemic was simply God’s punishment for same-sex marriage and other sins. As of September, this 91-year-old church leader is recovering from the virus.
A statement was brought out by the church that announced that the leader had contracted this virus. The Patriarch is undergoing treatment at a Ukrainian Hospital and recovering swiftly. An LGBTQ+ community from Ukraine sued the church leader for his homophobic remarks. The group named Insight said they need to make examples out of such people. It is important to show that such remarks are not accepted anymore. Even if the speaker was the head of one of the biggest religious communities in the country. Due to the major advancements this century, LGBTQ+ people wouldn’t accept being dominated.
The Church Leader’s Remarks Can Spark Outrage
The Amnesty International functioning in the country also stated how they believed this remark would spark riots. And while the church spokesperson did say that the church leader’s statements weren’t against the law- that is definitely not the case. The church authorities claimed freedom of speech, which provided the church leader with the authority to place his opinion. In fact, they also wanted to bring their own lawyers against the groups because they were encroaching traditional Ukrainian values.
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Ukraine is one of the few European countries that doesn’t condone same-sex relations. And this vitriol is spear-headed by the church. Yet, a survey conducted recently showed how most Ukrainians were actually coming around. And considering the state of the country, this was a welcome change indeed. On the other hand, the church leader Patriarch Filaret has been quite blatant in his fight against same-sex relations.
But the church leader’s resume has a lot more brow-raising scenarios. In the 90s, he was one of the foremost people who wanted a division in the Moscow Orthodoxy to bring out his Ukrainian orthodoxy. And while the movement was successful, he soon fell out with his successor- who was much less confrontational.
Considering the church leader’s persona, there was no way he could take this in stride- leading to the creation of the Kiev Patriarchate, which he now heads.
Featured Image: Mykhaylo Palinchak