Andrei Lubenski: Is Yuschenko friend or enemy to Orthodox citizens of Ukraine?

An “Orthodox citizen of Ukraine” has published an interesting announcement in Narod.Ru to collect signatures, addressed to Viktor Yuschenko, leader of election block Our Ukraine. Not every Orthodox could find this text on the Internet, however a banner appeared in, one of the most popular Ukrainian net-editions, to make the search easier. Let us imagine an advanced Ukrainian Orthodox who managed to find this text. It is really interesting. “We, Orthodox citizens of Ukraine, address to you, the well known politician, whose views are honoured by many people. We address to you not only as to a politician, but as to an Orthodox too, - the anonymous authors write. - On the threshold of the election campaign starting in Ukraine, your position on the situation existing in Ukrainian Orthodoxy is very important for us, Orthodox voters. We are seriously concerned with presence of extremist politicians in the election block called with your name, who proved to be ardent opponents of Ukrainian Orthodoxy. These people are far both from honouring Christian morality and from keeping legislation norms. They spotted themselves with numerous acts of vandalism, directed against Orthodoxy, and they many times permitted to themselves to make statements offending million of Ukrainian believers.” Further the most prominent “extremists” are called by names, among whom, there are N.Porovski, head of Christian Republican Party (he is accused of capturing temples of canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Chirch), I.Yukhnovski, one of the leaders of Rukh Ukrainian people’s movement, people’s deputies O.Gudyma and V.Chervoni, and Larisa Skorik (professor of the Academy of Art and Architecture). The authors of the announcement suppose Viktor Yuschenko has no moral right to co-operate with these enemies of Orthodoxy. “We have serious reasons to be afraid that people surrounding you could came to power and start political repression against Orthodoxy, – the document says. – In such circumstances, schismatic position could become the state’s official position, what signifies Ukrainian Orthodox civilization’s death.” The authors hope that Yuschenko does not probably know about his potential brothers-in-arm’s earlier deeds. So, they ask who is he towards canonical Orthodoxy, a friend or an enemy? Actually, Ukrainian opposition has the same question, but its doubts are not connected with religion. Though political fans of the ex-premier, who still regard themselves as an opposition, sometimes feel an almost religious black-out, when the question is about their idol. Victor Youschenko has many times vowed fidelity to the president, while calling him “father”; even Our Ukraine block’s election headquarters is headed by Kuchma’s proteges, though the right opposition still repeats about “the nation’s hope,” who seems to have not known something, who was swindled and so on. Though he probably likes to be swindled… So, we could only feel for the Internet Orthodox: they have asked a difficult question, that is not easy to answer, at least for Yuschenko.

Andrei Lubenski PRAVDA.Ru Ukraine

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