Today it is already absolutely obvious that the case of a child who was refused a funeral service by the UOC priest in Zaporozhye is just a convenient handle for launching a large-scale attack on the Church of Christ in Ukraine.
It is evident that none of the enemies of the Church has anything to do with either the fate of the murdered boy, or for the feelings of his parents and near ones. None of them cares about church canons and rules, or what actually happened at the funeral. The main thing is to fan public indignation towards the UOC and use it in full for the attack on the Church, all the attacks being carefully planned. Who “pulls the strings” behind this, whose interests do the provocateurs cater for, what can happen further and what should the Orthodox do?
Analyzing the events that have occurred recently, one can come to the conclusion that the attack on the Church was prepared long ago and the tragedy in Zaporozhye served only as a shot of the Aurora cruiser, after which, according to the Soviet historiography, the victorious procession of the "Great October Revolution" began.
If there was not this tragedy, it should have been made up. In fact, it was mostly invented by those who had long planned to create a wave of hatred towards the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
What really happened in Zaporozhye? The circumstances of the funeral were found out by the UOJ directly from the priest, who had refused to perform a funeral service for the deceased child. It should be said that near the house in which the family of the deceased baby Evgeny lives, there are three churches of the UOC. Why the parents decided to baptize the child in a UOC-KP church, having to go to the opposite end of the city, is unknown. But this circumstance already suggests that baptism with the Kyiv Patriarchate could be done for ideological reasons.
When priest Evgeny Molchanov came to the apartment to perform a funeral service, the body of the baby had not yet been brought. When talking with the mother and grandfather of the child, the priest was shown a certificate of baptism. When father Evgeny saw that the boy was "baptized" with the UOC-KP, he apologized and, expressing his deep regret, said that he could not perform the service, since the Church does not recognize the "baptism" with the non-canonical Kyiv Patriarchate. After that the mother of the child called the temple, where the baby had been "baptized", and agreed with the local "priest" on the burial service.
Father Evgeny Molchanov left the apartment and on the street saw the approaching hearse. He repeated his refusal to perform a funeral service for the child and gave the reasons. The father of the baby, as well as other men started screaming at him. Several kicks and blows on the priest’s head followed.
All the stories that a heart-breaking scene occurred with the refusal of the funeral service over the coffin of the child, when it was already impossible to replace the priest, is a lie. But the lie came at a good time. Immediately, this topic got ventilated in the media and social networks. Only one extremely biased resource, RISU, from December 5th to 9th, published as many as 16 (!) news on this topic, not even shying away from explicit fakes. All publications are sustained in extremely negative tones with respect to the Church. On December 4, Zaporozhye blogger Yury Gudimenko published an angry post on Facebook, in which he informed the public about the funeral of the child, having added a lavish portion of lies for “the good of the cause”. He wished the "Moscow Patriarchate" to burn in hell and launched a hashtag #bring the doll.
Gudimenko “is crying again”. It’s moving indeed. We felt like learning more about him. His Facebook page appeared quite vibrant.
Awesome crying, is not it? The last two photos, by the way, are made in Zaporozhye restaurant with a very unpatriotic name "Rzhevsky". The "Russian world", after all.
Still a few people responded to the call to bring dolls to the temples. But then (oh, surprise) among them was Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye and Melitopol. He also urged to bring toys to the temples, but not to reproach the clergy, but in memory of the deceased boy. These toys, according to Metropolitan Luke, should be handed to children. And indeed, the Church teaches that those, who cannot be commemorated in worship, can be commemorated by giving alms and doing prayers. But the enemies of the Church try not in the slightest to remember the baby, or about charity and prayer. The main thing for them is to kindle indignation and hatred towards the UOC. And then the Church enemies had to urgently issue fake news that compassionate people allegedly brought toys to the temple, and they were severely beaten for this. And these compassionate people were not simple people, but "veterans of ATO", thus beating them is not just a crime, but a crime at double rate. The information turned out to be false, but the information wave was nevertheless launched.
Calls for violence were voiced all at once. And the violence did not take long to wait.
The next day, December 8, the organization S-14, which is listed as an international terrorist organization, blocked the main shrine of Ukraine – the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.
They promised to continue the blockade and make it larger.
A noteworthy moment. The police in any way do not interfere with these obviously unlawful actions, although they are present during the action. Metropolitan Pavel, the vicar of the Lavra, went out and to meet the radicals and reason them. But what can you talk about with people whose vocabulary is limited to phrases: the FSB, Putin, the Kremlin, the "Russian world" and the "aggressor state"? All these nationalists were going to remove from the Lavra. That's what you need to award the Nobel Prize in physics for: to remove what does not exist. The campaign was not without another fake. In an instant the media echoed the phrase of Metropolitan Pavel: "The Crimea has never been Ukrainian."
But if you watch this video more carefully and to the end, it becomes clear that Vladyka said the words "Crimea has never been Ukrainian" not in an affirmative, but in an interrogative way. And after a while he said in the affirmative: "The Crimea has been and will be Ukrainian." But these words all the Ukrainian, supposedly independent, media preferred not to hear.
Who is behind this and what will happen next?
Then there will be the end! Completely bankrupt power must somewhere redirect people’s indignation intended for it, the power. And the object of this redirection should be as defenseless as possible.
The UOJ has already assumed that hostile attacks and provocations against the UOC may be related to the desire to torpedo possible negotiations between the ROC and the schismatics from the Kyiv Patriarchate. This is true, but it's not just that. Let's see who benefits from provocations against the UOC.
Firstly, it is the сurrent authority. The problems that confront it are huge and practically unresolved. The chairs under the powers that be are unsteady with a terrible force, and the fall from these seats is fraught with the loss of business assets, and even freedom.
Over the past few years, we have witnessed the undisguised carve-up of the country under the motto of fighting the aggressor in the Donbass. As they say, "war will write off all". Any corruption, any plunder of the population under the guise of tariffs for utilities, any lawlessness and any lie. During the war, any protests against the current government are automatically considered a treachery. And the protests in the country are growing. Besides, the main Ukrainian Georgian has said recently that he resumes his actions on January 21, while Peter Poroshenko now has got his own "George Gongadze", who became a symbol of the struggle with the regime of Leonid Kuchma. This is lawyer Irina Nozdrovskaya, who was found dead on January 1 near Kiev.
All this pushes the authorities to intensify military operations in the Donbass. And weapons from the US arrived in time. But the European Union is categorically disapproving of the war in the Donbass. Moreover, Poroshenko's only achievement, "visa-free travel", can be cancelled because of this, which the Europeans have already openly warned about.
The war in the Donbass carries a number of significant risks. But if you manage to incite a religious confrontation, the effect may be the same, while the risks are much smaller. Against the background of the events, efforts on anti-church bills, as well as attempts to force the hierarchy of the UOC to unite with the schismatics on their terms, can be intensified. These terms were voiced by Mikhail Denisenko at his press conference on the "penitential letter" addressed to Patriarch Kirill. They are simple: the acquisition of the canonical Church by schismatics and the recognition of this takeover by Local Churches.
Secondly, the schismatics from the Kyiv Patriarchate also benefit of hostile actions against the UOC. Here, too, their interest lies in taking over the UOC and creating the Single Local Church to make negotiations with the ROC impossible, because they cannot proceed in the way the Kyiv Patriarchate would like them to. A group of radical "hierarchs" of the UOC-KP is vitally interested in the disruption of the negotiations.
Thirdly, actions against the Church are beneficial to their performers. It's business, nothing personal. Everything is paid, everything is financed. In addition, a good reason to come forward.
On the New Year eve, thanks to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and personally Metropolitan Onufry, 73 Ukrainian servicemen were released from captivity. The Church has shown itself to be a structure that wants peace in Ukraine and has real opportunities to bring this peace closer. The enemies of the Church simply could not leave this unpunished. And here the no-last-rites case turned up.
The unfolding campaign against the Church is advantageous: if it succeeds in achieving its black goals, this campaign will be declared a manifestation of patriotism, in case of failure they will say that everything was organized by the FSB. This is how the threat of the seizure of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra was explained on October 14.
What should the Orthodox do?
First, remember the words of Christ: "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved" (Matthew 24:12-13). You cannot be angry, you cannot answer evil for evil and violence for violence.
Secondly, it is necessary to pray and resort to the help of God. This is what our Primate, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry, urges us to do.
Thirdly, it is necessary to understand the truths of faith. Why am I Orthodox? Why do I go to church? We need to enhance our faith-conscious so as not to be confused by the deceitful attacks that the provocateurs of today offer to those who do not stand firm in faith.
"Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people" (Ephesians 6:11-18).
It's time to understand that these are not just words, but words for our today's life.
In connection with the very difficult situation with the tragedy in Zaporozhye and with the accusations of the UOC in all conceivable and inconceivable sins, very many are perplexed: where is the truth, on whose side is it? Maybe Yuri Gudimenko, Valentin Bury, and other "patriots" are right, because they seem to be saying right things?
Let the words of Holy Scripture help to understand this: "But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere" (James 3: 14-17).