Mykhailo Podolyak, Advisor to the Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, gave an interview to the youtube channel “We are Ukraine”, in which he expressed his opinion about the hierarchs of the UOC, priests and laity.
“Look at those subjects (hierarchs of the UOC – Ed.) who receive suspicions, who have the status of metropolitans and work in the rank of agents, let’s call everything by their proper names, there is no need to be afraid of this, this is a criminal offense. If you are agents and are in touch with curators from the FSB, then you are violating the Law of Ukraine. The question here is not about faith, but about control. Through the UOC, Moscow controls Ukraine. Do we need it? No. We have our own local church (OCU – Ed.),” Podolyak said.
According to him, the bishops of the UOC “terribly hate Ukraine”, and therefore it is necessary to “get rid of” them.
“Not all believers and priests of the UOC are pro-Moscow. No. The church elite of the UOC is pro-Moscow, they received dividends, made a career since Soviet times, they terribly hate Ukraine, but as for the believers, they don’t, many of them take part in hostilities, defending Ukraine, priests, including serving as chaplains, they work and love Ukraine. We need to get rid of the elite, which has always hated us, they don’t need Ukraine, they need a territory where they can earn money, make a career, clinging to themselves with gilding and brocade,” the official said.
Podolyak added that allegedly the UOC is not a Church, but a system of influence created by the Russian Federation in order to deprive Ukraine of religious independence.