Ukrainian churchmen side with the people amid anti-Russian riots

Ukrainian churchmen side with the people amid anti-Russian riots

“The more that government mandates evil actions, the more likely civil disobedience becomes …”

Priests of the four main Faiths in The Ukraine stood with the people as push finally came to shove between protesters and police, as reported by Fox News on Feb. 18, 2014 and the Rome-based Catholic news portal on Feb. 14, 2014.

Despite centuries of theological screaming matches over Church discipline and doctrine, Ukrainian priests of the three branches of Orthodoxy and the one Catholic rite all joined together to side with the people of the nation as they rise in word and deed against President Viktor Yanukovych’s moves to align the recently independent nation with Russia.

Opposition Ukrainians by the thousands have stood their ground in the Kiev’s Independence Square as riot police opened fire today with water cannons and stun grenades to disperse the crowd.

Reportedly, between the police and the protesters, there have been a total of 18 killed in the Ukrainian capital as the people defended themselves and their nation from any moves by the government to turn back the clock and see their nation once again subservient to the Russians.

As Archpriest Father Igor Yatsiv of the Ukrainian-Rite Catholic Church was quoted:

It all began with the protesters themselves inviting the priests.

Once the protesters understood that they had to stay not just a day or two and that this was going to take a lot of time, they began to appeal to clergy: come here and pray with us.

The four major denominations in the Eastern European nation are:

  • The Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate (opposed by Moscow).
  • The Ukrainian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow.
  • The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (theologically allied with the Greek Orthodox).
  • The Greek-Catholics (Ukrainian Rite) in communion with the Catholic Church.

Regardless of past differences, all four ministered to and have stood solidly with the people during the past weeks and months of protests against the Russification of their country.

God works in mysterious ways …

Coincidentally, one of the leading Catholic leaders in the United States raised eyebrows as he spoke of the common people rising up to an immoral government in Washington, DC. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia spoke directly of new government laws that would force Christians to violate their core beliefs:

There are limits, and the more that government mandates evil actions, the more likely civil disobedience becomes.

T. Kevin Whiteman

T. Kevin Whiteman

T. Kevin Whiteman is a retired Master Sergeant of Marines. He has written for Examiner, Conservative Firing Line, and other blogs.


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