Tulchin, Vinnitsa Province, Ukriane, November 21, 2022
The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) is continuing its investigation into a metropolitan of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, accusing him of harboring pro-Russian views.
However, His Eminence Metropolitan Jonathan of Tulchin denies the accusations, characterizing them as an attack on the UOC as a whole.
Although he was born in Russia, Met. Jonathan considers Ukrainian his homeland, he said in a recent statement. “Everything you read in newspapers is a lie,” the hierarch said. “And I think I’ll tell the investigating authorities that I’m not an enemy of Ukraine, but someone who loves it and is its patriot.
On October 20, the clergy of the Tulchin Diocese declared their full confidence in their hierarch.
The home and diocesan administration of Met. Jonathan were searched by the SBU last month, and earlier this month, he received an official notice of suspicion of “deliberate actions aimed at inciting religious hatred and insulting the feelings of citizens in connection with their religious beliefs.”
And now, the SBU has added more official accusations. According to its official Telegram channel, the Security Service claims that Vladyka John prepared leaflets justifying Russian aggression and the occupation of regions in eastern and southern Ukraine. The “mass-printed pro-Kremlin materials were stored in the back rooms of the Church. He then planned to distribute them to local residents through the office of the diocese,” the SBU claims.
His Eminence is thus accused of justifying armed aggression against Ukraine, distributing materials calling for a violent change in the constitutional order, and distributing materials calling for a change to Ukrainian state borders.
“I declare that these reports are groundless and do not correspond to the truth,” Met. John said in a statement on Friday.
Recall that the Tulchin Diocese was among the first to bless its priests to not commemorate His Holiness Patriarch Kirill in the Divine services.