Kiev, December 2, 2022
And now the SBU claims that it has irrefutable evidence that His Eminence Metropolitan Joasaph, formerly of the Kirovograd Diocese (the Synod appointed him as a vicar of the Kiev Metropolis on November 23), coordinated “the spread of pro-Kremlin views in the region.” The SBU had searched his home back in October.
“The Metropolitan was in constant contact with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church and carried out his instructions to justify Russian aggression and the seizure of part of the territory of Ukraine, in particular the Crimea. Instructions from Moscow were received in the form of written circulars, as well as during personal meetings on the territory of the Russian Federation,” the SBU argues.
“Hostile propaganda literature” was spread throughout the Kirovograd Diocese, the Security Service says. According to SBU photos from their search in October, Met. Joasaph was found to have books about the Ukrainian schism, a book by Patriarch Kirill, and a book on the history of the Kremlin.
The SBU report today includes a photo of Met. Joasaph with Patriarch Kirill and a circular from the Moscow Patriarchate, dated January 25, 2022, about the 100th anniversary of the feat of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church.
A pre-trial investigation is underway.
The SBU also reported yesterday that Hieromonk Zachary, the priest of the Kiev Caves Lavra who was serving and anointing the faithful while a group of women sang a song about the spiritual rebirth of Holy Rus’ last month, is also under official suspicion of supporting and glorifying the war.
The pre-trial investigation established the fact of his guilt, the Security Service says.
The scandal surrounding the song began after a schismatic priest of the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” published a video clip and accused the Lavra of betraying Ukraine. The video seems to have been the catalyst for all the SBU searches being carried out throughout Ukraine over the past few weeks.
“Those who, in the conditions of a full-scale war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine, are waiting for the ‘awakening of Mother Rus’ should understand that this harms the security and interests of Ukraine and our citizens, and we will not allow such manifestations,” said SBU head Vasily Malyuk.
However, as OrthoChristian previously wrote, Rus’ does not signify the present-day Russian Federation, but includes the people of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Kiev was the capital of Rus’ from 882 to 1240.
There have never been any hymns or songs in the Lavra glorifying or justifying the war, His Eminence Metropolitan Kliment of Nizhyn, head of the UOC’s Information-Education Department, said, adding that the Church’s legal department will “unconditionally refute such accusations.”