Three clergymen of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), who provided "spiritual" support to Russian military personnel, have died since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. This was announced by the deputy manager of the affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate, Bishop Savva (Tutunov) of Zelenograd in the Telegram channel.
The bishop noted that now many clergymen and parishes "help the soldiers with prayer and materially."
“A lot (although not as many as needed) of the clergy are now in the front line of the troops, providing spiritual support to the soldiers. Since February, three priests have already died on a combat spiritual post. At the same time, it is obvious to everyone that it is not the job of a priest to fight with weapons in his hands: something completely different is expected of him.
He also commented on a video that appeared on the network, in which a priest fires an RPG, stating that in this way "the Moscow Theological Academy and Seminary is fighting NATO." Before the shots, he also adds: "Christ is Risen."
The bishop wrote that the person in the video “is a clergyman of the Murmansk diocese banned back in 2016.” On the website of the Murmansk and Monchegorsk diocese, to which Tutunov refers, the clergyman is listed as Priest Pavel Dmitrievich Kunitsyn. It is noted that on August 10, 2016, he was registered as a candidate for deputy of the Duma of Zheleznovodsk, Stavropol Territory in district No. 1 (from the regional branch of the political party "Patriots of Russia"). Metropolitan Simon of Murmansk and Monchegorsk commented on the information about Kunitsyn, who was “banned from serving as a clergyman” as follows:
“The fact that there are many rogues and rogues in our country is an undeniable and sad fact. It is difficult to call and consider them patriots of the country; rather, they are opportunists.”
The Murmansk diocese confirmed that Kunitsyn "played a lot of tricks" and had not been in touch with the diocese for a long time, Tutunov emphasizes. He called to raise the issue of defrocking a cleric.
In August, the Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarchal Exarch of Africa Leonid (Gorbachev) laughed at the video with Ukrainian prisoners of war. At the beginning of the video, fighters from Ukraine sing the song “Chervona Kalina”, and in the second part of the video they are forced to sing the song “Lyube” against the background of the Russian flag, “Why are birches making such a noise in Russia.” The Metropolitan wrote: “I always said that a good regent is worth its weight in gold. I think now it’s possible to join the church choir.”
Justifies the war and the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill (Vladimir Gundyaev). Pope Francis said that during a conversation with him, Gundyaev read from a piece of paper for twenty minutes and gave arguments justifying Russia's war against Ukraine. Later, the Russian Orthodox Church published a speech by Gundyaev, in which he, addressing the Pope, spoke about the "flying time of missiles" to Moscow and the expansion of NATO. In April, 190 priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) of the Moscow Patriarchate demanded that Patriarch Kirill be brought before a church tribunal for supporting the war.