Moscow. June 28. INTERFAX – Ukrainian Council of churches and religious organizations (AUCCRO) of Ukraine has actually sided with the UOC-MP priest, who in January of this year, refused to perform the funeral of the deceased boy, previously baptized in the so-called “Kyiv Patriarchate”.
According to the Department for external Church relations of the UOC, the Council members adopted a statement “On inadmissibility of violation of the principle of the autonomy of religious organizations and interference in the liturgical practices of religious organizations”.
In particular, the Council stressed the inadmissibility of the application of article 161 of the criminal code of Ukraine against priests because it is contrary to the Constitution, according to which “the state does not interfere in the carried out within the framework of the law the activities of religious organizations”.
Members of the Council believe that the act or omission of the clergy religious rites and ceremonies regulated by the internal order of churches and religious organizations, but not the Criminal code of Ukraine.
“In case of violation of religious figures internal order and rules they are liable under the doctrine of the religious organization, as well as moral responsibility, – said in a statement. – Involvement in such circumstances, to criminal prosecution of religious leaders of any denomination in Ukraine is a violation of the principle of the autonomy of religious organizations and illegal interference in the internal practices of the denominations and religious organizations, in particular in the procedure of performing religious sacraments, rites and religious rites”.
In the Synodal Department explained that the reason for the adoption of the document became a case that occurred 11 January 2018 in Zaporozhye, when the Prosecutor’s office initiated criminal proceedings against the priest of the UOC 161 in connection with a “selective approach to the implementation of religious rites, giving preference to those persons who held the rites of baptism in UOC than offend the feelings of citizens in connection with their religious beliefs.”