Ukraine’s Biggest Orthodox Christian Leader Contracted COVID-19

The head of one of Ukraine’s biggest Orthodox Christian leader has contracted COVID-19. Patriarch Filaret who is 91-years-old developed symptoms of the virus months after calling it a punishment from God.

The senior Orthodox leader said that the virus was God’s way of telling humanity he was not happy with the “evil” allowed by same-sex marriages. Patriarch Filaret made this statement in March 2020.

UkraineUkraine’s Orthodox Christian Leader Contracts COVID-19

The Orthodox Christian leader further stated that God would “not allow me to get sick, because I have to serve the church.”

Patriarch Filaret’s condition was verified by the Kyiv Patriarchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on Sept. 9, 2020. In their Facebook post, they requested their parishioners “for holy prayers for the health and recovery of Patriarch Filaret.”

Patriarch Filaret was born Mykhaylo Denysenko in 1929. His decision to become a priest came after his father died during World War II. After he finished his studies in Ukraine and Moscow he began forging his beaming career in the Church. During this time he held top posts in Ukraine and Russia.

The Ukraine Orthodox Christain Leader’s Rise Up Through the Church

Patriarch Filaret became the Archbishop of Kyiv and Halych in 1966. A short two years later he moved the Metropolitan and became the first ethnic Ukrainian to hold that position in 150 years.

In recent years Patriarch Filaret has been a powerful religious figure in Ukraine’s churches. He has been using his position to stand behind anti-LGBTQ rights viewpoints the country has on the subject.

At this time it is still illegal for members of the same-sex to marry one another in Ukraine. According to a report in Britain’s Independent newspaper remarks that Patriarch Filaret made during an interview in March sparked the Ukrainian LGBTQ rights group Insight to take action. They threatened to sue him due to him promoting hatred and showing discrimination. However, he was never prosecuted for this.

Groups in Ukraine Unite to Condemn Patriarch Filaret’s Discriminatory Remarks

A global movement group called Amnesty International has numerous branches throughout the world. The Ukraine branch has stood against the religious leader’s remarks.

They are made up of over seven million people who take all injustices personally. The branch in Ukraine has taken a stance against the hateful remarks. They even warn that further discrimination could produce violent attacks against the LGBTQ community in Ukraine.

Patriarch Filaret defended his stance by saying that COVID-19 was due to ”the sinfulness of humanity.” He further stated that the LGBTQ community stood to “defend evil.” It was at this time Filaret stated that COVID-19 was due to “same-sex marriage.” He further implied that coronavirus was also caused on account of kids being “taught to choose their gender.”

According to reports, Patriarch Filaret contracted COVID-19 on September 4th. Not long afterward he was hospitalized. Although he has been diagnosed with pneumonia he has been listed in “stable” condition.

The Church has further updated its followers saying that the Orthodox leader was continuing “treatment” for the virus.

Written by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

NBC News: Ukrainian church leader who blamed COVID-19 on gay marriage tests positive for virus; Daniel Villarreal

Daily Mail: Religious leader who blamed gay marriage for coronavirus tests positive for Covid-19; Chris Jewers

CBS: Church leader who called coronavirus punishment for “evil” of same-sex marriage has COVID-19; CBS News

The Christian Science Monitor: Why religion and politics are a fickle mix in Ukraine; Fred Weir

Yahoo! News: Ukrainian church leader who blamed COVID-19 on gay marriage tests positive;
Daniel Villarreal

Featured Image by Presidential Press and Information Office Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License

Inline Image Courtesy of Leonard J Matthews’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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