Unfortunately, scandals and crimes involving Roman Catholic priests are quite common in many countries. In just the month of August 2018, for example, 178 adolescents in Chile and more than a thousand in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania fell victims to sex abuse. What is perhaps less well known, however, is that the Eastern Orthodox churches are facing the same issue. Unfortunately, their Primate, Patriarch Bartholomew, as well as Pope Francis, are currently unable to resist the aggressive ascension of liberalism and degeneracy. With great regret, I want to describe some horrifying examples of the immorality of Orthodox archbishops. I do so, of course, not to justify our own Roman Catholic clergy or to criticize the Orthodox confession, but to show that we Catholics need drastic changes in our lives, in our ministers' conduct, and in the policy of the Holy See.
While the world is suffering, we close our eyes and tolerate the sins of our clergy. Especially affected are believers in post-Soviet countries, most of whom still haven't found either the divine or the true Catholic faith after 70 years of Communist tyranny.
Last September, at the Australian Southport District Court, Vincent Victor Berg, a Russian emigrant who worked as a sham psychologist, was sentenced to four years and three months' imprisonment for fraud and forgery. Vincent Berg's real name is Vikenty Chekalin. In his homeland, Chekalin is known as a pedophile and a criminal, as well as one of the founders of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC), which was revived in 1990. From 1987 to 1990, Chekalin was imprisoned for corruption of minors. Then, after moving to Lviv in western Ukraine, he posed as a bishop and collaborated with Ioann Bodnarchuk, a former bishop of the Moscow Patriarchate, to "ordain" the first hierarchs of the uncanonical UAOC. In 1992, Chekalin, claiming to be a "political refugee," fled to Australia with a kidnapped boy named Andrey. For unknown reasons, Australian authorities never studied this issue. Even the case involving Chekalin's forged doctor credentials had lasted for 13 years.
Meanwhile, even without any communication with canonical churches, the UAOC easily accepted priests with backgrounds similar to that of its founding father, Vikenty Chekalin. Many of these "bishops" joined the Ukrainian Orthodox Church -- Kyivan Patriarchate (UOC-KP). In the 28 years since it created this structure, the UAOC has accepted banned and defrocked priests, or simply impostors, and aggregated all the vices of the Orthodox Church in post-Soviet countries.
This is dreadful enough, but many perpetrators of these vices are still bishops and preach in Ukrainian Orthodox temples. This is illustrated by a criminal case launched in Russia in 1991 against Adrian Staryna, a then Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) archimandrite. Staryna hocused altar boys and participated in orgies in his temple. Now he is a metropolitan of the (UOC-KP).
Sodomy in the UOC-KP and UAOC is also not rare:
- Metropolitan Joasaph Shibaev of Belgorod and Oboyan (UOC-KP) maintained sexual relations for many years until 1991 with hieromonk Seraphim Baranchikov (UOC-KP). The latter, living in France, married Varnava Prokofyev in 2003, a former bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia ROCOR).
- Metropolitan Dimitry Rudyuk (UOC-KP) of Lviv and Sokal is engaged in sexual relations with archpriest Yaroslav Romanchuk (UOC-KP).
- Metropolitan Mikhail Zinkevic of Volyn, archbishop Clement Kush of Simferopol and Crimea, archbishop Mephody Skribnyak of Sumy and Ahtirka, retired archbishop Iov Pavlishin (all from UOC-KP) and UAOC metropolitan Roman Balashuk are said to maintain homosexual contacts with various partners.
- This list also includes late hierarchs and those who voluntarily joined other unrecognized jurisdictions: bishop Paisy Dmokhovsky, bishop Seraphim Verzun, bishop Feodosy Pecina of Drohobych and Sambir (all ordained in UOC-KP).
Even when they are forced to remove sinful hierarchs, the heads of some Orthodox churches in Ukraine prefer to defrock them not for homosexuality but for alcoholism (former UAOC metropolitan Roman Balashchuk), for "losing connection" with the church (former UOC-KP bishop Varuh Tishenkov of Tobolsk and Yenisey), and for embezzlement. (See the case of former UAOC archbishop Geronty Hovansky of Sumy and Ahtirka.)
UOC-KP is also tolerant of explicit nationalist leanings. Thus, incumbent metropolitan Mikhail of Volyn called the soldiers of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which had slain more than 40,000 Poles in Volyn, "people of holy life" and "the holy of the Ukrainian land."
The drug addictions of UOC-KP archbishop Geronty and bishop Paisy were also not considered grounds for punishment, though the latter not only used drugs but was involved in selling them.
Despite the gravity of these offenses, it is not surprising to see how easily they are overlooked or forgiven. This is because the primates of Orthodox churches are themselves linked to criminal organizations. For example, after the late metropolitan Mefody Kudryakov became head of the UAOC, he took part in gang shootings. He once fired his own rifle at a cafe in Ternopol, and, from 1987 to 1989, he served time in prison for a fight with police officers. UOC-KP primate Filaret Denysenko had a similar shady past. He was married and had children, was involved in quasi-legal schemes in the USA, sold American Green Cards to illegal migrants, and owned a mercenary company. There were also allegations in the media that he was connected with a number of assassinations.
Alcoholism and filth are, as well, not uncommon in the UAOC. One of its most powerful metropolitans, Andrey Abramchuk of Ivano-Frankivsk and Galicia, often conducts services when dead-drunk. He is also said to have lived with two women in the 2000s.
Every Christian who hasn't betrayed God's Commandments for the liberal values of the modern world can't help but to deeply sympathize with the local believers. They have to direct their lives to the Lord not in accordance with, but in direct opposition to, the examples set by holier-than-thou bishops who may be teaching chastity but living lecherous lives. Examples of this abound. The late UOC-KP bishop Grigory Kachan participated in group sexual orgies. The late UAOC primate Mefody Kudryakov was a frequent visitor at houses of prostitution. And incumbent UOC-KP archbishops Iakov Makarchuk of Drohobych and Sambir, Alexander Reshetnyak of Bohuslav, the late UOC-KP archbishop Daniil Chokalyuk of Rivne and Ostroh (father of metropolitan Epifany Dumenko, locum tenens of the UOC-KP primate Filaret) all kept mistresses.