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ReligionChristianityFather Alexey Uminsky was deposed for refusing to read the "military prayer"

Father Alexey Uminsky was deposed for refusing to read the “military prayer”

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On January 13, the Moscow Diocesan Church Court announced its decision in the case of Father Alexei Uminsky, depriving him of his priestly rank. Today was the third session of the court, as Fr. Alexey didn’t show up for it. According to the rules of the ecclesiastical court, at the third meeting the decision can be taken without the presence of the “accused”.

According to the decision “… in accordance with Art. 45, para. 3 of the Regulations for the Ecclesiastical Court of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate): it is recognized that, based on Apostolic Rule 25, Father Alexey Uminsky is subject to deprivation of rank for violation of the priestly oath (perjury) – and more precisely, refusal to fulfill the patriarchal blessing to read the prayer for Saint Rus at the divine Liturgy”.

The decision was sent to Patriarch Kirill for approval.

This is the second Moscow priest to be stripped of his priesthood for refusing to read the so-called “war prayer” included in the Liturgy after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The first was Fr. John Koval, who instead of “victory” prayed for “peace”. Unlike Fr. Ioan Koval, who was not a public figure, Fr. Alexey Uminsky is a preacher known throughout the country, a clergyman with great authority in Moscow. His sermons and articles have been published in various languages. In his defense, an open letter was sent to Patriarch Kirill, signed by more than ten thousand people, including 29 priests and 12 deacons. Predictably, their letter went unheeded.

The authorities insist on reading the prayer for the “Victory of Holy Russia” during the Liturgy for two reasons: first, it is an expression of loyalty to the policy of the Kremlin and the Moscow Patriarchate that supports it; at the same time, secondly, it is part of the complex of measures that are being pushed through the Orthodox Church in Russia to militarize society. The ROC has been assigned the important ideological role of presenting Russian aggression against Ukraine as a metaphysical event of a religious nature and thus justifying it.

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