Defamation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) from mass media

February 2, 2016. “Patriotically oriented” Ukrainian mass media keeps hyping up the “prohibition” of the Ukrainian language in the UOC worship practice by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphriy. Despite numerous publications by the Union of the Orthodox Journalists and other resources, refuting lies about such prohibition, experts in “customized” reporting pursue with their activity. Journalists from the «Religion in Ukraine», «Observer» and «RISU» editions have placed the other day their own interpretation of the UOC Primate’s words concerning a divine worship language in the Church said by the Metropolitan in his interview to the UOJ.

A wave of accusations by the Ukrainian mass media of mythical persecutions of the state language of Ukraine in the UOC churches surged after 28 December, when the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra hosted a Diocesan Assembly of the Kyiv UOC diocese chaired by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphriy. At this Assembly the UOC Primate gave his answer, inter alia, to the question of probable extended use of the Ukrainian language in the Church worships. As a reminder, there is a provision currently in force that was approved by the predecessor Metropolitan Vladimir, according to which Ukrainian can become an official worship language in parishes where 2/3 of the parishioners chose to serve in Ukrainian.

His Beatitude Onuphriy stated that no amendments are anticipated as for the use of the divine worship language because “we have services in the old Slavic language – the very language our ancestors used in their church services. There is no way we are going to change it. If a man, in order to make some money, leaves for Turkey or China, he/she will have to learn the languages spoken there, whereas in order to save a soul, one feels lazy to learn their native language”.

These words gave a push to the flood of lies about purportedly anti-Ukrainian position of the UOC Primate. The fact that the UOC parishes continued to have services in Ukrainian before and after 28 December was surely silenced by the “critics”. For when a foe image is being shaped (this is precisely the way all these journalists and political technologists in one treat the Ukrainian Orthodox Church), true information is apparently redundant. If they happen to report it, their comments are specifically confined to the “deeds of Orthodox oppositionists” who dare challenge “obscurant monks”.

The journalists’ publications in the above mentioned “RISU”, “Religion in Ukraine”, and “Observer” is a case in point, when by means of ingenuous manipulations, the UOC was depicted once more as an anti-Ukrainian collaborationist. The “press tribe” thought up nothing new in this respect. It was sufficient to come up with a scandalous headline, fish out contextual quotes and furnish them with “necessary” comments.

It’s commonly known that the publication’s name has to reflect the article’s content. Not all but just a few readers look through all the news feed, but titles are never skipped, as a rule. It is namely the titles of articles, their informational and emotional message that shape the reader’s attitude to the material published.

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