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Death by Lightning

As readers may know, for several years now various sects have tried to divide the Orthodox Church in the extreme west of the Ukraine. This is the nationalist area by the Polish border which was under Polish administration until 1939. During the Second World War the Fascists were able to recruit here and form a Waffen SS regiment. This took part in some of the most horrendous killings of Jews of the whole War and its ‘exploits’ are now celebrated by local skinheads.

The sects in the far west of the Ukraine are made up not only of Uniats, but also of other politically-minded nationalists. These are heavily financed from abroad, either directly, or indirectly via the nationalist President Yushchenko and his American wife. The main group is headed by the Soviet-period, married and long since defrocked, ex-Metropolitan Philaret of Kiev, who calls himself ‘The Patriarch of Kiev’. His recruits are mainly ex-Communists who, swimming with the tide, converted to nationalism after Communism had finally gone bankrupt - in all senses.

Reports dated Saturday 4 July say that Vasily Chervoniy, the former head of the Rovno region of the western Ukraine and member of the ‘Supreme Church Council’ of the self-styled ‘Patriarchate of Kiev’, died, struck by lightning. The incident occurred during a fishing trip in the Rovno region. He was taken to hospital, but died shortly afterwards.

Several witnesses agree that the deceased was the main organiser of and directly participated in violent seizures of dozens of canonical Orthodox church buildings in the far west of the Ukraine. It should be recalled that these takeovers of church buildings, made to try and build up the numerically very small, schismatic group, always involved saving beatings of Orthodox clergy and laity. The takeovers were very reminiscent of Soviet-period Communist seizures of Church property. These also involved criminal gangs working for the ideology which was then in power.

After the ‘Orange Revolution’ (which cost the US taxpayer some 85 million dollars), President Yushchenko had appointed the deceased governor of the Rovno region. It is said that the deceased had already planned various attacks against Patriarch Kyrill who is to visit the Ukraine next month.

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