Seeking Divine Intervention: Ukrainian Priest Calls Upon God to Bring an End to Conflict with Russia
Ukrainian Priest's Plea for Peace Sparks Controversy and Reflection
Roman Kurach, a member of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, has found himself at the center of a debate following his call for reconciliation between Russians and Ukrainians during his Sunday sermon.
After his words stirred reactions from Ukrainian journalists, the situation quickly escalated into what local media has termed a "significant controversy." Kurach publicly apologized in response.
During the Sunday worship service, the priest made an earnest plea for divine intervention, invoking God's miraculous power to unite the two great nations of Ukraine and Russia. He implored the Almighty to bring an end to the destructive conflict and violence that has plagued the region, envisioning a harmonious coexistence on Earth that would extend to a shared destiny in the heavens.
Darya Sipigina, a local journalist, took exception to Kurach's message. She was the first to share videos from the sermon, accompanied by a critical post on Facebook where she labeled Kurach's statements as "astonishing."
Sipigina questioned the feasibility of such a plea "a year and a half into the conflict." She also criticized the Uzhhorod Greek-Catholic Church for allegedly not adequately honoring those who have sacrificed their lives to defend Ukrainian soil.
Although Sipigina admitted to not hearing the entire sermon, her objection was based on the peace-related remarks she caught while passing by the cathedral's loudspeakers.
Reportedly, Sipigina confronted Kurach after the sermon, where he purportedly reaffirmed his commitment to blessing even Russians, even in the event of his brother's death on the frontlines.
Sipigina expressed dismay that many attendees remained silent during the sermon, failing to react to the words spoken.
However, a significant number of responses to her Facebook post supported the priest's call for peace, asserting that advocating for reconciliation was appropriate. Some accused Sipigina of sensationalizing the issue.
Despite the ensuing controversy, Ukrainian media extensively covered Kurach's sermon, labeling it a "scandal."
Subsequently, Kurach clarified his statements and expressed regret in an interview with a local media outlet.
He cautioned against making such statements during times of war, acknowledging his error. Kurach explained that his call for peace had been an "impromptu" expression, inspired by the example of European nations like England, France, and Germany, which had managed to achieve unity, love, and forgiveness despite centuries of conflict. He posited that divine intervention could similarly mend the divide between any two peoples.