On January 5, 2018 Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye and Melitopol held a briefing on the tragic death of the baby. The Metropolitan of the UOC drew attention to the cheating of Ukrainians by various forces, and said that the laws of modern society are not applicable to the laws of the Church, reports the press-service of the eparchy.
Vladyka said he would like to draw attention to the tragedy taking place in our society. "This is a lie our citizens succumb to. I would like to emphasize that none of the Orthodox Churches – either of Romania, Jerusalem, America, or Constantinople – would perform a funeral service and pray for this child. Because he was not a member of the Church," the Metropolitan stressed.
As regards the statements of the UOC-KP, the Orthodox hierarch stated that "the religious-political organization disseminates all this information and deceives people", leading them to perish.
"UOC-KP is not a Church; it is a religious and political organization. The Church is a God-human organism, which is filled with divine grace. The Kyiv Patriarchate is deprived of this divine grace. Therefore, I would very much like to call everybody in these sad days, which parents are going through now, to pray for their child and to support them," said the Bishop.
"The Church is not a social institution. It lives according to the laws established after the first Apostolic Council in the 1st century. We observe the canons that were established by the Church and tested for centuries by various social structures," the hierarch said. "Therefore, the priest has no right to violate the canons: this is strictly prohibited."
According to the Lord, if secular laws change as the society changes, the church law has no right and just cannot be changed. For the priest, God is the judge.
"I would like to express my condolences to the parents of the deceased child. We mourn. Our priest also burst into tears when he found out that the child hadn’t been baptized. He was not a member of the Church," said Metropolitan Luke. That's why the priest did not allow "any canonical violations" and did not have the right to that burial.
According to the Bishop, it is possible to blame ritual services, which made a mistake in organizing funerals, but "let it be on their conscience." Well, the conscience and calling of the priest tells him to pray, which we do. It's protecting people from religious hatred."
"The clergy of our Zaporozhye eparchy are blessed to pray for the tragically lost infant Yevgeny privately, but not during the Preface or Divine Liturgy" stated Metropolitan Luke.