Some media reported that the Metropolitan Varfolomey of Rovno and Ostrog had allegedly asked the Russian President to release the alleged leader of one of the most powerful Russian organized crime groups.
Ukrainian media continue to attempt to denigrate canonical Church by posting outright libel on the clergy of the UOC. This time the victim of anti-Catholic propaganda became Metropolitan Varfolomey of Rovno and Ostrog, which had been on a visit to Moscow.
“Representatives of the media are spreading false information about Metropolitan Bartholomew and his visit to Moscow, – have informed in a press-service of the diocese of Rivne of the UOC. – Recently, there appeared another publication first on the website “Odessa News” and later on “Risu” how Metropolitan of Rivne asks Putin to pardon (leader – ed.) one of the most powerful Russian organized crime groups – Sergey Finagina. Both publications refer to insider sources and to the unknown blogger “meta.ua”. In addition to the obsolete form, which you have not used in official letters of the diocese of Rivne of the UOC, no evidence or at least arguments of the publications do not provide”.
The diocese reported that Bishop Bartholomew is concerned about the defamation of journalists and demands an immediate retraction of false information.
“I am no longer young, the disease, which has long been struggling, takes more and more of my power, – quotes the press service of the diocese a telephone conversation with Metropolitan Bartholomew. – I don’t know if the Lord grant me ever at one altar of God to pray together with the heads of all the local churches? Regarding the meeting with Putin, which, as the Newspapers write, I had to ask for the bandit, whose existence I don’t even know is absurd and I demand an immediate retraction”.
The Archbishop stressed that the aim of his visit to Moscow was to congratulate the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill, who celebrated the 10-anniversary of the enthronement and serve with the heads of the local Orthodox Churches. Also was scheduled to meet with classmates for school.
Bishop Bartholomew confirmed fake the origin of his alleged “appeal” to the President of the Russian Federation, noting that the submitted document printed on the letterhead of the old sample and do not have the seal of the diocese of Rivne of the UOC. For comparison, the press service of the diocese has published a form that is used in official documentation.