Ukrainian Orthodox Church removes prayers for government, Vatican Radio

Church in Kiev, Ukraine

Church in Kiev, UkraineVatican Radio reported that the influential Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate) has removed prayers for the Yanukovych government from its liturgy.

Vatican Radio’s Stefan Bos said that this is an unprecedented move. “The denomination’s ruling body, known as the Holy Synod, advised believers to ask God to protect Ukraine and its people, and to pray and the many victims,” Bos reported.

While the Vatican Radio report does not analyze practical implications of this church announcement, it appears to de-legitimize the government’s use of force and presumably it could stop at least some security personnel from shooting at civilians.

Listen to Stefan Bos’ report

Vatican Radio’s Linda Bordoni spoke to Bogdan Voron who is a reporter in Kiev and the creator of one of the Maidan art projects.

He said that the police threw grenades and used live ammunition wounding thousands. He also said that police threw molotof cocktails burning many tents and the Chapel on the Square with its icons.

Listen to the interview with Bogdan Voron

Violence erupts in Kyiv
Thu, Feb 20, 2014
Source: Vatican Radio (Vatican)

Dozens die in Ukraine as Maidan protesters refuse to yield to brutal force
Thu, Feb 20, 2014
Source: Vatican Radio (Vatican)