VILNIUS – Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Simasius will on Wednesday meet with three sacked Orthodox priests to find out whether they need any assistance.
“If they confirm that they were sacked due to support for Ukraine (refusal to pray for Patriarch Kirill of Moscow who is serving the devil), we will help in whichever way we can…,” the mayor said in a Facebook post.
He also wrote about the need to evaluate whether the Lithuanian Orthodox Church, a metropolitanate within the Patriarchate of Moscow and All Russia, was indeed a traditional religious community.
Metropolitan Inokentiy, head of the Lithuanian Orthodox Archdiocese, last week dismissed Vitalijus Mockus, Gintaras Jurgis Sungaila and Vitalis Dauparas from their duties. Sungaila and Dauparas were also suspended from any active ministry within the Church.
The three priests claimed that they had left their duties themselves due to a conflict of conscience given that Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, supported Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine and labelled Moscow’s opponents in Ukraine as “evil forces” fighting against “the unity of Russia”.
Earlier this week, Metropolitan Inokentiy accused those priests of conspiracy saying that they make plans “to switch to the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople”.
Gintaras Sungaila, one of the three priests, confirmed that some Orthodox clergy wanted to become subordinate to another Orthodox bishop so as "not to feel a conflict of conscience".
In October 2018, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople agreed to recognize the independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The Lithuanian Orthodox Church, one of Lithuania's nine traditional religious communities, is a metropolitanate within the Patriarchate of Moscow and All Russia.