Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Ukrainian church leader who blamed COVID-19 on gay marriage tests positive for virus

Patriarch Filaret, a prominent Ukrainian Orthodox leader, blamed same-sex unions for the global coronavirus pandemic, which has killed thousands in Ukraine.

Patriarch Filaret, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, speaks during an interview with Reuters in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Sept. 28, 2018.Valentyn Ogirenko / Reuters file

By Daniel Villarreal

A prominent religious leader in Ukraine who earlier this year blamed the coronavirus pandemic on same-sex marriage has tested positive for the virus, his church announced.

Patriarch Filaret, 91, who leads the large Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kyiv Patriarchate, contracted COVID-19 and was subsequently hospitalized, the church confirmed Friday in a statement shared on its website and on Facebook. In a follow-up statement shared Tuesday, the church said its leader’s health is “stable” as “treatment continues.”

"We ask you to continue to pray for His Holiness Patriarch Filaret, so that the All-Merciful and Almighty Lord God will heal the Patriarch," the statement continued.  Read more >>