A Russian priest has been filmed beating a Ukrainian priest with a holy cross. Moscow Patriarchate Mykhailo Vasylyuk last week disrupted the funeral service of a Ukrainian soldier. Videos emerged on the internet show Vasylyuk beating another priest from the Orthodox Church of Ukraine with a cross.
The incident happened on July 22 when a Ukrainian priest identified as Anatoliy Dudko was delivering remarks that Vasylyuk believed were against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Dudko Blamed Putin For Death of Ukrainian Soldier
Reports claim that Dudko stated that Putin unleashed the war in Ukraine in part to protect believers of the Russian Orthodox Church, which infuriated Vasylyuk.
Military Personnel Intervened
The altercation, which was controlled after military personnel intervened, left Dudko with minor injuries. Activists who were at the scene say that the incident crossed all possible and impossible limits of arrogance.
Footage shows the Russian priest trying to rip the cross from Dudko's neck before striking him with the cross in his hand. The fight was broken up by members of the military, who pulled Vasylyuk away. The funeral service then continued, according to Newsweek.
Users Slam Vasylyuk For "Using Holy Cross As Sword"
Footage of the incident was shared by a local activist Serhiy Timkov on Facebook. "In my opinion, [the incident] crosses all possible and impossible limits of arrogance. Based on the above, I further ask law enforcement authorities to ensure order at any gatherings where there is a conflict," wrote Timkov.
The incident has gone viral on social media and users are slamming Vasylyuk for the incident. "Is nothing holy? In the Vinnitsa region, a priest of the Moscow Patriarchate beat another priest from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with a cross," wrote Altavista.
"Isn't using the cross to commit an act of violence, a mortal sin," wrote another user Talasian Bach.
While user Nome Utente stated that it was the first time he saw that the holy cross is being used as a sword. "The holy cross has been used as a sword. So far. I have never seen it used in such a coarse way. So far."