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Ukrainian church leader who called Covid-19 'God's punishment' for same-sex marriage tests positive

A famous church leader in Ukraine who had said that the Covid-19 pandemic was “God’s punishment” for same-sex marriage has tested positive for the virus.

Patriarch Filaret, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is called Kiev Patriarchate, is currently undergoing treatment. On the 4th September, the church announced the news in a Facebook post that read: "His Holiness Patriarch Filaret is especially grateful to everyone who shows his love and support in prayers for his health".

Filaret, who is 91-year-old, made headlines in March when he said the pandemic was "God's punishment for the sins of men, the sinfulness of humanity." He followed that by saying, "First of all, I mean same-sex marriage."

The Ukranian LGBTQ+ group Insight sued Filaret for having said something that has the potential to spread hate and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, which is already a big issue in Ukraine.

The lawsuit called for an apology from Filaret and a retraction from him and the TV channel. The LGBTQ+ advocacy group said that "Such statements ... are very harmful because they could lead to increased attacks, aggression, discrimination and acceptance of violence against certain groups."

Many people have taken to social media to ridicule Filaret and point out the irony in Filaret being infected with a virus that he claimed humanity deserved for something he perceives to be immoral.

Key Terms

  1. Same-sex marriage

  2. Sinfulness

  3. Orthodox Christianity

  4. Discrimination

  5. Irony

Key Questions

  1. Should Patriarch Filaret have been allowed to make that statement on national television?

  2. What are the repercussions of speaking out against the LGBTQ+ community?

  3. Is morality objective?

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