A Kidnapping in Crimea

by George Weigel

An authoritative source reports from Kyiv that a Greek Catholic priest has been kidnapped in Crimea, under circumstances that suggest a deliberate set-up: the priest was asked to bless a car, and as soon as he arrived he was handcuffed and carried off by dubious characters, who left a note at the house that this should be a “lesson to all agents of the Vatican.”

If Crimea becomes de facto a part of Russia, it seems likely that the Greek Catholic Church — the largest of the Eastern Catholic churches — will be illegal in that region, as it was after the infamous “Lviv Sobor” of 1946, masterminded by the NKVD (predecessor of the KGB) to “return” Catholics to their “proper” Orthodox home.

One waits for a condemnation of this thuggish violation of religious freedom from the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow, which has been piously calling for a peaceful resolution of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine while making ominous noises about the “Russian space.” 

Meanwhile, perhaps the U.S. government could send a package of MREs to whatever jail this priest is now in. 

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