A prominent religious leader in Ukraine who earlier this year blamed the coronavirus pandemic on identical-sex relationship has tested favourable for the virus, his church introduced.

Patriarch Filaret, 91, who leads the substantial Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate, contracted COVID-19 and was subsequently hospitalized, the church confirmed Friday in a assertion shared on its internet site and on Facebook. In a comply with-up assertion shared Tuesday, the church said its leader’s wellbeing is “stable” as “treatment carries on.”

“We talk to you to continue on to pray for His Holiness Patriarch Filaret, so that the All-Merciful and Almighty Lord God will recover the Patriarch,” the assertion ongoing.

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This is not the 1st time Filaret has created headlines involving the international coronavirus pandemic, which has killed nearly 3,000 men and women and contaminated over 140,000 in Ukraine. In a March job interview with a nearby Ukrainian Television station, he reportedly termed the disaster “God’s punishment for the sins of guys and sinfulness of humanity.”

“First of all, I necessarily mean identical-sex marriage,” he extra. “This is the induce of the coronavirus.”

Following Filaret’s controversial remarks, the Ukrainian LGBTQ rights group Insight filed a lawsuit against him in April.

“Our purpose is to clearly show folks that there is no more time area for these statements from church leaders in Ukraine,” Insight’s chief, Olena Shevchenko, advised Thomson Reuters Basis at the time.

In accordance to the basis, the accommodate sought an apology from Filaret for disseminating bogus information and facts and a correction from the Television set station that aired his controversial remarks.

Linked: Joseph Scott Pemberton was convicted of murdering Jennifer Laude in 2014. Activists condemned the pardon as a “mockery of justice” and kowtowing to the U.S.

Maria Guryeva, a spokeswoman for Amnesty Worldwide Ukraine, instructed Thomson Reuters Foundation at the time that Filaret’s statements “are really damaging for the reason that they could guide to elevated assaults, aggression, discrimination and acceptance of violence towards specific teams.”

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In reaction to Insight’s lawsuit versus Filaret, the Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate issued a assertion in April expressing, “As the head of the church and as a guy, the Patriarch has the flexibility to express his sights, which are based on morality.”

Even though Europe has a status for becoming reasonably progressive when it comes to LGBTQ challenges, Ukraine is not between the continent’s most homosexual-pleasant nations around the world. In its once-a-year rating of Europe’s most queer-welcoming nations, the European LGBTQ legal rights group ILGA-Europe has mentioned Ukraine at 35 amongst 49 international locations.

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