Church leader in Ukraine who blamed the COVID-19 pandemic on same-sex marriage has tested positive

Patriarch Filaret
Patriarch Filaret

This is not the first time Filaret has made headlines involving the global coronavirus pandemic, which has killed nearly 3,000 people and infected over 140,000 in Ukraine. In a March interview with a local Ukrainian TV station, he reportedly called the crisis “God’s punishment for the sins of men and sinfulness of humanity.”

“First of all, I mean same-sex marriage,” he added. “This is the cause of the coronavirus.”

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

Patriarch Filaret, 91, who leads the large Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate, contracted COVID-19 and was subsequently hospitalized, the church confirmed