“This crime has left nobody indifferent. The Russian Orthodox Church in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries is praying for the recovery of the seriously injured priest,” the Synodal Department quoted Legoyda as saying.
The attackers may have acted with “the intent to kill,” he said.
According to Legoyda, for now it is difficult to speculate about the motives of the crime, investigators should be allowed to probe all possible theories behind the incident.
“A murder of a clergyman has since ancient times been considered as something only the lowest of the low are capable of, since no cleric is allowed to take up arms to defend himself. Nor do priests participate in political struggles and they take no side in fratricidal quarrels. This is why violence against a priest is violence against a defenseless one,” the Russian Church spokesman said.
Hopefully, law enforcement authorities will do whatever it takes to ensure “this heinous crime does not go unpunished,” he said.
It was reported that a Ukrainian Orthodox Church priest was shot and injured in the head in the early hours of Sunday morning. The priest survived two bullet wounds but is in critical condition.