Cardinal Husar said the contested election poses a problem for the Vatican’s ecumenical experts, who have been trying to improve dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church. Russia has backed Yanukovych, and Russian Orthodox leaders in Ukraine have not joined other Christian leaders in protesting the election as a violation of human rights, Cardinal Husar said.
“You have to understand that for Russia to lose Ukraine is a terrible loss. So they will try to do anything not to lose us. They do not hesitate to use the (Russian Orthodox) church for this purpose,” he said.
“I suspect there certainly are those in the Vatican who are sensitive to this problem,” he said. “Those who want to maintain a running dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church naturally are not at ease about the dismal situation.”
Cardinal Husar said the election was marred by a group of current leaders who have “accumulated riches and are trying to protect those riches at any cost,” using autocratic means to try to crush democratic expression.
The cardinal said a new election should be monitored by international experts, such as monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He said that in the previous election, many deceased people turned up on voting rolls while legitimate citizens – like himself – were not listed and could not cast a vote.
Cardinal Husar warned that the current group of Ukrainian leaders were desperate to hold onto power. He said it was still possible that they would deliberately provoke a violent confrontation with demonstrators who have filled squares peacefully to protest the earlier vote.