Tension deliberately whipped up around cross procession, – UOC Chancellor

Chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Anthony of Borispol and Brovary asks himself a question: why do local authorities view the cross procession on the holiday of Intercession of the Holy Virgin as a threat? This is what the Metropolitan reflects on in his column on the “Korrespondent” site.

“I would like to focus on several important points,” writes Metropolitan Anthony. “First – the procession in Sumy has been held for many years. According to the established tradition, thousands of people, among whom there are visitors from other cities of Ukraine, go with prayers to the place where the ancient Cossack temple was formerly located in honor of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin. As reported by the media, for all this time no confrontations or incidents have been recorded. So why should they be this year?

The second aspect mentioned by His Eminence is that provocations the power is so much afraid of, if possible, cannot be caused by believers. Vladyka reminded that similar fears were voiced in relation to the All-Ukrainian Cross Procession.

"Everything that the Ukrainian public was frightened with turned out to be someone's imaginary or deliberately inflated fears," accentuates the UOC Chancellor. "Although initially many initiators of this harassment understood that the elderly, women and children who were going in significant numbers along the roads of our country, could not in any way appear as "trouble makers.” “It should be noted that the provocations are still on, but not from the side of the UOC, but from its opponents. It will just suffice to mention throwing stones, eggs and garbage near Boryspil at the participants who were carrying the miraculous icon of the Mother of God.

The third aspect highlighted by Metropolitan Anthony is the issue of protection.

"If the UOC believers theoretically can become a victim of some kind of aggression, cannot they be provided with an appropriate level of protection?, asks the hierarch. “Practice shows that this requires only a desire. It is necessary to recall at least provocative "LGBT marches" in Kiev, which could bring about large-scale incidents. Despite their being rejected by the society, they were still held."

Metropolitan Anthony expressed bewilderment: how can a peaceful, constitutionally guaranteed procession of citizens of Ukraine, who "pray for the peace and prosperity of their Motherland" in the framework of the cross procession, be able to "provoke confrontation"?

On September 19 in Sumy, local authorities did not support the holding of the religious procession of believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church at Intercession. Deputy of Sumy Regional Council Viktor Dubinko said this can lead to a civil confrontation.
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