Volyn believers adopt an appeal against the lie in media about their rector

Свято-Покровский храм села Озеро

Believers of Ozero continue to protect the reputation of their priest, protesting against inaccurate information about their rector, published by the local media.


The parishioners of the Holy Protection Church in the village of Ozero of the Kivertsy district, Volyn region, adopted an appeal to the authorities and the mass media in connection with the publication in the local newspaper of lies about their rector Protopriest Mikhail Zhuromsky (full text - below), reports a UOJ correspondent.

As the first protest action, the community decided to block the highway near the village on September 30. The believers do not lose hope that their demands will be fulfilled, and the mass media will publish their point of view on the conflict in the village incited by journalists.

“Nobody believed that we would block the highway,” said Irina Khomich, a resident of the village who participated in the action of protest. According to her, representatives of the authorities promised to influence the editorial staff of the district edition.

In early September, a child baptized in the Cathedral of the UOC KP in Lutsk died in the village of Ozero. The rector of the local church of the UOC Protopriest Mikhail advised the parents to turn to the Kiev Patriarchate to hold a burial service for their child. In the media, this woeful event caused public statements by the top officials of the region. The last point for the residents of Ozero was an article going beyond ethics and journalistic standards in a local district newspaper, written by the chief editor of the publication Vasily Nedilsky.

The believers had to block the route because of the district newspaper and authorities ignoring their legitimate demands to publish the viewpoint of the church members on what had happened to protect the reputation of their priest.

As the UOJ reported, the Ozero community waited more than a week for the newspaper’s editors to publish their answer to the editor, but to no avail. After the first protest, the parishioners will additionally hold an assembly in the village. Both district officials and representatives of the newspaper’s editorial board will be invited to take part in the meeting.

Appeal of the residents of vlg. Ozero of the Kivertsy district to representatives of the authorities and the mass media

We, the residents of vlg. Ozero of the Kivertsy district, Volyn region, appeal to you for help. A catalyst for this is the events that happened in our community and the reaction to them of the district newspaper.

The Kingdom of Heaven to Regina Chizhuk (and no matter which family, Roma or not, she comes from)! We express sympathy and pity to the whole family of hers, we mourn with them. When a person passes away is a great tragedy, a thousand times as much when it is a child.

And everything would be ok if it were not for “Worldview, belief, faith” - this is exactly the title of the rubric in the newspaper, under which the reflections of the “Volnym Putem” (“Free Way”) editor are placed. “If rituals are not aimed at humanity, get them out of Ukraine!” (“Volnym Putem” of September 15, 2018, No. 37/8320).

It is doubtful whether V.K. Nedilsky himself belongs to any church community in Kivertsy. Nedilsky, whether anyone has ever seen him in the church, but it was he who undertook to put accents in that matter with the funeral of the child.

“If the rituals are not aimed at humanity, get them out of Ukraine!”, the author took out the words of the RSA head A. Savchenko, as if by covering up what he wrote in the newspaper. We agree, but how does it concern the Afghan veteran, an intelligence officer, who participated in military operations outside Ukraine, and now, having survived in that alien war, having suffered pain, grief from the death of his fellow-soldiers, has devoted his life to serving God, the community Ukraine? It was these weapons that the Lord gave him there, in distant Afghanistan to pray not only for the souls of the dead fellow-soldiers, but also to spiritually enrich and heal human souls in his native Ukrainian land. And this is exactly what Father Mikhail Zhuromsky has been doing for more than 20 years as the rector of the Holy Intercession Church in the village of Ozero.

The author of the newspaper article, touching upon such deep strings of the human soul, should be more cautious, tolerant and balanced in his subjective judgments. After all, there is no need for a great mind to take out of context the words of the leaders of the region, district, spokesman for the eparchy, from the Facebook, as well as to judge the actions of the priest one-sidedly, as he sees fit.

Father Mikhail has done a lot for our church throughout these years. With his own hands, he repaired the temple, fenced, and planted a garden. And many more good deeds can be listed. We see our church being renewed every year. A person with great life experience and wisdom faithfully serves his community.

Those who, for various reasons, come to our church (non-villagers), notice his outstanding work, precise observance of church canons during the service, as well as love and awe he treats every believer with. Trust us, it is worth listening to him, learning to understand life, following his instructions of charity, humanity, kindness, love of neighbour.

So, could such a person offend anyone? In the article in the newspaper (fortunately, short-circuited), Father Mikhail looks almost like a criminal, a heatless inhuman.

But this is Mr Nedilsky’s opinion!

As is known, the family of the late Regina has arrived in the village recently. The girl's illness became a burden for the family, but during this time none of their family was in the village church, all the more, never took sacraments of Confession, Communion, and was not familiar to the priest. They said that they were Baptist believers, that children were not baptized. So, what is Father Mikhail’s fault – that he inquired whether the child was baptized, where he was baptized? These are ordinary things that should be known to the person who holds a burial service for the deceased.

The author writes that the villagers were shocked by the article that many Roma who live in the village are parishioners of the Holy Intercession Church. Why did you not ask us whether the Roma are really parishioners of our church, have they ever been seen in the temple?

Mr Nedilsky writes that Ukrainians and the Roma find mutual understanding here, support each other.

We have Roma families who keep households, go to work, raise children. But we cannot say so about this family. And it is not “mercy that comes from them,” Mr. Nedilsky, as you write. You did not meet with the villagers, and therefore you had no right to draw such conclusions.

The community of Ozero demands from the district authorities that Nedilsky himself should answer for his subjective judgments in the above-mentioned article. It does not work like that – to defile an innocent person! And the editor himself would not find out the facts needed for his journalistic work when writing and preparing certain documents, materials, and so on?!

That is why the priest had to find out about the person who he was going to perform the funeral or another rite for. There is nothing unlawful here! "There are rules, but to refuse to bury, there must be reasons," says Ivan Semeniuk, the dean of the Kivertsy district (UOC KP). Nobody refused to bury – the priest only asked about baptism.

And this is not an excuse, as Nedilsky writes. These are laws, canons, the church — the priest must have information about the person he encounters in the service. And there is no need for journalists’ own interpretations, the decent person has nothing to blame for. It is necessary to suspend such things not only in the district.

To begin with, we request that our appeal be printed in the district newspaper and the author be given an objective assessment. It is too easy to strike, to hurt an innocent person, especially with such biased unprofessional actions of the editor.

And so that not “to lose the ground under your feet, not to hang, as if suspended on a rope,” Mr. Nedilsky, place the objective material in the newspaper.

We hope you have enough newspaper space, because due to the shortage of local high-quality materials in it, only custom-made Kiev materials, either from the “Ukrainska Pravda“, or completely “local,” about “Climbing the Eiffel Tower for 18 euros” from the “Vysoky Zamok” newspaper, are published in it – this is a review of only the last issue of our newspaper, which has turned into goodness knows what! No wonder, it lacks readers.

And yet, for those who managed to read about the situation in the village of Ozero, we ask that our appeal be printed in the next issue.

Dear authorities! It is time to collect stones, bring people together, do a good deed not for sites or Facebook, but for real people. Too much suffering, pain is caused by such hacks, who take health where it could not be. Saved in the Afghan war – destroyed with the text in the district newspaper. You should give this assessment.

Our community coexists peacefully with people of different nationalities and religions. Our community wishes everyone peace, understanding, tolerance, humanity, mercy – and peace in our souls.

Regards on behalf of the community – signatures.


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What do you think Poroshenko creates under the guise of the Single Local Church?
a new schismatic structure controlled by the state
an autocephalous Church, which Phanar will take under its omophorion
it does not matter – it will not work out anyway
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