Met. Simeon: At Bishops’ Council I expressed my personal position
Metropolitan Simeon of Vinnitsa and Bar believes that to condemn him is “a very big mistake,” and first of all for those who are near him.
The head of the Vinnitsa eparchy said this in his sermon at the All-Night Vigil at the Vinnitsa Cathedral on November 17.
Addressing the flock, Metropolitan Simeon asked for prayers about him and said that there was nothing to judge him for: he only expressed his personal opinion at the UOC Bishops' Council.
“I am not a violator, and everything that is written in the resolution (of the Bishops’ Council, – Ed.) I, as they say, have not violated anything yet. And I have not moved anywhere yet, as many people interpret and say today,” the metropolitan said and added that in this situation it would be wrong to pass a verdict on him – this would be “a very big mistake.”
“It was my personal opinion, I did not express the opinion of my eparchy,” the hierarch explained and added that he has always advocated for the unity of world Orthodoxy and Orthodoxy in Ukraine.
The hierarch believes that “not a single bishop represented the opinion of his eparchy or people at the Council, everyone spoke for themselves”.
“Everyone has their own opinion, and each bishop acts as he finds right,” the metropolitan added, stressing that he had not violated the Council’s resolutions in any way. He also noted that for 22 years of his episcopal ministry he "has never said or especially forced anyone to go against the Church".
We recall that the hierarchs, together with their clergy, have expressed support for their Church and its Primate, His Beatitude Onufry, in almost all the eparchies of the UOC, except for the Vinnitsa eparchy. At the same time, on November 15, an emergency meeting of the clergy was held in Vinnitsa, at which the UOC clerics fully supported Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine. Later it was reported that Metropolitan Simeon began to put pressure on the priests of the Vinnitsa eparchy, inducing them to move to the SLC.
As the UOJ reported, Metropolitan Simeon (Shostatsky) of Vinnitsa and Bar became the only bishop who refused to sign the resolution of the Bishops’ Council of the UOC. He said that he did not agree with the clauses about breaking the Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the need to repent for Ukrainian schismatics. Later he said that he could become the head of the SLC just like any other bishop who would take part in the unification council.