Met. Simeon files a claim in court to reinstate him with the UOC
Met. Simeon (Shostatsky) is seeking via the courts the return of his Vinnitsa chair and prohibition of the activities of Archbishop Varsonofy as a ruling bishop.
On December 28, 2018, Metropolitan Simeon (Shostatsky) appealed to the Vinnitsa City Court of Vinnitsa region with a statement of claim, in which he demands that he be reinstated as a ruling bishop of Vinnitsa eparchy. Documents of the court case were published on December 29 by Strana news outlet.
In his lawsuit, the hierarch asks the court to cancel the decree of December 17, 2018, approved by the Primate of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy of Kiev and All Ukraine, by which he was made redundant from the administration of Vinnitsa eparchy of the UOC and banned in priesthood. Simeon also requests that he be reinstated as a ruling bishop of Vinnitsa and Bar and re-appointed as a chancellor of Vinnitsa eparchy.
Simultaneously, Metropolitan Simeon sent a statement requesting all state registration entities to prohibit taking actions on any registration actions to change the leadership of church organizations regarding Vinnitsa eparchy of the UOC. Thus, the former ruling hierarch asks the court to prohibit the newly appointed Archbishop Varsonofy of Vinnitsa and Bar to take up his duties as a chancellor of Vinnitsa eparchy of the UOC. The court is known to have satisfied the lawsuit of the Metropolitan and forbidden changes to the Unified Register of Legal Entities regarding the management of the administration of Vinnitsa eparchy of the UOC. An appeal against this decision is filed within 15 days. According to Strana, this court decision will be immediately challenged by the UOC.
Protopriest Alexander Bakhov, head of the Law Department of the UOC, was surprised that the hierarch who was forbidden in the ministry, did not turn directly to His Beatitude Onufriy.
“Does he really think that the court will return the rank of the metropolitan to him? The fact is that from the point of view of labor legislation, V. Shostatsky was not involved in labor relations either with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church or with the Primate of the Church, therefore this dispute is not a subject for consideration within civil proceedings,” Father Alexander noted.
According to Vinnitsa priest Victor Parandiuk, the actions of Metropolitan Simeon are aimed at preparing the ground for church raiding.
On December 17, the UOC Synod banned Metropolitan Simeon in the ministry after his participation in the “Unification Council”. After that, a new guard was appointed in Vinnitsa Cathedral, while at services they began to make a liturgical mention of "metropolitan" Epiphany. Also, Metropolitan Simeon asserted there would be only one Church in Ukraine, i.e. the OCU.
As the UOJ reported, the Vinnitsa Regional State Administration distributes standard applications in order to transfer religious communities of the UOC temples to the OCU.