The water is ours, not yours: head of Brailov tries to hamper UOC priests

“The water is ours, not yours,” the head of the Brailov village council told the UOC clerics

Near Vinnitsa, the village council head spoilt a Baptism water blessing service by UOC priests, substantiating it with the fact that "no one gave them this right."

On January 19, on the feast of Baptism, in Brailov village near Vinnytsia, the village head tried to disrupt the traditional Orthodox rite of water blessing, performed by the UOC priests, which annually takes place in reservoirs near the sugar factory and power plant. This is reported by the website of Vinnitsa diocese of the UOC.

As reported in the diocese, on January 19, at 12:00, Protopriest Michael Stets began to bless the water at the sugar factory. Right during the moleben prayer service, Valery Resident, the head of the village council, showed up near the reservoir, accompanied by schismatic priest Leonid from a neighboring village.

Without waiting for the end of the prayer service, the official began to act rudely against the cleric: he screamed into the microphone that nobody had invited Mikhail here and called him a “Moscow cassock”.

After 2 pm Mr Resident turned up near the other reservoir, next to the power station, where Protopriest Rostislav Shemet was performing a water blessing service. This time, the village head was accompanied by the OCU priest Sergei from the village of Zhmerinka.

Together, they tried to prevent the priest from finishing the service, in particular, by shouting: “this is our water, not yours,” and “who gave you the right to bless the water in reservoirs?”

The actions of the village head caused outrage of the Orthodox community of Brailov. In Vinnitsa eparchy, they are concerned that in a secular state an official allows himself to intervene in purely church affairs; to make matters worse, he does it demonstratively, in a provocative and insulting form.

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