Parish of Luka-Meleshkovskaya resists provocation of UOC ex-metropolitan
The prayer of the OCU supporters at the Transfiguration Cathedral, headed by ex-Metropolitan Simeon (Shostatsky), did not spoil the Easter joy of the UOC believers.
On April 29, 2019, in the village of Luka-Meleshkovskaya, Vinnitsa region, supporters of the OCU were having a “moleben prayer” at the Transfiguration of the Savior’s temple of the UOC, while the religious community was performing Easter prayers inside the temple. The believers did not succumb to provocations and quietly finished the service, the press service of the Vinnitsa Eparchy of the UOC reports.
"While the OCU community was gathering near the church, setting up a tent, waiting for the arrival of Metropolitan Simeon, and then holding a service, the UOC community, led by the rector of the church, Archpriest Vasily Almukhamed, finished the statutory Easter service, had a religious procession and did not succumb to any provocations," said the press service.
The eparchy notes that in recent months, supporters of the OCU began to resort to new methods of pressure on the believers of the canonical Church: instead of seizing churches as before, they now perform their “worship” in the near-temple territories.
The visit of Metropolitan Simeon, banned in the ministry, to Luka-Meleshkovskaya is regarded in the eparchy as a failed provocation.
“Either the presence of the leader should have inspired the followers of the OCU to take more active actions, or, according to Metropolitan Simeon, his presence should have discouraged the faithful of the UOC believers, who testified their loyalty to the UOC in January and all this time have steadily withstood the pressure from the supporters. Anyway, the provocation failed,” according to the press service of the Vinnitsa Eparchy.
It is noted that the newly formed OCU communities in the Vinnitsa region enjoy the support of local authorities and, therefore, can freely receive land for the construction of their own church or permanent premises for their worship.
“However, so far, neither in Luka-Meleshkovskaya nor in Khizhintsy, Vinnitsa district, nor in Penkovka, Litin district, nor anywhere else on the territory of the Vinnitsa Eparchy has the OCU community taken advantage of this opportunity; instead they serve under the doors of the UOC temples despite all the inconveniences. (...) It’s hard to imagine what the supporters of the OCU can be guided by except for their desire to provoke a conflict situation or to make a certain moral pressure on the UOC believers,” the diocesan press service emphasizes.
Recall, the community of the Transfiguration of the Savior temple of the UOC in Luka-Meleshkovskaya village, Vinnitsa region, headed by the rector, held a parish meeting on January 26, 2019, at which the parishioners unanimously testified their desire to remain in the bosom of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Since then, the community has had to defend the right to pray in their temple.