Hierarch of Chernovtsy Eparchy: We aren't cattle – we are people of Ukraine

Prayer standing at the building of Chernovtsy Regional State Administration, 23/05/2019. Photo: press service of Chernovtsy-Bukovina Eparchy of the UOC

The clergy and believers of Chernovtsy-Bukovina eparchy declared to the power their disagreement with the actions of officials directed against the canonical Church.

In Ukraine there is no place for the power that earns dividends on the Church. This was said by Metropolitan Melety (Yegorenko) of Chernovtsy and Bukovina on May 23, 2019, while standing in prayer outside the building of Chernovtsy Regional State Administration, the press service of the Chernovtsy-Bukovina Eparchy of the UOC reported.

“The authorities intervened in the church affairs as if we lived in the Middle Ages, as if we did not have a Constitution, where Article 35 states that Ukraine is a secular state, that the Church is separated from the state and officials of any level should not interfere in church affairs,” said the ruling bishop of the Chernovtsy-Bukovina Eparchy.

Vladyka Melety stressed: it is painful to see the mess today in Bukovina caused by the actions of secular authorities.

“That is why we are here today to tell our authorities that we do not agree with what they are doing. We are not cattle, we are the people of Ukraine. And these days we have declared that the authority that makes dividends on the Church should not have place in Ukraine,” said the Metropolitan.

Recall, on May 23, 2019, with the blessing of Metropolitan Melety of Chernovtsy and Bukovina, a general church procession in defense of the UOC took place in Chernovtsy city. Thousands of believers came with posters "We are the UOC", "Rid the Church of political dirt", "Bukovina is with His Beatitude Onuphry" and others.

Having gathered at the Holy Spirit Cathedral of Chernovtsy, the clergy and believers, led by the ruling bishop of the eparchy, walked in a cross procession toward the Chernovtsy Regional State Administration, where the parishioners of the seized temple in the village of Tovtry have been standing prayerfully round the clock for several days now.

Among the participants in the prayer procession there were a lot of young people who are not satisfied with the arbitrariness that occurs in Bukovina in relation to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

“We as young people, who have always participated in situations where it was necessary to protect the truth, are on the side of the truth today – on the side of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” said one of the participants of the procession. “We are by no means satisfied with what is happening now, what has been happening for a long time – continual raider seizures of the UOC churches. And we all see that this is happening in no way voluntarily, neither officially nor according to the law, but simply via cutting doors, beating women, throwing them out of the church. In no case can a normal person put up with it.”

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