OCU "hierarch" Simeon: Truth is on side of communities of seized temples

Metropolitan Simeon (Shostatsky), banned from priesthood by the Holy Synod of the UOC. Photo: UOC Information and Education Department

The “bishop” refuted the statements of Epiphany and Filaret that the “transfers” of the UOC communities to the new church structure are taking place without seizures.

Religious communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church lawfully possess church property and protect their temples from the encroachments of OCU activists, in the course of the, admitted Metropolitan Simeon (Shostatsky), banned from priesthood by the Holy Synod of the UOC, at the All-Ukrainian Church-Public Forum of the Unity of Ukrainian Orthodoxy.

“It turns out that the truth is on their side because legally it is all so documented and belongs to them,” another defector metropolitan of the OCU, “Bishop” Aleksandr (Drabinko), cited on the Facebook the words of the “hierarch”.

“Vladyka” Simeon noted that it is most difficult to reregister the Statutes of those UOC communities that do not give their consent to joining the new church structure.

“Where there is one and the other is certainly more difficult, there is the owner here,” the “bishop” of the newly created religious organization shared their opinion with the forum participants and journalists.

He acknowledged that the statements of the head of the UOC KP Filaret Denisenko and the head of the OCU Epiphany Dumenko about allegedly peaceful "transfers" and the absence of seizures of parishes of the UOC are not true. Nevertheless, the “hierarch” of the OCU emphasized that in his church structure “they have never spoken against” and do not oppose the UOC. He explained the confrontation between the believers of the canonical Church and the church raiders from the OCU with specifics of human nature.

“We lovingly accept everyone and lovingly expect everyone. And there can be no violence <...> But, to my great regret, both sides, and people especially – they are already, you know, on edge, and, you know the human character, it happens – the one and the other side can't resist. Because of this, there are certain precedents that are immediately reported in the media and circulated worldwide that the OCU does not behave as it should,” said “Metropolitan” Simeon.

The Information and Education Department of the UOC noted that the speech of the “hierarch” of the new regional organization “completely refutes the statements of officials of the Ministry of Culture and regional authorities, who silence incidents of violence of schismatics against the believers of the canonical Church”.

The confrontation around property issues is gaining momentum among the members of the newly created church structure: on June 20, 2019, the Resolution following the results of the “Local Council” of the UOC KP stresses that the Kiev Patriarchate actually owns the property of the OCU while the “archbishop” of the new religious organization Eustratiy Zoria called claims of the UOC KP to the OCU property unreasonable.

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