OCU took over a UOC KP temple while its rector was at “Unification Council”

"Archpriest" Vitaly Druziuk. Photo: Facebook

Vitaly Druziuk had led the parish for more than 19 years but participation in “Local Council” cost him a ban and a temple which the Right Sector bars him to enter now.

While the “cleric” of the UOC KP, “archpriest” Viktor Druziuk, was supporting “Patriarch of Kiev and All Rus-Ukraine” Filaret Denisenko at the “Local Council” of the Kiev Patriarchate in Kiev, his temple was seized in Rovno, the online edition of “Rivne Vechirnie” reported.

Druziuk found out about the beginning of the seizure in Kiev and immediately posted on his Facebook page a video call to local authorities and his flock with a request to defend the church and, if necessary, call the police.

“I am talking live from the Holy Vladimir Patriarchal Cathedral in Kiev. My conscience called me here today to support His Holiness Patriarch Filaret in his struggle for the dignity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. As the Council is going on, a raider capture of our temple is taking place, dear brothers and sisters. That is, some priests came and said that this was their temple,” the “priest” addressed his parishioners. “Therefore, to those who can, I say: get moving! Run to the temple and sort it out in place. If the raiders are decent people, you may not call the police. But if this happens violently, please call the police, defend our temple. <...> For the time being we are forced to stay within the Kiev Patriarchate because it was, is and will be, as Patriarch Filaret says.”

The cleric asked the head of Rovno Regional State Administration, Aleksei Muliarenko, to call “archbishop” of the OCU Hilarion Protsik to say to him that “decent people, especially the clergy, cannot act in this way”.

However, "vladyka" Hilarion did not hear his "priest".

“I talked to the archbishop of the OCU Hilarion and explained to him that my community does not belong to the OCU. However, he called me bad names and treated me badly. He said that he had forbidden me to serve, though he does not have the right to do this because I am not subordinated to him, but to the Kiev Patriarchate,” Druziuk told Rivne Vechirnie Internet newspaper later.

According to him, they wanted to transfer the parish “by treachery from the Kiev Patriarchate to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine” and they had been pressing on the “cleric” himself for 2 weeks.

“However, my parishioners and I greatly respect and support Patriarch Filaret. We are very sorry for the fact that they are openly pouring dirt against the person to whom we owe the birth of the Ukrainian Church. I consider all the statements from Metropolitan Epiphany and his entourage, which boil down to the fact that Filaret is out of his mind, to be insane. <...> The parishioners of the church are shocked by what happened because we belong to the Kiev Patriarchate, but the OCU does not care. In addition, they also arranged the guard from the Right Sector around the temple which we had been building together with parishioners for so long,” Druziuk shared with the public.

He also added that by an order of “archbishop” Hilarion, the raiders came to the village headman, took the keys and illegally replaced the locks, while the “outsiders” attacked the parishioners and the choir.

On June 20, 2019, in Kiev, Filaret held a meeting of the “Local Council” of the Kiev Patriarchate, which resulted in the revocation of the refusal of the UOC KP and the fact that there are now three Churches operating in Ukraine: the UOC, the OCU and the Kiev Patriarchate.

In the Resolution on the results of the “Local Council”, they also stressed that the Kiev Patriarchate actually owns the property of the OCU – St. Michael's Golden-Domed, St. Theodosius’s, Vydubichi St. Michael’s, St. Nickolas of Boguslav Monasteries, as well as Kiev Orthodox Theological Academy, founded by the then Metropolitan Filaret, all the eparchies, monasteries, religious educational institutions, brotherhoods, missions, which are state-registered as religious organizations of the UOC-Kiev Patriarchate.

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