Press secretary of Vinnitsa Eparchy: Only 20 parishes transferred to OCU
In the Vinnitsa region, no more than 20 out of 300 existing communities were transferred to the new church structure in various ways, including illegal ones.
For all the time, in the Vinnitsa region, only 20 UOC communities were transferred to the OCU, some of these “transfers” took place illegally, involuntary, Archpriest Vladimir Puchkov, the press secretary of the Vinnitsa Eparchy, told a UOJ correspondent.
“In the Vinnitsa region, 9/10 communities remain in the UOC. That is, there were about 300 of them, no more than 20 moved or were transferred to the OCU in different ways, legal and illegal. The actions of the OCU activists have become even more aggressive than before,” said Archpriest Vladimir.
He noted that most believers support the canonical Church, and he does not plan to join the newly created religious organization.
“You can see the number of people who are here today. Vladyka (Archbishop Varsonofiy of Vinnitsa and Bar (Stoliar) - Ed.) said not without reason that today's cross procession gathered more people than in previous years. That is, they say that the clergy are allegedly retained with money, and people in general are for the OCU. But look at the people. These are our pilgrims, our believers, believers of the Vinnitsa Eparchy of the Vinnitsa region, and they are all here. There are even more of them than last year,” the priest emphasized.
According to him, the authorities back the OCU, however, the majority of the people side the UOC, as evidenced by the number of parishioners at any festive worship service or church event.
The spokesperson for the Vinnitsa Eparchy also spoke about the situation with the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral seized by the OCU activists.
“Metropolitan Simeon constantly serves there. Therefore, today we can say that this cathedral, which rightfully belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, is currently occupied by OCU supporters. Of course, you can ask us – what have we done to get it back? All work on the return of the cathedral and the building of the Vinnitsa Eparchy is being undertaken in a legal plane,” said Archpriest Vladimir. “We are religious people, not robbers. Therefore, to act by such methods as the OCU activists, for example, in Luka Meleshkovskaya, setting up provocations, trying to take the cathedral by force, of course, we do not and will not act like this.”
The fact that the truth is on the side of the communities of the seized temples of the UOC is also recognized by Metropolitan Simeon (Shostatsky) who was previously banned from priesthood by the Synod of the UOC for falling into schism. “It turns out that the truth is on their side, because legally it all is fixed so and belongs to them,” he explained.