OCU "hierarch" Simeon calls to protect cathedral from the "Russian world"
Met. Simeon (Shostatsky), banned from ministry, called on the OCU supporters and “patriots of their Ukrainian Church in Vinnitsa and beyond” to defend the cathedral.
The community of the Saviour-Transfiguration Cathedral in Vinnitsa joined the OCU voluntarily, but “the devil did not like that”, so he chose for his struggle and revenge “our brothers who, for some reason, did not want to support the OCU and remained in the unity with the Moscow Patriarchate”. "Hierarch" Simeon (Shostatsky) said this in his video message, published by the press service of the Vinnitsa-Bar "Eparchy".
“From the very beginning, activists from the Moscow Patriarchate have not abandoned their attempts to seize the Transfiguration Cathedral. <...> Recently, it has been reported on the website of the Vinnitsa Eparchy of the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate that weekly the activists will perform prayers and akathists near the cathedral. This is another step that the Moscow Patriarchate takes in Ukraine as a whole and in Vinnitsa in particular in order to destabilize the religious situation. This is another manifestation of the hybrid war that is being waged against Ukraine on all fronts, including the religious one,” said Shostatsky.
According to him, the UOC representatives do not conceal that “they want to take the cathedral from the Orthodox Church of Ukraine so that there will be no Ukrainian speech in the Transfiguration Cathedral, and from the pulpit they will curse to the tenth generation those of you who crave the Ukrainian Church, so that they will preach the ideology of the so-called "Russian world" rather than the faith of Christ”.
“But we will not let them do it. In our cathedral, the Ukrainian language will sound. And we will pronounce Our Father in Ukrainian. We will pray for our God-preserved Ukraine, for the power, army, and its people, for the soldiers who died and those who today defend the integrity and independence of our State. In our cathedral, there will be no preaching of the “Russian world”, but there will be a word about Christ and His teaching. In our cathedral, no one will call anyone a schismatic. Because we are all Orthodox Ukrainians – brothers and sisters in Christ!” Simeon continued.
He called on all supporters of the OCU from Vinnitsa and not only those who “patriots of their Ukrainian Church and the Ukrainian Saviour-Transfiguration Cathedral to stand up for our shrine”.
“I ask you, dear brothers and sisters, to join the prayer that we will perform in the cathedral at 16 o'clock, on Sunday, July 14. Our prayer with hope for God and our spiritual unity should show everyone who consciously or unconsciously fights against the Church of Christ and the Ukrainian Church that God is with us,” said Simeon, adding that sooner or later the Orthodox Church in Ukraine will be one, but you must make your choice – to be a persecutor of the Church or a patriot – now.
“In Vinnitsa, there are more than thirty churches of the Moscow Patriarchate, and the encroachment on the Transfiguration Cathedral is nothing but a deliberate provocation. I urge the leadership, clergy, and believers of the Vinnitsa Eparchy of the UOC in the unity with the Moscow Patriarchate, for the sake of peace and tranquility, not to do actions, the consequences of which can be irreparable,” Shostatsky resumed.
We recall that in June 2019, the Vinnitsa Eparchy of the UOC published a statement “Metropolitan Simeon (Shostatsky). Slander as a way to justify its own inconsistency", in which it accused the former hierarch of the UOC of spreading slander against the canonical Church. The eparchy recalled that “although defamation does not apply to criminal offences under the new Criminal Code, from a Christian point of view it is a grave sin. It is worth remembering that belonging to unrecognized ecclesiastical jurisdiction does not exempt from the obligation to live the Gospel truth.”