OCU community to UOC believers: Nobody drove you out of Vinnitsa Cathedral
The parishioners of the Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral who joined OCU advised UOC believers not to listen to their mentors "who talk about the schism and sow enmity".
The clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church engaged in aggressive propaganda are setting their flock against believers of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine who want to build their relations with "brothers and sisters in Christ" from the UOC "in the spirit of love and peace". This is stated in the public message of the OCU community of the seized Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral of Vinnitsa to the faithful of the Vinnitsa Eparchy of the UOC.
According to the authors of the appeal, the UOC believers are “taught” to call the supporters of the newly formed church structure traitors to the faith and schismatics.
The OCU emphasized that the Holy Prince Vladimir was baptized by the priests of the Church of Constantinople, “and can anyone call you traitors to the faith of the Holy Prince Vladimir only because you belong not to the Church that baptized him but to the UOC-Moscow Patriarchate?”
According to them, Ukraine no longer has a schism and "we should be grateful to Patriarch Bartholomew for the fact that millions of Ukrainians who were once in a schism are now in the bosom of the Church".
“We hope most of you understand that recognition from other Churches is not a purely church issue. <...> Our Church is already in the diptych (i.e. the list) of the Local Churches of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and we hope very soon it will be in the diptychs of other Orthodox Churches. By the way, the UOC-MP is not in the diptych of any of the Local Churches of the world,” the message says.
Also, representatives of the OCU community expressed bewilderment at why they are accused of having “stolen” the cathedral.
“You come under the walls of our Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral and organize “prayer standing”on Sundays. Listening to your mentors, you accuse us of allegedly stealing the cathedral from you. <...> In any case, no one drove you out of the cathedral, and your choice was voluntary," the authors of the address recalled, urging the believers of the canonical Church to "draw conclusions" and "build their relations in the spirit of love and peace".
We recall that Metropolitan Simeon (Shostatsky), previously banned from priesthood, called on supporters of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and “patriots of his Ukrainian Church in Vinnitsa and beyond” to defend the Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral in Vinnitsa. In his video message, he said that the cathedral’s community voluntarily joined the OCU, but this “doesn’t appeal to the devil”, who chose for his struggle and revenge “our brothers, who for one reason or another did not want to support the OCU and remained in communion with the Moscow Patriarchate”.