UOC parishioners comment on message of OCU community of Vinnitsa Cathedral
The parishioners of the UOC have responded to the public message of the congregation of the seized Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral of Vinnitsa.
On September 4, 2019, the press service of the Vinnitsa Eparchy published a response to the message of the parishioners of the Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral of Vinnitsa who passed to the OCU.
Below we publish the full text of the document.
ОResponse of the press service of the Vinnitsa Eparchy to the message of OCU parishioners
Dear parishioners of the OCU,
To a certain extent, it is positive that we have finally become “brothers and sisters in Christ” for you.
On the other hand, it is difficult to hide surprise, because for six months your priests, activists and the most zealous parishioners have posted messages, reposts and comments on social networks in which they bad-mouthed our parishioners and priests. "Titushki", "Raiders", "traitors", "Muscovites", "FSB-agents in robes" who "serve the enemy country" and "occupy the temples"… Directly from the lips of certain parishioners of the OCU, we have repeatedly heard various insults, and foul language, and even direct threats. And suddenly, after the July video message of Metropolitan Simeon, who for some reason was afraid of the desire of the parishioners of the UOC to pray near the Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral, the parishioners of the UOC became “brothers”. A strange and unexpected metamorphosis. But is it true?
Were we “brothers and sisters” for you when Petro Poroshenko was in power, whose policy was clearly aimed at strengthening the OCU and destructing the UOC? When the authorities actively and not always legally supported your structure, and you willingly used this support, did you think that you were depriving your “brothers and sisters in Christ” of temples in a fraudulent way? Perhaps, the activists' attacks on the parishes of the UOC, the beating of believers, and attacks on Vladyka Varsonofy were peculiar manifestations of fraternal love?
Actually, even now, when the former parishioners of the cathedral are gathering at its walls for prayer, you are doing everything so that none of them can get to the grave of Metropolitan Makariy, who, by the way, served as an archpastor in the UOC. But you weekly put up a fence in the middle of the sidewalk, zealously guarding against the "brothers and sisters in Christ" the empty space at the entrance to the cathedral.
Now you are proposing "to build relations in the spirit of love and peace". But would you do this if the power had not changed in Ukraine? If the head of state did not declare equal treatment of all religions and faiths? These questions are not rhetorical. Very easily and almost imperceptibly, the “traitors” and “FSB agents” became “brothers and sisters in Christ” for you. It is easy to imagine how you will call us again as soon as the political situation changes.
Press Service of the Vinnitsa Eparchy of the UOC.
We recall that on September 4, the OCU community of the seized Saviour Transfiguration Cathedral of Vinnitsa published a public message to the believers of the Vinnitsa Eparchy of the UOC, where the UOC believers are advised not to listen to their mentors, "who continue to talk about the schism and sow enmity". Proponents of the new structure said that the clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church engaged in aggressive propaganda are setting up their flock against believers of the OCU who want to build their relations with "brothers and sisters in Christ" from the UOC "in the spirit of love and peace".