Vinnitsa Eparchy collecting signatures in support of an appeal to President
Met Varsonofy called on the clergy and laity of the Vinnitsa Eparchy to sign an appeal to the President of Ukraine to protect the constitutional rights of UOC believers.
On September 28, 2019, to follow the celebration of the Exaltation of the Holy and Life-Giving Cross of the Lord, Metropolitan Varsonofy (Stoliar) of Vinnitsa and Bar led the cross procession in honour of the icon of Our Lady of Zinovintsy in the Litin district of the Vinnitsa region. During the procession, Vladyka recorded a video message in which he announced the beginning of the collection of signatures in defence of the constitutional rights of the Vinnitsa Eparchy believers of the UOC.
“Today is a special day in the Vinnitsa Eparchy – we are making a cross procession, we ask the Mother of God to beg the Almighty for peace in our eparchy, in our country, that the Lord will protect and preserve us in the canonical faith, and also help to defend those temples that the raiders want to seize in our eparchy,” said Met. Varsonofy.
He recalled that to for September 28, OCU supporters announced the forcible seizure of the Holy Transfiguration Church of the UOC in the village of Luka-Meleshkovskaya.
“Today they gather at 9:00 in order, as I understand, to cut the locks and, as they threatened yesterday, to expel the priest and people from the church,” the bishop added. “They don’t want to wait for the court’s decision, but you know that we don’t recognize the state registration, which, unfortunately, was carried out two months ago under state pressure — a new community was registered in the village of Luka-Meleshkovskaya and thus want to take the church, the premises and all stuff that many, many years, Father Vasily has collected around the temple."
Addressing all believers of the Vinnitsa Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Varsonofy called on them to support the appeal to President Vladimir Zelensky with a request to protect their rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine.
“Today I announce the collection of signatures under an appeal to the President, to state bodies so that they intervene in this situation, protect us from raiders and enable us to pray calmly and freely in our holy Podolye land. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, there is a request throughout the Vinnitsa diocese to the priests, to you, the laity, that you sign this appeal to the President so that he as the guarantor of the Constitution protects our constitutional rights to religion,” the ruling bishop of the Vinnitsa Eparchy emphasized.
As reported earlier, after the voiced threats from the representatives of the OCU to the UOC community in the village of Luka-Meleshkovskaya, Metropolitan Varsonofy of Vinnitsa and Bar addressed an open letter to the President of Ukraine, in which he urged him as the guarantor of the Constitution to intervene in the situation and protect the constitutional rights of Vinnitsa Eparchy believers of the UOC.
We recall that OCU activists in the village of Luka-Meleshkovskaya announced the seizure of the Saviour Transfiguration Church of the UOC for Saturday, September 28.