Kamenets-Podolsky Eparchy wins the case in the Court of Appeal versus OCU

Re-registration of the UOC community in the village of Klinovoye was declared illegal. Photo: spzh

The Northern Economic Court of Appeal in Kiev declared illegal the transfer of the community of St. Elijah church in Klinovoye village to the schismatic OCU.

On March 11, 2020, the Kamenets-Podolsky Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church won an appeal in court in the case of illegal transfer of the Orthodox community to the OCU in the village of Klinovoye, informs the UOJ correspondent.

On February 2, 2019, the rector of the community, Archpriest Stefan Kovalchuk, initiated the process of transferring the community to the OCU, and after six days the gathering was organized in the village without observing statutory regulations. It was held in the house of culture under the patriotic slogans of the Svoboda radical group members who had arrived from the regional center and were dressed in military uniforms, although they have nothing to do with the Armed Forces.

Of the 149 present, 147 people voted to transfer the community to the OCU, on March 11 the documents were submitted for registration, and on April 22 the Khmelnitsky Regional Administration ordered to register the statute of the Holy Elijah community of the OCU.

However, the adherents of the structure, led by Epiphanius Dumenko, did not take into account that starting from 2000, a monthly fundraising campaign was conducted in the village of Klinovoye during which the name of each donator was listed. By the time of the illegal re-registration of the community, this list contained 800 names of villagers, of which only 147 people voted for the transfer of the community, which is not two-thirds necessary for legal re-registration.

Therefore, the Kamenets-Podolsky diocesan administration, representing the interests of the community of the village of Klinovoye, appealed to the court. The trial lasted more than six months, and all this time the faithful prayed in the churchyard at the worship cross or in the chapel in the cemetery.

On January 20, 2020, the Commercial Court of the city of Kiev declared the decision of the Khmelnitsky Regional Administration illegal and canceled the re-registration order.

In turn, supporters of the OCU filed an appeal but lost it: on March 11, 2020, the Northern Economic Court of Appeal of Kiev rejected the appeal of the schismatics and upheld the decision of the Economic Court.

Now Klinovoye’s Orthodox community hopes that the activists of the OCU will execute the court’s decision, Archpriest Stefan Kovalchuk will repent and return to the bosom of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

As reported by the UOJ, despite the agreement not to open the church until the court ruling, the schismatics once again cut down the locks and seized the church in the village of Buderazh, Rivne region.

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