Fr. Nikolai Danilevich: OCU cannot seize temples due to COVID-19
Epiphany’s words about the “second wave” of transitions of UOC temples to OCU is deceit; he relied on 2 factors, which are unlikely to work, said the UOC DECR spokesman.
The quarantine deprived the OCU of the opportunity to seize the UOC churches; this church structure, apparently, had hoped for fakes about violation of the quarantine and for renaming the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, said Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich, Deputy Head of the Department for External Church Relations of the UOC.
“The OCU now has no opportunity to seize our parishes by force, since everyone needs to stay at home,” he said in an interview with the Stained Glass: About Faith in Colors YouTube channel.
There is no such pressure from the state now as it was earlier, and this has resulted in the cessation of church raiding, the UOC spokesman added.
“People, for the most part, have figured out where to go and where not to go. There are examples of those villages where it all began. People would fall out with one another, but many villages at the moment just want to live in peace and no longer squabble. People figured out what's what in the religious map of Ukraine,” he explained.
The clergyman also drew attention to the fact that Epiphany’s words about the new wave of transitions of parishes from the UOC to the OCU are hypocrisy.
According to the Deputy Head of the UOC DECR, the church structure led by Epiphany hoped for 2 things to happen:
1. The renaming of the canonical Church; however, this process has been suspended, and now the Constitutional Court of Ukraine is considering a case on the illegality of such forced renaming.
2. The fakes ventilated by the biased media that the UOC has allegedly become one of the centers of the spread of coronavirus; however, this “tactic” is unlikely to work.
“The OCU is like a parasite that does not create anything of its own, but only takes away, seizes, grabs those parishes, those buildings, those churches that were restored after the fall of the USSR by our Church <...>,” said Archpriest Nikolai. “This is a raiding position, a parasitic position, the position of the Somali pirates (begging your pardon), who are just looking for some helpless ship in order to attack it. Such a position is not worthy of the Church of Christ, if they consider themselves to be so.”
Anyway, it is impossible to drag so many parishes to their side, the UOC spokesman added and recalled the history of the emergence of the OCU: this structure originates from the Kiev Patriarchate.
“The church raiding strategy underpins continual turbulence in interfaith relations in Ukraine,” the Deputy Head of the UOC DECR emphasized and urged the OCU to come to senses and stop splitting Ukraine, since this is dangerous not only for the interfaith peace but also for the unity of the country.
Earlier Epiphany recognized the discrepancy in the opinion poll figures on the number of supporters of the OCU.