Met. Anthony appeals to authorities due to attack on Zadubrivka temple
Met. Anthony urged authorities to prosecute the OCU raiders who took advantage of the death of the rector of the UOC church and attempted a raider seizure in Zadubrivka.
On May 5, 2020, the UOC Chancellor, Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) of Boryspil and Brovary, appealed to the authorities in connection with an attempt to seize the St. Michael Church of the Chernivtsi-Bukovina Eparchy of the UOC in the village of Zadubrivka and the beating of the UOC faithful by OCU activists. The appeal is published on the hierarch's Facebook page.
The hierarch emphasizes that the raiders who attacked the temple took advantage of the death of the rector: “Last night in the Chernivtsi region there was a blatant case, even by the standards of human law. In the village of Zadubrivka, supporters of the ‘OCU’ attempted to seize the St. Michael Church of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, taking advantage of the death of its rector, Archpriest Leonid Delikatny.
The attackers, hoping that the grief of the community, preparing for the funeral of the priest, would not allow it to effectively resist the raider attack, acted brazenly and cruelly. According to believers from Zadubrivka, about forty men in balaclavas, who came to the temple with bats, gas cans and bars, took part in the crime. They also had at their disposal a generator and a grinder, which they used first to break the gate and then the temple doors.”
The bishop explains that the OCU activists failed to break through, “although besides a grinder, they used a bar, as well as tear gas, with which they tried to “smoke out” the believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the church. Not getting what they wanted, the criminals poured out their anger at several parishioners of the St. Michael's Church community, who were on duty that day. The Orthodox believers were severely beaten. Moreover, one of them was stabbed in the head with a knife."
“This whole nightmare stopped only when a lot of policemen came to the temple. However, according to preliminary information, none of the participants in the raider attack was ever detained,” Metropolitan Anthony added.
Addressing the authorities, the hierarch demands that the UOC community should be protected and that raiders should be held accountable.
“Due to the fact that the attack was planned and brutal in nature, people's lives were threatened, and the basis of the confrontation was the unlawful transfer of the UOC community to the jurisdiction of the “OCU”, we demand from the relevant state authorities:
– to ensure the proper protection of the community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its church in the village of Zadubrivka, Chernivtsi region, so that in the future such an offence will not be repeated;
– to find and hold accountable the organizers and participants of the raider action, as well as those directly responsible for the beating of the believers of our Church;
– to investigate the unlawful actions of the state registrar and a specialist of the Department for Religions and Nationalities of the Culture Directorate of the Chernivtsi Regional State Administration Nikolai Gergeliuk, which resulted in the issue of illegal orders to transfer some communities of the Chernivtsi-Bukovina Eparchy from the jurisdiction of the UOC to the jurisdiction of the ‘OCU’;
– to cancel the aforementioned orders as contrary to the law (according to a letter by Metropolitan Meletiy of Chernivtsi and Bukovina addressed to the President of Ukraine, the corresponding orders were issued on the basis of false data, as well as forged documents).
As reported earlier, on May 4 activists of the OCU took advantage of the difficult situation in the family of the rector of the UOC church and attempted to seize the Archangel Michael Church. OCU supporters blocked the main road to Zadubrivka while armed raiders in balaclavas beat the defenders of the church and tried to break open the church locks.