UGCC cleric: Zolochiv mayor shouldn't mix up OCU and us in fight with UOC

Cleric of the UGCC Yury (Boyko). Photo: video screenshot on the "Zolochiv.Net" YouTube channel

A misunderstanding arose between the mayor of Zolochiv and Yury (Boyko) around the situation with the house of the UOC cleric.

Igor Grynkiv, mayor of Zolochiv city, should not interfere with the OCU and Greek Catholics in the struggle against another Church, said the cleric of the UGCC Justin (Yury) Boyko on the air of the YouTube channel "Zolochiv.Net".

The conflict between the Greek Catholic priest and the mayor of the city arose around the house of the UOC cleric, priest Maxim Yoenko. Priest Maxim bought a house in Zolochiv, after which representatives of the UGCC and local authorities accused him of illegal construction of a church in the courtyard without any verification of this allegation.

Later, at the gate of the priest of the canonical Church, a veche was held against the UOC, to which the mayor of the city had brought a sledgehammer. During the event, the official accused Fr. Maxim of "provocation" and demanded that he go out into the street. Boyko suggested that the mayor try to "reconcile" the participants of the "veche" with the believers of the UOC and immediately urged not to involve the OCU and the UGCC in the struggle with "another Church".

“The mayor – from the outside it looks like that – seems to be becoming a reconciler of two religious communities. Therefore, I warned Mr. Mayor not to mix up Churches – Ukrainian and Greek Catholic – in the struggle with another Church,” the cleric of the UGCC emphasized.

Boyko said that the city executive committee of the Zolochiv City Council had complained about him to the hierarch of the UGCC, Metropolitan Igor (Vozniak) of Lviv. The authorities said that Boyko had allegedly accused them of maintaining "undercover agreements with the UOC". The clergyman was informed about this by the clerics of the Zolochiv deanery.

According to the UGCC cleric, in fact, he did not accuse anyone but only warned Grynkiv against a mistake.

“It is not the competence of the mayor to reconcile the Churches or determine the fate of the Churches,” Boyko stressed.

He was also surprised that the official allegedly put the cleric of the UGCC "on a par with the Moscow Patriarchate."

When asked whether there should be a temple of the UOC in the city, Boyko replied that this is “an issue not only for Zolochiv”, since the temples of the canonical Church allegedly began to appear in Galicia after the granting of the Tomos to the OCU.

On July 30, 2020, Grynkiv, in an interview with the NUS online edition, said that he managed to reach an understanding with Boyko, since the authorities act in the plane of the law in the dispute over the house of the UOC clergyman.

"Father Justin agreed with me that the Zolochiv City Council, as a local government body, today has an absolutely legal requirement for a developer not to violate the current urban planning legislation of Ukraine," the mayor of the city said.

On the same day, Grynkiv said on his FB page that the deputy head of the Lviv Regional State Administration Ivan Sobko "got familiar with violations of urban planning legislation that takes place in Zolochiv city in Trush Street, where they are trying to build a temple of the Moscow Patriarchate under the guise of reconstruction of a residential building with an extension."

The conflict around the private house of the UOC priest broke out due to the fact that the clerics of the UGCC protested against the construction of a temple of the canonical Church. After that, priest Maxim's gates were painted with insults and Nazi symbols, a veche was held near his house against the UOC, his family were commanded to leave the city, and later the authorities installed a video surveillance camera in the priest's courtyard.

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