Met Clement on takeover in Bilovezhi: As they entered, so they will leave
The provocations of the supporters of the OCU and members of the Svoboda party in Bilovezhi will only harm them, the ruling bishop of Nizhyn Diocese of the UOC assures.
Those who broke the locks and entered the church restored by the efforts of the UOC in the village of Bilovezhi, Bakhmach district, Chernihiv region, have nothing to do with it, and "as they entered there, so they will leave." Metropolitan Clement (Vecheria) of Nizhyn and Pryluky said this in his commentary to the First Cossack.
The hierarch recalled that the ancient temple in honor of the holy blessed prince Alexander Nevsky in Bilovezhi had stood for many years "almost completely disassembled". Local residents, of whom only a few dozen remained, could not restore the destroyed church on their own and had to go to the temple located in a neighboring village.
“The Lord sent people of good will who decided to revive the destroyed church in honor of the blessed prince Alexander Nevsky,” the Metropolitan noted. “They not only built this temple, but made it look exactly as it was before the destruction. And when everything was already built, then, unfortunately, the events coincided with the pre-election political campaign. We have such a party in the region – Svoboda, which is notorious for its excesses and provocations."
According to him, the regional representatives of this political force decided to arrange a PR for themselves, creating situations with the seizure of temples and attacks on the believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and “as the main achievement of their political activity in the Chernihiv region, they presented the fact that in the most remote village they broke the lock and entered to the temple, leaving the elderly women who wanted to pray there outside the gates of the temple."
“But I think that these provocations will only harm them, because believers understand who they are dealing with,” the bishop said. “In addition, those who are trying to seize the church there today do not even know what to do with it, because they themselves do not go to church and have a very distant idea of what is happening there. Local residents who go to the temple have already expressed their categorical protest against the actions of such pseudo-radicals. And in this sense, there is no justification for such attempts to destabilize the religious situation in our region."
Metropolitan Clement stressed that the people who had seized the church do not have any documents that they have the right to enter there, “therefore, as they entered there, so they will leave, and no one will allow them to be there, because they have nothing to do to these premises."
“When this temple was being destroyed, the Lord punished everyone who did it. It never happens that someone outrages a shrine and just goes unpunished. In this case God does everything for us,” added the ruling bishop of the Nizhyn diocese.
We will remind that earlier supporters of the OCU undertook a forceful seizure of the temple restored by the efforts of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the village of Bilovezhi. MP Nikolai Velichkovich from Poroshenko's Party "European Solidarity", who assisted the attack, thanked his colleagues "from Bakhmach, Ichnia, Nizhyn, Chernihiv, who spent Saturday and Sunday here” and "caring patriots from the surrounding areas."