UOC cleric: There are those who don’t like Church to reconcile, not divide
The wave of seizures of UOC churches began after certain forces failed to show the real results of the positive development of the country, Hieromonk Gabriel believes.
There are people who do not like the fact that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church wants to reconcile the people, not separate them. Hieromonk Gabriel, the press secretary of the Holy Dormition Pochaiv Lavra, spoke about this in the film “UOC. From ‘Separs in Lavras’ to Incitement and Forgiveness”, made by “Shariy.net” journalists.
According to the hieromonk, nowhere can one find information that the UOC has taken away a church from someone, since "this is a completely different spirit, here is the spirit of the Gospel, the spirit of peace".
“The Сhurch is carrying out the ministry of reconciliation,” stressed the press secretary of the Pochaiv Monastery. “However, there are people who do not like it, that the Church wants to reconcile the people, not separate them. Imagine how diverse our country is – Bukovyna, Transcarpathia, Volyn, Polissya, Galicia, Podillya, Central Ukraine, Kyiv region, Poltava region, Chernihiv region, Kharkiv region, Donbas... And we all find a common language, no matter what dialect a person speaks, we accept everybody. Because the foundation of our communion is Christ, the love of Christ, the peace of God. But there are people who don't like it."
He added that since 2014, the Pochaev Lavra has endured a lot of slander, defamation, and even direct threats.
“’You are FSB agents in cassocks,’ they said to our faces. The deputies of the City Council were intimidated in our presence, and in their presence, they called us all sorts of names, threatened, they say, ‘I will come to your yard with a gun’ and the like. <...> The seizure of churches started around the Lavra. As I understand it, people cannot show real results, that the country is developing positively, that they are embodying some constructive ideas, and have decided to revenge on the weak – it is clear that we will not use physical force in the Church,” Hieromonk Gabriel said.
The UOJ also wrote that, according to the head of the UOC, for all the lies against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, there are much more people in temples.