Chancellor: Visit of Phanar head will provoke a new round of attacks on UOC

Supporters of the OCU may take the arrival of the head of Phanar as a signal of support from the Ukrainian authorities. Photo: ria.ru

Metropolitan Anthony explained why the UOC considers the visit of the Patriarch of Constantinople to Ukraine not only inexpedient but also dangerous.

Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) of Boryspil and Brovary believes that the announced visit of the head of Phanar to Ukraine may lead to an aggravation of religious conflicts and a new round of attacks on the UOC. The Chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church said this in an interview with Vesti.ua.

“It should be feared that the visit of the Patriarch of Constantinople to Ukraine will provoke a new round of conflicts and confrontations on religious grounds,” the Metropolitan noted. “After all, supporters of the OCU and their lobbyists in the power structures may decide that this visit is a signal of support from the official Kyiv for the Phanar’s course in relation to the church sphere of Ukraine.”

In his opinion, such fears are fully justified, and this can be confirmed by the recent incident with an attempt to seize the UOC church in the village of Mikhalcha, Chernivtsi region, "when supporters of the OCU beat our believers and smashed the temple door with a sledgehammer." The attack on the church in Mikhalcha, the Metropolitan reminded, took place in parallel with the visit of Metropolitan Emmanuel of Gaul to Kyiv on the occasion of opening the St. Andrew's church.

“Some experts directly linked these two events and noted that the success of the church raider attack in Bukovina was supposed to demonstrate to a foreign guest and in general to a wide audience the alleged disposition of ordinary people to further transfer of communities from the UOC to the OCU. And if we talk not about just manipulations, but reality, then, according to the expert opinion, the seizure of our church in the village of Mikhalcha should have created the basis for rocking the social situation next year and provoking a new wave of raiding against the UOC,” explained the Chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

That is why, Metropolitan Anthony emphasized, “we consider the visit of Patriarch Bartholomew to Kyiv not only unreasonable but also dangerous.”

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that, in the opinion of the UOC Chancellor, the head of Phanar bears personal responsibility for raiding, violence and other illegal actions committed by the supporters of the OCU against the believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

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