Expert: Fanar head’s visit to Ukraine – invasion of UOC canonical territory

Religious observer Alexei Smirnov. Photo: a screenshot of the Youtube channel “Pershy Nezalezhny”

The leadership of the OCU does not conceal hopes that with Patriarch Bartholomew’s visit, "transfers" from the UOC to the OCU will be resumed, the expert noted.

Religious observer Alexei Smirnov, during a live broadcast on the Pershy Nezalezhny channel, said that the visit of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to Ukraine without the invitation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is an invasion of the canonical territory of the UOC.

“This is an invasion of canonical church territory of others because according to church rules, a hierarch of another Local Church if he wants to come to Ukraine, must coordinate his visit with the canonical church authorities in Ukraine. This did not happen, therefore, this is an unfriendly, aggressive step on the part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople,” noted Alexei Smirnov.

According to him, the leadership of the OCU does not conceal hopes that with the arrival of Patriarch Bartholomew, "transfers" of communities from the UOC to the OCU will be resumed.

“In practice, this is the seizure of churches, the exacerbation of inter-faith conflicts. They (the OCU – Ed.) talked about the second wave of transitions. If it looks the same as the first wave (first half of 2019 – Ed.), we will see the seizures of churches, the beating of believers and other forms of discrimination against UOC believers,” the expert added. 

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