UOC bishop: Why's solidarity of believers and clergy so strong? Thank Fanar
Patriarch Bartholomew’s "OCU" project led to the seizure of the UOC churches, but it also caused a rise in fortitude among believers and priests, said Bishop Victor.
The head of the Representation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to European International Organizations, Bishop Victor of Baryshevka, in an interview with the Internet portal Pravoslavie.RU spoke about the extraordinary rise of fortitude among the faithful and clergy of the UOC, the unity of communities around their rectors after the raider seizures of churches due to the non-canonical actions of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in Ukraine.
Speaking about the current state of affairs, Bishop Victor noted that open hostile actions are still being committed against the UOC, such as the seizure of churches by supporters of the OCU, the interference of government officials in the ecclesiastic sphere, the illegal re-registration of the UOC communities, and harassment in the media. At the same time, all this caused solidarity among the believers of the canonical Church. “We are witnessing an extraordinary upsurge of fortitude among believers and clergy, the unity of communities around their rectors, people's loyalty to Christ and His Church, the awareness that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ,” said Bishop Victor.
According to him, the whole Church responds to the pain and affliction of each individual community that has been affected by church raiding, collecting donations for the construction of new churches to replace the seized ones. “In almost every village where the temple was seized (this being more than a hundred places, mainly in the western regions of Ukraine), a new temple is either already built or is under construction, or funds are being collected there for construction. Moreover, help – both monetary and material, such as building materials, church ware, liturgical items – comes from all over our country,” noted the hierarch of the UOC.