In Kamenka, OCU members slander UOC priest and prepare to seize his church
In the Sarny diocese, supporters of Dumenko staged an illegal meeting to transfer the UOC community to the OCU.
In the village of Kamenka, Berezne district (Sarny diocese), Dumenko's supporters held a meeting to transfer the community of the St. Michael church of the UOC to the OCU and then broke down the doors and changed the locks on the church. According to the parishioners, the OCU members behaved extremely aggressively at the meeting and even tried to hit the rector.
At the same time, the head of the Berezne UTC, Ruslan Pylypchuk, refused to take the side of the OCU, because the meeting on the “transition” to the Epifaniy-led structure, according to him, was held in violation of the law.
“It was not a meeting of the religious community, but a general meeting of the village. This is against the law,” Pylypchuk said.
As Archpriest Ioan Khilchuk, rector of St. Michael's church, told the UOJ, the UOC community sued the schismatics. And now, realizing that they have little chance of winning in court, Dumenko's supporters are spreading slander against the priest and parishioners through local media that Father John allegedly refuses to commemorate the dead Ukrainian servicemen.
“There is not a word of truth in this, a lie from the first to the last word,” Fr. John told the UOJ and noted that journalists never even tried to hear his opinion or that of the real parishioners of St. Michael’s church. According to the rector, in May, people voted at the meeting, whom he had never seen in church in 20 years of service, even at Easter.
Father John said that the OCU raiders broke down the doors of the temple twice and eventually changed the locks there, but so far they are not holding services.
“We built this temple ourselves, we have all the documents in our hands,” the priest emphasized.
In anticipation of the court's decision, the community holds services near the temple, as there is a “wrong” lock on the doors.
“We were kicked out of the temple, and we are accused of creating a conflict situation,” Father John noted and added that the UOC believers would wait for the court’s decision, because “God is not in power, but in truth.”
As the UOJ wrote, in the village of Linovytsia, schismatics are preparing to transfer the UOC community to the OCU.