Respect the Сonstitution: Vinnytsia Eparchy responds to calls to ban UOC
The press service of the Vinnytsia Eparchy has published a refutation of the accusations against the UOC from the local authorities.
The message notes that the clerics and believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the Vinnytsia Region are citizens of Ukraine, most of them were born on this land and all of them love their homeland. "The clergy and believers of the UOC help our AFU military massively and also provide shelter and assistance to all those affected by Russian aggression. The UOC parishioners in the Vinnytsia Region serve in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, defending our country from the enemy. A large number of UOC believers work in various spheres and institutions in the region, helping their country survive the war.
These people pay taxes, support the economy of the country and the region, in particular, conduct an active social ministry, and most importantly – pray for all Ukrainian long-suffering people and the advent of peace in Ukraine", - the diocese stated.
The statement also said that many UOC believers remain in Ukraine during the war because they love their native land and see their future and the future of their children here.
"Most of the members of the commission (11 in total) are probably deliberately slandering the UOC faithful. <... > No doubt, the whole world has already seen that the Primate of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, condemned the aggression of Russia and the actions of President Putin on the first day of the war, while individual deputies – members of the above mentioned commission of the Vinnytsia Regional Council, probably have not heard about it. Also, Metropolitan Varsonofiy, the head of the Vinnytsia Eparchy, together with all the priests, condemned Russia's aggression against Ukraine. There was no "ideological justification". Is it possible that in the 10th month of the full-scale war the deputies who made the decisions at the commission are not aware of this?" the faithful of the Vinnytsia Eparchy asked.
The statement also recalled the official position of the Church as expressed in the decisions of the Holy Synod or the Council (The Decision of the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of May 27, 2022).
"As citizens and residents of Ukraine, we ask the deputies of the Vinnytsia Regional Council not to incite religious discord during the war, playing along with the enemy in such a difficult time for the country. We urge compliance with the Constitution of Ukraine, which guarantees free worship to all citizens. Today we must all work together for the victory of Ukraine," the diocese urged.
As reported, on 2 November, the Vinnytsia Regional Council considered the deputies’ appeal to the President and the Verkhovna Rada to ban the UOC in Ukraine.