Statement of UOC on attempted seizure of Annunciation parish by Uniates

Source: Ukrainian Orthodox Church

June 9, 2017

Photo: news.church.ua Photo: news.church.ua
    

On June 6, OrthoChristian.com posted a news article regarding the attempted seizure of a church of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate at Kolomiya in the Transkarpatya region, by a group of Uniates, with the support of soldiers of “the Black Hundred” group. The Orthodox community has been praying in the Church of the Annunciation since 1990, while proponents of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church are claiming that use of the building was given to the Church on a temporary basis.

The Department for External Church Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has released an official statement, laying out the legal basis for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's right to the church building, calling on the UGCC hierarchy to respect the rights and beliefs of Orthodox Christians.—Ed.

* * *

June 4, 2017, on the Day of Holy Pentecost, in the city of Kolomiya 13 priests of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church together with their faithful and supported by “Chorna Sotnia” (“the Black Hundred”) fighters, entered the Holy-Annunciation church, which belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and celebrated a liturgy there. After that, the church was illegally locked, and since then religious community of the UOC has been unable to pray in their own church. Negotiations regarding the future of the church are currently in progress.

In addition to their attempt to seize the above-mentioned church, the clergy and faithful of the UGCC have also been heard issuing threats to capture another UOC church in Kolomyia – namely, the Holy Dormition Cathedral. Also threats were levelled at the Parish Rector – Archpriest Mykolay Smetaniuk. The faithful of the Church are facing: intimidation, slander, threats of violence, and mostly coming from the mouths of Uniate chaplains, one of whom is Fr. Michael Arsenych. Leaflets with false information and with incitement against our church are being distributed among the residents of Kolomyia.

The UOC religious community has been using the building of the Holy-Annunciation church since 1990 on a legal basis. At the present time, the Kolomyia-Chernivtsi Diocese of the UGCC has not presented any legal proof that in any way whatsoever confirms the fact that the said church was transferred for use to the UOC religious community with the proviso that the said church has to be given to the UGCC in future. In the case that the UGCC diocese considers the Holy-Annunciation church as its own, then it should prove that allegation in a civilized way, i.e. via court.

... Read the rest at the site of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

6/13/2017

See also
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Around 10,000 faithful Ukrainians gathered outside the Verkhovna Rada yesterday to prayerfully protest bills No. 4128 and 4511, which threatened to forbid and seize the churches of the Ukrainian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, as it is centered in a state deemed an “aggressor” by the Ukrainian government, and which were on the day’s parliamentary agenda.
Schismatics storm UOC church, breaking Royal Doors Schismatics storm UOC church, breaking Royal Doors Schismatics storm UOC church, breaking Royal Doors Schismatics storm UOC church, breaking Royal Doors
The schismatics broke into the altar through the sacristy, and, breaking the Royal Gates, entered the church and began to pray. Parish rector Fr. Vitaly Gurev tried to stop the seizure of the church, but the “Kiev Patriarchate” supporters pushed the priest from the church porch and threw him down the stairs.
Holy Hieromartyr Athanasius of Brest-Litovsk, Confessor and Defender of Orthodoxy in Poland and Lithuania Holy Hieromartyr Athanasius of Brest-Litovsk, Confessor and Defender of Orthodoxy in Poland and Lithuania Holy Hieromartyr Athanasius of Brest-Litovsk, Confessor and Defender of Orthodoxy in Poland and Lithuania Holy Hieromartyr Athanasius of Brest-Litovsk, Confessor and Defender of Orthodoxy in Poland and Lithuania
Athanasius was charged with profaning the Latin Church and the Unia. When he again denounced the Unia before his interrogators, he was thrown into prison, where the Jesuits alternately threatened him with torture and cajoled him with freedom, if he would join the Uniates. The holy monk refused to renounce his faith, crying aloud, "Anathema to the Union!"
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