Kiev, July 24, 2018
Nationalistic and schismatic opponents of the canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine are working overtime to promote the schismatics’ cross procession for the 1,030th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’ at the expense of the procession of the true Orthodox Church that is under the leadership of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, who enjoys the love and respect of Orthodox hierarchs and faithful throughout the world.
As previously reported, schismatics have created a fake social media account for His Eminence Metropolitan Vissarion of Ovruch and Korosten and are using it to spread false information about the date and time of the canonical procession to trick the faithful of the Church into attending the illegitimate “procession.”
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is now also reporting that public officials from throughout Ukraine are using resources to promote the procession of the so-called “Kiev Patriarchate” (KP) while at the same time blocking means for canonical believers to get to Kiev for the momentous celebrations.
In particular, the Church’s site reports that all means of transportation from Ovruch to Kiev are forbidden on July 27, the eve of the feast itself, when the Church’s procession will be held from Vladimir Hill to the Kiev Caves Lavra. Meanwhile, the same administration is personally arranging buses to take people to the KP’s procession the next day.
Various excuses were given for blocking trips to Kiev on the 27th according to Archpriest Oleg Dominsky, but the end result is that no trips from Ovruch to Kiev by bus or van are being allowed.
Fr. Oleg explained that the authorities are attempting thereby to create the impression that there are far fewer faithful of the canonical Orthodox Church than of the unrecognized KP, especially as they are attempting to convince Constantinople that the majority of Ukrainian Orthodox Christians belong to the schismatic jurisdiction which should therefore receive autocephaly.
The canonical Church’s procession on the day of the Baptism of Rus’ routinely draws tens of thousands, while the schismatics’ only a few thousand.
Funds are being forcibly “collected” from local businessmen, and all officials will be necessarily put on a bus to attend the KP’s procession, Fr. Oleg added.
Information on the active use of administrative resources to promote the KP procession has been confirmed in all regions of Ukraine, reports the Church’s site.
His Eminence Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye and Melitopol wrote to the Zaporozhye regional administration on July 16, reporting what he had heard from his clergy and parishioners about businessmen being squeezed for money and public officials being forced to attend the schismatics’ procession.
His Eminence Archbishop Evlogy of Sumy and Akhtyrsky has reported the same on his personal Facebook page, while commenters noted that the same is happening in Ternopil, Cherkaschina, Kherson, and elsewhere.
The Union of Orthodox Journalists also reports that the same thing is happening in the Rivne Province.
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