Vinnytsia, Ukraine, November 20, 2018
The clergy of the various deaneries of the Vinnytsia Diocese are meeting to vote on whether or not they support the statement of the Council of Bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from November 13, in which the bishops reaffirmed the break in communion with Constantinople and their stance against the rehabilitation of the Ukrainian schismatics and against the initiative to join with them in a new church.
The hierarch of the Vinnytsia Diocese, His Eminence Metropolitan Simeon, was the only bishop present at the November 13 session who did not sign, and one of only three bishops of the canonical Church who are openly in favor of joining the new church being created by Constantinople.
Previously, the clergy of the city of Vinnytsia gathered to declare their support for the canonical status and decisions of the Ukrainian Church, with 42 of 44 clergy present signing the statement. They also entreated Met. Simeon to call a diocesan-wide meeting on the matter, which he declined to do, despite the fact that dioceses throughout the Church have been gathering to address the ongoing crisis situation.
Beyond not calling a diocesan meeting, Met. Simeon in fact began calling each priest individually to pressure them to leave the canonical Church and join the new church being created, Archpriest Alexander Ovcharenko revealed.
As Archpriest Vladimir Tyutenko, the rector of the Church of St. Luke of Crimea in Vinnytsia, wrote on his Facebook page, the meeting of the Bar Deanery witnessed full support for His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine and for the decisions of the Bishops’ Council.
Fr. Vladimir writes: “The Church is united, and as a general gathering of the Vinnytsia Diocese has not been appointed at this time for a joint examination of the acute religious issues that stand before society and our Church, then clergy gatherings are happening according to deaneries.”
“And the Bar Deanery of the Vinnytsia Diocese has already testified to this unity by its support for canonical Orthodoxy, our Ukrainian Orthodox Church, its primate, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, and the decisions of the Council of Bishops of the UOC on 11.13.2018,” he continues.
“Faith is faithfulness to God and the Mother Church which spiritually gives birth to you in holy Baptism, and we all, bishops, priests, and laity, bear responsibility for the life of our Church and its protection!” Fr. Vladimir exclaims.
The same support for the canonical Church and Met. Onuphry has also been expressed by the Dioceses of Nova Kakhova, Izium, Crimea, Chernigov and Novgorod-Siversk, Kirovograd, Zhytomyr, Lugansk, Mukachevo, Alexandria, Zaporozhye, Kharkov, Voznesensk, Tulchin, Rivne, Kherson, Severodonetsk, Odessa,Dnipropetrovsk, Krivoy Rog, Kamenka, Zaporozhye, and Poltava, and the clergy of the city of Vinnytsia.
Follow us on Facebook!