Chernivtsi, September 10, 2019
Chernivtsi provincial authorities issued orders to transfer three churches to the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU) against the will of the communities of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church which own those church buildings.
On September 9, the Chernivtsi-Bukovina diocese reported that the local authorities are attempting to seize and forcefully transfer parishes to the OCU in the villages of Mikhailivka, Chervona Dibrova, and Karapchiv against the will of the parishioners.
M. Pavlyuk, acting chairmen of the Chernivtsi Provincial State Administration has, according to Ukrainian sources, been known for supporting such immoral raids of Ukrainian churches.
After numerous appeals from Orthodox Christians of Bukovina, he has continued to violate their rights. “It truly seems as if he wants to be remembered in the history of Ukraine as one of the persecutors of the true Church of God, like Nero, Diocletian, Khrushchev, and others,” the Union of Orthodox Journalists quoted a communiqué from the Chernivtsi-Bukovina diocese.
Chernivtsi-and-Bukovina is a long-suffering region of Western Ukraine, historically connected to both Ukrainian, Romanian-Moldovan, and Polish peoples.
The Ukrainian professor and Archpriest Rostislav Yarema from neighboring Lviv, identified 7 churches seized by Greek Catholics in Chernivtsi province between 1990 and 1997 alone.
Bukovina is the homeland of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and all Ukraine, who previously was Metropolitan of Chernivtsi and administrator of this diocese before being enthroned as the Most Blessed Metropolitan of Kiev.
As Metropolitan of Kiev, he is also a successor of the Holy Hierarch Peter Mogila, Metropolitan of Kiev, Galicia, and all Russia, who was canonized by the Ukrainian Church December in 1996, and is highly venerated in both Ukraine, Romania, and Poland. St. Peter was a Moldovan nobleman by birth and was associated with the ancient region of Bukovina.
As a result of all this, Chernivtsi and Bukovina remain extremely faithful to canonical Orthodoxy. As a result, schismatics have too often resorted to force and the use of Soviet-style government power against the Church, because the Orthodox people of Chernivtsi cannot betray the Church led by their native son.
Drunken activists and a schismatic priest assaulted a priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church serving in a Romanian-speaking parish, screaming at him to return to Romania.
Despite not possessing a single Romanian parish, the schismatics created a “Romanian vicarate” as an attempt to gain support among the native Romanians. There are more than 100 Romanian-speaking parishes in the Chernivtsi region, and they have all remained loyal to the canonical Church.
The pious people of Chernivtsi and Bukovina will never, no matter how much they are threatened, betray the Church of Christ, and their dear native son, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.