Kiev, December 12, 2014
Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary, Chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP), in his comment made for Religions.unian.net stated the number of churches seized by the schismatic as well as the number of parishes that had “voluntarily” transferred to the so-called “Kyiv Patriarchate”, reports the UOC MP’s official website.
“By now 14 parishes of UOC MP have been seized, 6 parishes are facing seizure, and only 3 parishes have voluntarily changed their jurisdiction, according to the Ukrainian Law, “On Freedom of Worship and Religious Organizations.” Surely, in comparison with 12,000 parishes of UOC MP, this number is small, but we are outraged by the fact that churches are being seized and thus the laws of the state are being violated,” Metropolitan Anthony said.
At the same time, the UOC MP Chancellor explained that one should discern a voluntary transfer from a seizure and that these definitions should not be mixed up.
“An unlawful occupation of a church by violence and lies cannot be defined as a transfer. By law, a transfer is carried out when the decision is made unanimously by all the parish members, and not the village residents. Even if ten UOC MP members do not wish to change the parish jurisdiction but the church is nevertheless given to “the Kyiv Patriarchate”, then we cannot say it is a transfer either,” the metropolitan stressed.
He has pointed out that “the people who are seizing the UOC MP churches are not only violating the state laws but are also breaking the Commandments”.
“Can a Christian take the liberty of beating his or her neighbor, damaging a church, inciting other people to animosity and confrontation, and seeking to take possession of property that does not belong to them? Nearly all of this is occurring during the so-called transfers to the so-called ‘Kyiv Patriarchate’,” the UOC MP Chancellor said.