Ukrainian schismatics say they won’t accept Catholic communities that want to transfer

Lvov, Ukraine, March 5, 2019

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On Sunday, a Uniate parish community in Lvov decided to join the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.” The next day, the schismatics said, “No thanks.”

The Uniate community of the Presentation of the Lord was liquidated in early February in response to a conflict between Greek and Roman Catholic communities that had been serving in the parish for the past 17 years. Their priest was recalled, so the community took the keys to the church and started holding reader services and stopped letting the Roman Catholic community in, forcing them to move elsewhere, reports

Then, on Sunday, March 3, the community voted to join the newly-created schismatic church. However, the next day, the speaker of the “Kiev Patriarchate” Evstraty Zorya said the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” did not want to accept them, and, in fact, has a policy of not accepting Catholic communities.

Although the community had met with a bishop of the schismatic church who introduced them to a priest who then celebrated a service in their church, Zorya said they misunderstood the bishop’s presence and that the Synod of the schismatic church had no made no relevant decision on accepting the Uniate community.

“Our church is in cooperation with the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic Church. I know that Metropolitan Epiphany has personally assured that our church will not interfere in this situation. That is, despite the expressed desire of the community members, which was a surprise for us, given all the circumstances, this community cannot be accepted into the Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” Zorya explained.

Svyatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the Uniate church, previously explained that the Uniates and schismatics hope to create a single church that will be recognized by both Rome and Constantinople.

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