Vinnitsa Diocese of Ukrainian Church calls clergy who went into schism to repent and return

Vinnitsa, June 13, 2019

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Between December and March, 20 clerics of the Vinnitsa Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church departed into schism, joining the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.” As a result, they were suspended from serving as clergy of the canonical Church.

In a statement published yesterday, the diocese has formally called and encouraged those clerics to repent of their schism and return to the Church.

“We had to resort to such a measure to encourage the clergy who fell away from Church communion to repent and return to the bosom of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. We now regret to state that none of these clerics have shown repentance so far,” the diocese notes.

The schismatic priests are once again called to repentance and given two weeks to make a decision. “After that, we will be forced to raise the question before the Holy Synod of the UOC about defrocking these clerics,” the statement warns.

Vinnitsa has been one of the most embattled areas, given that the former canonical hierarch of the Vinnitsa Diocese, Simeon Shostatsky, was one of the two canonical bishops who participated in the “unification council” on December 15 and joined the schismatic church created there.

Many more clerics of the diocese initially followed Simeon into schism, though they repented and returned to the Church within a matter of days. In the end, as the diocese reports, only 18 of the roughly 250 priests have gone into schism, and two deacons.

The clerics in question, in need of prayer, are:

Archimandrite Dorotheos (Markevich)
Archpriest Anatoly Aksanyuk
Archpriest Roman Asaphov
Archpriest Viktor Bodnar
Archpriest Vyacheslav Budanevich
Archpriest Alexei Volkov
Archpriest Vitaly Goloskevich
Archpriest Valentin Gutorov
Archpriest George Donchak
Archpriest John Drozd
Archpriest Andrei Kiper
Archpriest Oleg Kozhushny
Archpriest Vasily Karavai
Archpriest Vladimir Melnikovich
Archpriest Dmitry Lilin
Archpriest Oleg Sots
Archpriest Alexander Shvets
Fr. John Prosyanovsky
Protodeacon Vladislav Demchenko
Protodeacon Maxim Yariga

Archpriest Alexander Barabash of the Mogilev-Podolsky Diocese in the Vinnitsa Province recently repented of the support he had shown for the OCU, though he never formally joined the schismatic structure.

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