Schismatics and Uniates build joint church-dentist waiting room in Donetsk

Karlovka, Donetsk Oblast, March 13, 2020

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On March 10, the opening of an interfaith church for military personnel in the Donetsk Province, shared by chaplains of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU) and the Greek Catholic Uniates (UGCC), was announced at a press conference in Lvov.

The church, dedicated to St. Anna, in the village of Karlovka does not have a clear confessional affiliation and does not belong to either the OCU or the UGCC, reports

The iconostasis is made of stained glass and depicts the “Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred”—those who died in the Euromaidan protests in 2014.

The village has a “dental center on wheels for the military,” and for five years in a row, volunteer dentists have been visiting to provide dental care to soldiers. Over time, there were so many patients that there was nowhere to put them while they waited, and thus the idea to build a small interfaith church arose, which would also serve as a waiting room for dentist appointments, explained Myron Ugrin, the head of the National Union of Dentists of Ukraine.

The church was officially launched on December 15, 2019, and since then there have been several OCU and UGCC weddings, baptisms, and liturgies. However, it will be launched at full capacity on March 22.

The church will also host lectures on oral hygiene, and served as a library and meeting room, Ugrin said.

The building cost about $85,000 (2.2 million hryvnia) to construct, most of which was invested by volunteers.

The OCU schismatics have served with the Uniates several times. Last month, the Metropolis of Piraeus of the Church of Greece published a text arguing and outlining how the Ukrainian schismatics promote the unification of Orthodoxy and the Papacy—something which the Uniate head, Svyatoslav Shevchuk, has openly spoken about.

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