Rivne, Ukraine, February 5, 2021
Several schismatics who were involved in the violent seizure of a church in the Rivne Province in Ukraine repented of their actions against the Church after seeing the faithful of the canonical Ukrainian Church peacefully build a new church for themselves.
His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary, the Chancellor of the Ukrainian Church, recounted the moving story on a recent episode of Morning with Inter, reports the Union of Orthodox Journalists.
As the Metropolitan recalled, several of those who were involved in wresting a parish church away from the canonical faithful in Rivne then attended the consecration of the UOC’s new church a year later. “And they were crying because of what they had done. They told me: ‘Forgive us, we didn’t understand what we were doing at the time,’” Met. Anthony said.
Several priests have also repented of the sin of schism and have returned to the canonical Church.
Another hierarch of the canonical UOC, His Eminence Metropolitan Clement of Irpin, the head of the UOC’s Information-Education Department, also recently spoke of church seizures, emphasizing that if the schismatics would build their own churches instead of stealing them from the UOC, there would be no conflicts.
Recall that “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” has predicted a second wave of church seizures, which he calls “transitions.” Meanwhile, the UOC is prayerfully preparing for such pressure and persecution to increase in the months leading up to Patriarch Bartholomew’s visit to Ukraine in the summer.