Vinnitsa, Ukraine, June 7, 2021
A criminal investigation into the recent attack on the car of His Eminence Metropolitan Barsanuphius of Vinnitsa of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox has been opened.
According to police, the incident occurred near the Holy Cross Church in Vinnitsa at about 8:00 AM on Friday, as church employees were loading liturgical items into the car, reports Vinnitsa.info.
“A man came up to them, grabbed the staff from one of them, and started hitting the car with it,” said Anna Oleynik of the Vinnitsa branch of the National Police. Met. Barsanuphius himself was not present during the incident.
The attacker damaged the staff and other liturgical items. The day before, the same man had gone to Holy Cross Church and asked the priest, “Why does the Church engage in politics?” to which Fr. Nikolai replied that the Ukrainian Church does not engage in politics, Met. Barsanuphius wrote in a note to the police.
The man was arrested later that same day, around 4:00 PM. It turns out the attacker, a native of Vinnitsa, was drunk, and has no explanation for his actions, according to the police report.
Criminal proceedings for hooliganism have been opened against the man, and the investigation is ongoing.
In March 2019, His Eminence was physically attacked by nationalist-schismatics of Patriarch Bartholomew’s “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”