Lvov, Lvov Province, Ukraine, November 30, 2022
The persecution of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church continues to spread in Ukraine.
At the same time that federal law enforcement agencies are actively searching monasteries and diocesan administrations to find any signs of supposed pro-Russian or anti-Ukrainian sentiments, the deputies of the Lvov Province in far western Ukraine have decided to completely ban the activity of the Church on its territory.
The decision came at yesterday’s session, the Provincial Council reports.
Although the UOC removed its connection to the Russian Orthodox Church from its statutes in May, the Lvov Council declares that it’s banning the “Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate).”
Commenting on the UOC Council in May, His Eminence Metropolitan Philaret of Lvov said: “All the norms that still connected our Church with the Moscow Patriarchate were completely deleted from the UOC Statutes. So now we are completely outside the Russian Orthodox Church. Patriarch Kirill is no longer the primate of our Church in any form.”
Earlier in March, two monasteries of the Lvov Diocese of the UOC left the Church and joined the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”
The Lvov deputies also appealed to the Ukrainian Parliament to enact a nationwide ban on the Ukrainian Church, as deputies from various places throughout the country have already done. A bill to that effect was registered in the Verkhovna Rada last week, and a petition calling for President Zelensky to support the bill has received more than 25,000 votes, meaning the President will have to officially consider and respond to the petition.
Despite such repeated emotional calls, Elena Bogdan, the head of the Ukrainian State Services of Ethnopolitics, has repeatedly warned that a ban on the UOC is ill-advised and would certainly cause destabilization in society. She has also confirmed that there is no longer any connection in Church statutes between the Ukrainian and Russian Churches.
The Lvov Provincial Council also calls on local governing bodies to hold meetings for the purpose of taking parishes out of the Church and into the schismatic OCU. They also call upon law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of property and cultural values of parishes that join the OCU.