English Edition

Statement of UOC on attempted seizure of Annunciation parish by Uniates

Source: Ukrainian Orthodox Church

June 9, 2017

Photo: news.church.ua Photo: news.church.ua

On June 6, OrthoChristian.com posted a news article regarding the attempted seizure of a church of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate at Kolomiya in the Transkarpatya region, by a group of Uniates, with the support of soldiers of “the Black Hundred” group. The Orthodox community has been praying in the Church of the Annunciation since 1990, while proponents of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church are claiming that use of the building was given to the Church on a temporary basis.

The Department for External Church Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has released an official statement, laying out the legal basis for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's right to the church building, calling on the UGCC hierarchy to respect the rights and beliefs of Orthodox Christians.Ed.

* * *

June 4, 2017, on the Day of Holy Pentecost, in the city of Kolomiya 13 priests of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church together with their faithful and supported by “Chorna Sotnia” (“the Black Hundred”) fighters, entered the Holy-Annunciation church, which belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and celebrated a liturgy there. After that, the church was illegally locked, and since then religious community of the UOC has been unable to pray in their own church. Negotiations regarding the future of the church are currently in progress.

In addition to their attempt to seize the above-mentioned church, the clergy and faithful of the UGCC have also been heard issuing threats to capture another UOC church in Kolomyia namely, the Holy Dormition Cathedral. Also threats were levelled at the Parish Rector Archpriest Mykolay Smetaniuk. The faithful of the Church are facing: intimidation, slander, threats of violence, and mostly coming from the mouths of Uniate chaplains, one of whom is Fr. Michael Arsenych. Leaflets with false information and with incitement against our church are being distributed among the residents of Kolomyia.

The UOC religious community has been using the building of the Holy-Annunciation church since 1990 on a legal basis. At the present time, the Kolomyia-Chernivtsi Diocese of the UGCC has not presented any legal proof that in any way whatsoever confirms the fact that the said church was transferred for use to the UOC religious community with the proviso that the said church has to be given to the UGCC in future. In the case that the UGCC diocese considers the Holy-Annunciation church as its own, then it should prove that allegation in a civilized way, i.e. via court.

... Read the rest at the site of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

13 / 06 / 2017

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