Priests of the Vinnytsia Diocese Returned Back to the Moscow Patriarchate

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


More than half of the clergymen of the Vinnytsia diocese of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, who originally supported the former leader Simeon and who switched to the new schismatic “church”, made the decision to remain in the Moscow Patriarchate.

This was reported on December 19th by Interfax with reference to the Union of Orthodox Brotherhoods of Ukraine.

“After Metropolitan Simeon of Vinnytsia and Bar declared his transition to the church created by Constantinople, 75 of 250 priests of the diocese, according to its now former leader, followed it. However, on Tuesday in the Krestovozdvizhensky Cathedral of Vinnytsia there was a meeting of clergymen of the diocese with the newly appointed bishop – Archbishop Varsonofy, after which 45 of the clergymen who “left” said that they will remain in the canonical church”

said the interlocutor of the agency

He specified that the meeting took place in the Krestovozdvizhensky Cathedral because schismatics took the Svyato-Preobrazhenskiy temple under their control, however the Ukrainian Orthodox Church [Moscow Patriarchate – ed] intends to fight for it.

According to the representative of the Union of Orthodox Brotherhoods, according to documents the cathedral belongs to Simeon’s community, and he, in turn, belongs to the Moscow Patriarchate, and not the so-called Orthodox Church in Ukraine that Simeon now associates himself with.

Today Simeon Shostatsky is one of two now former bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church [Moscow Patriarchate – ed] who switched to the new “church”. Besides him, a similar decision was made by the former Metropolitan of Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky Aleksandr Drabinko. Both of them were banned from services according to the decision of the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

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Earlier it became known that Simeon was one of the main contenders for the post of the head of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, however in the end he lost out to the protege of the unrecognised Kiev Patriarchate Epifany at the so-called unifying sobor on December 15th. It is known that Simeon’s candidacy was actively supported by the president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.

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