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    • Од Ромејац,
      For reprisal against the “Moscow priest”, aggressive supporters of the OCU, whom even their “pastor” could not calm down, called for help from a neighboring village.
      On Sunday, September 1, 2019, representatives of the OCU community tried by force to expel the vicar of theRovno Eparchy of the UOC, Bishop Pimen of Dubno from the church in honor of St. John the Theologian having been grabbed by them before in the village of Kopytov, Korets district, Rovno region. This was reported by the UOJ correspondent.
      The vicar came to his native village to visit his parents.
      “It's the fifth month that the church I used to go to as a child has been in the hands of the OCU proponents,” said Bishop Pimen. “The entrance to the temple for me and other believers, who have chained our hearts to the temple, is prohibited. So I decided to approach their "priest", who now lives in the same village, and ask for permission to go inside. "He kindly agreed, led me to the temple, but on having seen this, the activists who live nearby came and started to kick me out, call me names – my subdeacon partially recorded this on video."
      Vladyka noted that the men behaved extremely inadequately, and even the “priest” of the new religious structure failed to bring them to senses. The verbal skirmish lasted for 20 minutes, the former villagers threatened and cursed, and in the end even called for help from the neighboring village.
      “I did not intend to inflame this conflict – I just wanted to enter the temple. I believe that I have the right to do so. I tried to talk, to explain it, but in vain: I had to leave the church, no matter how heart-tearing it might have been. As I was leaving, I saw the cyclists from the neighboring village out of the car, who were probably going to expel the “Moscow priest”. I recalled the words of the Gospel: ‘Forgive them, Lord, for they do not know what they are doing’,” added Bishop Pimen.
       
      Recall, on April 13, 2019, activists of the new church structure, with the support of the SBU and the police, seized the church of St. John the Theologian in the village of Kopytov. During the raider attack, they brutally beat the rector of the temple and his parishioners, after which one believer was hospitalized and the ambulance was called to help the rector.
       
      OCU activists expel Bishop Pimen from the temple in his native village - UOJ - the Union of Orthodox Journalists
      SPZH.NEWS    
    • Од Ромејац,
      The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople unexpectedly decided to remove the exarchate status of the Archdiocese of Russian Churches in Western Europe, telling the parishes that they had to become part of the Patriarchate’s Greek metropolises.
      However, the clergy and faithful of the Archdiocese then overwhelmingly voted to remain together as an ecclesiastical body. They are actively considering several options for their future, the most likely being to join the Moscow Patriarchate, which has the backing of the Archdiocese’s hierarch, Archbishop John of Chariopoulis, though there are certainly those members who actively oppose returning to the Russian Church.
      On August 9, the parishes of the former Exarchate received two documents, one with a proposal from the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and the other with a proposal from the Moscow Patriarchate. The clergy and parishioners have until September 7 to consider the two proposals, when the Archdiocese’s next General Assembly will be held to take a vote, “either to preserve its identity, specificity, and traditions under the Patriarchal omophorion of Moscow,” or “to abandon the past, becoming a vicariate without a future,” Abp. John wrote in his address accompanying the letters, reports the Independent Gazette.
      The 24-page document from Constantinople is, “in fact, the same statutes that the parishes of the Russian tradition live by today, but with all the references to the Archdiocese as a territorial and legal entity replaced with ‘vicariate,’ with the addition of ‘the Gallic Orthodox Metropolis, in the canonical jurisdiction of the Constantinople (Ecumenical ) Patriarchate.”
      Whereas the statutes previously proclaimed the independence of the Exarchate, they now note that decisions can be made only with the “consultation” or “approval” of Metropolitan Emmanuel of Gaul.
      Metropolitan Emmanuel previously sent a letter with a proposal for the churches within his territory to become a vicariate to the priests of the Archdiocese. His letter stipulated the “the preservation of the existing association, which will continue to manage the property belonging to it, and to function according to its own statutes, probably with some necessary adaptations.” The new Constantinople letter makes clear that the “necessary adaptations” are to strip the Archdiocese of its former freedom, as Abp. John comments.
      Moreover, both Met. Emmanuel’s letter and the present proposal apply only to the churches in France. No offer has been made for the parishes throughout the rest of Western Europe. “We are not talking about the preservation of the Archdiocese, but only about the preservation of its French part,” Deacon Alexander Zanemonets explained to the Gazette.
      Noting that Abp. John would be able to take actions only with the consent of Met. Emmanuel, Dcn. Alexander commented that “the proposal of the Russian Orthodox Church should be considered both in the context of the Romanian refusal and in the context of this Constantinople option.”
      As Dcn. Alexander explained, the Romanian Patriarchate offered the Archdiocese to join it only temporarily, and required a canonical release from Constantinople. “But since the Archdiocese is no longer part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, there cannot be any canonical release,” the clergyman explained.
      Meanwhile, as he notes, the Moscow Patriarchate’s latest offer “corresponds to what was originally discussed.” That is, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s winter letter and the final proposal are identical, with all the features of the entire Archdiocese being preserved, including the independence of the Archdiocese in all internal decisions. “That is, in fact, the only change is that the Patriarch of Moscow will be commemorated instead of the Patriarch of Constantinople, while the structure of the internal life of the Archdiocese remains the same,” Dcn. Alexander explained.
      And, importantly, the Moscow proposal allows the Archdiocese to quickly elect diocesan and vicar bishops. Abp. John’s age has been a point of concern for the Archdiocese, but there has been no hope of electing successor bishops under Constantinople.
      The Russian Church has even offered to amend its own statutes to accommodate the traditions of the Archdiocese of Russian Churches.
      http://orthochristian.com/123008.html?fbclid=IwAR3HtowjDzzE4_a-elqZ6iVnTD7ueCxwnDFDr0yrIRTnxJEbymxXBzW9lV4
    • Од Ромејац,
      USA; Germany, March 6, 2019
      Updated March 6, 6:45 PM with information about the St. Nicholas Church

      According to conditions laid out in the tomos of autocephaly given to the Ukrainian schismatic church by the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, all parishes outside of Ukraine itself are to be transferred to Constantinople’s jurisdiction. The tomos also stipulates that it is given on the basis of all the conditions mentioned therein.
      However, at least four parishes of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” (KP) are violating the tomos, having declared that they will not join Constantinople but will remain with the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU) made up of the KP and the schismatic “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.”
      Meanwhile, the schismatic head, “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko claimed in a recent interview that negotiations are already underway with foreign parishes and some are already read to transfer, though he did not name any specific parishes. He also said they will continue to negotiate with those parishes that are unwilling.
      The KP has parishes in Moldova, Greece, Australia, America, Canada, Russia, and throughout Europe.
      On Sunday, March 3, during a parish meeting, the community of Holy Trinity Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut made a unanimous decision to remain in the OCU, parish rector Oleksandr Dviniatin wrote on his Facebook page, reports the Union of Orthodox Journalists.
      He added that the parish will continue to commemorate “The primate of the OCU His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphany and His Holiness Patriarch Philaret.”
      “Regarding the foreign parishes of the OCU: The tomos is not the Symbol of Faith [the Nicene Creed—O.C.]; take it as a typikon,” the rector also said.
      He also noted that in his 11 years of service in America, no representative of the Patriarchate of Constantinople ever invited them to a feast, although there is a parish 10 minutes away, and they never communicated with them except to ask for money.
      In the comments under Dviniatin’s announcement, another schismatic priest, Oleksij Holchuk of the Holy Ascension Church of the KP in Clifton, New Jersey, also said that his parish does not intend to switch to Constantinople.
      “Holy Ascension Church in Clifton, NJ is and will remain in the Ukrainian Church with its center in Kiev—the Local Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Our parish decided this many years ago. Nobody has the right to take people’s freedom away, including who to consider their primate,” Holchuk writes.
      St. Nicholas Church in Philadelphia has also made clear that it intends to remain with the OCU. The parish only joined the KP a few years ago after abandoning the Orthodox Church in America. According to the history given on the church’s website, the parish was officially proclaimed a stavropigia of the KP on June 27, 2017. According to the January 20th bulletin, “Patriarch” Philaret Denisenko personally signed a document reaffirming the parish’s stavropigial status on January 7, the day after the tomos of autocephaly was granted in Istanbul.
      The About Us page lists Philaret Denisenko and Epiphany Dumenko as their bishops, and every bulletin proudly proclaims the parish as a “Stavropigia of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
      The German dean of the KP in Cologne, Vladimir Chaika, also announced that this parish voted on February 17 to remain with the OCU. He has already reported this decision to the schismatic primate Epiphany Dumenko in a meeting with him.
      http://orthochristian.com/119744.html?fbclid=IwAR20ncSQhhOVSb5_YxreN2cAvFzBi-DTpWD_t4bYDQylhg0QKZ6OqjR2x30
    • Од Ромејац,
      Gnezdichno, Ukraine, March 5, 2019
      Video has appeared online showing a “priest” of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” and other activists of the schismatic church and the nationalist terrorist group Right Sector beating parishioners, including women, of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, reports the site of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
       
      The video clearly shows “Father” Ivan Lesik, known for political racketeering, pushing and hitting women parishioners of the canonical Holy Transfiguration Church in the village of Gnezdichno in the Ternopil Province, and the same violence being used by the other schismatics and the Right Sector nationalists. The video also shows police standing idly by, not intervening.
      Despite the multitude of such cases, many of which have been caught on video, the hierarchy of the schismatic church continue to insist that no parishes are every forcefully converted.
      The press service of the Ukrainian Church stressed that the incident shows how unprotected believers of the canonical Church experience the gross violation of their rights and freedoms.
      Supporters of the schismatic church held a village meeting on January 13 at which part of the attendees to move into the schismatic church, though the parish community resolved to remain in the canonical Church. At that time, the parties managed to reach an agreement on peaceful co-existence. However, the schismatics returned and started a fight outside the church in early February, injuring the rector Fr. Stephan Balan at that time. The parishioners showed up to protect their church, though the police took the side of the provocateurs.
      Fr. Stephan warned at that time that they were likely planning to return and finally seize the church, which they did on Sunday.
      Though the church was to be sealed, with the communities alternating services on the street, they “for the third time broke their own conditions, opened the sealed church, and started celebrating the ‘Liturgy.’ When our faithful came to the church at the end of the service and asked to be given the opportunity to worship in the church, they were sharply refused,” Fr. Stephan explained.
      Negotiations continued for a while, while 15-20 Right Sector thugs blocked the entrance to the church.
      After some shouts and shoving, the supporters of the OCU, headed by the pseudo-priest Lesik, began to beat and throw the faithful of the UOC out of the church onto street, under shouts of “There will be no Muscovites here.”
      In a separate incident in the Ternopil Province, 15 schismatics surrounded the home of Fr. Yaroslav in the village of Trebukhovtsi, demanding that he and his family leave. They say the house also belongs to the church that was seized on February 28, reports the Ukrainian site Vesti.
      The schismatics have already removed Fr. Yaroslav’s belongings and plan to build a Sunday School in his house. Meanwhile, the priest and his family will have to move to Ternopil, an hour away from his parishioners.
      http://orthochristian.com/119723.html?fbclid=IwAR1MiMbF6cIE0zFLjNOEfmneNOUmMC13Hkx3KpjW6SXJOIctb6kTYgDn6hc
    • Од Ромејац,
      Debar, Republic of North Macedonia, February 22, 2019

      The schismatics of the “Macedonian Orthodox Church” are still expecting to eventually receive a tomos of autocephaly from the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and, they even have more arguments in their favor for receiving autocephaly than does Ukraine, believes “Metropolitan” Timotej of Debar and Kičevo.
      “All of our expectations are that the Ecumenical Patriarchate will soon begin the process of recognizing the Macedonian Church,” the unrecognized hierarch said in a recent interview with mkd.mk.
      Another Macedonian hierarch, “Bishop” Petar of Prespa and Pelagonia earlier said he expects they will receive a tomos of autocephaly from Constantinople by the end of this year, saying they meet all the necessary requirements.
      At the same time, Timotej noted that there is no consensus in North Macedonian about whether they should recognize the newly-created Ukrainian schismatic church. For now, he says, the church prefers to remain restrained about this issue.
      There also is no consensus, he said, about whether or not to change the name of the church, which Patriarch Bartholomew has placed as a condition on granting autocephaly. However, Timotej is certain they will not change their name.
      “The Prespes Agreement does not oblige us to change our name. The church is not financed from the state budget. We will not change the name,” he said.
      The Prespes Agreement was signed between representatives of Greece and Macedonia on June 12 and went into effect on February 12, officially changing the former’s name to the Republic of Northern Macedonia, thus ending a long-standing dispute over the country’s former name, as Macedonia is also a region in northern Greece, and Greeks fiercely defend the name as belonging only to them.
      In September, Pat. Bartholomew declared that he would never recognize the church as long as it has the word “Macedonia” in its title. He also later declared that the Patriarchate would not grant autocephaly to the Macedonian church as its territory is, in fact, the canonical territory of the Serbian Orthodox Church, from which the Macedonian church schismed in 1967, despite the fact that in May he had declared that Constantinople would handle the Macedonian church issue “under the essential conditions of the observance of the historical-canonical powers and privileges of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”
      Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich, Deputy Head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, noted the double standard at play between the Patriarchate’s actions in Ukraine and its latest stance towards Macedonia—interfering in the Ukrainian Church’s territory on the one hand, while refusing to interfere in the Serbian Church’s territory on the other.
      The Macedonian church reached out to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in November 2017 for assistance in becoming a canonically-recognized autocephalous Church. The Bulgarian Church agreed to help, which greatly angered the Churches of Serbia and Greece, and also the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
      The Macedonian Church then appealed to the Ecumenical Patriarchate as well for the regularization of its canonical status, receiving various answers from them.
      http://orthochristian.com/119521.html?fbclid=IwAR3C6FTiLdq7PK3h2cexPppy6fZyF-fsrwidU19BfPV6NKVFuJP2SJcgJ8o

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