UGCC’s ruling bishop in Kolomyia plays up to temple raiders, – UOC spokesman

The deputy head of the Department for External Church Relations (DECR) of the UOC, Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich, believes what is happening around the Annunciation Church in Kolomyia causes irreparable damage to the reputation of Greek Catholics in Ukraine. The cleric wrote this on
his Facebook page.

“In this commentary the situation looks much sadder than in the text of His Eminence Svyatoslav. In the text of the Kolomyia Greek-Catholic bishop, there is not a single condemnation, even superficial, of the illegal and violent actions of the Greek Catholic priests, nor there is a call to the chaplains and their followers to release the temple before starting any negotiations (that is, returning to some conditionally neutral state), or transfer the case to the level of the bishop (which could lead the situation out of the impasse), which he as the ruling Greek-Catholic bishop in Kolomyia should have done rather than “play into the hands” of chaplains. Constructive specifics are almost none, all the common words and attempts to stand on thier own,” the priest wrote.

Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich believes that the interview of the UGCC head Svyatoslav Shevchuk was “though not ideal, but more precise and informative, with a constructive vision of a way out of the situation.”

He is convinced that the UGCC loses from these events, and the UOC is the injured party, and the situation and time itself works in its favor. And delaying the solution of this problem will increasingly affect the image of the UGCC, although globally all Christians are suffering losses from what is happening; and the only way out of the situation is legal,” concludes the DECR deputy head.

Despite the fact that the court recgnized the right of the UOC community to the Annunciation temple in Kolomyia, bishop of Kolomyia-Chernivtsi eparchy of the UGCC Vasiliy Ivasiuk declared that “the Annunciation temple in Kololmyia is a historic temple owned by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, whereas calls of the UOC to find a peaceful solution of the situation were not crowned with success.”

Regarding the historically conditioned title to the above temple, Archpriest Alexei Dobosh, professor of Kiev Theological Academy, noted that the Annunciation temple had been Orthodox at least 113 years before the union.

Press-secretary of Volyn eparchy Archpriest Oleg Tochinsky drew the attention to the fact that versions of representatives of the UGCC and witnesses about how the Uniates had penetrated to the church building contradict each other.

Publicist Alexander Yermolenko said that finding excuses for the temple raiders in Kolomyia by Igor Shaban, Chairman of the UGCC Commission for Christians Unity Assistance, deserves Darwin Prize for the most lopsided shielding of the scandal culprits.

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