Metropolitan Meletii is the leader of the same priest who was caught by the security forces with a naked underage boy.
Metropolitan of the Chernivtsi party UOC MP Meletii, who, according to the SBU, had documents on Russian citizenship found during searches, went to Moldova.
Photos of Meletius at a divine service in Moldova appeared on the Facebook page of the diocese of Ungen and Nisporen.
It is emphasized that on December 1, in the Episcopal Cathedral of Prince Nevsky, Meletius together with the local bishop Petru held a joint liturgy in honor of the anniversary of the latter’s spiritual service.
Meletius was accompanied by ministers of the Chernivtsi diocese. The festive liturgy ended with a visit to a local kindergarten.
Searches in the Chernivtsi diocese of the Moscow Patriarchate
- On November 25, the Security Service of Ukraine reported that during the search of the St. Nicholas Church of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, documents on Russian citizenship were found in the hands of the diocese’s leadership.
- Photocopies of ID cards of participants in military operations against Ukrainian troops were found in the computers of the diocese’s leadership. Among such documents is the “Hero of Russia” certificate signed by the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation for the “seizure of Crimea” in 2014.
- In addition, during the searches, security forces caught the secretary of the diocese, Nikita, with a naked underage boy in bed.
Searches in the houses of the UOC MP and sanctions of the National Security Council
Since October, the SBU has been conducting large-scale searches in regional churches of the UOC MP. In November, the security forces also visited the priests in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, where the priest and the congregation sang a prayer glorifying Russia.
On the ground, the special service finds mostly banned propaganda literature that denies the existence of Ukraine.
On December 1, President Volodymyr Zelensky instructed the National Security Council to submit to the Verkhovna Rada a draft law banning the activities of the UOC MP, which may be affiliated with the Russian Orthodox Church. Zelensky also hinted that the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra could be taken away from the Moscow Patriarchate in favor of the Ukrainian Church.
On December 2, the National Security Council imposed sanctions against the vicar of the Lavra, Novinsky and other priests of the UOC MP. About ten clergymen of the Moscow Patriarchate have come under restrictions.