Wednesday, May 18, 2022

    Moscow admits losing ROC parishes in Ukraine, blaming “nationalists,” Ukrainian authorities

    Vladimir Legoida, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Synodal Department for Church Relations with the Public and Media, said that some parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine had switched to the OCU and that nationalists and the Ukrainian government were to blame for this.

    In an interview with the Izvestia newspaper, published on December 21, the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church said that most of the transitions to the OCU were “due to pressure exerted on people.”

    “Most of these situations involve putting pressure on people, breaking the law amid assistance on the part of local authorities,” said Vladimir Legoida.

    The head of the Synodal Department for Church Relations with the Public and Media noted that the situation around the ROC in Ukraine remains alarming due to “actions of nationalists and periodic connivance by the authorities at various levels.”

    Joining the OCU

    It should be recalled that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine already has 7,000 communities. About 700 parishes joined the OCU after the latter received a tomos of autocephaly and was recognized by Local Churches.

    The transition accession process has somewhat slowed down due to a slow pace of community registration, as well as the coronavirus pandemic. The Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine is also litigating with parishes that have decided to switch. The ROCinU believes that the transition of communities to the OCU is a “violation of their rights.” Meanwhile, some parishes had to wait two years for their statutes to be re-registered with the OCU.

    The OCU recently reported that virtually all parishes that voted to join the Ukrainian Church will win in courts in cases launched by the ROCinU.