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    Bishop Feognost calls on Romanian-speaking religious communities of Bukovyna to join OCU

    In Chernivtsi region, Romanian-speaking parishioners can join the Orthodox Church of Ukraine within the vicariate. It is a separate structure in the OCU, which has the right to preserve the culture, traditions and Romanian language of worship.

    Bishop Feognost of Chernivtsi and Bukovyna told about this at a press conference on April 5, writes Suspilne.

    According to him, the Romanian Vicariate of the OCU was formed in 2019, when the OCU received the Tomos, but little was known about it until now. A statute was developed for the vicariate based on the example of the Vicariate of Ukrainian parishioners in Romania.

    “They speak Ukrainian there and communicate in Romanian. But the patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church granted them such a right to preserve their Ukrainian traditions, culture, tongue, and the language of worship in order to satisfy the spiritual needs of Ukrainians in Romania,” says Feognost.

    Feognost says that in Romanian-speaking villages, priests and their religious communities can join the OCU and lead services in the language chosen by parishioners.

    If only a religious community decides to join the OCU, the church has a Romanian-speaking priest who can run services. Also, some priests are currently learning Romanian to facilitate communication with parishioners.

    At the same time, no community in the region has yet joined the vicariate. When there is the first such case, then the transition procedure will be finally determined. Previously, it is the same as during the transition of the religious community from the UOC to the OCU.

    To whom the vicariate shall be subordinated

    The Romanian vicariate in the region has already been created, but there is still no leader in it. He should be a priest or a bishop from the Romanian-speaking community, who would be elected by parishioners. He will report directly to Metropolitan Epifaniy, not to the regional diocese of the OCU.

    OCU dioceses merging in the region

    In early February, by the decision of the Synod in Bukovyna, three dioceses of the OCU merged into one. Those were the Chernivtsi-Kytsman, Chernivtsi-Khotyn, and Chernivtsi dioceses.

    Bishop Feognost (Bodoryak) was appointed to the Chernivtsi Cathedral. He was the vicar of the Ivano-Frankivsk-Halych diocese.

    Also, the Synod appointed Archbishop Onufriy (Havruk) as the titular Archbishop of Kitsman, rector of the Church of the Nativity of Christ in Chernivtsi under the Primate of the OCU.

    His Holiness Herman (Semanchuk) became the archbishop of Kamianets-Podilskyi and Nova Ushytsa. Previously, he was released from the administration of the Chernivtsi-Khotyn Diocese.

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