Legal chaos follows developments of Ukrainian church situation


Union of Orthodox Journalists, 2 January 2019


A donation agreement that Metropolitan Simeon issued for himself may be evidence of fraud in a criminal case, thinks Archpriest Gennady Shkil.


The deal, which Metropolitan Simeon Shostatsky, who was inhibited from ministry by the Holy Synod of the UPTs, concluded has signs of criminality, Archpriest Gennady Shkil reported on Facebook.


The clergyman said that at the time of issuing the agreement of donation, Metropolitan Simeon no longer had the right to sign any documents for the administration of the Vinnytsia diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UPTs).


"The UPTs Vinnytsia diocese administration's right of ownership of the administrative building was liquidated on 17 December 2018 at 17:11:56. At 17:11:56!! And the report that Shostatsky had been relieved of administration of the diocese and a new ruling bishop had been appointed was published on the official website of the UPTs on 17 December 2018 at 13:55," Archpriest Gennady explained.


He is sure that the action of Metropolitan Simeon "even smells like a criminal offense, a fraud and production of forged documents."


The clergyman noted that the lawsuit of the metropolitan himself, who is inhibited from ministry, seeking restoration of the position also is illegal, inasmuch as it contradicts the decision of the E.C.H.R. of 14 September (Nagy v. Hungary), which considered a similar situation in the Reform Church of Hungary.


News media have reported that Metropolitan Simeon himself "donated" to himself the real estate complex of the Vinnytsia diocesan administration on the same day as the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church inhibited him from ministry for participation in the "unification council."


Subsequently Metropolitan Simeon filed in the Vinnytsia city court a plaintiff's declaration, which he called his "step of defense of human dignity and honor." (tr. by PDS, posted 2 January 2019)

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