MORE THAN 40 UPTs PARISHES TRANSFERRED INTO "NEW CHURCH"
RIA Novosti, 5 January 2019
More than 40 parishes of the canonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine have transferred into the "new church," the chairman of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada, Andrei Paruby, declared.
"We already have more than 40 parishes that have transferred (from the UPTs of the Moscow patriarchate into the "new church"—ed.). But today it is not regulated where to transfer to, specifically, because there is no legally established procedure," Paruby is quoted by the Ukrainian news agency UNIAN.
According to the Rada speaker, all procedures for the creation of the "new church" will be finalized after the receipt of the tomos of autocephaly.
In Kiev on 15 December, on the initiative of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, the "unification council" was held in which primarily representatives of noncanonical church structures participated. Only two bishops of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church came for it, as a result of which the UPTs inhibited them from ministry. The result of the event in Kiev was the election of the head of the new "autocephalous church," Epifany Dumenko. The Russian Orthodox Church called the canonical significance of the "assembly" in Kiev null and void and the possibility of Epifany's recognition hardly a feasible task.
On Saturday, Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew signed a tomos of autocephaly for the "new church" of Ukraine. As reported earlier, Ukrainian authorities are calculating that a ceremony of granting a tomos will be held on 6 January, on the feast of Epiphany, which was reported by the patriarch's residence, the Phanar.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has frequently reported about harassment of clergymen and seizures of church buildings by representatives of uncanonical religious structures. In particular, in 2014 to 2016, the UPTs lost 40 church buildings. In late December, the Denpropetrovsk and Mukachevo dioceses of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church denied reports about the transfer of two of their churches into the "new church." (tr. by PDS, posted 5 January 2019)
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