The head of local authorities disrupted two festive Orthodox religious rites in a defiant and insulting manner.
January 19, 2019 – In a village Brailov near Vinnitsa, the village council head disrupted two Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s (Moscow Patriarchate)[note]The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) is an autonomous Orthodox Church with the headquarter in Kiev, Ukraine. It is spiritually and canonically linked with the Russian Orthodox Church.
[/note] traditional water consecration worships on the feast of Baptism, that annually takes place at the local river. This was reported by the official website of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) Vinnitsa Diocese and translated by the Union of Orthodox Journalists
The head of the village council, Valery Resident, accompanied by a priest of different Christian denomination from a neighbouring village, showed up at the place of the public worship on a river’s bank and started acting defiantly and insulting the priest of Ukranian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) who was performing the water consecration rite. Mr Resident yelled through the megaphone insulting terms, stressing that nobody had invited the Ukrainian Orthodox Chruch (Moscow Patriarchate) priest here. In two hours, the head of the village appeared at a different location of Ukranian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) water consecration worship accompanied by a priest of a newly formed OCU[note]Orthodox Church of Ukraine is a religious organization that was formed with an aid of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine and with non-canonical actions of the Constantinople Patriarchate at the end of 2018. So far, none of the canonical Orthodox Churches has recognised this organization as an Orthodox Church.[/note]. Together, they tried to prevent the priest from finishing the worship and shouting: “this is our water, not yours,” and “who gave you the right to bless the water in reservoirs?”
The actions of the village head caused outrage in the Orthodox community of Brailov. Moreover, “they [actions of the Local Authorities’ representative – ed.] give a reason for serious concerns as in a secular state an official allows himself to intervene in purely church affairs; and he does it in a defiant and insulting manner.” – states the Vinnitsa Diocese.
- The official website of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) Vinnitsa Diocese – “In Braille, the village head tried to disrupt the consecration of water.” (“У Браїлові селищний голова намагався зірвати освячення води.”)
- Union of Orthodox Journalists – “The water is ours, not yours: head of Brailov tries to hamper UOC priests”
Jan. 15, 2019 – Metropolitan Luka addresses a request to the chairman of Novonikolaevskaya Regional State Administration to stop pressuring the priests of Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) [open letter]