The police unreasonably detained Metropolitan Mitrofan a day after his eparchy declared its loyalty to the canonical Church and its primate His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine.
February 18, 2019 – Metropolitan Mitrofan of Gorlovka and Slavyansk was detained at a checkpoint and escorted to the Slavyansk police department, reports Union of Orthodox Journalist referencing the official website of the Gorlovka eparchy. The incident comes just a day after the Gorlovka eparchy declared its loyalty to the canonical Church and its primate His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine.
Met. Mitrophan was returning from having just celebrated a service in one of his diocesan churches when he was stopped at the checkpoint in the village of Malinkovka and taken to the police department for identification. When asked about the reasons for his detention, the policeman replied that in accordance with the Law of Ukraine “On the National Police”, he has the right to detain any person for 3 hours without charge.
The bishop was searched and then escorted to the Slavyansk police department by an operations group. The bishop had a conversation with the investigator, during which no charges were brought. However, he was soon released.
“I believe this was an attempt of pressure from the authorities,” the Metropolitan emphasized.
After the incident became known to the faithful of the diocese, they gathered with the clergy of the diocese at the police department to support their bishop.
“There was a feeling that now I could put on the robe and begin to serve the Liturgy. I am very grateful to both the clergy and the laity for organized support and prayers,” the ruling bishop of the Gorlovka eparchy said.
- Union of Orthodox Journalists – “Metropolitan Mitrofan detained by police without giving a reason”;
- The official website of the Gorlovka eparchy – “The ruling bishop of the Gorlovskaya diocese was detained at the Ukrainian checkpoint (+ video)” (“Правящего архиерея Горловской епархии задержали на украинском блок-посту (+видео)”)
Feb. 14, 2019 – The citizen of Ukraine, Bishop Gedeon has been deprived of his citizenship and deported to the United States, on the day of his participation in the session at the Supreme Court of Ukraine questioning the legitimacy of a Parliament’s directive with respect to a religious issue.