On Saturday, August 21, representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church dioceses from all over the country gathered near the Verkhovna Rada to express their protest in connection with the visit of Patriarch Bartholomew to Ukraine.
The priests turned to all believers as well as to Bartholomew himself, and called them to a prayer service.
"You say that the church you lead is a mother church for our people. If so, then why, when you were expelled from the churches, you did not see this. When all the churches were taken away from us, you were silent. When we were beaten and maimed, you were and did not see, you were silent. Or maybe it is because you sold us. For the first time you sold us under Patriarch Dionysius IV in 1686 ... A hundred years ago we were sold to the Soviet authorities, recognizing the Renovationist schism and saying that the patriarch who headed the church, is no longer a patriarch ... And now, when we are being persecuted, beaten, our churches are being taken away, and you don’t see and say nothing on to whom you sold us and for how much. June this year marks exactly 335 years since you first sold us.
I want to call all of you, dear priests and brothers, to congregational prayer for Patriarch Bartholomew, so that the Lord would inspire him to repentance for the schism, for bringing sadness to our people, for the division that has intensified due to his interference in affairs of the UOC, because he was the first in honor among equals, wanted to become the first without equals, but it turned out that he became the first without honor.
I want to call you to conciliar prayer for our Primate, Metropolitan Onuphriy, for our Orthodox Ukrainian Church, for our devout Ukrainian people. So that the Lord gives us the strength to endure all this, to remain faithful to the faith and canonical Orthodoxy, to show that we are God's children and will remain so forever.
Let us pray to the Lord our God and Jesus Christ, "said the representative of the Vinnytsia diocese of the UOC.
It should be noted that in the first days of the Dormition Lent throughout Ukraine, believers held mass actions against the arrival of Bishop Bartholomew of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to Ukraine.
In particular, the parishioners of the UOC declared physical and moral violence by the OCU, controlled by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The transfer of churches under the control of the OCU, according to the parishioners of the UOC, is not peaceful and voluntary - it happens by force and looks more like raiding.