The head of the non-canonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Epiphanius (Dumenko), has launched a campaign to combat a ‘spiritual occupation’ of church properties in Ukraine.
Epiphanius (Dumenko) announced the campaign during a visit to the United States on October 20. He claimed that Kiev Pechersk Lavra (the Kiev Monastery of the Caves) and other Ukrainian shrines are in a “temporary spiritual occupation” because they are in the hands of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchy).
Мені було дуже приємно тут, у Нью-Йорку, зустрітися з українською громадою – вперше як Предстоятелю Православної Церкви…
Epiphanius (Dumenko) vowed that his organization and thus, ‘the Ukrainain nation’, will seize Kiev Pechersk Lavra and other shrines from the Moscow Patriarchy. The seizure of religious property in Ukraine was one of the key goals of non-canonical religious organizations that created the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. However, the organization immediately collapsed because of various internal tensions. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchy) withdrew from the Epiphanius-led organization. So, Ukrainian non-canonical organizations were not able to found understanding even among themselves. Despite this, leaders of the ‘independent’ Ukrainian church still hope that they will be able to use the backing from the West, Constantinople and the Kiev government to increase own personal wealth and take control of as much religious properties as it is possible.
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