SANTA MONICA, California, October 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
In his article published on WorldReligionNews.com on October 27, 2017, Priest Jean Joseph Ecole, Professor Emeritus of the French Université Catholique d'Angers, argues that both the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) and Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate (UOC-KP) face the challenge of working in the territories that are beyond the control of the Ukrainian state. Although their congregations still need guidance, the priests of the two churches are fleeing from Crimea and the Donbass region.
Father Ecole stressed that even the appeal by Major Archbishop Sviatoslav for the local clergy not to abandon their lands and their parishioners in the contemporary difficult circumstances have fallen on deaf ears: the size of the Sevastopol Greek Catholic parish has indeed recently dropped from 100 to 40 people.
The author argued that the believers living in the Crimean peninsula feel abandoned by the clergy, and that the few priests visiting Crimea to preach during short periods of time are not positively received by the believers, who do not feel that the local Church is fulfilling its duty. Moreover, by going to Crimea out of patriotism or thoughtlessness, these itinerant priest often violate Russian immigration laws, thus are fined and have to pay a forfeit which has to be covered by the local parishioners.
Hence, Priest Ecole claims that UGCC should rely on UOC-KP to abide by the territorial laws. The UOC-KP is indeed very active, as it registers communities all over Crimea and it encourages its affiliate priests to reside and serve in the peninsula. Certainly, the reasons why UOC-KP officials make all the possible efforts in conforming to the new authorities might be questioned. The case of the LLC "Crimean Orthodox Spiritual Center" mentioned in the article raises concerns on whether the UOC-KP officials are acting to ensure their Church's welfare and the need of the believers, or whether their action rest upon less noble reasons such as business and profit.
Priest Ecole concluded: "Unfortunately, similar incidents pave the way for rumors about Crimean-wide persecution of Ukrainians. Little wonder similar hearsays should also justify the unwillingness of Ukrainian genuinely patriotic priests to regularize their status in Crimea."
Find the full article here: http://www.worldreligionnews.com/featured-contributors/ukrainian-priests-preach-crimea-ugcc-uoc-differ-views
SOURCE World Religion News