17 Dec 2018 16:57

UOC Synod bans 2 of its metropolitans who attended unification assembly from religious service

KYIV. Dec 17 (Interfax) - The Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has expelled from diocese Metropolitan Simeon of Vinnytsia and Bar, who attended the unification assembly last Saturday where the authorities, backed by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, created a church independent from the Moscow Patriarchate.

The same decision was made with regard to Metropolitan Oleksandr of Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyy and Vyshnevskiy, who also attended the forum, UOC manager Metropolitan Antoniy said after an extraordinary Synod meeting in Kyiv on Monday.

The priests and deacons who attended the unification assembly have also been barred from religious service.

The UOC then asked "the loyal children" of the UOC to pray "for those hierarchs, who have gone schismatic, so that God give them wisdom and strength to return into the fold of the canonical Church," Metropolitan Antoniy said.

According to the final Synod documents published on the UOC website, Metropolitan Simeon will be replaced by Archbishop Varsonofiy (Stolyar) of Borodianka, a former vicar of the Kyiv diocese.