Metropolitan Feodosiy: One centre coordinates UOC bans
Vladyka Feodosiy noted that at the request of the central government, local deputies created the appearance of a broad "public demand" to ban the UOC.
The decisions of local councils directed against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and their appeals to the central authorities with calls to ban the UOC are made under the guidance of a single coordination centre. Metropolitan Feodosiy of Cherkasy and Kanev stated this in an interview with human rights activist Oleh Denisov.
According to the UOC cleric, this is how the authorities stage an allegedly broad "public demand" to ban the UOC.
"We know very well that the requirements for local councils to make such decisions came from some coordinating centre, as the deputies (of local councils - Ed.) told us about it," the bishop said. “We hear from deputies of the Verkhovna Rada that "we have a public demand – 80% of city councils and regional councils ask us to ban the UOC". This is a falsification, not a public request. And these deputies know very well that this artificial, falsified so-called "public demand" in the regions was planted from the coordinating centre of persecution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church".
Metropolitan Feodosiy noted that the Cherkasy City Council has adopted decisions aimed at banning the UOC operation three times – "one time, apparently, seemed not enough for them."
"As for the regional council, they managed to force the deputies to adopt such an appeal to the Verkhovna Rada only on the third attempt. Obviously, there are more deputies in the regional council who have a conscience, who understand what is happening in the country, and that they will have to answer to God for it, and maybe also to justice here on Earth. Some deputies came to me and said: "Vladyka, don't take offence, we are forced to accept this appeal. It is not binding, it has no legal consequences. We will accept it, but we still remain on the side of God, on the side of the Church". But I told them that this cannot be done. <...> Why not, if such a decision has no legal consequences? Because, on the one hand, it shapes public opinion, and on the other hand, it itself is as a kind of 'public opinion'," the bishop said.
As reported, Metropolitan Feodosiy, who received the status of UN human rights defender, initiated the creation of a human rights group that will defend the rights of UOC believers.