Scandal erupts in UGCC church of Obertyn over parishioners' "church debts"

29 November 2023 12:08
The UGCC collects church debts from its parishioners. Photo: Informant The UGCC collects church debts from its parishioners. Photo: Informant

Parishioners of a Uniate church complain that the priest does not want to perform a funeral service if they have a debt for the church.

In the village of Obertyn, Ivano-Frankivsk region, a public scandal has erupted over the demands of the staff of the local Uniate church of Cyril and Methodius to parishioners to pay the annual church fee, Informator reports.

Parishioner Olga published a post on Facebook where she said that the cashier Maria demanded that she pay the "debt" for the church, despite the fact that her son is fighting at the front. Maria argues that this money is used to pay the priests and parish staff.

According to Olga, money for the church has been demanded in an ultimatum form for many years. She told reporters that when her father-in-law died, the priest refused to perform his funeral service because of a "debt". The funeral service was performed only after the debt was paid off. Olha also says that if two families (children and parents) live in a house, this household has to pay a double tariff.

She doesn't understand why she has to pay if she doesn't have the means to do so.

"When my son was taken to the front, no one was interested in how we would provide for him. We had to buy a uniform, clothes and body armour," she says.

On Facebook, Olga's post received several hundred likes and many sympathetic comments.

"When a church becomes a business project, it ceases to be a church. The state is the same way...," wrote Vasyl Hryhorchuk.

"They turned our church into a tax service," Viktor Korol was outraged.

"Donations to the church have always been voluntary! Since when do people have debts? I can't believe it!" said Maria Barchuk.

We recall that in the village of Pidbirtsi, Lviv region, local residents receive "receipts" from the Greek Catholic community, which indicate their "debts for the church".

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that in the village of Reshnivka, Ternopil region, the OCU church refused to "perform a funeral service" for a woman in the church because she did not pay the "tax" to the church.

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