According to orthodoxy.org.ua, the secretary of the Rivne Diocese Archpriest Vitaly Gerlinsky has informed that on September 20 at about 16:30, representatives of the “Kyivan Patriarchate” seized the church of the Saviour Not Made by Hands in Hodosa village of the Rivne region (Rivne Diocese).
On the previous day, the rector of the temple Priest Andrey Tizhuk informed the dean of the Rivne Deanery that in Hodosa village announcements had been hung up calling for a meeting of the village community to consider the question of transferring the temple into the jurisdiction of the “Kyivan Patriarchate”.
For this reason, on September 20, clergymen of the Rivne Deanery and faithful both from Hodosa and neighbouring villages gathered in the temple in order to prayerfully support the rector and the parish community.
At 16:00, the All-Night Vigil on the eve of the feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos began in the temple. It was headed by Archpriest Vitaly Gerlinsky, secretary of the Rivne Diocese. About 15 priests of the Rivne Deanery attended, including the Dean, Archpriest Valery Kapitanuk, and about 50 laymen.
At 16:15, followers of the so-called “patriarch” Filaret began gathering near the temple. Among them were people from other villages. A meeting was held near the entrance to the temple property. After voting, a decision was made to transfer the temple to the recently registered community of the “Kyivan Patriarchate”.
The takeover of the temple began after a speech of the representative of the “Kyivan Patriarchate” Sergey Luchanyn, who said, “Every hryvnia for the Moscow Church is a bullet in the head of our soldiers in the anti-terrorist operation”. Aggressive representatives of the “Right Sector” and the “Svoboda” party entered the temple property and began to rudely kick out the faithful and clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
At that time the priests who were in the temple decided to lock themselves in and to continue the Vigil.
Seeing the temple locked, the assailants decided to break open the door of the temple. They brought a mobile generator, a grinder, a mount and other tools, which had been prepared and delivered in advance.
Using these tools, they were able to break open the door leading to the right choir. The followers of the so-called “patriarch” Filaret were greeted in the doorway by faithful and clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The latter did not allow the aggressive crowd to burst into the temple. The crowd captured the layman Yury, who was standing in the front row, dragged him outside, tied him up and began to beat and kick him. When Archpriest Valery Kapitanuk, Dean of the Rivne Deanery, came out to help the young man, he was shoved out the temple property. In the process, his cassock and the chain of his pectoral cross were ripped.
Gradually others were also pulled out of the temple through the doors by the right choir. Some time later, the left section of the main doors was also broken down. The faithful were kicked out of the temple. Some of the priests, including Fr. Vitaly Gerlinsky, secretary of the diocese, receded into the Sanctuary and attempted to block the entrance. Unfortunately, the doors did not impede the assailants. One of the representatives of the “Right Sector”, Yaroslav Granitny, leaned against the Altar. When one of the priests remarked that this was the Holy Table, he responded that he is “irreligious, and so it’s okay”.
“Clergymen” of the “Kyivan Patriarchate” entered the temple. There they celebrated a thanksgiving service in honour of the “voluntary” transfer of yet another parish into the bosom of the patriotic “church” of the “Kyivan Patriarchate”. Although according to radio “Svoboda”, the “Rivne Diocese” of the “Kyivan Patriarchate” denies its involvement in the event.
In the case of this hostile takeover, the members of the parish of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Hodosa village are preparing a complaint to the prosecutor’s office.
Traslated by the SPbOTA media office
Original by RusDialog