A memorial of the church destroyed more than 80 years ago to be erected in Odessa
A memorial to the destroyed Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Clement and repressed clergymen will be erected in Odessa. Members of the City Council adopted this decision today during the session. The decision was supported by 59 of the 62 councilors.
“Installation of the memorial sign will be the link between the Polish and Ukrainian nations. Odessa is one of the major tourist centers of Ukraine, and a memorial will be another attraction of the city,” city councilor Anna Pozdnyakova has commented on the decision.
As RISU has recent;y reported, memorial sign is set to be installed at Zankovetska 11, near the site, where in 1936 a church of St. Clement was located, which was later destroyed by the Bolsheviks.
Director of NGO “Ukraine is me” Oleksander Chernega told RISU that the issue was initiated by Bishop Bronislaw Bernatsky of Odessa and Simferopol of RCC. He appealed to their organization with a request to assist in the creation of the memorial sign in Gamov square on the side of Zankovetska street with the purpose of honoring Catholic priests and bishops persecuted in times of communism and political repression of 1920-40.
The initiative was supported by representatives of other faiths. They filed an appeal in the name of the mayor, reminding that Odessa has deep historical, cultural and spiritual roots, that churches, synagogues, chapels were always the pride of the city.
“Getting back to the issue of revival of the spiritual heritage of our city, we, the Heads of Christian Churches of Odessa, are appealing to you with a request to facilitate allocation of land to establish a memorial sign in George Gamow’s park, from the side of Zankovetska street and corner Balkova street,” goes the appeal. “The memorial sign will be an expression of respect for priests and bishops of Odessa, who were repressed and executed during the communist regime and political and religious repression of 1920-40, which accompanied them.”
The letter was signed by confessions representatives of ten cities, including: bishop Mark (UOC-KP), Bronislaw Bernatsky (RCC), Mykhail (Bubniy) (UGCC), Serhiy Mashevskyy (GELCU), Anatoly Pyshtoy (ECB), Serhiy Kruchenyuk (Church of Evangelical Christians in Ukraine), V. Kozachenko (Spiritual Administration of Christians of Evangelical Reformed Church) and head of the Association “Odessa Evangelical Church,” chairman of the association Union of Christian Churches of Ukraine “Word of Life” Andriy Bakal, senior pastor Valery Zadorozhnii, senior pastor of SDA in the Odessa region Yuri Dudenko.
The church on Balkova street was built on donations in the late XIX century. It was designed in the Gothic Revival style in red brick, two bell towers had a height of 64 meters. The church has seven altars, some marble sculptures and images, body, carved benches. The church areas was 3,220 sq. m, it could house about 4 thousand parishioners. In 1936, the cathedral was blown up.