Odessa parishioners given fake news about Constantinople and agitated in UOC-MP churches
The signature collection campaign against the transfer of St Panteleimon Monastery to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is ongoing in the churches of the UOC-Moscow Patriarchate in Odessa, although there is no reliable information about the intention to transfer the monastery to Constantinople, Religion in Ukraine reports citing Depo.Odesa.
The signatures are collected in church shops, and believers say that the churches in Odessa may allegedly be transferred to Constantinople as part of the agreement between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
On December 26, the pro-Russian website Vesti posted the news “Bartholomew to be handed over Yanukovich’s Mezhyhirya and dozens of churches all over the country”, which was largely reposted by the Russian media outlets, hyping up defeatist sentiment.
The “article” claims that President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko allegedly intends to subordinate to Constantinople more than ten Orthodox churches as Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has granted the Tomos of autocephaly. The list includes Saint Panteleimon Monastery of Odessa. Moreover, parishioners are told that -- as appetite grows -- other churches can be given away as well.
The Odessa diocese of the UOC (MP) did not comment on the situation, but the priests are expressing concerns. “We do not know what Poroshenko and Bartholomew have specifically agreed upon, so we do not exclude the possibility that our churches will be taken away,” says one of the Odessa clergymen, who asked not to be named, Depo.Odessa reports.