UGCC priest was seated in electric chair in Donetsk
The priests of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church were tortured, a UGCC priest was seated in an electric chair, but the occupied part of Donbas has not been left without pastoral care, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Patriarch Sviatoslav stated in an interview with the Internet newspaper Censor.net.
He noted that the Exarchate of Donetsk, which covers Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia and Luhansk regions along with Donetsk regions, has 67 priests. About 11 parishes, including in Donetsk and Luhansk, are occupied by illegal military units. "Our priests,” says the patriarch, “get to those parishes crossing the front line. In Donetsk there are two of our priests that took care of all faithful. Recently a Roman Catholic priest joined them.”
The priests of the UGCC experienced great trials. “One of them,” said the head of the church, “was seated in an electric chair. After he endured torture, he was given a kind of permission to perform worship. So he serves the liturgy so that our congregation could see they are not unattended. The rest of the fathers get through enemy lines, their ability to reach those areas depends on the intensity of the fighting. We hope that the shelling subsides a little and all our fathers return.”
The so-called DNR and LNR are divided into different spheres of influence. According to Patriarch Sviatoslav, the seat of the bishop of the UGCC and the convent of the Sisters Servants in Donetsk are occupied by militants of different groups. “One day,” he said, “a priest got a notice to come to the residence of the bishop, because the terrorists would supposedly leave it. He came, and they said to him: "Why we have to leave the premises? Let those who occupied the monastery go.” He went to the sisters’ home, but it turned out that there is another militant group. They told him the same thing: "Why are we to leave the house?” And then threatened him: “If we go, we leave a grenade inside, which then" suddenly ‘could explode.” Then they abused that father.”
And despite the difficult situation in Donetsk, according to the head of Church, “the UGCC carried out worship regularly, and our Cathedral of the Holy Virgin in Donetsk was crowded during the Liturgy.”
"People are going through a time of crisis. Every day they risk their lives, so they require spiritual care more than ever. Therefore, our fathers have a lot of work, and the mere fact that they stayed with the flock is a sign that our Church exists and will exist,” said Patriarch Sviatoslav, as reported by the Information Department of the UGCC