UOC-MP appointed Metropolitan Serhiy (Hentsytsky) as a permanent member of its Synod
The press service of the UOC-MP reports this, as per TSN (Television News Service).
"The new 'permanent member of the Holy Synod of the UOC' is Serhiy, the Metropolitan of the UOC-MP in Ternopil and a long-time ally of Metropolitan Onufriy. Some expect changes from this leadership," wrote Metropolitan Epifaniy, the head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), on Facebook, and posted a photo from several years ago where Serhiy Hentsytsky stands next to Putin, who awarded him an order.
It should be noted that in March 2022, Metropolitan Hentsytsky stated that he was refusing the order and strongly condemned Russia's aggression against Ukraine.
However, prior to Russia's full-scale invasion, Metropolitan Serhiy was associated with several controversial incidents. In 2019, priests from his diocese, along with representatives of the so-called "Luhansk People's Republic" (LNR) and collaborators from occupied Crimea, participated in the Russian project "Community of Orthodox Youth" in Russia.
In 2018, after the start of Russia's aggression in eastern Ukraine, the media reported that "with the blessing of Metropolitan Serhiy," pilgrimages to Russia were organized in Pochayiv.
In 1992, Hentsytsky was one of the three bishops (along with the current head of the UOC-MP, Metropolitan Onufriy) who opposed granting autocephaly (independence) to the Ukrainian Church.
Metropolitan Serhiy will take the place of Metropolitan Ilarion of Donetsk and Mariupol, whom Onufriy removed from the Synod "due to the impossibility of participating in meetings." In reality, the Donetsk Diocese of Ilarion was directly "taken over" by Kirill, and they even re-registered with the Russian Ministry of Justice.