None of the hierarchs of the UOC will take part in the unification council for the creation of the SLC, said Metropolitan Pavel of Vyshgorod and Chernobyl.
The abbot of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra also said that the authorities exert unprecedented pressure on the UOC hierarchy in order to force the hierarchs into participating in the council. He said this in an interview with the “Left Bank”.
Answering the question of the correspondent, how many bishops of the UOC will take part in the council, Metropolitan Paul replied: “Nobody yet”. He also said that Metropolitan Simeon of Vinnitsa and Bar would not run for the head of the new church structure.
Vladyka said that the authorities are putting pressure on the UOC in all possible ways in order to persuade the clergy to participate in the unification council. The hierarch explained: when he returned to Ukraine from his travel for medical treatment, they actually tried to keep him out of the country.
“I know from the Security Service of Ukraine that our names are assigned to influential people: they named Vladyka Anthony (Metropolitan of Borispol and Brovary, the Chancellor of the UOC); me, the sinful, and, obviously, His Beatitude (His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine), that we are in the first three. It outraged me. Initially, they said that everyone would be searched,” said Metropolitan Paul.
The hierarch believes that by conducting searches and interrogations of the UOC hierarchy, the authorities humiliate not the bishops themselves, but the entire Church.
He also urged the officials and employees of security agencies not to violate the law and not to abuse their official position. “For the time will come — you will have to answer before God,” said Vladyka.
As reported by UOJ, on November 30, 2018, SBU officers searched through the household farm of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra in the village of Voronki in the Borispol district, Kiev region, and the bishops and clergymen of the UOC were massively summoned to the SBU for “conversations” and interrogations.