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The seizing of Temples by Uniates in the Ukraine

A letter by the Patriarch Poemen of Moscow addressed to the Archbishop Seraphim of Athens


Source:  http://www.impantokratoros.gr/4BAF413B.el.aspx




To His Beatitude the Archbishop

Seraphim of Athens and All Greece,

in Athens.


Your Beatitude,

It is with bitterness and sorrow that I make known to You that on the 20th of December 1989 a group of Catholics of the Eastern Rite (Uniates) together with representatives of the Committee for the defence of the Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Peoples' Movement for the Perestroika stormed the Cathedral of Ivano-Fragovsk while the Rev. Archbishop Makarios of Ivano-Fragovsk was officiating in the Divine Liturgy, and they drove out the Orthodox churchgoers from the Temple and seized it by force.  The Archbishop Makarios refused to depart and began a hunger strike.    

In a similar manner, many Temple buildings have been seized in the western sector of the Ukraine, including Lvov and other towns and villages.  The situation is extremely tense; it is fraught with tragic consequences. For the time being, the Cathedral of Ivano-Fragovsk has been freed of the desecrators, but other Temple buildings in the western Ukraine have not yet been returned to the Orthodox communities.

Archbishop Makarios is continuing his hunger strike.  We are hoping for moral support by Your Church and Your Beatitude as well as by the Primates of the remaining local Orthodox Churches, as our Church has condemned these acts of violence, which are alien to the Christian Faith and morality and also constitute a violation of basic human rights.

With love in the Lord,


Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia




Translation:  A.N.

Article published in English on: 4-6-2009.

Last update: 4-6-2009.