22 August 2005, 10:01
Ukraine's Greek-Catholic church moves from Lvov to Kiev (updated)
Kiev, August 21, Interfax - Ukraine's Greek-Catholic Church announced on Sunday that it had moved its center from Lvov to Kiev.
The announcement was made before a service held at the Church of Resurrection on the left bank of the Dnieper in Kiev.
The service was attended by head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church Lyubomyr Huzar, Greek-Catholic archbishops from all parts of Ukraine and abroad, and representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church.
About 3,000 believers took part in the service.
The divine liturgy was accompanied by a protest action in which about 300 parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate participated. The people gathered at the construction site of a new Greek Catholic church.
The participants kept vigil at the entry to the construction site and held a rally, scanning ‘Shame!’ every time a Uniate group approached the church. The protesters carried flags of their organizations, as well as Ukrainian and Russian flags and posters declaring, ‘We are Orthodox!’, ‘No to Unia in our land!’, ‘Russia, Ukraine and Belarus together make up Holy Russia’, and numerous icons.
About 50 policemen cordoned off the construction site and the protesters. Summoned up were also commandos from the Berkut and Bars special units. At about 13.00, some 300 protesters marched in a procession with the cross from the patriarchal cathedral under construction to the Levoberezhnaya metro station, where they held a rally and then dispersed.
Summing up the action, Gennady Vasilyev, leader of the Derzhava party, thanked the participants and declared it was only ‘a first step’ to be followed by similar activities on a regular basis.
‘We should make the Greek Catholics abandon their designs, Vasilyev said. He also urged ‘not to let the Greek Catholic aggressor encroach upon our shrines’.