Kiev, December 17, Interfax - The Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has expelled from diocese Metropolitan Simeon of Vinnitsa and Bar, who attended the unification assembly last Saturday where the authorities, backed by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, created a church independent from the Moscow Patriarchate.
The same decision was made with regard to Metropolitan Aleksander of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky and Vishnevsky, who also attended the forum, UOC manager Metropolitan Antony said after an extraordinary Synod meeting in Kiev on Monday.
The priests and deacons who attended the unification assembly have also been barred from religious service.
The UOC then asked "the loyal children" of the UOC to pray "for those hierarchs, who have gone schismatic, so that God give them wisdom and strength to return into the fold of the canonical Church," Metropolitan Antony said.
According to the final Synod documents published on the UOC website, Metropolitan Simeon will be replaced by Archbishop Varsonofy (Stolyar) of Borodianka, a former vicar of the Kiev Diocese.