Odessa, September 27, Interfax - The Odessa Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church believes there is no grounds for building a Greek Catholic cathedral in the city and such plans have aggressive political backgrounds.
"It's quite evident that there's no ground for building a Greek Catholic church in Odessa. Odessa is an Orthodox city," the diocesan secretary Archpriest Andrey Novikov told Interfax-Religion on Monday.
According to the priest, initiators of the building have their own aim - proselytism, converting Orthodox believers in Unia.
"There is no visible presence of Greek Catholics in Odessa. Whom uniate preachers are going to attract to their parish? Certainly Orthodox Odessites - they will try to catch them in networks of Unia through various intricacies," the interviewee of the agency said.
Fr. Andrey told about numerous addresses from the deputies, representatives of intellectual elite, ordinary residents of Odessa to the diocesan administration as they are outraged that the historic center of Odessa may have "a cathedral of the confession that blurred its history by cooperation with Nazi occupation regime, blessing of SS members and militants of the so-called "Ukrainian rebel army" generally known as Bandera nationalists."
The priest was also puzzled with Uniates' attempts to exaggerate number of their followers in Odessa. "If we speak seriously, then all "data" about numerous Greek Catholics living in Odessa are "pulled out of a hat," he said.
Fr. Andrey pointed not only to numerous proves of the eye-witnesses, but also to his personal experience.
"When I go to the service I drive near this (Uniate - IF) church. It is usually closed. On feast days there are several people, often Polish Catholic nuns who are evidently sent there to give an impression of a crowd. I was surprised to read an Internet interview with a "chancellor" of the Greek Catholic Diocese who shamelessly said that 300-400 people usually visit the church!" the priest said.
According to him, "such immodest lie in mass media offered by the person who consider himself a cleric, one more time proves that the Greek Catholic Church is not going to refuse the old, tested Jesuit slogan "the end justifies the means."
He also asked "experts" concerned "with supposed violations of UGCC rights" where they were when Greek Catholics crushed Western European dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church" and "why these "advocates" of rights and freedoms keep silence today, when thousand believers of the canonical Church pray at the open air in Lvov as they are refused in any site for building an Orthodox cathedral."