Schismatic Ukrainian villagers return to Orthodox Church

Residents of the village of Kropivnya in the northwestern Zhytomyr Oblast of Ukraine returned to the Orthodox Church of Christ on Thursday, having left the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate,” reports the site of the Diocese of Ovruch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. A letter of application for acceptance into the Ovruch Diocese was signed by 37 believers. Addressing His Eminence Metropolitan Vissarion of Ovruch and Korosten, the villagers expressed their conviction that schismatic “priests” are not genuine priests. They also noted that for the residents of the village and for the entire region, the clergy of the Ovruch Diocese do many notable works for the good of the holy Church. 

On July 12, Met. Vissarion gave his blessing for the villagers’ enrollment in the Diocese of Ovruch. A schismatic priest, Anatoly Vasilenko and his flock also earlier left the self-proclaimed “Kiev Patriarchate” and united themselves to Christ in the Ovruch Diocese in January. “I, Anatoly Stanislavovich Vasilenko, have realized the gravity of my sin of schism, being a ‘priest’ of the so-called church of the ‘Kiev Patriarchate,’” Fr. Anatoly writes in his letter of repentance, dated January 11. “I ask His Eminence to receive my sincere repentance. I want to be a humble servant in the Holy Church of God,” the former priest writes.