Epifaniy / Photo from UNIAN

The new Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) has suspended two priests for attempts to split the Church when they supported honorary Patriarch Filaret who convened a local council to reinstate the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP).

"Archimandrite Andriy (Marutsak) from June 22 and hieromonk Illia (Ihor Zelensky) from June 21, 2019 have been banned in the priesthood for actions aimed at dividing the Church," the OCU said on Facebook.

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In particular, under an order by OCU head Epifaniy, priest of the Holy Theodosia Stavropegic Monastery, Archimandrite Andriy (Marutsak) has been forbidden from conducting a service for three months. This decision was taken "for direct active participation in activities aimed at splitting the Church, an attempt to seize the leadership of the monastery."

Hieromonk Illia (Ihor Zelensky), by a decree issued by the Bishop of Kharkiv and Bohodukhiv, was dismissed from the post of abbot of the parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Barvinkove, Kharkiv region. He is not allowed to conduct a service for half a year for "participating in actions aimed at dividing the OCU, violating the church's charter."

As UNIAN reported earlier, honorable Patriarch Filaret on June 20 convened a "local council" where he announced the reinstatement of the Kyiv Patriarchate, which had been one of the founders of the OCU, and the non-recognition of the tomos for granting autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

For not participating in the "council," Filaret dismissed abbot of the Kyiv-based Holy Theodosia Monastery archpriest Makariy (Papish). Filaret appointed Archimandrite Andriy (Marutsak), who was present at the "council," as his replacement.