To Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
I wrote a conciliatory letter to Metropolitan Yurij and all of the 23 Consistory members (see attachment) on April, 23, 2011 in regard to the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Sts. Peter & Paul, Kyivan Patriarchate, in New Westminster and received his reply on November 2, 2011 stating that I am detrimental to the UOCC because I belong to the KP and he is, therefore, terminating my long standing membership of the UOCC even though I am still a paid up member in good standing as of to-day's date. This was done without due process according to the UOCC's By-Laws. (see attachments of the two letters).
If I am detrimental to the UOCC, because I also belong to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kyivan Patriarchate, would I be welcomed with open arms if I belong to the Moscow Patriarchate?
Who is detrimental? A person who tries to save the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Sts Peter & Paul in New Westminster as directed by Metropolitan John six years ago or the one who has prevented and denied the parishioners from having a priest for Liturgical and Funeral services. We did not leave the UOCC but it was the Consistory that disaffiliated us from the UOCC. We, therefore, had to spiritually join the Ukrainian Mother Church, KP, so that we could have priests for Liturgical Services for our parishioners.
Fr. Hladio as Chancellor of the UOCC stated in his letter that our church in New Westminster is like a "Baba" (old woman) who is on life support and has to make sure that her death is peaceful and painless as possible. Does Fr Hladio means to pull the plug on the "Baba" to hasten Baba's death to get her inheritance?
Not content with Fr. Hladio's unsuccessful actions the Consistory is continuing to choke "Baba" (our Church in New Westminster) financially with legal costs by involving her in litigation to get the inheritance by taking "Baba", who is still alive, to Court to get her property for $1.00 and ignoring my letter of reconciliation (see attached).
To our great sorrow the Consistory continued to take us to Court in the period of the Ukrainian Orthodox Great Lent. This took place in the Supreme Court on Thursday, 29 March, 2012. Thank God the Judge postponed the hearing which enabled the parishioners to celebrate Ukrainian Orthodox Easter in peace in their beloved Church. The UOCC has counter-sued us and again we are scheduled to a Summary Trial at the B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster on 20th and 21st March, 2013.
Currently it has cost the New Westminster Church approximately $150,000.00 in legal fees and no doubt Fr/Lawyer Udod's and Mr Murdoch's legal bills for the Consistory would probably be greater than ours. Who is paying for the Consistory's legal fees and how much are they? I heard that theirs is way over $150,000.00. Do you know? Have your Consistory delegates informed you? If not, why don't you ask and ask where is the money coming from?
So far we have saved "Baba's" life for the past six years while the Consistory is constantly trying to pull the plug on "Baba" to take her inheritance.
Now, ask yourselves who is detrimental to the UOCC -- the people who want to keep the Church alive or the Consistory who wants to take the Church for $1, close and sell the Church?
To the patriots and members of the UOCC we ask you to stand together -- united.
There is a saying: "United we stand. Divided we fall"
We should be in communion with our 2 churches -- UOCC and UOC-KP as "Brothers and Sisters in Christ" and not be dictated with whom we can pray or meet with.
We should be taking an example from the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada where they have no enemies amongst themselves in Ukraine and in Canada. They can do services with their priests from Ukraine in Canada whereas the UOCC will not allow any Ukrainian Orthodox KP priest to do a joint service in a UOCC Church. But the UOCC can do a joint service with a Moscow Patriarchate which they are considered to be canonical with the UOCC.
Contrary to the Church's canons the Consistory also suspended Fr. Hryhorij Fil' for celebrating a Liturgy in our church when there was no parish priest assigned.
"The Epitome of Canon 4 of the Seventh Ecumenical Council held at Nicia in 787 AD states:
"and if anyone, through the power of gold, or of anything, or through his own whim's shall be found to have prevented any one of the Clergy who are subject to him, from the celebration of the Holy Offices, or shall have shut up a venerable temple, so that the sacred worship of God could not be performed in it, he shall be subject to the lex alionis"
The UOCC should be adhering to the canons as they now claim to be canonical.
Now, who is detrimental to the UOCC of Canada? Is it the one who tries to save the Church for the future generations or the one who is choking/closing it and throwing out the members out of their beloved church onto the street -- the church that was paid for by them with years of volunteering their free, and hard, labour with not a penny given by the Consistory to support the Church financially in any way. There is no concern by the Consistory for the spiritual well-being of these parishioners in New Westminster. It seems that the Consistory is more concerned about the money.
There is a saying: "money is the root of all evil".
And you wonder why the parishioners are leaving the UOCC! The numbers speak for themselves!
Refer to Fr. Ihor O's email to the Consistory re "Credit Cards" to verify this statement.
We are a small parish of approximately 40-50 members. However, there are many smaller parishes with about 5 members and the UOCC is not going after their properties. Maybe it is because the land in New Westminster is more valuable than in the Prairies.
We need your support.
Perhaps it will be your church next where appointed Trustees by the Consistory will be parachuted to transfer your church property to the Consistory for $1 as they have tried to do so to our Sts Peter & Paul Church in New Westminster contrary to their written agreements not to do so.
We feel that closing the Church is not the Christian way when there are people who are begging to keep it open. There is a video available where you see the parishioners begging Fr. Hladio to keep the Church open. We also have this transcript which we can e-mail it to you on request.
Also my Affidavit submitted to the Court is available on request. All documents that are submitted and registered with the Supreme Court are open to the public and not, as stated by the Consistory, that the matter cannot be disclosed as "it is before the Court". This will give you more information.
There is a Ukrainian saying "cho pravda to ne hrikh" -- that truth is not a sin!
As the Consistory is continuing to choke us financially with legal costs in order to close the Church in New Westminster we are therefore appealing to Ukrainians, descendants of Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians to please consider supporting us morally and financially to keep our Church alive as this will set a precedent to keep your Church alive. We would be very grateful for any financial support as modest as it may be by sending us a donation cheque payable to:
Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Sts Peter &
(Ukr.Auto.Orth.Church of Sts. P & P)
304 - 8th Street
New Westminster B.C. V3M 3R1
or to my home address:
5465 Cambridge Street
Burnaby. B.C. V5B 4P3.
Please pray for our Church's survival.
With Christian Love,
PS: The letter to Metropolitan Yurij dated 23 April 2011 was also mailed to all 23 members of the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada.
Metropolitan Yurij replied to my letter on 2nd November 2011.Please forward this email to your friends and relatives so that the truth will be known.