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UOC-MP Archimandrite Nykyta suspected of sex scandal becomes bishop

His predecessor - Metropolitan Serafym of Ivano-Frankivsk and Kolomyya - fled to Russia.

UOC-MP Archimandrite Nykyta suspected of sex scandal becomes bishop
Photo: Max Trebukhov

The episcopal ordination of Archimandrite Nykyta (Storozhuk), secretary of the Chernivtsi-Bukovyna Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), is underway.

The ordination is performed by the Primate of the UOC Metropolitan Onufriy, the Diocese of Chernivtsi-Bukovyna of the UOC (MP) has said on Telegram.

The event is taking place in Feofaniya, the personal residence of Metropolitan Onufriy.

Archimandrite Nykyta was appointed bishop of this diocese on 23 November instead of Metropolitan Serafym of Ivano-Frankivsk and Kolomyya, who fled to Russia.

However, on 25 November, Nykyta (Andriy Storozhuk) got into a scandal. During searches in the Chernivtsi-Bukovyna Eparchy, where he was the secretary, the Security Service of Ukraine found him in his underwear with a 17-year-old boy from the choir. The archimandrite said that the SBU officers forced them to undress.

The searches also revealed a Russian passport of the main local hierarch, Metropolitan Meletiy of Chernivtsi and Bukovyna. Also, the SBU found the correspondence between the diocesan leaders and their Moscow handlers, in which they are "instructed" on the "peculiarities" of holding church liturgies after the full-scale invasion by Russia.

On 30 November, the SBU entered information into the Unified Register of Pre-trial Investigations on criminal proceedings against unidentified persons of the Chernivtsi-Bukovyna Eparchy, whose actions have signs of a crime under Part 1 of Article 301-1 of the Criminal Code (access to child pornography, its acquisition, storage, import, transportation or other movement, production, sale and distribution).

According to sources, the proceedings concern the head of the Chernivtsi-Bukovyna Diocesan Administration, Metropolitan Meletiy (Yehorenko), and the secretary, Archimandrite Nykyta (Storozhuk).

The searches of the premises of the diocesan administration revealed pornographic materials on a laptop involving minors (child pornography), which, according to preliminary data, were not downloaded from the Internet, but filmed on a video camera.

As reported earlier, the SBU conducted security and inspection measures in the dioceses of the UOC-MP in different regions of Ukraine. They took place in the Holy Dormition Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, the Korets Holy Trinity Monastery and in the premises of the Sarny-Polissya Diocese of the UOC-MP in Rivne Region, in the Diocese of the UOC-MP in Bukovyna. Pro-Russian literature, millions in cash and people with Soviet documents were found.

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