The Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Onufriy, has dismissed Metropolitan Antoniy of Khmelnytskyy and Starokostyantyniv as head of the Khmelnytskyy diocese and retired him after the scandal with the beating of a serviceman in a church, the UOC Information and Education Department has said.
It is noted that Antoniy was dismissed after submitting a report. The Synod met remotely to make a decision.
"In response to the report, the Holy Synod dismissed His Grace Metropolitan Antoniy of Khmelnytskyy and Starokostyantyniv from the administration of the Khmelnytskyy diocese and retired him," the statement reads.
Archbishop Viktor of Baryshivka, who was previously a vicar of the Kyiv Metropolitan's Office, became the new head of the Khmelnytskyy diocese.
As reported, yesterday in Khmelnytskyy, priests of the UOC-MP beat a soldier in a church. In protest, the local community gathered outside the church where the incident took place, and decided to join the OCU. After that, Metropolitan Antoniy (Fialko) of Khmelnytskyy and Starokostyantyniv of the UOC-MP handed over the keys to the cathedral, and the representatives of the UOC-MP left the church.
It should be noted that this is the UOC's second disciplinary decision over the last week. On 29 March, Metropolitan Onufriy banned Archimandrite Avraamiy (Lotysh), a former monk of the UOC monastery in the Lavra, from ministry for joining the OCU and temporarily heading the Lavra on behalf of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.