“O entrust me not, I pray, to any human protection, O our Lady, holy one, but do thou accept the prayer of thy supplicant…”

Sts. Anthony and Theodosius of the Kiev Caves. Icon, XVIII century Sts. Anthony and Theodosius of the Kiev Caves. Icon, XVIII century
    

A number of Orthodox Christians have shared with me their concerns regarding the current situation of our Holy Orthodox Faith within Ukraine. The issue is a complex one and, unfortunately, contains a strong political element as well — something that should never be present within the life of our Holy Orthodox Church. It saddens me that even the U. S. Government is noticeably involved.

Forgive me, but it is my poor opinion that the most important thing that both clergy and laity can do, most of whom are thousands of miles away and only have articles translated into English from which to determine what is happening, is to pray that all hierarchs directly involved will surrender their imperfect wills to the perfect will of our Great High Priest: our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We should be praying fervently for that everyday. And who better to entreat for divine assistance in this essential task than: the Mother of our Life, the Mother of our Church, the Mother of us all — our Most Beloved Panaghia, the Theotokos!

The holy Athonite Fathers, who dwell in the “Garden of Panaghia,” encourage us to say the Akathist to our Holy Lady several times a day, when we have a serious problem. Therefore, permit me to suggest the following: What if each one of us offered an Akathist (It takes only about 12.5 minutes to read or chant) a day to our Holy Mother — begging her to intercede for us? What if our family members also said the Akathist, and we entreated others to join with us as well?

Beloved living ikons of Jesus, St. John Chrysostom reminds us that God's wisdom is not given to our reason, but to our hearts. Therefore, although we may become informed to a certain extent from reading these articles, I do not think that we will get divine wisdom, or Godly knowledge that way. As I read the comments at the end of several articles (not so much on this website), it saddens me to see the apparent judgmental attitudes being expressed — on both sides. Our Golden-mouthed holy Church Father also offers us this profound advice: “The sin of schism is not purged, even by martyr’s blood.”

In the Book of Acts (12:3-11), when St. Peter was bound in chains in a lower dungeon and surrounded by guards, the faithful were pouring out fervent and continuous prayers. And God answered those prayers by removing all the obstacles. I believe within my heart that is what we should also be doing in this situation, because that noble task is within our power. Through the praying of the Akathist to Panaghia, we will be mystically united with perhaps thousands of Orthodox Christians all over the world, and I trust that our Panaghia can bring about the healing that is so desperately needed!

O our Most Beloved Panaghia, “thou who makest things that differ to agree,” we entreat thee: Accept our humble offering of the Akathist to thee, and speak to the hearts of all the Hierarchs involved in this conflict. Keep firm those who have God’s truth within their hearts, and lead to God’s truth those who currently do not. Obliterate, with thy divine maternal love, this demonic attack on thy Son’s One True Bride.

“Unto thee I commit mine every hope, O Mother of God; guard me (and all Orthodox Christians) under thy shelter.” Amen

Thy sinful slave,

Unworthy priest, +Demetrios

Fr. Demetrios Carellas is a priest of the Greek Archdiocese of America

An English translation of the Akathist to the Mother of God can be found here.

See also
Orthodoxy in Ukraine. Part 3 Orthodoxy in Ukraine. Part 3
Nun Cornelia (Rees)
Orthodoxy in Ukraine. Part 3 Orthodoxy in Ukraine. Part 3
Nun Cornelia (Rees)
Ukrainians are in general a religious people, but this writer perceives a direct correlation between the violence done to the Ukrainian Orthodox people over many centuries by the Latin West and the violent nature of Ukrainian nationalism, an idea that has been taken to its present extreme in Greek Catholic Galicia.
An Overview of Orthodoxy in Ukraine. Part 2 An Overview of Orthodoxy in Ukraine. Part 2
Nun Cornelia (Rees)
An Overview of Orthodoxy in Ukraine. Part 2 An Overview of Orthodoxy in Ukraine. Part 2
Nun Cornelia (Rees)
The Unia, or uniatism, was a policy developed by Rome in order to bring Orthodox and other non-Roman Catholic believers under the authority of the Pope.
An Overview of Orthodoxy in Ukraine. Part 1 An Overview of Orthodoxy in Ukraine. Part 1
Nun Cornelia (Rees)
An Overview of Orthodoxy in Ukraine. Part 1 An Overview of Orthodoxy in Ukraine. Part 1
Nun Cornelia (Rees)
But temporarily setting aside modern complexities, we’ll begin by looking back to distant, apostolic times, when the light of Christianity was just beginning to penetrate the tenebrous dominions of Scythes and Slavs.
Church sees Ukrainian state’s inventory of Church property as preparation for seizures Church sees Ukrainian state’s inventory of Church property as preparation for seizures Church sees Ukrainian state’s inventory of Church property as preparation for seizures Church sees Ukrainian state’s inventory of Church property as preparation for seizures
The Ukrainian Ministry of Culture has begun to take inventory of property belonging to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Ukraine on the Threshold of Catastrophe: What the Fighters for Autocephaly Really Want Ukraine on the Threshold of Catastrophe: What the Fighters for Autocephaly Really Want
Dimitry Marchenko
Ukraine on the Threshold of Catastrophe: What the Fighters for Autocephaly Really Want Ukraine on the Threshold of Catastrophe: What the Fighters for Autocephaly Really Want
Dimitry Marchenko
That is why I, a parishioner of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, living in Kiev, would like to show you the situation from the inside, from the very epicenter.
Less than 1/3 of Ukrainians support creation of Local Church, more than 1/2 believe it’s not a matter for gov’t Less than 1/3 of Ukrainians support creation of Local Church, more than 1/2 believe it’s not a matter for gov’t Less than 1/3 of Ukrainians support creation of Local Church, more than 1/2 believe it’s not a matter for gov’t Less than 1/3 of Ukrainians support creation of Local Church, more than 1/2 believe it’s not a matter for gov’t
About 31% of Ukrainians support the creation of an autocephalous Local Church in Ukraine, and 20% are firmly against it, as evidenced by the results of a recent survey conducted by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the sociological Razumkov Center.
Comments
Constantine10/12/2018 9:21 pm
Father, I believe that it is Constantinople that needs to be reminded or taught the words of St. John Chryostom about schism, since it is they who are causing it! Please forgive me, but we do not need to be theologians to understand good from evil, and truth from error. It is clear that Constantinople is wrong now and is motivated purely by power, money, greed, fear and papal pride! Since you are a priest serving under the EP, I humbly ask that you address them as a loving son addresses his beloved father and plead with them to stop and repent before people start dying.St. Photios the great did only pray for Rome, but also wrote to them with love, actively seeking their repentance.1 Cor 11:1
Nisibis10/12/2018 9:08 pm
Dear Father, Thank you for your words and reminding us of the importance of prayer, but with all due respect, I believe that the reason this has come upon the Orthodox is because no one was willing to do what was necessary when the fruit of the EP was so obvious to see, and taste. What the phanar is doing and has done is not a matter of perspective, but a blatant betrayal of the Church, and a firm support of schismatics and godless regimes. P. Bartholemew and his ambassadors have been spreading modernism, heresy and division for many years and the rest of the Orthodox churches did nothing to stop him, but instead decided to play politics, which has resulted in the Ukraine tragedy.Forgive me!
Anon.10/11/2018 10:27 pm
*Mikhail
We ought to refer to this illegitimate action as the granting of pseudo-autocephaly.
Father Prodromos10/10/2018 8:27 pm
Your blessing, dear Father, and thank you for dividing rightly the word of our Lord's truth! This is exactly what we need: voices like yours to light inside our souls the desire to pray for our Church, rather than to attack it from all sides. A wound is not healed by causing new wounds. And unfortunately, in our desire to speak out the truth, we end up hurting the Body of Christ, that is, the very faithful members of It, by taking sides and widening the chasm even more! Pray, dear Father, for us all that we may find the path to unity through prayer, love, and faith in God's Providence!

Here is a wonderful prayer for the unity of our Church: www.orthodoxsynaxis.org/prayer-for-unity
Mikhail10/10/2018 4:16 pm
Thank you Papa Demetri! This is wonderful advice! I am convinced, (because of the unstable political situation in Ukraine), that the granting of autocephaly to the schismatics will result in many attacks against the canonical Ukrainian Church (and confiscation of Churches, Monasteries, and property). It breaks my heart.

Most Holy Theotokos Save Us!
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