Nova Kakhovka, Ukraine, November 19, 2018
Despite the ongoing persecution and propaganda against the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, its dioceses are remaining faithful to it. A number of dioceses have already openly expressed their support for the Church’s canonical status as a self-governing autonomous body and for their primate His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, and now another has joined them—the Diocese of Nova Kakhovka.
A meeting of the diocesan deans was held on Friday under the chairmanship of His Eminence Archbishop Philaret of Nova Kakhovka and Genichesk in which the deans expressed their unanimous support for the canonical status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, reports the diocesan website.
Abp. Philaret commented on his official address in which he denied rumors that he was planning to abandon the canonical Church to join the new church that Constantinople is planning to create with Ukrainian schismatics. Abp. Philaret was one of three bishops of the Ukrainian Church to meet with President Poroshenko on November 13, which Ukrainian media took as an irrefutable sign that he was going to leave the Church.
Moreover, as OrthoChristian previously reported, Abp. Philaret was in fact added in September to the database on the government-backed Peacemaker website that gathers personal information on people deemed “enemies of Ukraine.” His Eminence was added to the site as an opponent of the Ukrainian autocephaly movement.
Thus, he reportedly met with Poroshenko to ask for his name to be removed from the website. A few years ago, several journalists whose personal information appeared on the site were murdered soon thereafter.
At the meeting, the hierarch then familiarized his priests with the Church events that took place on November 13-15 and answered questions about the latest session of the Bishops’ Council at the Kiev Caves Lavra on November 13.
Abp. Philaret’s position of loyalty to the canonical Church found full support among the dean of his diocese.
His Eminence also stressed the importance of remaining loyal to the Church of Christ in such trying times—the only way to correctly answer the challenges of the times and to remain faithful to God.
The group also discussed the need for timely and candid communication to the faithful about the real content of Church events in the ongoing crisis.
The same support for the canonical Church and Met. Onuphry has also been expressed by the Dioceses of Izium, Crimea, Chernigov and Novgorod-Siversk, Kirovograd, Zhytomyr, Lugansk, Mukachevo, Alexandria, Zaporozhye, Kharkov, Voznesensk, Tulchin, Rivne, Kherson, Severodonetsk, Odessa, Dnipropetrovsk, Krivoy Rog, Kamenka, Zaporozhye, and Poltava, and the clergy of the city of Vinnytsia.
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