Simferopol; Vinnitsa, Ukraine, January 11, 2019
Despite the ongoing persecution and propaganda against the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church that is only increasing since December 15’s “unification council,” its dioceses are remaining faithful to it. A number of them 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 2 more have joined them, and another 2 have reaffirmed their loyalty again.
The clergy of the Simferopol and Crimea Diocese held a general meeting yesterday, January 10, at which they expressed their disapproval of the actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and affirmed their loyalty to the canonical Church and its leadership, reports the diocesan press service.
It was decided to approve the initiative of His Eminence Metropolitan Lazar to express support for His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine in preserving the existing status of the canonical Ukrainian Church and to confirm their loyalty to Met. Onuphry.
“The clergy of the diocese also unanimously decided to express disapproval of the unprecedented interference of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in internal Church affairs and the legalization of schism, carried out in Ukraine,” the diocesan report emphasizes.
Earlier, on January 4, the clergy of the three dioceses of the Vinnitsa Province—the dioceses of Vinnitsa, Tulchin, and Mogilev-Podolsky—gathered at the Church of the Meeting of the Lord in Vinnitsa and expressed their unanimous support for Met. Onuphry and the entire Holy Synod of the canonical Ukrainian Church, reports the Diocese of Vinnitsa.
The meeting was attended by more than 500 priests and monastics and was headed by four bishops: His Eminence Metropolitan Jonathan of Tulchin and Bratslav, His Eminence Metropolitan Agapit of Mogilev-Podolsky, His Eminence Archbishop Barsanuphius of Vinnitsa and Bar, and His Grace Bishop Sergei of Ladyzhn, vicar of the Tulchin Diocese.
Met. Jonathan proposed support Met. Onuphry and the entire Ukrainian Holy Synod, and this proposal was unanimously supported by all participants in the meeting.
This was the first time that the entire Vinnitsa Diocese expressed its support for the canonical Church and Met. Onuphry. It is one of the most embattled dioceses, as its former hierarch, Simeon Shostatsky, was one of two hierarchs of the canonical Church to apostatize and join the schismatics, taking a handful of clergy and parishes with him.
The clergy also decided to appeal to the Vinnitsa mayor and the chairman of the Vinnitsa Provincial Council to stop the illegal activities against the parish communities, to ensure the possibility of registering Abp. Barsanuphius as the new hierarch of Vinnitsa, and to facilitate the return of buildings illegally seized from the Vinnitsa Diocese, including the cathedral and diocesan administration building.
Following the meeting, the clergy of the three dioceses, led by the hierarchs, went in a procession to the Vinnitsa Provincial state administration and Vinnitsa city hall to give the text of their appeal to provincial and city authorities. The procession ended near the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral, which has been seized by the schismatics.
The same support for the canonical Church and Met. Onuphry has also been expressed by the Dioceses of Volyn, Dzhankoi, Mogilev-Podolsky, Uman, Ovruch, Berdyansk, Nikolaev, Nizhyn, Nova Kakhovka, Izium, Crimea, Chernigov and Novgorod-Siversk, Kirovograd, Zhytomyr, Lugansk, Mukachevo, Alexandria, Sumy, Romny, Konotop-Glukhov, Zaporozhye, Kharkov, Voznesensk, Tulchin, Rivne, Kherson, Severodonetsk, Odessa, Dnipropetrovsk, Krivoy Rog, Kamenka, Zaporozhye, and Poltava, and the clergy of the city of Vinnitsa and of the Bar Deanery of the Vinnitsa Diocese.
Of those, the Severodonetsk, Voznesensk, Tulchin, Rivne, Zhytomyr, Nizhyn, Kamenka, and Konotop-Glukhov Dioceses have reaffirmed their loyalty to the Ukrainian Church yet again following December 15’s scandalous “unification council.”
Follow us on Facebook!