To His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II,
Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia,
Archbishop of Mtskheta and Tbilisi,
Metropolitan of Pitsunda and Sukhumi-Abkhazia
Your Holiness and Beatitude!
I appeal to Your Holiness, the primate of the holy Georgian Orthodox Church, and to its Holy Synod and episcopate regarding the Church situation in Ukraine that has arisen as a result of the non-canonical interference of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the internal affairs of the self-governing Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the shameful act of recognizing the pseudo-religious schismatic organizations. The apotheosis of this lawlessness was the formation of the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” on the basis of structures that had fallen away from the Mother Church, whose autocephaly the Patriarchate of Constantinople single-handedly established by issuing a tomos.
For the secular authorities, in their essence not only far from Orthodoxy but also hostile to it, this became an ideological justification for persecution against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church headed by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, who is recognized by all the Local Churches. Within the shortest of time, anti-constitutional discriminatory laws were adopted, according to which the authorities are forcing us to change the legally-registered name of our Church. These laws also allow, through raider manipulation, the seizure of the property of our communities with the help of radical nationalist elements. In order to show their loyalty to the higher leaders, local authorities zealously try to please them, trying to transfer communities of the UOC to the newly-created religious-political chimera by persuasion or intimidation. All this is accompanied by hours-long streams of misinformation about our Ukrainian Orthodox Mother Church from all the outlets of mass degradation controlled by the authorities. Thanks to the actions of Patriarch Bartholomew, aimed at satisfying the political ambitions of the people in power today—who are afraid to lose it, our country has suffered yet another social rift.
Setting out the Ukrainian issue, I dare to note the unique spiritual unity of our unworthiness with Your Holiness and Beatitude, established through the succession and spiritual sonship of the ever-memorable ascetics, the Glinsk elders. The spiritual fruits of the Nativity of the Theotokos Glinsk Hermitage—its inhabitants, among whom it is especially necessary to remember St. Seraphim-Zenobius (Mazhugi), Andronik (Lukash), and Seraphim (Romantsov), who found refuge in Iberia—the wondrous lot of the Most-Holy Theotokos. The Glinsk saints are venerated with special love both in our Ukrainian land and in the great land of Sakartvelo entrusted to your guardianship, preserving the tradition and guarding the Orthodox faith. Their ascetic legacy is the heritage of all the fullness of our Orthodox Church.
The prayerful intercession at the throne of the Life-Giving Trinity of St. Seraphim-Zenobius (Mazhugi), who served your monastic tonsure and prophesied your bearing of the Patriarchal Cross, the podvigs and ministry of this exceptional elder-metropolitan, and his firmness in the faith are the sacred treasure of your holy Georgian Orthodox Church and, at the same time, of our Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Your Holiness and Beatitude’s courageous standing in firm adherence to the canons and dogmas of Orthodoxy are forever imprinted in the history of the autocephalous Local Churches.
Therefore, appealing to Your Holiness, I humbly ask you to hear the lamentations of the faithful of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the flock of the Zaporozhye Diocese entrusted to me, suffering from the state’s gross anti-constitutional interference in the internal affairs of our Church, preserving the holy evangelical faith under the omophorion of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, whose election to the ancient see of the Kiev Metropolia was honored by Your Holiness’ assent and recognition, in accordance with the rules of the Catholic Church.
Ever bearing in mind the intercession of the God-bearing Glinsk fathers, I hope that Your Holiness and Beatitude will again confirm your fidelity to Patristic ecclesiology by your personal example and not recognize the religious-political organization created in Ukraine under the title “Kiev Metropolia of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Orthodox Church of Ukraine),” and that all the Local Churches will call for a pan-Orthodox discussion of the actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the Ukrainian land.
I entreat that through the prayers of the holy venerable Glinsk fathers, the All-Wise Lord would enlighten us all, help us overcome temptations, and preserve unity in the holy Eucharist.
Ever remembering you, your venerator and prayerful intercessor in Christ
Unworthy Metropolitan of Zaporozhye and Melitopol