Moscow, February 8, 2019
His Beatitude Metropolitan Rostislav of the Czech Lands and Slovakia visited Moscow over the weekend for the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the enthronement of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill as the primate of the Russian Church, where he celebrated the Divine Liturgy at his Church’s representation parish of St. Nicholas of Myra on Sunday, February 3—the same day that “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko was enthroned as the primate of the Ukrainian schismatics in Kiev.
World Orthodoxy is undergoing a difficult test, he noted in his homily following the Liturgy, especially with the Ukrainian crisis and the granting of autocephaly to the Ukrainian schismatic church headed by the “impostor” Epiphany Dumenko, reports the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate.
His Eminence Archbishop Juraj of Michalovce and Košice also attended the celebrations and spoke with the press about the Ukrainian crisis.
Noting that the enthronement in Kiev took place on the same day, His Beatitude stressed: “In fact, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has already existed for centuries—from the time of the Equal-to-the-Apostles Vladimir and Princess Olga, from the day of the Baptism in the Dnieper, and it has a primate—it’s His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine.”
“There were found among the high-ranking hierarchs those who decided to refute this, who considered what has been confirmed by the centuries to be nothing, and proclaimed this impostor to be the ‘Metropolitan of All Ukraine’ instead of the canonical metropolitan,” Met. Rostislav said, calling on all to pray to the Lord to help “overcome this temptations of our Church life.”
“We came to the territory of the Russian Orthodox Church not as supporters of any party—we came to support the canonical status of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry and to express our support for him as a bishop-confessor and for the entire Church headed by him,” His Beatitude emphasized.
Earlier during his Moscow trip, Met. Rostislav also told journalists that the Holy Synod of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia had tasked him the duty of appealing to all Orthodox primates to hold a pan-Orthodox meeting to resolve the Ukrainian crisis. The Holy Synod also stated in June that the issue should be resolved in a conciliar manner.
Met. Rostislav also expressed his support for the canonical Church in a letter to Pat. Kirill in October and during a meeting at his residence in November with His Grace Bishop Viktor of Baryshevka of the Ukrainian Church.
For his part, Abp. Juraj said, “Problems in the Orthodox world arise because of the claims of some thrones to stand higher than the others, but we’re all bishops of Christ—there is no difference between us. Of course, a primate has his own ministry, but every primate is first of all a bishop like everyone else.”
According to him, it is necessary to understand that “the times of empires are over; there are no imperial eagles.”
Several hierarchs of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia have showed their unwavering support for Met. Onuphry and the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, including His Eminence Archbishop Michael of Prague and the Czech Lands, His Beatitude Archbishop Joachim of Beroun, Abp. Juraj, and His Beatitude Metropolitan Christopher, the retired primate of the Church.
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