Berdyansk, Ukraine, August 26, 2019
A priest of the Berdyansk Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church who departed wandered in the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU) for three months has returned to the Orthodox Church.
Archpriest Alexander Tyutyuma was under suspension for going into schism before he met with His Eminence Archbishop Ephraim at the Berdyanks Diocesan administration on Friday to offer his repentance, reports the diocesan press service.
Fr. Alexander also made a public video message in which he expressed his repentance and asked forgiveness from Abp. Ephraim, all fellow clergy, and all the faithful of the Berdyansk Diocese, explaining that like the Prodigal Son in the Gospel, he wanted to repent and return to the Father’s house.
He also expressed the hope that the Lord, Who does not desire the death of sinners, would receive his repentance. He also explained that while the canonical Ukrainian Church calls its children to prayer and love, Constantinople’s OCU places the main emphasis on politics.
“All 3 months that I was there, I always felt a little out of place… If there is a large skew towards politics, even during the services, then in our Church, in the canonical UOC, its only towards prayer, and concentration on love and God,” Fr. Alexander said.
“And I was very much tormented by my conscience that this was not for me. My heart and soul, which screamed within me, promoted me to the decision to again turn to our canonical ruling hierarch, Archbishop Ephraim,” the repentant priest explained.
In turn, after meeting with Fr. Alexander, Abp. Ephraim emphasized that it was a great joy for the entire Ukrainian Church, and for the Berdyansk Diocese in particular, as Holy Scripture says that, “There will be more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents…” (Lk. 15:7).
“We will pray that the Lord will heal the sinful would and unite this priest to His Church, so he would be nourished from the Fountain of Life, which is Christ,” Abp. Ephraim said.
In early July, Fr. Nikolai Brega and the parish community of Holy Dormition Church in the village of Morozovka offered their repentance to His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Bovary and returned to Christ in His Church.