As the priest notes, the pressure from the state and “activists” and the invitations to meet with the Security Service began after the hierarchs’ November 13 resolutions declaring their intention to remain faithful to the Church and resist Constantinople’s uncanonical innovations in Ukraine.
Several Greek monasteries on Mt. Athos have added a special petition to the Litany of Peace in all of their services to specifically pray for His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, the head of the canonical Ukrainian Church, and for his much-suffering flock.
According to the site of the Chernigov and Novgorod-Siversk Diocese, eight deaneries throughout the diocese have already held meetings, and, “The priests have unanimously testified to their loyalty to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its primate—His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, and have spoken out for the preservation of the existing status of the UOC.”
His Eminence Archbishop Ambrose of Verey, the rector of the Moscow Theological Academy, was denied entry to Ukraine yesterday. He had arrived in Kiev at the Zhuliany Airport to visit the Kiev Caves Lavra and the theological seminary and academy located there to participate in the celebrations for the day of St. Nestor the Chronicler—the Academy’s patron saint.
“The more we are harassed, the greater the number of faithful. After the feast of the Protection, when they had threatened us to do something evil, many tours and pilgrims showed up. We were so full of people before, and now it’s even more. The people see very well where is truth and where is falsehood. Only the blind who have never prayed don’t see it: They need their ambitions, their demonic, proud ‘I,’” Met. Paul explained.
“We all know what raiding is,” Fr. Nikolai said. “It is, firstly, the seizure of property, secondly the change of name, and the replacement of leadership is third. What Philaret and everyone around him now wants to do, they already tried to accomplish in 1992.”
The hierarchs, clergy, and laity of the Sumy Province gathered recently to discuss the ongoing ecclesiastical crisis in Ukraine, releasing a statement, published on the site of the Sumy Diocese, in which they express their conviction that it is inadvisable and meaningless to change the Church’s existing canonical status and their full support for Met. Onuphry.