Kiev, August 16, 2018
As the spiritual head of the nation, with millions of souls in his flock, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine offered a homily on Tuesday, the first day of the Dormition Fast, calling the people to focus on their own spiritual lives and salvation, rather than worrying about Church politics issues that have embroiled the Ukrainian faithful lately.
Ukraine needs to “receive a tomos” not from Constantinople, but from God—that He would grant them the forgiveness of their sins, Met. Onuphry preached, according to Russian Line, with reference to the site of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The primate also noted that “all talk about a tomos is a trap by which they want to limit us and make us second-class people.” His Beatitude went on to explain that a Christian becomes truly free only when he renounces his sinful life.
The Ukrainian primate is referring to the ongoing issue surrounding President Petro Poroshenko’s request that the Ecumenical Patriarchate grant autocephaly to a unified Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The president and those who support him argue that Ukraine can only be free if its Church separates from the Russian Church.
There are two schismatic bodies operating in Ukraine that support the bid, while the canonical Church in Ukraine does not.
“If I am entangled hand and foot in sins, then no kind of tomos will help me,” Met. Onuphry emphasized, “because a man is saved through repentance, through his personal podvig, and no one can do it besides me.”
His Beatitude called upon all to be attentive to their salvation, pray to God, and preserve the purity of the faith received from their ancestors.
“This is our sacred task. Condemning no one, we must walk the path that leads a man straight to God,” Met. Onuphry said, stressing that we must be faithful to God and not exchange our loyalty for a pot of stew.
“We need to receive a tomos from God, that He would forgive us our sins. Then we will be truly free,” His Beatitude concluded.
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