Sumy, Ukraine, October 29, 2018
Several dioceses of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have already gathered to declare their unconditional support for their primate His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine and the canonical status of their Church as a self-governing body within the Russian Orthodox Church.
The dioceses of the Sumy Province have also joined its voice to this declaration. The hierarchs, clergy, and faithful of the Dioceses of Dnipropetrovsk, Krivoy Rog, Kamenka, Zaporozhye, Odessa, and Poltava have previously declared the same.
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.
The statement reads in full:
Statement of the Orthodox hierarchs heading dioceses in the Sumy Province
In view of recent circumstances concerning the life of the Orthodox faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, on behalf of the clergy and faithful of the Sumy, Konotop, and Romny Dioceses of the UOC, we declare the following:
1. We believe that the present status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church fully corresponds to the mission of the Church of Christ and allows us to carry out the tasks of managing the Orthodox parishes on the territory of the Sumy Province. In our view, changing the present status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is inadvisable and conratry to the desire of the Orthodox faithful of Sumy.
2. We support His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine as the lawful and sole primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and we approve of and support his work for the glory of the Church of Christ.
+ Evlogy, Metropolitan of Sumy and Akhtyrsky
+ Joseph, Archbishop of Romny and Buryn
+ Roman, Archbishop of Konotop and Glukhov
The hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church previously met in the Kiev Caves Lavra on June 25, where they also adopted a statement declaring that, “The existing canonical status is quite sufficient for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to fruitfully carry out its mission among the people of Ukraine. Attempts to alter this status will only lead to a limiting of the rights and freedoms our Church has been endowed with, having the rights of broad autonomy. Furthermore, these attempts will not cure, but only deepen the schism, both in Ukrainian Orthodoxy and in Ukrainian society as a whole.”
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