Kiev, November 2, 2018
Despite the ongoing persecution and propaganda against the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, its dioceses are remaining faithful to it. A number of dioceses have already openly expressed their support for the Church’s canonical status as a self-governing autonomous body and for their primate His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, and the latest to join them is the Kharkov Diocese.
According to the diocesan website, His Eminence Metropolitan Onuphry of Kharkov and Bogodukhov chaired a meeting of the diocese’s deans, rectors, and diocesan department heads at Holy Protection Monastery in Kharkov yesterday.
At the meeting the gathered clergy headed by their hierarch testified to their loyalty to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church headed by Met. Onuphry.
Several other dioceses also previously expressed their support for their Church and primate. At a meeting of the Voznesenk Diocese on October 10, the following statement was adopted:
We, the clergy of the Voznesensk Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in connection with the situation around the granting of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, declare that we remain faithful to our ruling hierarch, His Grace Bishop Alexei of Voznesenk and Pervomaisk, and our primate, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine.
Based on historical facts and understanding that Church schisms invariably lead to the division and destruction of the state, we, as the servants of the Almighty God, unceasingly offer prayers to the Ruler of the world, the Lord Almighty, for the restoration of peace in our land and for the overcoming of the Church schism in Ukraine.
On October 4, the clergy of the Tulchin Diocese reaffirmed the oath they took upon ordination during a Divine Liturgy served by His Eminence Metropolitan Jonathan of Tulchin and Bratslav in the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ.
“We, as faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and as citizens of Ukraine, will firmly defend our religious institutions, the canonical order of our Church, and our constitutional rights, and protect our churches and monasteries from illegal discriminatory encroachments upon them ‘from outside,’” the priests said before the Cross and the Gospel.
The bishops and clergy of the Rivne Diocese also testified to their unanimous support for their Church and primate at a meeting on October 19.
“Based on the events taking place in our country, concerning the holy Church, the bishops, monastics, and clergy of the Rivne Diocese testified to their loyalty to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church headed by its primate His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine,” the diocesan press service reported.
On October 17, His Eminence Metropolitan John of Kherson and Taurida announced his unconditional support for Met. Onuphry and the clergy of the diocese supported their bishop’s declaration.
According to Archpriest Gennady Shkil, rector of the Church of St. Seraphim of Sarov in Golaya Pristan, Met. John, “stated clearly and unambiguously: He will remain with His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry in any situation, and the clergy supported Vladyka,” as he wrote on his Facebook page.
And in an address to the clergy and laity of his diocese, His Eminence Metropolitan Ioasaph of Kirovograd and Novomirgorod called on them to remain faithful to the canonical Church and its primate Met. Onuphry:
“I call upon all of you, my dear fathers, brothers, and sisters, to be calm and reasonable and preserve peace in your souls, and to be faithful children of the Mother-Church headed by its primate His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, and to pray for the strengthening of our people in the saving Orthodox faith and a courageous standing for truth.”
Follow us on Facebook!