Izium, Ukraine; Simferopol, Russia, November 16, 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 another two have joined them—the Dioceses of Izium and Crimea.
A meeting of the Izium Diocese clergy was held yesterday in the diocesan administration building under the chairmanship of His Eminence Metropolitan Elisha of Izium and Kupiansk, including all 170 clergy and monastics of the diocese, the diocesan website reports.
After discussing the diocese’s plans for the coming year, Met. Elisha put the question of support for Met. Onuphry to a vote, and the clergy unanimously voted in full support of their beloved primate.
Their message to Met. Onuphry reads:
I personally, the clergy, monastics, and faithful of the Diocese of Izium express to You our filial love and support in this difficult time for the Church of Christ.
The flock of Ukraine knows You as a true shepherd and tireless man of prayer for our long-suffering Ukrainian people. Under Your Beatitude’s wise leadership, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church carries out her saving service in an independent Ukrainian state.
We will be with You, Your Beatitude, in spite of difficult times and any unforeseen circumstances.
We confirm our deepest faith in Your wise leadership with our signatures.
And speaking on behalf of the clergy and faithful of the Crimean Diocese, His Eminence Metropolitan of Lazar of Simferopol and Crimea told Interfax-Religion today that they fully support Met. Onuphry in light of the current crisis in Ukrainian Orthodoxy.
“The clergy and flock of the Diocese of Simferopol and Crimea support with one heart and one mouth the preservation of the canonical unity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and also ask the Lord of Heaven and Earth to prevent a schism,” His Eminence said.
He also noted that the Crimean faithful thank God daily for such a worthy leaders as Met. Onuphry and that every service includes a special prayer for peace in Ukraine.
The same support for the canonical Church and Met. Onuphry has also been expressed by the Dioceses of Chernigov and Novgorod-Siversk, Kirovograd, Zhytomyr, Lugansk, Mukachevo, Alexandria,Zaporozhye, Kharkov, Voznesensk, Tulchin, Rivne, Kherson, Severodonetsk, Odessa, Dnipropetrovsk, Krivoy Rog, Kamenka, Zaporozhye, and Poltava, and the clergy of the city of Vinnytsia.
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