Ukraine, December 26, 2018
Despite the ongoing persecution and propaganda against the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church that is only increasing since December 15’s “unification council,” 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 three dioceses have reaffirmed their fidelity in the aftermath of the “unification council.”
The Severodonetsk Diocese held a clergy meeting on December 21 under the chairmanship of His Eminence Archbishop Nikodim of Severodonetsk and Starobelsk that began with a moleben of thanksgiving.
The meeting was attended by the diocesan deans, the heads of the diocesan departments, and the clergy of the Severodonetsk Diocese, reports the diocesan website.
In his report on the life of the diocese, Abp. Nikodim said, “Only God knows how all of this artificial confrontation will end. But we must continue to show our unity in faith and steadfastly carry out our ministry under the leadership of our primate, His Beatitude Met. Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine.”
The clergy of the diocese then unanimously expressed their support for Met. Onuphry, and Abp. Nikodim exhorted them to be an example for their flocks and to justify their high level of trust.
The Severodonetsk Diocesan Council had previously declared its fidelity to the canonical Ukrainian Church in late October.
The Voznesenk Diocse has also reaffirmed its fidelity to the Church of Christ and its primate Met. Onuphry at its clergy meeting on December 24 under the chairmanship of His Grace Bishop Alexei of Voznesenk and Pervomaisk, reports the diocesan website.
In addition to hearing various reports on the life of the diocese in 2018, the participants in the meeting unanimously expressed their devotion to the canonical Church and support for Met. Onuphry and Bp. Alexei.
The clergy had earlier expressed their fidelity on October 10.
The Tulchin Diocese has also joined the ranks of those reaffirming their loyalty to the true Church following the creation of the new nationalist church.
Having heard the Holy Synod’s December 17 appeal, His Eminence Metropolitan Jonathan of Tulchin and Bratslav, auxiliary bishop Sergei of Ladizhin, the members of the diocesan council and the diocesan clergy unanimously expressed their support for the Synod’s statement on the so-called “unification council” as a gathering of schismatics having no relation to the canonical Ukrainian Church, according to Met. Jonathan’s personal site.
The Tulchin clergy had previously sworn to remain faithful to the Church and defend their rights on October 4.
The same support for the canonical Church and Met. Onuphry has also been expressed by the Dioceses of Ovruch, Berdyansk, Nikolaev, Nizhyn, Nova Kakhova, Izium, Crimea, 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 Vinnitsa and of the Bar Deanery of the Vinnitsa Diocese.
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