Kiev, January 24, 2019
Bishops of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia and the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church came together this morning to celebrate the memory of the 5th-6th century founder of cenobitic monasticism St. Theodosius the Great.
His Eminence Archbishop Juraj of Michalovce and Košice of Slovakia celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Church of St. Theodosius of the Kiev Caves in the Far Caves with the Ukrainian hierarchs His Grace Bishop Viktor of Baryshevka and His Grace Bishop Dionysiy of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky, Bp. Viktor wrote on his Facebook page this morning.
He also posted the video seen below:
Though the Synod of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia has not made a statement on the Ukrainian crisis since June, several hierarchs have showed consistent support for His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine and the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and a source within the Church recently told OrthoChristian that the Synod will not recognize the Ukrainian schismatics.
In a letter to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia dated October 11, His Beatitude Metropolitan Rostislav of the Czech Lands and Slovakia expressed his unwavering position in regard to the ongoing gross interference of the state authorities in the internal life of the Church in Ukraine, noting that the Orthodox world recognizes only the Ukrainian Church headed by Met. Onuphry.
Met. Rostislav again expressed his prayerful support in November during a meeting at his residence in Prešov with Bps. Viktor and Juraj, saying: “We are very worried about our fraternal Ukrainian Orthodox Church. With you, we prayerfully support and will continue to support the Ukrainian Orthodox Church headed by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry. We do not say ‘your’ Ukrainian people, we say ‘our’ people, because we are united in Christ and belong to the one, catholic, and apostolic Church.”
His Beatitude also warned against the interference of politicians in Church affairs in a meeting in May with former Ukrainian Presidents Leonid Kravchuk and Leonid Kuchma, when he told them that “any participation of state officials in Church matters is unacceptable in a democratic society.”
His Eminence Archbishop Michael of Prague and the Czech Lands met with His Eminence Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa in late November, stressing that Constantinople’s present course of action in Ukraine is impermissible and that all the Orthodox must therefore stand together: “We greatly sympathize with you and we tell the people that we are with you—the Czechs, and the Slovaks, and the Transcarpathians, and even the Orthodox Germans should be like one family. Your joy is our joy; your woes are our woes. We should support one another both in word and in prayer.”
Constant support and love for Met. Onuphry and the canonical Church has also been expressed by His Beatitude Archbishop Joachim of Beroun.
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