Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, January 29, 2019
Several individual hierarchs of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia have spoken out in support of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its primate His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine and against the unilateral interference of Constantinople in internal Ukrainian Church affairs.
Among those showing support are His Eminence Archbishop Michael of Prague and the Czech Lands, His Beatitude Archbishop Joachim of Beroun, His Eminence Archbishop Juraj of Michalovce and Košice of Slovakia, and the ruling primate His Beatitude Metropolitan Rostislav of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.
And, according to His Beatitude Metropolitan Christopher, the retired primate of the Czech and Slovak Church, the hierarchs of the Church in general stand against the schism in Ukraine and express their support for the canonical Ukrainian Church.
Speaking with a TASS correspondent on Monday, Met. Christopher noted: “The hierarchs of the Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church support the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox. We pray for the unity of Orthodox Christians. I firmly believe that Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, as well as Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, who is trying his best to regulate the situation, will soon begin to resolve the Ukraine issue on the basis of mutual understanding.”
The former primate also expressed deep regret about the strained relations between the Moscow and Constantinople Patriarchates which, according to him, negatively affect the global Orthodox community and do no facilitate peace in Ukraine.
Met. Christopher also noted that the number of churchgoers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia is growing due to migrants from the former Soviet Republics, especially Ukrainians from the western regions and especially since the start of the current political-military crisis in 2014. Due to the situation in their country, they “are moving [to the Czech Republic and Slovakia] with their whole families, joining the Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church.”
Met. Christopher was enthroned as the primate of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia on May 28, 2006. He governed the Church until April 12, 2013, when he resigned to maintain peace in the Church in the face of many accusations against him, though he denied the accusations.
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