Ovruch, Ukraine, February 25, 2019
The Soviet times were a time of totalitarian pressure on the human conscience, just as now there are lying attempts to involve people in the new ‘church,’ said His Eminence Metropolitan Vissarion of Ovruch and Korosten in a new interview on the diocesan site.
“In those days, several teachers and the military Commissar told me: ‘You believing Church people work for the West, America, the CIA.’ Now they tell my team and I another lie: ‘You work for Moscow, the Kremlin,” Met. Vissarion said, showing the similarities between Soviet Ukraine and today’s Ukraine.
The hierarch recalled how the KGB threatened to arrest him for distributing morning and evening prayers, and now the authorities harass him for standing firm in his loyalty to the true Church of Christ. The Ovruch Diocese overwhelmingly declared its loyalty to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its primate His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine on December 10.
Among other things, the authorities created a fake Facebook page in his name to spread schismatic propaganda. They also installed a fake billboard in the city with his photo and text claiming that he blessed the creation of the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”
Met. Vissarion also said that only 4 of the 220 clergy in his diocese moved into the schismatic church after its creation on December 15. Vladyka Vissarion suspended them for breaking their priestly oath, after which a new wave of slander crashed upon him.
Now, as in the years of Soviet oppression, it is necessary to protect the flock and read special prayers.
“We say: Our Church in Ukraine—it’s not Putin’s, not Poroshenko’s, but our Lord Jesus Christ’s; its administrative center is in the Kiev Caves Lavra, headed by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry. And this Church is recognized by Patriarch Theophil of Jerusalem and all the Local Churches,” the Ovruch hierarch explained.
He also stressed that the Church’s mission is to help people be purified and grow spiritually. “Through our Church there is the possibility, by God’s grace, to put on Christ and to go into eternity with such joy,” Met. Vissarion said.
He also reminded those that have threatened him, including by text message, that God’s judgment awaits us all. “Having received about 10 foul-mouthed text messages, at the end they even wrote: ‘666 is coming soon…’ Let us recall from the Gospel: There will be a Second glorious Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Dread Judgment of the living and the dead,” the canonical hierarch concluded.
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