Kiev, September 17, 2019
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, led by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine expressed its gratitude to the hundreds Greek clergy and laity who wrote an open letter in support of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and against the schismatic OCU, which is recognized only by Constantinople.
The letter, initially signed by no less than sixteen archimandrites, twelve protopresbyters, one priest, two monks, three nuns, and hundreds of laymen, came as the Greek Holy Synod remained deadlocked over the Ukrainian issue, and the signatories appealed for their hierarchs to uphold the Orthodox position.
The letter is still in circulation and receiving signatures, and the authors have called for members of the Church of Greece who agree with its content and wish to sign, to write to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. It has currently gathered more than 1,000 signatures.
The letter was sent by Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich, the Deputy Chairman of the Ukrainian Church’s Department for External Church Relations, thanking the Greek Orthodox signatories from the bottom of his heart on behalf of the Church. Fr. Nikolai’s letter reads:
With great joy we learned of the support of the Greek clergy and faithful who addressed the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece with an open letter on the Ukrainian ecclesiastical issue. As already announced, more than 1,000 signatures have been collected at this time! As the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, we express our gratitude and thanks to the Orthodox brethren of Greece.
The letter is really a voice from the depths of the Church of Greece, a voice of true ecclesiastical consciousness, expressed by humble clergy [i.e. priests and lower clergy, not hierarchs] and lay people, and adds to the concerns expressed by many Greek hierarchs.
On this occasion, I would like to emphasize that the Ukrainian ecclesiastical problem must not be viewed in the light of national priorities or nationalistic conditions.
That is to say, this is not a rivalry between Greeks and Russians, nor Russians and Greeks, nor Ukrainians against Russians and Greeks, or vice versa.
This is an issue clearly ecclesiastical and ecclesiological! Therefore, all Orthodox who respect the tradition and governing of our Church are united, and this letter shows it.
It is worth mentioning that the Ukrainian social networks that published news of the letter have been flooded with messages from Ukrainian believers that read: "Thank you very much, dear Greek brothers!”
We, as the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church speaking for 12,000 parishes and millions of faithful, are very grateful and wholeheartedly thankful for this support!
In these moments, we feel how we are truly one Church, one Body of Christ, where, according to the Holy Apostle Paul, there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all, (Col. 3:11).