Moscow, February 10, 2020
Abbess Seraphima (Shevchik). Photo: spzh.news The monastic community in Ukraine is determined to maintain unity with its Mother—the Russian Orthodox Church, according to Mother Seraphima (Shevchik), abbess of the Convent of the Archangel Michael in Odessa and head of the Ukrainian Church’s Synodal Department of Church and Culture.
Speaking with the portal Monastic Bulletin while in Moscow on Church business, Mother Seraphima noted that while a small number of parishes of the canonical Ukrainian Church have willingly transferred to the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” there has been no such interest among the thriving monastic community.
Asked if it’s difficult to live in a monastery of the canonical Church in Ukraine, Mother Seraphima stated that, “We live in peace, thanking the Lord for His great mercies, because each of us, who are monastics of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, knows perfectly well that our foundation is unshakable. The Church was created By the Lord Himself. He is its Head and no one else! Not the Patriarch of Constantinople, as one of the Phanariots said.”
It must also be noted that “not a single monastery of the Ukrainian Church has transferred to the new structure—the OCU,” the abbess said.
“And we have not even heard that any of the monastics have expressed such a desire,” she added.
“If in the parishes of Western Ukraine there were cases when some part of the parishioners expressed such a desire, then in the monasteries there was nothing like this, including in monasteries in Western Ukraine. In Volhynia, Rivne, and the Lvov region, which are probably the most problematic areas, the inhabitants unanimously support His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia and pray for their primate,” Mother Seraphima noted.
“This shows that the monastic community in Ukraine is determined to maintain unity with its mother, the Russian Orthodox Church,” she added.