Moscow, February 10, 2020
Despite the trials faced by the hierarchs, clergy, monastics, and faithful of the canonical Ukrainian Church, the people of Ukraine have managed to remain united in their trials thanks to the shining example and faith of their primate His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, believes 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.
“Thanks to the personal example, courage, Christ-like love and wisdom of His Beatitude Onuphry,” the people remain united and are able to withstand the pressure and persecution from the state and their radicalized countrymen, the abbess told the portal Monastic Bulletin while in Moscow on Church business.
“The Lord said to the Apostles: Be wise as serpents and simple as doves (Matt. 10: 16). Metropolitan Onuphry is a man of extraordinary fortitude, which is combined in him with purity and simplicity,” the abbess continued.
His words may be simple, but they are “permeated with the light of Christ-like faith.”
“His Beatitude always reminds his flock that the main thing in our life should be Christ. He reminds us of this all the time,” Mother Seraphima affirmed.
The mass of secular people don’t need long scholastic speeches, Mother Seraphima believes, but precisely the type of simple and pure words that Met. Onuphry speaks. : This is probably why His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry’s manner of communicating with his flock is so effective.” In the same way, the Apostles, simple fishermen, preached such that other fishermen and other unlearned people could understand.
This is what “especially attracts the hearts of millions of Ukrainian citizens who feel that this is a man of God,” Mother Seraphima commented.
“People feel it in their hearts… Yes, it is the example of the life of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry and the sanctity of his profession of faith that helps the children of the Church preserve unity in peace and love,” she concluded.
In the same interview, Mother Seraphima also emphasized that not a single monastery has transferred to the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”