Chudei, Ukraine, February 18, 2020
The 3 Holy Hierarchs—Sts. Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom—are great archpastors and ecumenical teachers who masterfully articulated the faith that unites Orthodox believers of all nations, and on their feast day this year, February 12, this unity was manifested in the concelebration of a delegation from the Romanian Orthodox Church with a Ukrainian hierarch and large gathering of clergy in a village in the Chernivtsi Province.
The feast was celebrated at the Church of the 3 Holy Hierarchs in the village of Chudei, with about 15 priests from the fraternal Romanian Church visiting and concelebrating, reports the Chernivtsi-Bukovina Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Altogether, 38 priests and 4 deacons, including the Romanian delegation, celebrated the Divine Liturgy that was headed by His Eminence Archbishop Longin of Bancheny of the Ukrainian Church. The homily was offered by Archpriest Aurel, dean of the Câmpulung Deanery in Suceava, Romania.
The wonderworking Krasnoilsk Icon of the Mother of God was also brought for the festivities.
On the morning of the feast, moleben for the blessing of water and an akathist to the 3 Holy Hierarchs were served before the Liturgy. After the Divine service, the clergy and faithful processed around the church, reading the Gospel and blessing the church and people with holy water.
Meeting on February 13, the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church announced that it would send a delegation to Jerusalem’s upcoming fraternal gathering in Amman, Jordan to discuss issues of Church unity against the background of the Ukrainian Church crisis.
The hierarchs also emphasized that while they support autocephaly for the Ukrainian Church in theory, they cannot accept the way that the Patriarchate of Constantinople unilaterally granted a tomos of autocephaly to a minority of schismatics, rather than to a united Church representing all Ukrainian Orthodox faithful.
In September it was reported that the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” is pressuring Romanian-speaking faithful in Bukovina to abandon the canonical Church and join their organization.