Podgorica, Montenegro, February 28, 2020
His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine arrived in Montenegro yesterday, where he led a cross procession of thousands of hierarchs, clergy, monastics, and faithful in defense of the Orthodox Church against the ambitions of the Montenegrin government.
The people poured out their love for Met. Onuphry and he marveled at the beauty and strength of their faith while emphasizing that true unity can come only from Christ.
At a press conference in Podgorica today, broadcast live by the Union of Orthodox Journalists, His Beatitude noted that, despite the persecution against it from the state in recent years, the canonical Ukrainian Church has only grown stronger and more vibrant.
He also noted that the Montenegrins great display of faith in support of their Church in recent months is inspiring for the Ukrainian faithful.
He also addressed Wednesday’s fraternal gathering in Amman, Jordan, which he attended as a member of the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church.
“Regarding what we would have liked to have seen in the communique but did not see, I can say for myself personally—I would have liked for the decisions about Ukraine to have been more explicit,” the Ukrainian primate said.
However, he hopes for it to be further addressed at future meetings: “The question about Ukraine at the Amman gathering calls for continued dialogue with all Orthodox Churches.”
Concerning Ukraine, the communique states: “Concerning the current ecclesiastical situation in the Ukraine the participants also recognised that a pan-Orthodox dialogue is necessary for healing and reconciliation.”
Met. Onuphry will remain in Montenegro through tomorrow. In addition to the cross procession, His Beatitude was invited to concelebrate the feast of St. Symeon the Myrrh-Gusher tomorrow. He will also visit the ancient capital of Cetinje and venerate the relics of St. Peter of Cetinje.