Korosten, Ukraine, March 12, 2020
The schismatics’ “main emphasis is on politics, not on saving the soul,” Dcn. Georgy said.
Another cleric has repented of the soul-destroying sin of schism and returned to Jesus Christ in the canonical Ukrainian Church, bringing his parishioners with him.
On March 10, in the cathedral in the city of Korosten in the Zhytomyr Province, in the presence of His Eminence Metropolitan Vissarion of Ovruch and Korosten and 5 priests, Deacon Georgy Shevchuk repented of his time in the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” (KP) under “Patriarch” Philaret Denisenko, reports the diocesan press service.
“We accept you with peace and love and rejoice at your return to the holy Church of Christ, which in Ukraine is headed by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine,” Met. Vissarion told the repentant deacon.
“You wished to make amends for your sin by organizing and building a small church in Osivka. May the Lord help you and your parishioners in this holy cause,” the bishop added.
As Dcn. Georgy wrote in his penitential letter, the parishioners from his community also expressed the desire to return to the canonical Church and also wrote a penitential letter to the diocesan chancellor.
According to Dcn. Georgy, during his time in the KP he realized that “the main emphasis is on politics, not on saving the soul,” and that the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” which he was pressured to join, “is engaged in politicking and inciting enmity and hatred.”
“I don’t want to be in the Philaret schism or in the OCU organization,” he said, noting that his mother and other good people helped him realize the truth.
“I believe the words of Christ the Savior: I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. This means the lawful Church in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldova, and throughout the world. Therefore, I want to be in the Church of Christ God,” Dcn. Georgy affirmed.
“Again, I repent of my disobedience to you as the lawful diocesan hierarch. I ask forgiveness from the Lord Jesus Christ, from Your Eminence, and from the Orthodox people of the Church,” the deacon said resolutely.
A number of clergymen have repented of the sin of schism since the creation of the OCU in December 2018. On February 26, Archpriest Stephen Sinyuk was laid to rest, just months after having returned to the canonical Church from the schismatic OCU.
In June, the canonical Vinnitsa Diocese reported that a number clerics of the diocese initially followed Simeon into schism, though they repented and returned to the Church within a matter of days. In the end, as the diocese reports, only 18 of the roughly 250 priests went into schism, and two deacons, and three have returned since then, the latest being Archpriest Roman Asafa, who returned to the Church last month.
In July, it was reported that Fr. Nikolai Brega and the parish community of Holy Dormition Church in the village of Morozovka returned to Christ in the Orthodox Church from schism, and in August it was reported that Archpriest Alexander Tyutyuma of the Berdyansk Diocese repented and returned to the Church from schism.