Kiev, March 24, 2020
His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine has blessed and called upon all the dioceses of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to actively participate in measures to help counteract the spread of the coronavirus.
The beloved primate’s encyclical was sent by the office of the Kiev Metropolia to all diocesan prelates, reports the Information-Education Department of the UOC.
In particular, the document states that “it is extremely important to provide material assistance to the medical institutions located within the dioceses entrusted to you that are already receiving or are preparing to receive coronavirus patients.”
The primate calls upon the hierarchs and dioceses to give priority to “the purchase and free distribution of medical masks,” and “in those dioceses where there are production opportunities, it is necessary to organize the sewing of medical masks.”
“For the distribution of medical masks, especially among the elderly, as well as for the delivery of other necessities, it is considered appropriate to encourage volunteers from among active parishioners of a younger age. The organization of such a volunteer movement should be entrusted to the diocesan youth departments and social service departments.”
Following Met. Onuphry’s directive, the Kiev Metropolia developed a 5-point plan to combat the coronavirus pandemic:
Purchasing or sewing and freely distributing personal protective equipment in all parishes and monasteries in Kiev;
Reorienting the activities of monastic sewing workshops to the production of protective masks for the population;
Creating volunteer groups to supply the elderly with food and basic necessities;
Privately transporting employees of medical institutions to their place of work and home;
Preparing all monasteries of the diocese to provide temporary housing for medical workers who live outside the capital.
They have also begun sewing masks already at the Odessa Theological Seminary.