Kiev, December 22, 2020
Clergy should prepare themselves spiritually for the attacks and persecution that are likely to accompany the intended visit of Patriarch Bartholomew to Ukraine next August, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine said today.
Speaking at the annual clergy meeting of the Kiev Diocese of the UOC, held today at the Kiev Caves Lavra, His Beatitude warned that the announced visit could lead to an aggravation of the situation with the schismatics and threatens a new wave of provocations and church seizures, reports the Information-Education Department of the UOC.
The Ukrainian clergy and faithful should also expect increased “information pressure and another attempt to discredit the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”
The Synod of Bishops of the Patriarchate of Constantinople are reportedly planning to declare the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” to be the only canonical Church in Ukraine and to suspend all bishops and parishes of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which would dramatically increase the pressure and violence against the Church. Pat. Bartholomew himself already aggravated the situation when he publicly wrote that Met. Onuphry and the other bishops of the canonical Church have no legitimate ministry in Ukraine, but are only occupiers.
“Patriarch Bartholomew will come not to give something to Ukraine, but to take something from Ukraine,” Met. Onuphry commented.
Preparation for the possibility of such provocations must first of all be a spiritual matter, the Ukrainian archpastor emphasized.
“Arm yourselves with prayer, patience, and love to defend the purity of the Orthodox faith, to defend our Christian principles, which, are unfortunately neglected by Patriarch Bartholomew and his followers, and to defend our holy places. I wish all of us courage and firmness in faith, remembering that God is not in power, but in truth,” His Beatitude encouraged.
Pat. Bartholomew is welcome to Ukraine if he comes to ask forgiveness before the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary, the Chancellor of the UOC, in an interview last week.