Kiev, February 9, 2021
The coronavirus pandemic is a trial allowed by God, which gives us the chance to look at and amend our lives, believes His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine.
While continuing the fight against the coronavirus, society must realize the spiritual root causes of everything that has happened, Met. Onuphry wrote in his greetings to the All-Ukrainian forum, “Ukraine 30. Coronavirus: Challenges and Answers” yesterday.
“God allows us to be tested not for our virtues, but for our sins, and calls us to fight sin by repentance. Today, each of us needs to look inside ourselves and draw the right conclusions,” His Beatitude said.
This new test, the Ukrainian primate is sure, “sobers us and gives us the opportunity to look at life more correctly, to evaluate it and to arrange it correctly in the future so that it will be useful not only on earth, but also in the future in Heaven.”
Met. Onuphry also emphasized that one of the Church’s main priorities is to take care of human health—both mental and physical. Medical work, aimed at preventing and alleviating human suffering, is ultimately based in love, His Beatitude said, noting that Scripture teaches:
Honor physicians for their services, for the Lord created them; And he gave skill to human beings that he might be glorified in his marvelous works. By them the physician heals and takes away pain; the pharmacist makes a mixture from them. God’s works will never be finished; and from him health spreads over all the earth (Sir. 38:1, 6-8).
He also recalled that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church prays at every Divine Liturgy for the end of the plague and for the doctors who bear the main burden of overcoming the pandemic.
His Beatitude has spoken similarly of the pandemic several times before. In October, he emphasized that COVID is given to us for spiritual purification and the salvation of our souls, and in March, he urged all to observe hygienic standards while understanding that we would destroy the virus if we would repent.