Ternopil, Ukraine, February 18, 2021
His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine and 17 other hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church came together to celebrate the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Theophany Convent in Kremenets, Ternopil Province yesterday in honor of the 30th anniversary of the episcopal consecration of His Eminence Metropolitan Sergei of Ternopil.
Met. Sergei was consecrated at St. Vladimir’s Cathedral in Kiev on February 17, 1991.
During the service, Met. Onuphry awarded Met. Sergei with the award “For Services to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” thanking him for his decades of unwavering observance of the purity of holy Orthodoxy, reports the Ternopil Diocese.
In his congratulatory word to Met. Sergei, the primate of the Ukrainian Church said: “As the ruling bishop, you tirelessly preach the word of the Gospel truth, protect the Church and flock from wolves that seek to rob and destroy the rational sheep of the flock of Christ, protect the God-confessed Church unity, and take care of the clergy, monks, and laity of your diocese, setting a personal example of life in all piety and purity (see 1 Tim. 2: 2).”
“For the people of God, according to the word of the Gospel, you have become a lamp of reason, a teacher of truth, an image of meekness and humility. Your whole life is a sincere testimony of God’s truth and the triumph of the faith of Christ,” His Beatitude added, wishing Met. Sergei God’s blessing and strength to continue working tirelessly for the glory of God for the benefit of the holy Church.
In his congratulations to Met. Sergei, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill writes: “Undertaking episcopal labors in the Ternopil Diocese, you pastor the rational sheep of Christ, endeavoring to oversee them, according to the covenant of the holy Apostle Peter, not by constraint, but willingly, and in a manner pleasing to God, not for filthy lucre, but from zeal, not lording over the inheritance of God, but serving as an example to your flock (1 Pet. 5:2-3).”
“You call on the children of the church to remain faithful to canonical Orthodoxy, and bear witness to the eternal truths of the Gospel to those near and far,” the Patriarch said.
Last March, Met. Sergei noted that 25 parishes had been seized by schismatics in his diocese up to that point, but not a single priest had gone in to schism.