Donetsk, March 25, 2022
On Wednesday, March 23, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Donetsk and Mariupol held a meeting with his diocesan deans and the rectors of churches that have been damaged from the fighting.
On March 20, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reported that 44 religious buildings, mostly Orthodox churches, had been destroyed or damaged in seven provinces of Ukraine, including in Donetsk.
The Donetsk priests reported on the state of affairs in their parishes and towns, noting that in some cases it isn’t possible to continue pastoral and liturgical activities due to life-threatening danger, and a number of other reasons, the diocese reports.
At the same time, the parishioners of the affected churches are very eager to get back to regular parish life. Met. Hilarion blessed those priests who can’t fully nourish their communities due to the fighting to serve in temporary locations.
The cases of certain priests with whom contact was previously lost were also discussed. It has been established that most are alive and well, though there is still no information about a certain part of the diocesan clergy.
Met. Hilarion emphasized the urgent need to provide humanitarian assistance to the victims as soon as possible. A report on the work already done was presented and plans were made to further provide the necessary aid.
His Eminence also stressed the need for commitment to and the preservation of canonical order and the observance of the statutes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the established order in parishes among the clergy and parishioners. His call comes as a number of other dioceses, largely concentrated in western Ukraine, have ceased commemorating Patriarch Kirill in the Divine services.