UOC to gather hierarchs, clergy, monastics, laity to discuss wartime issues

Kiev, May 12, 2022

Photo: news.church.ua Photo: news.church.ua     

The canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church will gather all its clergy and faithful to discuss issues of Church life that arose as a result of the fratricidal war that began in late February.

The Holy Synod met today at the Kiev Caves Lavra under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine. The UOC’s Information-Education Department reports:

The Holy Synod responded to questions about the future of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. In particular, the Synod members positively assessed the possibility of a thorough and comprehensive discussion of any issues of Church life. But it’s fundamentally important that this process takes place without violating Church order.

In the near future, a meeting will be convened with the participation of bishops, priests, monastics, and laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to discuss the problems of Church life that arose as a result of the war. At the same time, the Synod members stressed that the discussion on this or that issue should not lead to going beyond the canonical field and should not lead to new divisions in the Church of Christ.

Recall that a number of hierarchs and clergy have stopped commemorating His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and some have called for the UOC Synod to initiate the process for requesting autocephaly from the Russian Orthodox Church.

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Midwest5/13/2022 7:39 am
The second part of the declaration of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of May 12, 2022 is of importance as well. -------- "However, we cannot help but express our concern that, despite the wise and well-intentioned appeals of the Ukrainian President and other state officials, there are not isolated cases of incitement to hatred and discord on a religious basis in some regions. Instead of uniting the people in the aspiration to victory and the restoration of a peaceful life, an internal and religious front is inflamed in the country. Thus, a group of Ukrainian deputies, by means of fictitious and notoriously false accusations, have submitted bills to the Supreme Rada of Ukraine for consideration, which want to ban the activity of our Church. In addition, in different regions of Ukraine, local bodies sometimes adopt illegal decisions aimed at banning or restricting the activities of local religious communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. With the tacit consent or active interference of local authorities, seizures of places of worship of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have taken place. We note with sadness that all these facts are the result of the wrong policy of the presidency of Petro Poroshenko and the destructive ideology of the so-called Ukrainian Orthodox Church [autocephalous]. We are convinced that such activities of the previous government and the "Orthodox Church of Ukraine" became one of the reasons for the military invasion of Ukraine. We believe that the criminal actions directed against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have the characteristics of subversive and sabotage activities and are also the result of the inaction of the "State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience", which is supposed to regulate inter-religious relations in Ukraine. We consider it unacceptable to try to ban the activity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Any decision on banning our Church and restricting the rights of its followers is criminal and violates the Ukrainian Constitution. Such actions cannot be described as anything other than an act of national suicide, as they are directed against millions of Ukrainian citizens, who belong to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and who today are defending our Motherland at various levels - on the front and in the rear. In this context, we appeal to the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Oleksandrovytch Zelensky, as the guarantor of the observance of the Ukrainian Constitution, asking him to intervene in this difficult situation, to put an end to religious hostility in Ukrainian society and to take the necessary measures against the iniquitous actions against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Source: https://news.church.ua/2022/05/12/zayava-svyashhennogo-sinodu-ukrajinskoji-pravoslavnoji-cerkvi-vid-12-travnya-2022-roku/
Midwest5/13/2022 7:18 am
I think the first part of the declaration of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of May 12, 2022 is important to mention as well: ---- "For three months the Ukrainian people have been fighting bravely against the military attack of the Russian Federation, which has invaded the territory of our sovereign and independent state. Every day this horrible war takes the lives of sons and daughters of Ukraine. The flame of war has penetrated the heart of every citizen, and thousands of families have felt the bitter pain of this terrible tragedy. More than five and a half million Ukrainians have been forced to become migrants. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church immediately condemned the military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, and emphatically stressed that war is a great sin. That is why our Church has repeatedly called for an end to the bloodshed and, after starting the negotiation process, to resolve the conflict with words and not with arms. Unfortunately, attempts at peaceful negotiations have not yielded the desired result. On the contrary, today missile attacks and bombings have covered almost the entire territory of our homeland. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church fully shares the pain and suffering of the Ukrainian people. 14 of the 53 dioceses of our Church are suffering from the fighting. The territory of these dioceses includes more than 3,000 parishes and 62 monasteries, where, even at the risk of their lives, 3,500 clerics and almost 2,000 monks and nuns continue to exercise their ministry. But regardless of these difficult circumstances, we are convinced that Ukraine will survive and preserve its statehood. To this end, in all the churches and monasteries, the strengthened prayers of our episcopate, our clergy, our monks and nuns, and our people are raised. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church supports and will continue to support the defenders of Ukraine and will provide charitable assistance to the needy. We are sincerely convinced that the Lord will bless the Ukrainian land with peace, as well as his God-fearing people. Source: https://news.church.ua/2022/05/12/zayava-svyashhennogo-sinodu-ukrajinskoji-pravoslavnoji-cerkvi-vid-12-travnya-2022-roku/
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