Metropolitan Onuphry no longer commemorated in Rovenky Diocese in Lugansk

Rovenky, May 31, 2022     

The Rovenky Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, located in the territory claimed by the Lugansk People’s Republic, has decided to suspend commemoration of the Metropolitan of Kiev during the Divine services.

The clergy there will continue to commemorate His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia but will not commemorate His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, according to the results of a clergy meeting today, held in response to the decisions of the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church held in Kiev on Friday, the diocese reports.

At least three other dioceses have stated that the changes to the UOC Statutes adopted on Friday won’t take effect for them, and that they will continue to commemorate the Patriarch, though Rovenky is the first diocese to report that it has suspended commemoration of Met. Onuphry. One of the three, the Donetsk Diocese, notes that the Council resolutions allow for diocesan hierarchs to make such decisions for their territory.

Friday’s Council of the UOC resolved to “adopt relevant amendments and additions to the Statutes on the administration of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, indicating the full autonomy and independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”

A number of sources from within the Church have reported that all mention of any connection to the Russian Orthodox Church was completely removed from the Statutes, and on Sunday, for the first time ever, Met. Onuphry commemorated Pat. Kirill not as the primate over him, but as one of many primates with whom he shares liturgical communion.   

Given these changes, “The issues of Church life that arose as a result of the meeting of bishops, clergy, monastics, and laity … on May 27, 2022, were examined” at the Rovenky clergy meeting today.

Abp. Arkady spoke about Friday’s events and the changes introduced to the UOC Statutes. He explained to his clerics that he had “informed the assembly of his loyalty to the Patriarchal Mother Church and voted against the resolutions of the Council and the amendments to the Statutes of the UOC.”

Then every cleric present today was given the opportunity to voice his opinion on the matter. In the end, the clergy meeting resolved:

—to suspend the commemoration of Metropolitan Onuphry as the primate of the UOC during the Divine services

—The Diocese of Rovenky and Sverdlovsk remains under the omophorion of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia

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Jesse Dominick6/1/2022 1:38 pm
Afanassy: 1. It's not true that 49 of the 53 accepted the results of the Council. We're already aware of at least one other diocese that is continuing to live according to the old statutes. As for the rest, we can't just assume their stance. Reports vary on how unified the participants in the Council were on these issues. 2. This story is noteworthy because it's the first instance of a diocese suspending commemoration of Metropolitan Onuphry. 3. This article is not an interview of anyone from any diocese. It's taken directly from a press release from the diocese in question. If/when other dioceses issue statements, there can be news based on them as well.
Afanassy5/31/2022 11:10 pm
There are 53 Dioceses in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church [UOC] in Ukraine. 49 of them have agreed with Met Onuphry not to commemorate the Patriarch of Moscow directly. But this article makes a significant news item out of one them that does not agree? Where is the balance? Why were the clergy of some of those 49 not interviewed here as well? Ref: ====================
Andrew5/31/2022 8:06 pm
This makes sense. As the Ukrainian Orthodox Church moves towards de facto autocephaly - with the tacit approval of Moscow, who understands that they need to do this in order to avoid more intense persecution in Ukraine - the UOC dioceses in the heavily Russian-speaking regions of Crimea and Donbass will not want to go along with this. Especially since the people of Donbass and Crimea strongly agree with Patriarch Kirill's stance on the war.
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