Kiev, April 10, 2023
The Ukrainian faithful must be active in the defense of their holy sites, while at the same maintaining Christian behavior and love, says the Ukrainian primate.
His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine addressed yesterday the clergy and parishioners of the Khmelnitsky Diocese, which has been under increased attack by the schismatics of the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” and the authorities lately.
However, Met. Onuphry calls on them not to stoop to the level of the schismatics and their anti-Orthodox hatred, but to reject all malice:
Today the Lord has allowed you to suffer with Him. It’s a great honor for a Christian when he suffers with Christ. I understand that it’s hard for you, that there’s a lot of untruth, but the Lord also endured lies. We should thank God for everything. This doesn’t mean we should give up and be passive. We must protect our holy sites. We must defend our churches and monasteries by legal means. But we mustn’t have malice against people, against those who attack us, who abuse us.
We must pray for all: that the Lord may strengthen the good in the good, and give the evil a spirit of repentance. So that they understand that when you abuse another, it’s a sin, and you abuse yourself…
The Lord will never leave a man who entrusts himself to Him. So let us be faithful to God, let us love God, love all people, and the God of peace will be with us.
On April 2, hundreds of radicals stormed the Holy Protection Cathedral in Khmelnitsky to physically seize it.
On April 4, the Khmelnitsky Provincial Council declared a ban on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, while the City Council voted to deprive the Church of the rights to the land plots on which its churches, monastery, and diocesan administration sit.
Yesterday, schismatics seized the Church of St. George in Khmelnitsky and the nearby spiritual center and held a fake vote to transfer it to the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”