Clerics of Odessa eparchy support unanimously His Beatitude Onufriy
The clergy of Odessa eparchy spoke in favor of preserving the existing status of the UOC and reaffirmed their loyalty to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy.
On 22 October 2018, a meeting of the clergy of Odessa eparchy, headed by His Eminence Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa and Izmail, was held at the Odessa Holy Dormition monastery. The meeting, dedicated to the latest events in Ukrainian Orthodoxy, was attended by 413 clergymen, reports the website of the eparchy.
After singing “To the Heavenly King” and announcing the agenda, Metropolitan Agafangel called the audience to an open and confidential conversation about the problems associated with the announced arrival of the Tomos on autocephaly for the Church in Ukraine. Vladyka reminded the clergy of the responsibility before Christ and history and urged them to remain faithful to their priestly oath.
Bishop Diodorus of Yuzhnensk, vicar of Odessa eparchy, spoke on the chronology of the developments in Ukrainian Orthodoxy. It was followed by an explanation of the canonical aspects of the aggressive intervention of Constantinople in the UOC affairs, given by Protopriest Andrei Nikolaidi, deputy rector of Odessa Theological School. There were also considered various legal and practical aspects of the current situation related to the relationship between the Church, the state and society, highlighted by Protopriest Pavel Poleshchuk, dean of the temples of the 1st Odessa District. In the subsequent discussion, issues of pastoral activity were touched upon in the conditions the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is being confronted with.
With the blessing of Metropolitan Agafangel, a secret ballot was held, in which all those present were asked to answer the question: “Do you support the preservation of the existing status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the position of its Primate, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy of Kiev and All Ukraine?” Out of 413 priests of Odessa eparchy, 406 answered “yes”, 3 said “no”, while 4 attendees abstained.
After the announcement of the results that confirmed the principled position of the clergy in upholding church unity and purity of the Orthodox faith, His Eminence Agafangel thanked the clergy and wished them God's help in their pastoral ministry for the benefit of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.