Vinnitsa priest: I swear allegiance to His Beatitude Onufry
On the morning of December 23, the priest and the community of the UOC church in vlg, Kirovka of the Vinnitsa eparchy discovered the door locks of their temple blocked.
Rector of the UOC church in vlg. Kirovka of the Vinnitsa eparchy Protopriest Vitaly Trach called in his homily upon the faithful of the Vinnitsa eparchy to remain faithful to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its Primate, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry. The priest who returned to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church nine years ago from Filaret’s schism said that he knew the schism from the inside and in no case wanted to return there.
“We have witnessed radical actions against the holy church of ours, in which we’re now standing. Yesterday, unidentified persons blocked the door locks of the church with slivers so that we, the believers, could not enter the church to pray,” said the rector to his parishioners.
The priest associates such provocations with the creation of the OCU and pressure on the community in order to transfer it to a new schismatic structure. Father Vitaly reminded the community that he had returned to the UOC from Filaret’s schism and knew it from the inside.
“For 10 years we together, shoulder to shoulder, have raised in prayer this holy temple, in which we found shelter, like a Divine little paradise. We’re facing a very difficult choice – whether we could resist in the stormy waves and persecutions that are artificially imposed on us today. I have seen the schism from the inside for nine years,” said the rector to the believers.
The priest urged his parishioners in the current dramatic time to be faithful to the true Church, headed by its head, His Beatitude Onufry: "Today, when I have felt peace in prayer for 10 years, when I have been the keeper of the miraculous Iveron (Iverskaya) Mother of God icon, before which I bow low for giving me wisdom and intelligence, having a blessed memory, on this holy gospel, in the presence of my parishioners, the dozen, which is now though divided but still remained, I give the oath of allegiance to the Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the leadership of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine and His Eminence Archbishop Varsonofy".
Also, the rector of the church swore allegiance to the Church and its hierarchy: “I give a sincere oath. In this, I ask for the help of God, the Trinity of the Holy One and all the saints. And with your holy prayers, may God give us the strength to withstand the trials that are happening today in all families. The time of trial has come. Help us, Lord, do not leave us, Your children. And help us to withstand the trial. And if we are to become martyrs for the Holy Church, give us steadfastness and courage not to turn away from Your Holy Image, Lord, and not to profane the Holy Church. Help us and be with us. There is unity in the council; and in unity, there is the strength of the whole nation. God, give us unity.”
Father Vitaly asked believers to especially pray for those who are now tempted to go into schism and prevent division neither in the families of the small Church nor in the Church of Christ itself.
On the morning of December 23, 2018, the priest and the community discovered that the locks on the doors of the temple were blocked with slivers and the national flag was hung at the entrance. Parishioners had to break locks to attend the liturgy in their church.
The St. Parascheva of the Balkans Church of the UOC in vlg. Kirovka is known for its miraculous, myrrh-streaming Iveron (Iverskaya) Mother of God icon, which attracts believers from all over Ukraine and abroad.