Officially: Serbian Patriarch expresses support for His Beatitude Onufry
The only Church in Ukraine with which the Serbian Church will maintain fraternal relations and concelebrate is the UOC, the Serbian Patriarch said in his letter.
The Serbian Orthodox Church considers invalid all the decisions of the “Unification Council” where the “primate” of the OCU was elected. This is stated in the official letter by Patriarch Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine, which is available to the UOJ.
“We received letters from Your Beatitude, No. 1639 of December 12, 2018, No. 1705 of December 24, 2018, in which you inform us about recent events that are shaking the spiritual life of the long-suffering sister Ukrainian Orthodox Church. With regret and great concern, we received news that false criminal proceedings are being conducted against the hierarchy, clergy and believers of your Holy Church, searches are being conducted, pressure is being exerted, and basic human rights are being violated in various ways to force people to separate from the Mother Church and join the schismatic groups, which have the full support of the state leadership of Ukraine and, unfortunately, the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which in uncanonical and non-brotherly way "solved" the long-standing problem in the spiritual life of the Church and the people of your country," the document says.
The Primate of the Serbian Church stressed: “As Your Beatitude already knows, at its meeting of November 7, 2018, the Holy Bishops’ Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church made a decision, according to which it does not recognize the rehabilitation and reinstatement of unrepentant schismatics Filaret Denisenko, Macarius Maletich, and others, and also will not enter into liturgical and canonical communion with them and with their followers. Such a principled position of our Church implies that for us all the decisions of the so-called Unification Council convened on December 15, 2018, in Kiev, where Mr. Dumenko (the so-called Epiphany) was elected the “primate” of the so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine, are invalid. The canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, headed by Your God-loving, respectable and dear to us in Christ Beautitude, remains for us one and the only Church in Ukraine which we will maintain fraternal relations and concelebrate in the Spirit and Truth in the future.”
“Praying to the Lord for the preservation of the long-suffering Orthodox people in Ukrainian land and for the quick crushing of the schismatic insane war against the Church of Christ, we cordially greet you, wishing you every kind of incorruptible goodness from God and the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit,” concluded Patriarch Irinej.
As the UOJ reported, earlier the Serbian Patriarch Irinei has said that the Athos monks of the Serbian Monastery of Hilandar support the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and their position on the Ukrainian issue coincides with the vision of the Serbian Church, despite the fact that it under the jurisdiction of Constantinople.