Fr Nikolai Danilevich: The Church stood up like a rock amidst a stormy sea
The Great Cross Procession this year was a real triumph of Orthodoxy, a triumph of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The Cross Procession of the UOC dispelled all state propaganda that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church no longer exists or that it may disappear somewhere. The Deputy Head of the UOC Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich spoke about this and his impressions of the Cross Procession held in Kiev on July 27, 2019, on the occasion of the Christianization of Rus’ on the air of the “1Kozak” channel.
“This year the Cross Procession was something special, and it became an even bigger demonstration of the fact that the Church exists, it does not disappear anywhere, it remains the country's largest Church,” the spokesman for the UOC noted. “Foreigners with whom I spoke say that there is not a single force in Ukraine and even on the European continent that could bring together so many people, moreover, for free. And there is no greater force in Ukraine, either religious or political, which could bring together so many people – these are the words of external observers.”
He stressed that this cross procession, which is called Great, "is already becoming international, all-Orthodox" and "has already crossed the borders of the UOC".
“This Cross Procession is becoming Greater, and there are no longer such big religious processions like ours in the Orthodox world. Something similar is in Russia, but in the Greek world there is none of that,” Father Nikolai added.
Also, according to him, another important feature of this Cross Procession is that it “became a certain spiritual aid, a spiritual inspiration for those people who suffer. And they felt that they were not alone with their problems, that the Church is the great Body of Christ, that they are small cells, but when a cell hurts, the pain is given in the whole body, the Body of the Church.”
“Therefore, this is a confessional procession, and the Church in this regard showed that people are very important to it, that the Church is the people. We are losing temples, but we are not losing people. We even get more people, new ones come to us. And we see very positive trends, such a certain renewal, the revival of spiritual, ecclesiastical, parish life. And, watching this, I want to cry for joy,” said the priest.
In his opinion, this Cross Procession became a real triumph of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and dispelled all the state propaganda that the Church could disappear.
“The Сhurch is God’s creation, not human-made, and it will not disappear anywhere. Despite anything, our Church is growing, strengthening, uniting, becoming even more alive. (...) It seems to me that the Church not only stood up like a rock amidst a stormy, rough sea that can even completely cover the entire rock, but this water does not hold for long, it flows down, but the rock stands, and the sea cannot shake it. Now we see the moment when the water has gone down, the sea is calming down, the storm is coming to an end, and the rock keeps standing,” concluded Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich.
As reported, on July 27, the Great Cross Procession of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, dedicated to the celebration of the 1031st anniversary of the Christianization of Rus’, was held in Kiev, in which about 300 thousand pilgrims took part. The UOJ broadcast the event online.