OCU cleric of Berdiansk Eparchy returns to the canonical Church

Archbishop Ephraim (Yarinko) of Berdiansk and the Littoral and Archpriest Alexander Tiutiuma. Photo: eparhiya.com.ua

Archpriest Alexander Tiutiuma, who returned to the bosom of the canonical Church, substantiated his decision by the OCU’s political bias even during the worship.

On August 23, 2019, Archpriest Alexander Tiutiuma, a cleric of Berdiansk Eparchy, who had earlier joined the OCU, brought repentance to the canonical Church, the eparchy’s website reported.

In his public video message, Archpriest Alexander apologized to the ruling bishop of the Berdiansk Eparchy, his fellow clergy, and all Orthodox Christians.

“All those 3 months with the OCU, I always felt a little out of place. <...> There was a big political bias even during the service there, while in our Church, in the canonical UOC, the focus is made on prayer, love and God,” the repentant clergyman shared. “And I was very tormented by the conscience that this was not mine. My soul and mind, which screamed inside me, prompted me to make the decision to appeal again to our canonical ruling bishop, Archbishop Ephraim.”

Archpriest Alexander expressed a desire, like the gospel prodigal son, to return to his Father’s house, to the bosom of the Church of Christ through repentance.

“I think the Lord, who does not want a single person to perish but to come to the true mind, will take me back after I have repented and expressed a desire to be a member of the Church of Christ again,” he concluded.

The ruling bishop of the Berdiansk Eparchy, Archbishop Ephraim (Yarinko) of Berdiansk and the Littoral, after meeting with the repentant clergyman, noted that the repentance of Archpriest Alexander is a great joy for the whole Church. He recalled the Gospel words: “in heaven there will be more joy over one sinner repenting ...” (Luke 15:7).

“Today it’s a joy for the fullness of our Orthodox Church that Her son, who has lost his way, backslid into schism, now realizes the untruth of his act and wants to reunite with the Orthodox Church in order to continue to bear his obedience in the canonical Orthodox Church,” emphasized Archbishop Ephraim . “We will pray that the Lord will heal the sinful wound and embrace the priest in His Church for him to feed on the Source of Life, which is Christ.”

Earlier, the UOJ reported that the cleric of the Mogilev-Podolsky Eparchy of the UOC also repented for supporting the OCU. Archpriest Alexander Barabash, rector of the church of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian in the village of Miroliubovka, Peschansk District, Vinnitsa Region, and his parishioners announced their desire to remain in the canonical UOC.

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