Pilgrims of UOC meet with hierarchs of Romanian and Bulgarian Churches
The hierarchs of the Romanian and Bulgarian Churches expressed full support for the UOC led by His Beatitude Onuphry and called on believers to hold on to their Primate.
Since November 25, the believers and clergy of the Rovno and Sarny eparchies of the UOC have been on a pilgrimage trip to Romania and Bulgaria. For five days, the pilgrims have already visited dozens of Orthodox churches and monasteries, venerated the relics of St. Paisius (Velichkovsky) and St. John of Ryla, and also met with representatives of local Churches. The delegation of the UOC told hierarchs about confessional problems in Ukraine that create confrontations between believers and provoke violent clashes, reports a UOJ correspondent.
So, on November 27, with the blessing of Patriarch Daniel of the Romanian Church, the group of pilgrims was received by the Patriarchal Vicar, Secretary of the Holy Synod, Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Romanian Orthodox Church, Bishop Varlaam. Vladyka was very interested in the situation in Ukraine and for a long time communicated with eyewitnesses of the seizures of Orthodox churches.
“We know your problem,” the hierarch said to the Ukrainian pilgrims. “Undoubtedly, the PCU is a big political act, it’s sad that some church people have confirmed it. An echo of trouble was felt in Romania. We also have problems. At one time, Filaret appointed here his pseudo-bishops, who create big problems. We welcome the stance of the Albanian and Jerusalem Churches. The Romanian Church supports it and believes that the current problem of Ukraine should have been solved at the pan-Orthodox level even before the provision of the Tomos. We pray that the Lord will give you courage and patience to stand for the Church.”
After a meeting with Bishop Varlaam, which took place in the premises of the Romanian Patriarchate, the Ukrainian pilgrims had an excursion, the program of which was personally approved by the Primate of the Romanian Church, Patriarch Daniel.
On November 28, the pilgrims met with the hegumen of the St. John of Ryla Monastery of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Bishop Eulogius, who warmly welcomed Ukrainian believers and promised his prayer support.
Also, the pilgrims from the Rovno region visited the Veliko Tęrnovo Eparchy, where they were received by Bishop Gregory. According to believers of the UOC, Vladyka was much surprised to hear stories of eyewitnesses about the excesses of supporters of the newly formed church structure, calling the schism the devil’s work.
“We pray for our fellow brothers from Ukraine. I know what a schism is, at one time we also went through it, this is the devil’s work. I do not know any other Church than the one led by Metropolitan Onuphry. Hold on to your Primate and your priests,” the hierarch addressed the Ukrainian pilgrims.
As reported, on September 28, 2019, on the day of remembrance of St. Paisius Velichkovsky, the delegation of the Romanian Orthodox Church took part in the service of the UOC in Poltava.