Metropolitan Onuphry: Do not fear! We are in the Church founded by Christ
At the annual Kyiv Eparchy’s meeting, the Primate of the UOC called on to courageously preserve the Church created by God, and not by people.
On December 23, 2019, within the framework of the annual Kyiv Eparchy’s meeting of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine urged the priesthood and believers not to fear and preach Gospel truths, reports the UOC Information and Education Department.
“Beloved in Christ, bishops, fathers, matushkas, brothers, and sisters!” His Beatitude Onuphry addressed the meeting participants. “Do not fear because we live in true faith, we are in the Church founded by Christ, and not people. As long as the words of the preaching of the Gospel continue to sound from the church pulpit of our temples, as long as our lives correspond to the commandments of God until then our Church will be of Christ. And our task is to preach this truth, to never stop speaking the Word of God and constantly do good deeds.”
The Primate drew the attention of those present to the crisis in world Orthodoxy caused by the anti-canonical actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine and the subsequent recognition of the autocephaly of the OCU by the Primates of the Hellenic and Alexandrian Orthodox Churches.
“The Patriarchate of Constantinople began to admit to the concelebration persons who do not have valid episcopal, priestly and deacon’s ordinations, which is blasphemy and abuse of the Holy Eucharist. As you know, one of the basic principles of the canon law of the Orthodox Church is that one who engages in Eucharistic communion with an excommunicated person is excommunicated from the Church himself. That is why the Ukrainian Orthodox Church ceased the Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople and with those Churches and hierarchs that recognized the schismatics.”
According to Metropolitan Onuphry, "this is the only way to protect the Eucharist and preserve the canonical and spiritual purity of the Church of Christ". He recalled that the Church has repeatedly experienced such upheavals.
“There have been attempts to destroy it, to tear it apart, to drive it into the catacombs, but it didn’t work out. Temporary difficulties strengthened true believers; the Church survived under any conditions and circumstances. Current events cannot be compared with the persecution of the Soviet era or the martyrdom of the first Christians. You need to do your job without unnecessary pathos, courageously keeping faithfulness to Christ, which I wish for all of us. And for those who have stepped wrong, we will pray that the Lord will return them to the true Church,” he said and thanked the clergy for their service and help in leading the Church and the Kyiv Eparchy.
As reported earlier, the head of the ROC DECR Metropolitan Hilarion said that His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry could become the person of the year.