UOC hierarch: Novi Sanzhary reveals a deep moral crisis of society

Metropolitan Filaret (Kucherov) of Lviv and Galicia. Photo: Lviv Eparchy

We must show genuine love and compassion for our compatriots who find themselves in a difficult situation, said Metropolitan Filaret (Kucherov).

Metropolitan Filaret (Kucherov) of Lviv and Galicia, head of the Synodal Department for Health and Pastoral Care of medical institutions of the UOC, addressed Ukrainians in connection with the events unfolding in Ukraine around the return of compatriots evacuated from Wuhan. The address of the hierarch was published on the website of the Lviv Eparchy of the UOC on February 21, 2020.

The bishop noted that it was very regrettable and sad to watch the protests aimed at preventing Ukrainians evacuated from China to the cities where it was planned to keep them under quarantine.

“And what happened in Novi Sanzhary showed what a deep moral crisis our society is in now, despite the fact that it is positioning itself as Christian,” he emphasized. “Is it Christians who, having rejected all the commandments of love for their neighbour, listen to instigators, block roads so as to keep out people who are in a difficult situation, not to give them shelter, food, rest? Is it Christians who throw stones at a child who shows them a hand-shaped heart through the window? Is it Christians who threaten to set fire to the house where people are accommodated? St. Gregory the Theologian said of such people the following: “This is especially worthy of mourning: there are people among our brethren who are so far from condolences and assistance to the afflicted that they are not even ashamed to severely rebuke them, attack them, come up with empty and insignificant intellectualizations, their ‘speech will whisper out of the dust’ (Isa. 29: 4)."

The hierarch recalled that the Lord sacrificed Himself for all people and, “if we consider ourselves His disciples, then the commandments of love and mercy that He left for us should be in our heart, in our consciousness, in our actions and in our life always fulfilled.”

“As the chairman of the Synodal Department for Health and Pastoral Care, I urge you not to panic, to trust the professional actions of Chinese doctors, who have done all the necessary research to let only healthy people onto the plane, as well as a team of doctors who are constantly staying to control their health status,” said Bishop Filaret. “I remind you that these are healthy people who do not have any symptoms of coronavirus and are under the necessary quarantine. At the same time, realizing the weakness of our medicine before such a powerful challenge as coronavirus, I urge the Ministry of Health to provide the population with all necessary protective equipment, to carry out explanatory work and create the necessary, understandable and effective response mechanism in the event of a threat of infection. ”

Now, according to the hierarch, it is important to trust God and completely put this situation in His hands.

“It is trust, sincere prayer and genuine love that will help us maintain peace of mind, mental balance and show humanity and compassion and, if possible, do something to support the people who are in such a difficult situation because anyone could be in their place – you, your children, relatives”, summed Met. Filaret, expressing special gratitude to the doctors, the flight crew and the service personnel who agreed to voluntarily help and be with the evacuees throughout the quarantine period.

We recall that OCU representatives took an active part in the protests against the housing of Ukrainians evacuated from Wuhan. So, the OCU cleric Vasily Marinovsky led special “prayers” against the placement of compatriots evacuated from China in the urban village of Mykulyntsi, Ternopil region, while the OCU “priest” Dmitry Pedina called for blocking the hospital in Novi Sanzhary.

As reported earlier, the vicar of the Poltava Eparchy of the UOC, Bishop Veniamin (Pogrebnoy) of Novi Sanzhary visited the sanatorium of the National Guard of Ukraine in Novi Sanzhary, where the Ukrainians who returned from China were accommodated, and announced the readiness of his eparchy to provide around the clock all the necessary spiritual assistance to the evacuees from Wuhan.

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