Abbot of Athos Hilandar: We recognize only His Beatitude Onuphry
Archimandrite Metodije hopes that the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches will find a solution to the problem of the OCU, which led to unrest in the Holy Mount.
Only the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, led by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, is recognized in the Serbian monastery of Hilandar on Athos. The abbot of the Athonite monastery, Archimandrite Metodije, spoke about this in a commentary to the UOJ on February 29, 2020, before the festive liturgy in the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica, led by the Primate of the UOC.
The Archimandrite emphasized that the presence of His Beatitude Metropolitan in Montenegro is a great joy.
“As you know, the Serbian Church supports him, and therefore it is important that he is with us, that we serve the Divine Liturgy with His Beatitude, that we pray together,” he said. “But on the other hand, his presence is important, because at the moment there is a big struggle in defense of the shrines here, in Montenegro. And through his prayers and physical presence, the Metropolitan supports this struggle. We, Orthodox Christians, are now experiencing great temptations. But if we are together, we can defeat any of them.”
According to him, Athos is aware of the hardships that arose in Ukrainian Orthodoxy due to the recognition of the schismatic church structure by Constantinople.
“We pray that these problems will be solved in the best way,” added the Archimandrite. “We also believe that if the Lord sent temptations, he will send us fortitude to defeat these temptations.”
He noted that the recognition of the OCU by the Patriarchate of Constantinople led to certain unrest on Mount Athos, but the Serbian monastery of Hilandar, like Serbia, recognizes only the UOC, led by His Beatitude Onuphry.
“Some of their monasteries recognized (OCU – Ed.), some have already served with them. Other monasteries do not recognize it. And so we hope that the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches will find a solution by joint efforts. This applies to the Holy Mountain. As for Serbia, here we agree with the Council of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church. We do not recognize this new church structure but recognize only His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry. Our monastery shares the vision of the Serbian Orthodox Church,” Archimandrite Metodije emphasized.
As reported by the UOJ, earlier the Serbian monastery of Hilandar refused point blank to receive representatives of the schismatic OCU, carefully inspecting all the pilgrims from Ukraine – both lay people and the clergy.