Phanar priest appeals to Kyiv Exarch due to the situation around UOC

02 December 2022 10:33
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Archpriest Tarasy Petruniak. Photo: personal archive of Fr. Tarasy Archpriest Tarasy Petruniak. Photo: personal archive of Fr. Tarasy

The priest of Constantinople Patriarchate in Spain appealed to Bp Michael of Comana to raise his voice against the arbitrariness of the authorities towards the UOC.

Priest of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Spain, Fr. Tarasy Petruniak appealed to Bishop Michael of Comana to raise his voice against the arbitrariness of the authorities towards the UOC.

Archpriest Tarasy Petruniak, Dean of the Southern Spanish District of the Metropolis of Spain and Portugal of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, addressed an open letter to the Exarch of the Phanar in Kyiv, Bishop Michael of Comana, where he called on him to raise his voice against the arbitrariness of the authorities in relation to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. We publish the letter in full.

An Open Letter to His Grace Michael, Titular Bishop of Comana

Contra spem spero

Your Eminence! I am addressing you as the head of the Stauropegion of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine, hoping that you are not alien to the concepts of justice and Christian conscience.

Recent events related to the church life of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church make me turn to you with an open letter.

Last Sunday at the Liturgy, the Gospel was read, in which Christ tells the parable of the Good Samaritan. You and I know that the words of Holy Scripture should be the groundwork for our actions and deeds, without which our faith itself will be dead (James 2:17). Today we are witnessing arbitrariness against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. It so happened that those who are called to ensure the safety of citizens and the observance of their constitutional rights, have been harassing not only the laity of the UOC, but also priests and even the episcopate of this Church over the recent weeks.

We must pay tribute to the Christian humility of the Primate and the flock of the UOC for the fact that in such difficult times they continue to worthily bear their cross with a quiet thanksgiving prayer on their lips, like a gospel hero, placing their only hope in the Lord. It should be noted that the witnesses of this iniquity are also people who, constantly speaking about “one nation”, in fact, act exactly the opposite, showing intolerance and religious enmity. One can notice how the “brothers” – Greek Catholics silently pass by the UOC, unwilling to help, while their supreme archbishop does not want to raise his voice against injustice as if he turns a blind eye to this. The same concerns the “clergy” of the OCU and their “metropolitan”, who turns his face away from lawlessness and then falsely preaches about love for one’s neighbor.

Don't you think that we, the clerics of the first honored Church, should act not so hypocritically? We must raise our voice in defense of our brothers in faith and blood! After all, you and I are also Ukrainians. The arbitrariness that the SBU committed, in this case similar to the Bolshevik Cheka-NKVD or the Nazi Gestapo, must be excluded. When church life of monastic cloisters is violated by humiliating searches, groundless accusations of treason, low provocations against bishops, assumptions about the exchange of Orthodox clergy for captured soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, this is unacceptbale! I wish every Ukrainian soldier to return home from captivity, but not at such a price. You cannot exchange a Ukrainian for a Ukrainian! Defending the truth, one should not fear politicians, but only one God:

“Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience” (2 Cor. 5:11).

With this letter, I kneel at your right hand with the only request – to raise your authoritative “voice calling in the wilderness" (Matthew 3.3) and petition the President of Ukraine to stop the arbitrariness regarding our brothers from the UOC!!!!

“If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.” (Matthew 12:7).

Humble servant of Your Eminence

Archpriest Tarasy Petruniak

Dean of the South Spanish District

Metropolises of Spain and Portugal

of the Patriarchate of Constantinople

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