Primate of the UOC addresses believers in view of COVID-19 spread

Primate of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry. Photo: news.church.ua

In his address, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry exhorted the laity to take heed of the recommendations of the Ministry of Health due to the spread of coronavirus.

On October 20, 2020, the Primate of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine, addressed the believers in connection with the increasing epidemic danger of the spread of COVID-19. This was reported by the Information and Education Department of the UOC.

Metropolitan Onuphry exhorted his flock to pay close attention to the recommendations of the Ministry of Health to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection. The Primate gave his blessing to provide entrance sanitary control in churches and church premises.

His Beatitude recalled that diseases are sent for the purification and salvation of the soul. “Often, due to illness, a person finds the way to God,” says Vladyka. “We cannot always know the Providence of God in our life – why a certain trial was sent to us. But our blessed duty is to change our sinful life for the better and grow spiritually in Christian virtues."

In conclusion, Metropolitan Onuphry urged to take care not only of bodily, but also spiritual health, to strengthen prayers, including for doctors, and to bear sincere fruits of repentance.

We offer to your attention the full text of the Address.

ADDRESS

By the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
due to the increased epidemic danger of the COVID-19 spread

Today, we have to state with regret that Ukraine has been going through difficult times of struggle against the acute respiratory disease COVID-19 for more than six months. The coronavirus has changed the lives of many people. The epidemic danger made us appreciate in a special way the God-given life, the well-being of our relatives and friends, and carefully approach our health.

Following the Holy Scriptures, we entrust our lives into the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Savior and Healer. And we believe that everything in our life happens according to the will of God, "that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Therefore, let the current situation we are facing not cause despair or despondency, but be perceived as a test of our love, humility and patience. However, personal safety or health should not be neglected either.

I urge everyone to be attentive to the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, to comply with quarantine regulations, not to ignore personal protective equipment, to observe social distance and disinfection regime. Entrance sanitary control should be provided in churches and church premises.

The elderly are especially prone to disease. They need our help and support. Therefore, I want our elderly parishioners not to put themselves in danger, avoid places with a large crowd of people, and not leave their homes unless it is a total emergency.

According to the holy fathers, diseases are given for spiritual purification and salvation of the soul. Often, due to illness, a person finds the way to God. We cannot always know the Providence of God in our life – why a certain trial was sent to us. But our blessed duty is to change our sinful life for the better and grow spiritually in Christian virtues.

I call on all of you, dear brothers and sisters, alongside caring about bodily health, to care about spiritual one too, to strengthen our church and home prayers, including for doctors, who continue to fight the pandemic at the cost of their own lives and health, to bear the sincere fruits of repentance and testify in works of love that we are truly the children of God. And the power of the Lord will a in the healing of the sick (Luke 5:17-26).

+ ONUPHRY,
METROPOLITAN OF KYIV AND ALL UKRAINE,
REPRESENTATIVE OF THE UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

Earlier, the UOJ reported that starting from October 19 a number of cities and regions of Ukraine will be transferred to the "red" zone.

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