Bulgarian hierarch: Difficulties are needed for the UOC to see who is real

Metropolitan Gabriel (Dinev) of Lovech. Photo: screenshot / YouTube channel of the Poltava diocese of the UOC

Metropolitan Gabriel of Lovech spoke about how difficulties can benefit the Church and about the opportunities that God gave to the UOC.

Only during the trials it becomes clear who is real and who only pretended to and had some gains, said the hierarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Gabriel of Lovech, in an interview with the press service of the Poltava diocese of the UOC.

According to Vladyka Gabriel, the sorrows sent by the Lord to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are useful – even if we cannot yet fully grasp what they are sent for. However, there is also a visible benefit from such difficulties.

Firstly, this is evidence of the truth of the UOC in a situation when it is difficult for a person to understand which Christian community is really the Church.

“The Holy Fathers say that if you want to find out where the real Church is, look at the one that is being persecuted,” the Bulgarian Metropolitan reminded. “So the Lord loves Ukraine.”

Secondly, difficulties consolidate faith and make people stronger, Metropolitan Gabriel noted.

Finally, now you can see who is real, he stressed.

“Without such trials it is sometimes impossible to know the deep waters of a person. It is at such a time that a person shows up who is real, and who only pretended to be and used,” said Vladyka.

When I served in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, there were many hierarchs there, I had the feeling that I was among the confessors who had had a very difficult time, especially when this schismatic church was proclaimed. Previously, bishops were also intimidated, we know that. They were told, 'If you do not agree, we will take everything away from you.' But these people were able to withstand, which strengthened their faith and they received grace from the Lord for their deed."

In addition, Metropolitan Gabriel emphasized, God not only allowed the Ukrainians to endure sorrow, but also gave them His help.

“You see, you now have such a Beatitude – Vladyka Onuphy,” said the Bulgarian hierarch. “I have known him since the Trinity-Sergius Lavra. The Lord arranged it so that you chose a truly ascetic person in such a difficult time. It means, the Lord let difficulties happen, but also empowered to overcome them."

As the UOJ reported, the Patriarch of the Serbian Church declared his support for the UOC.

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