UOC publishes an appeal of monastics to Orthodox Christians

The Congress of monastics at the Pochaiv Lavra. Photo: Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich

The delegates of the Congress in Pochaev urged the Orthodox to preserve unity in Christ and resolve issues related to the purity of faith and canons in a conciliar way.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has published an appeal of monastics to Orthodox Christians, adopted at the congress held at the Holy Dormition Pochaiv Lavra on July 15, 2021.

The full text of the document was published on Thursday, July 29, on the website of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.

It notes that monasticism has always been the embodiment of the purity and truth of the faith, and "since the time of Kievan Rus’ in the vastness of our state, monasticism has been that "salt of the earth" that contributed not only to the development of the Church but also to the formation of the state."

“Unfortunately, we have to admit the fact that the modern world is more and more immersed in sin and becomes a slave to sin. In the struggle for human rights and freedoms, liberal society fights against the person himself, humiliating his dignity. Indulging a variety of sinful habits, propaganda and aggressive imposition of various perversions, such as same-sex marriage, abortion, the right to suicide and others, is presented today as a defense of individual freedom. Many public figures, rejecting all spiritual achievements of Christianity as "outdated and retrograde", stubbornly refuse to admit that the root of person's problem is their tendency to sin and that real freedom is freedom from sin. The Lord through the Gospel warns us against such ‘teachers’ and ‘instructors’ – ‘Leave them: they are blind guides of the blind’ (Matt. 15:14).

It is with great regret that we realize that the ‘spirit of this world’ fills the hearts of not only lay people, but also some clergymen. In pursuit of satisfying personal ambitions, taking the path of serving politicians, for the sake of gaining primacy, they are ready to overstep the canons of the Holy Church, tearing apart the Chiton of Christ without fear and regret, causing a schism in Orthodoxy.

<...> With sorrow in our hearts, we observe the destructive activities of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and his followers. The creation of a non-canonical structure of the OCU and the bestowal of a fictitious "tomos" to it did not help to overcome the schism that took place back in the early 90s of the 20th century. On the contrary, it provoked a new round of tension and confrontation in Ukraine and the Church. Unfortunately, further illegal seizures of churches and property of church communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are evidence of this,” the appeal says.

The congress participants noted that despite the unprecedented pressure from various individuals and political organizations, none of the monasteries of the UOC went into schism, and the brothers and sisters of the monastic communities daily perform their deed of prayer and steadily maintain the purity of faith.

“Today the Ukrainian Orthodox Church numbers 258 monasteries and 56 sketes, missions and monastic communities, in which about 4500 monks take the vows of obedience. Of these, there are 133 monasteries and 33 units for males, 125 convents and 23 units for females. 1,100 monks in the priesthood carry out the obedience of the parish ministry. All monasteries live a full-fledged monastic life, not abandoning their ascetic deeds and labours, and, at the same time, in social service they feed the poor, help the sick and support the disadvantaged.

<...> While performing church service, working in the field of Christ, we are called not in words, but in concrete deeds to strengthen ‘the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace’ (Eph. 4: 3), conciliarly – all together: archpastors, clergy, monastics and lay people.

And today we call on all Orthodox Christians of the world to preserve unity in Christ and respectfully ask you important questions concerning the purity of faith and the canonical structure of world Orthodoxy, to decide not individually but conciliarly so that there are no divisions and complaints against each other among us, so that the unity of the Body of Christ does not suffer through personal ambitions and that the Mysteries of God are not plundered by others,” the document emphasizes.

In conclusion, the congress participants thanked all the faithful children of the UOC, who withstood the pressure in these difficult times and confirmed their faithfulness to the Church.

Earlier, the UOJ published an appeal of the monastics of the UOC to the Patriarch of Constantinople.

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