Met. Luke: When crucial issues being decided, one should not hang labels
Metropolitan Luke of Zaporizhzhia and Melitopol commented on accusations against participants of the UOC Council.
After the decisions of the Local Council, which declared full independence of the UOC, Metropolitan Luke of Zaporizhzhia and Melitopol addressed the flock. In his word, he urged the faithful to unity and peace and drew their attention to the fact that the accusations of schism are not justified and that the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church expressed understanding of the decisions of the Council of the UOC.
"By God’s providence, we are determined to live in times of pandemics, wars and other upheavals in which our trust in God and our willingness to keep the Gospel commandments is tested in such difficult times. We see how the enemy of the human race has turned against not only our long-suffering Ukraine but also against our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church," said the archbishop.
The hierarch of the UOC stressed that he as a ruling bishop has a responsibility before God for the fate of the flock entrusted to him, which are now on different sides of the front line. He also called for preserving the unity with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in our Lord Jesus Christ.
"I should like to draw your attention to the fact that the devil, who walks like a "roaring lion, looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8), wants to bring confusion in people's souls to create another schism within the Church. Here and there appear publications concerning the events that took place at the Council. They accuse the clergy of an alleged schism and so on. I wish to say with full responsibility that none of this is true. When crucial issues are being decided, one should not instantly label someone or make him the enemy of the people," the metropolitan wrote. According to Bishop Luke, this is confirmed by the decision of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, which expressed understanding of the decisions of the UOC Council.
"It is clear to everyone – any Council's decision should get reception (acceptance-non-acceptance by the clergy and people of God), after which it takes root in the life of the Church or is rejected," the hierarch of the UOC stressed.
"The Savior, in His High Priestly prayer, expressed the will of God: all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me' (John 17:21). Therefore, I call on everyone to peace, to faithfulness to our Mother Church, Her canons, our Primate, and to keeping unity with God and in God with one another, through the prayers of Our Lady and all the saints, among whom are our Zaporizhzhia saints!” resumed Metropolitan Luke.
Earlier, Metropolitan Luke said that the warring countries can reconcile, but good and evil can never reconcile.