His beatitude metropolitan Onuphrius: the future of the church depends on our faith and faithfulness

Our life is Christ. Everything else is secondary.

In the 30 years since the bestowal of the Blessed Letter of His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia on independence and independence in government, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has passed a difficult historical path. Her future depends on our stability in faith, on our loyalty to her teaching and canonical tradition.

This is stated in the greeting of His Beatitude Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Onuphrius to the organizers, participants and guests of the XII International Scientific and Practical Conference «Spiritual and Secular Education: History of Relationships – Modernity – Prospects», which opened on October 27, 2020 at the Kiev Theological Academy and Seminary.

«If we look at the three decades that have passed since 1990, we can say that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has passed a difficult historical path. These 30 years were marked by both certain achievements and annoying losses. It was a time of massive spiritual revival. Thousands of churches and hundreds of monasteries were restored, educational institutions and numerous charitable and educational organizations were created from scratch. The church was able to master completely new spheres of activity for it: numerous programs appeared on television and radio, hundreds of projects were implemented on the Internet, the church mission is actively carried out with the help of modern social networks», – noted in his greeting the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

«But at the same time, the development of Orthodoxy in independent Ukraine was marked by a severe wound of church schism. Throughout the past thirty years, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been forced to constantly defend the canonical principles of church structure in polemics with those who have departed from church unity. Unfortunately, church divisions in Ukraine remain unresolved today. On the contrary, recent years have brought us only an aggravation of confrontation. We are faced with numerous seizures of our churches and with openly discriminatory policy of the state authorities in relation to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The church conflict in Ukraine today has become one of the central problems of the entire World Orthodoxy. The actions of the Patriarch of Constantinople in relation to Ukraine gave rise only to new disputes and divisions between the Local Orthodox Churches», – stated by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphrius.

«Looking over the difficult historical path of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, we must realize that we have a huge responsibility. The future of Orthodoxy in Ukraine depends on our steadfastness in the faith, on our loyalty to the Church, loyalty to her teaching and canonical tradition. Despite all the hardships, we must testify both with our word and with our lives about Christ, about love and forgiveness, about holiness and moral purity, we must carry the word of God to our people. We must offer a sincere prayer to God for our Church and for our country», – emphasized the Archpastor.

«It is imperative that you, the theological school students, understand this. Tomorrow you will become pastors of the Church, and the future of our Church will depend on you. We must all remember that Christ is our life. Everything else is secondary. The shepherd of the Church is one who gave his life to Christ and is ready to follow Christ to Calvary. Pastoral service is self-sacrifice. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:11). We must always be ready for sacrificial service», – noted by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphrius.

At the end of the greeting, the Primate called on the conference participants for a calm and professional discussion of the problems and prospects facing the Church.

«We must look for ways to overcome the difficult trials that befell the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. I call on God’s blessing for your labors», – concluded the Primate.

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