The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (in the unity of the MP) is facing a crisis due to its ongoing unity with the Russian Orthodox Church.
Part of the clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in unity with the Moscow Patriarchate addressed an open letter to their head, Metropolitan Onufriy, demanding that he convene a Council for a final break with the Russian Orthodox Church.
The letter, signed by an unspecified number of UOC priests, talks about the need to officially break relations with the Russian Orthodox Church in connection with the genocide of Ukrainians by the Russian occupiers.
The authors of the letter accuse the Russian Orthodox Church of justifying Russian aggression and call on Metropolitan Onufriy to take a clear position and officially condemn the Russian Orthodox Church.
“… we call again and again for the immediate convening of the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, where there a final break should be approved with the Russian Orthodox Church with simultaneous condemnation of the position of Patriarch Kirill and the clergy subordinate to him both in relation to Putin’s war of aggression and in connection with the annexation of Ukrainian dioceses. This will not only save our Church, but will give it the moral right to continue to exist in the Ukrainian State,” concluded the appeal published by the “Voice of the Clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church“.
UOC priests call on Metropolitan Onufriy to immediately break with the Russian Orthodox Church. They believe that this is the only way for the UOC to break free from Russian influence and defend the interests of the Ukrainian people.
“There can be no question of the success of such a case without a return to prayer unity with the Ecumenical Patriarch and, in general, all Churches that have recognized the OCU,” the appeal reads.
Priests of the UOC (MP) say that they suffer not for Christ, but because of unity with Patriarch Kirill.
“Understand, we are all ready to suffer to the end for Christ, for our faith, for the truth. But the fact is that under the guise of such ‘truth’ someone is forcing us to have an alternative unity with the Russian Orthodox Church, whose leader blesses the satanic march of the Russian army to our Motherland and reduces any sermon to ‘the greatness of Russia.’ It disgusts us to feel part of such ‘greatness.’ Yes, we consider it immoral to maintain canonical subordination to the Russian Orthodox Church under such circumstances. Yes, we have no desire to suffer for this unity with the one who did not spare us, whom he called and continues to call his flock. With the one who did not fulfill his historical duty of saintly appeal before the authorities for the illegally offended and did not forbid his flock to cross the border of Ukraine up in arms. We do not want to suffer for Russia, for Putin, or for Kirill. And most of us have the impression that our persecution is for them, and not for Christ,” said the outraged priests of the UOC (MP).
Metropolitan Onufriy has not yet responded to the appeal.