Monday, July 15, 2024

    Onufriy considers dioceses in occupied territories his own, adding that he “can only pray for them”

    On July 28, the Primate of the UOC MP, Metropolitan Onufriy, addressed the congregation on the occasion of the Memorial Day of the Holy Prince Volodymyr and the 1035th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus. In his address, published by the UOC press service, he mentioned, among other things, the dioceses located in the occupied territory.

    “Part of our dioceses and believers ended up in the occupied territory. We are often out of touch with them, we can’t really help them except to pray for them. However, these are our dioceses, these are our people, we pray for them, we consider them our brothers and sisters, and we await their reunification with us in a single, independent Ukraine,” the statement reads.

    It is worth noting that this is the first mention by Metropolitan Onufriy of the dioceses in the occupied territories. A significant part of them was directly subordinated to the Moscow Patriarchate without intermediaries in Kyiv, in violation of even the internal statute of the Russian Orthodox Church. Neither Onufriy himself, nor the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, have yet reacted to this annexation of thousands of their parishes. As we can see, in this statement there is no condemnation or even a mention of this canonical arbitrariness by Moscow. The only unusual moment is the expression of hope for ‘reunification in a single, independent Ukraine.’”

    It should be recalled that Metropolitan Onufriy did not accept the priests who asked for a break with the Russian Orthodox Church.