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Friday, 20 June 2014

Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) Synod urges Ukrainians to preserve unified Ukraine, and call on clergy to avoid politics

19 June 2014

On June 19 at the Synod Hall of the residence of the UOC Primate in the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra the meeting of the Holy Synod began, presided over by locum tenens of the Kyiv Metropolitical Throne, His Eminence Metropolitan Onuphry of Chernivtsi and Bukovyna.

The Synod addressed to the bishops, clergy, monks and laymen in connection with the recent events in Ukraine. The bishops urged all the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to intensify prayers for Ukraine and to “cleanse the hearts from malice and aggression” in the period of fasting.

“The faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church live in the East and in the West, in the North and in the South of Ukraine. We do not divide our flock either on political or on national or social grounds. We are all one in Christ. So today we turn to the people of Ukraine: Brothers and sisters! Do not tear our Motherland apart, reconcile with one other! We must keep the unified Ukraine, save it for our future generations,” says the document.

The clergy of the UOC (MP) and the hierarchs of this Church warn against participation in civil disobedience and the use of the pulpit to promote any political ideas.

"In the spirit of Christ's love the Church’s pastors should make every effort to end the enmity and prevent further bloodshed. And we are very sad to hear that some priests are tempted by different political agendas and not only violate for this reason their peace of mind, but also negatively affect the public confidence. We declare with all responsibility that such actions are incompatible with the high calling of a pastor of the Church of Christ” goes the statement of the Holy Synod of the UOC (MP).

UOC (MP) calls for prayer and effective assistance to the wounded, injured, deprived of property, as well as to displaced persons and refugees, especially children, orphans, people with special needs and elderly people.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church announces a church-wide fundraising campaign to bring humanitarian assistance to the civilian population of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions: “We must do everything possible to help our compatriots in Eastern Ukraine live through the difficult trials, which fell to their lot nowadays.”

In this crisis period of Ukrainian history the hierarchs of the UOC (MP) ask to maintain and strengthen the internal unity of the Church: “We must listen to the voice of out pastors, and must not go for the mercenaries who are not pastors, and must not listen to someone else's voice.”

The address will be read in all churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, on June 22, 2014.

UOC Synod urges Ukrainians to preserve unified Ukraine, and call on clergy to avoid politics
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