His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine expresses support to Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro
On 19th August 2019, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine sent a letter to Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral concerning discrimination against the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro. The text of the message is given below.
His Eminence Amfilohije
Archbishop of Cetinje
Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral
Esteemed Vladyka Amfilohije,
The news about the deterioration in the Orthodox Church’s situation in Montenegro brings deep sorrow to us in Ukraine. The reports reaching us indicate that there is a danger of forcible expropriation of shrines, of the destruction of certain places of worship and of many other things that cannot but worry our souls and hearts.
We also know about the recent bill made public by the Montenegrin state authorities with the view of adopting a number of discriminatory measures against the Metropolis of Montenegro and the Littoral of the Serbian Orthodox Church in relation to the church property. Regrettably, this is happening in the wake of support by politicians and other persons concerned for the nationalistic sentiments alien to the nature of the Church with the view of separating Orthodoxy in Montenegro from the ancient tradition of the Serbian people.
The ordeals endured by the Montenegrin believers cause our deepest empathy, for here in Ukraine the Holy Orthodoxy continues to be subjected to persecutions by certain representatives of our Ukrainian state. The clergy and laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are still suffering because some politicians, acting out of immidiate mundane interests, continue to divide the Body of the Church of Christ and bring the spirit of secularism to church life. Therefore, in our prayers for each other our hearts beat in unison today.
According to the Holy Scripture, “whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Cor 12:26). In these Gospel words we find comfort and consolation, and our sorrow turns into joy.
On behalf of the episcopate, clerics and laypersons of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church I express fraternal prayerful support to you, dear Vladyka Amfilohije, and to the flock entrusted to your care, and wish you God’s unceasing help in defending firmly the purity of the Orthodox faith and the unshakeable unity of the Church of Christ and our God, which is “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15).
With brotherly love in Christ,
Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine
Ukrainian Orthodox Church