05 November 2023
Today, our archpastor — Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv and All Ukraine, the Primate of the multi-million flock of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church — celebrates his birthday.
I wholeheartedly greet His Beatitude and want to express my deep gratitude for his highly responsible and self-sacrificing ministry! Every tree is known by its own fruit. Metropolitan Onufriy has already entered the history of the Church and the history of the Ukrainian people as a quiet and humble example of fortitude and devotion, faithfulness to Christ and His Church in most hard times. Today, our Primate is under tremendous pressure exerted both from outside and from within the Church. Unfortunately, not all our brethren have turned out to be as steadfast as he is. Those who just yesterday called His Beatitude ‘Abba’ and ‘father’ seek cozy places today, lead the Church to a schism, and subtly justify their weakness by the imaginary good of the Church. Under the pressure from the authorities and part of deceived society, they try to push the Primate to a compromise with those who want only one thing — to destroy the Church and turn it into their uncomplaining servant. But it is thanks to the example of our Most Blessed Primate that many people have not given in to the temptations. He stands guard over the main values — the purity of the Orthodox faith and the unity of the Church — as firmly as a rock. Unlike the propaganda, which fuels the fire of hatred, Metropolitan Onufriy never speaks words of hatred and condemnation, he is always away from politics and on Christ’s side. His words and sermons radiate only the Gospel light of goodness and peacefulness, which are so needed today. He teaches us love and unshaken faithfulness to the Church irrespective of the rapidly changing outside circumstances, teaches us to be simply people, and warns us against following wrong paths.
I believe that our canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church will survive and keep living, filling souls with what is good and eternal. And we will be by your side, our dear Primate. And today, we especially pray that the Lord may save and strengthen you for many and good years!
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