Rector of KDAiS: We should follow the path our Beatitude goes

05 November 2023 19:35
His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry and Archbishop Sylvester at a meeting of the Academic Council of Kyiv Theological Schools. Photo: His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry and Archbishop Sylvester at a meeting of the Academic Council of Kyiv Theological Schools. Photo:

Archbishop Sylvester published the Word on the Birthday of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.

In difficult times for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the spiritual experience of its Primate, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine, is a reliable guide for both clergy and laity, says the Word of the Rector of the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary Archbishop Sylvester on the occasion of the birthday of the First Hierarch of the UOC, published on the KDAiS website.

"We are destined to live in a time when the Church is going through a stage of public humiliation and social obstruction," the archbishop noted. “One of the strongest temptations of our time is the difficulty of telling the truth from falsehood. As they say, the only thing worse than a lie is half-truth. The modern world lives in the realm of half-truths: something was left unsaid or added, facts were presented differently, events were commented on subjectively, and the result is a completely different meaning. <...> Many lack the skill to distinguish truth from falsehood, truth from error, lies from reality. It is difficult at this time for the laity, clergy and bishops, but there are always people in the Church whose spiritual experience is trusted. And we trust the spiritual experience of our Primate, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry. And when the question arises: where is the truth, how to distinguish it, where to go and what decision to make, we, of course, should follow our Archpastor, whom we trust".

According to the bishop, one should act in this way "not only, and not even primarily because he is the Primate of our Church, but because this man has left a good memory of himself through all the years of his priestly and monastic service wherever he was".

"Our Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry has a high reputation and great spiritual authority in the entire Orthodox Christian world," he emphasized. "We firmly know that where Our Beatitude is, there is the true Church, and where Our Beatitude prays, we should also pray, and wherever Our Beatitude goes, we should follow him."

He noted that "in our time, we cannot unconditionally trust lofty words, not even seemingly historical evidence, because, as one author accurately put it, 'history is politics directed to the past,' and ‘distortion, concealment, and manipulation of facts are for many so-called experts not even a habitual but a professional matter!”

"In such a situation, when, like in the darkness, one cannot distinguish white from black, friend from foe, there remains only one path – to adhere to the spiritual experience and pastoral guidance of the one we trust. The faithful must believe in spiritual experience because if we look into the ancient patericon, the lives of saints, we will see that people went to the desert, to ancient monasteries because they trusted the spiritual experience of the elders who asceticised there. And we trust the spiritual experience of our Primate. This is an opportunity for us, dear fathers, brothers and sisters, not to drift away from the Church, not to be tempted, not to become those who only formally belong to the Church but have already drifted away from it in their thoughts, actions, and judgments," the archbishop wrote.

On the occasion of the Primate's birthday, he called on everyone to "ask and pray to the Lord to grant Our Beatitude good health, strength of mind and body and, of course, His saving grace to pass through all the current temptations".

"The prayers of spiritual people are a great help in our lives. Often, we do not see or feel their power, but it is through such prayers that the world is kept. ‘The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective' (James 5:16), says the Scripture. Our Primate's prayers are just like that. But Our Beatitude himself also needs prayers for him. Therefore, dear fathers, brothers and sisters, we will always offer our prayers for the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry so that the Lord strengthens him in his challenging service for the good of the Church of Christ and our Ukrainian Homeland, especially during the current trials," added the Rector of KDAiS.

As reported, the Holy Synod of the Antiochian Patriarchate stated that their Local Church prays for His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, "the Primate of the UOC going the path of confessionality".


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