KIEV: December 24, 2018
His Beatitude Metropolitan Onouphry of Kiev and All Ukraine thanks the President of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad
On Monday, December 24, 2018, the Chancery of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia received a thank-you letter from His Beatitude Metropolitan Onouphry of Kiev and All Ukraine addressed to His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York:
To His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia:
Your Eminence, Dear Vladyka!
I greet you with wishes of good health and God’s help in your lofty and responsible service!
On behalf of the fullness of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, allow me to express to you and the archpastors of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia our genuine gratitude and thanks for your prayers and words of support in the Epistle of the Synod of Bishops to the Clergy and Flock of the Russian Church Abroad of November 27/December 10, 2018. We are in in great need of this today. The Holy canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the God-loving Ukrainian flock is enduring one of the most difficult times of its history. To our great sorrow, as a result of the unrelenting military actions in Eastern Ukraine, the constant threat from a series of anti-Church laws being adopted by the Supreme Rada of Ukraine, and especially from the meddling of the Constantinople Patriarchate in the internal life of our holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church, spiritual chaos has descended upon the religious life of Ukraine in which not only religious rights are being violated along with the constitutional rights of our faithful.
Your special love in Christ and spiritual condolences warm our hearts and strengthen us in hope for God’s mercy. We endure everything that the Lord sends us with thanks to God. The Lord gives us the cup of sorrow to drink, and we drink it in humility with thanks to God. We believe that despite all the tribulations sent to us, the Church of Christ will remain whole forever, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail over Her (Matthew 16:18).
On our part, we assure you of our genuine brotherly love. We ask you in the future not to cease your fervent prayers for the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and her faithful flock, for peace for the Ukrainian Sovereignty, and also for the increase of love in the hearts of Ukrainians.
May the Chief Pastor, our Lord, strengthen your spiritual and physical powers, sending you His abundant mercy and generosity, that you can worthily travel the path of the fast of the Nativity and greet the Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ in joy, peace and love.
Remaining in fraternal love in Christ,
Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine,
Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church