The open appeal of the faithful of the Zaporozhye Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople

Below the reader will find the English translation of an open letter by the faithful of the Zaporozhye Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. The faithful Hierarch of this Diocese is Luke. I have in the past translated a few of his writings (which may be found on this blog). The original appeal in Russian may be found here.

The cry of this letter must be heard by all, and may Bartholomew of Istanbul find repentance, as may we all. The letter speaks for itself, may you the reader hear the cry of your suffering brothers and sisters in Ukraine.

Begin letter-

The open appeal of the faithful of the Zaporozhye Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople –

Our Church has been openly persecuted for the past few years. Hundreds of churches have been seized, and tens of thousands of their parishioners have been deprived of normal church life. Many of them have been beaten bloody by raiders, and some have been physically injured, even to the point that some among them have become disabled because during the seizures they suffered irreparable harm to their health. One such example is the Priest Leonid Delicate, rector of the church of Archangel Michael of the village of Zadubrovka, Chernivtsi region, who died defending his temple. Radicals do not hesitate to desecrate our temples and make attempts to set them on fire.

You, as Patriarch of Constantinople, are directly responsible for all this! After all, it was according to your decision that the “Most Holy Church of Ukraine” was formed from various non-canonical structures, which calls itself the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine”, and its clerics and supporters are those engaged in the above-mentioned outrages and robbery.

On your hands is the death of a priest, the blood and tears of our believers who are being expelled from their temples where their grandfathers and great-grandfathers have prayed!

You are so fond of talking about fatherly care for “Your” flock in Ukraine. And how does it manifest itself? In supporting the policy of raiding (the UOC churches, translator note) that is perpetrated by the structure affiliated with you? This is certainly not caring, instead, this is absolute hypocrisy and cruelty not only before the people but also before God.

Unfortunately, you were not informed about what the representatives of the structure under your supervision did during the recent seizure of the Church of the Nativity of Christ in Ivano-Frankivsk. You are not aware that your supporters used nerve gas against the parishioners of the mentioned church! However, this is not even shocking. In the captured temple, your loyal subjects in cassocks hypocritically, on camera, staged a prayer. At the same time, allowing women to freely enter the altar, and masked militants to shout offensive slogans against our Ukrainian Orthodox Mother Church. It all looked like a manifestation of real Satanism!

Since 2018, you have never once spoken out against these deeds of such lawlessness. Just as you did not call on your children to stop the seizure of churches, nor to stop committing other crimes against the faithful children of the UOC.
You are silent even until today, even when the authorities are trying to take away from our Church its shrine – the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, and desecrate the relics of the venerable fathers of Kiev-Pechersk by turning them into “museum exhibits.” By such actions you condemn yourself! By your silence about the Lavra, you support those who claim that the Turkish authorities had every right to make a mosque out of St. Sophia, the spiritual center of the entire Orthodox world.

However, your position is clear – no matter how you try to hide this goal, you are doing everything to completely destroy canonical Orthodoxy in Ukraine; you are trying to remove the only serious obstacle that stands in the way – the faithful children of the UOC — of the path of creating a new union on our land – between your supporters and Ukrainian Greek Catholics.

In this regard, we do not appeal to you and do not ask for anything, but we simply express our stance in relation to your position. We also deeply desire to make the believers of other Local Churches aware of all these things.

Our voice is the voice of ordinary people, not high–level government officials, from whose lips you receive pleasant, but divorced from the realities of church life, information. Our voice is the voice of a deeply believing people, firmly standing on a canonical basis, which means it is the voice of the truth, and unfortunately it is highly unpleasant for you.

You are not a good shepherd. For the sheep of our flock have suffered and are suffering from the consequences of your decisions in Ukraine; they have suffered as well because you have ignored and even incited the atrocities that your adherents carry out.

According to the canons of the Church, in the generally accepted interpretation, you had and have no right to interfere in the church affairs of Ukraine. We are firmly convinced that the root of our Church’s troubles lies in your desire to become a pope for the Orthodox world. We know from the Holy Scriptures that neither power, nor trust in the princes of men, nor great conceit can ever put a person above God. After all, only in His hands are our destinies and our future.

We hope that you remember the words of the Gospel: “Woe to the man through whom temptation comes.” As well as the fact that God’s punishment is inevitable. Therefore, trusting in the mercy of God, we are waiting for the day when the Pan-Orthodox Council will condemn both the concept of the “first without equals” (the Eastern pope) and the schism within the Orthodox Church that has been committed by you.

3 thoughts on “The open appeal of the faithful of the Zaporozhye Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople

  1. Nicole C

    It is actually not an appeal but a public condemnation ~ and one prays an education especially for those ignorant of Ukrainian history and the forces behind the unOrthodox Council of Crete and American support of the non canonical travesty in Ukraine and horrific war for profit. Sobering and appropriate for our Lenten season. May God help us all.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Constantine Giannos

    With all due respect, Constantinople is a pawn and tool of the West, especially the Americans. It is also pressured by the Turks, depending on the nature of the regime. If Constantinople had its way, Orthodoxy would have been completely betrayed to Roman Papism and their vile acts a long time ago.
    It’s only the breaks put on it by the Church of Greece, especially it’s more fervent Bishops that hold it back from going further.
    It does not really represent Orthodox Christianity but brings division within Orthodoxy. Indeed, a very Un-Orthodox, and many would say, often a generally quite Un-Christian Patriarchate.
    Examples? Too sad to find one of the many to begin referring to.
    Lord Have Mercy and bring Enlightenment!


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