2018-10-24 11:03:00

Ukrainian Orthodox Church leader advises Constantinople to focus on overcoming its own schism rather than Ukraine's

Moscow, October 24, Interfax - Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine thinks that the Church of Constantinople does not have the moral right to treat others' schisms for the simple reason that it has not overcome its own.

"If you take into account the fact that the Mother Church itself suffers from its own very deep schism, as a consequence of which the Eastern Byzantine Empire turned into a country which now professes Islam, it will be appropriate to recall words from the Holy Gospel: 'Physician, heal thyself'!" Metropolitan Onufry said in an interview with The Pastor and the Flock magazine.

A physician, who "is seriously ill himself and thus not in a position to treat others but still does, this will only create greater lawlessness in the form of a global schism within the Orthodoxy," he said.

When asked how believers should react to the attempts to create a "a single local church " in Ukraine, the metropolitan said: "Those who believe in God yet are fixated on the desire to get a local Church, rather than rely on God live according to their own minds. With such an attitude we will soon end up in a situation where every political force would want to have its own local Church that would obey that party and force God to fulfill its political wishes."

Instead, people should live A Godly life and fulfill the commandments, which for Christians is "the path leading to the eternal life," Onufry said.

"On this path you find your personal autocephaly, i.e. the freedom from sin. And perhaps we will also meet the local Church, but it will be completely unlike the one some politicians are trying to build. It will be filled with love, peace and joy about God. This will be not a political Church, but the Christ's Church," the UOC leader said.