Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Canonical Orthodox Priest Beaten by Schismatics in Ukraine-plus a bishop reflects on internecine conflict

A priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,Moscow Patriarchate-the only canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine as recognised by the other Orthodox Churches in the world-was beaten by three priests of an uncanonical body,"Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church."They broke a bottle over the head of Father Viktor Katkalo,rector of St.Michael's parish in Katerynopil,Central Ukraine,sending him to the hospital,when,he said,he refused to surrender his parish to them and join their schismatic jurisdiction,according to the website.
On 1 December 2013,His Grace Bishop Philaret of Lvov and Galicia,UOCMP,in addressing such incidents,gave the following address to his diocese:
The Holy Church cannot take part in political processes because it is the divinely instituted Body that unites this world with the Heavenly world.The Church does not interfere in affairs of the state because it is separate from the state.
It is impossible to observe calmly how violence and hatred are growing to an enormous extent and are ruling the children of the same Church.We now cannot allow citizens of the same state to sink in rivers of their own blood because of their convictions.That's why we are praying to the Almighty and asking Him to fill our hearts with love,as the Lord said:A new commandment I give to you,that ye love one another;as I have loved you,that ye also love one another.By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,if ye have love one to another (John 13:34-35).
Let no political provocations make our hearts admit the devilish spirit of hatred and fury!Brothers and sisters,keep your souls in peace,in the hope on the Almighty-the most important things for communion with the Creator-Calling a blessing of the Lord upon all of us.
Bishop of Lvov and Galicia

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