The patriarch should be above national and state interests; only the ignorant attack Metropolitan Onuphry – Russian missionary priest

Moscow, July 4, 2022

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Those who criticize and rebuke His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphrius of kyiv and all Ukraine are ignorant. The Metropolitan of Ukraine should be with his Ukrainian flock, while the Patriarch, whose flock spans many states, should be above national and state interests, says a famous missionary priest in Moscow.

Archpriest Oleg StenyayevOleg Stenyayev, archpriest

“>Pr. Russian Orthodox Church missionary, theologian and publicist Oleg Stenyaev spoke about the war in Ukraine in a recent interview with the Sretensky Monastery Publishing House.

Asked to give a word on the “most painful subject” at the moment, Fr. Oleg recalls the example of Saint Nicholas (Kasatkin), a Russian bishop who served in Japan during the Russo-Japanese war of 1904- 1905.

He told his flock, “Serve in the Japanese army, pray for the Japanese emperor, fight with the Russians, fulfill your civic duty. But remember you are Christians,” the father said. reminds Oleg.

And being Russian himself, Saint Nicholas decided to retire during the war to pray for peace between the Russian and Japanese peoples. He also ceased all correspondence with Russia, so as not to give the impression of any kind of espionage.

According to Fr. Oleg, at the beginning of the war, the Japanese Emperor received a decree to completely ban the Orthodox Church, just as there are now attempts to ban the Church in Ukraine. However, having great respect for St. Nicholas, the emperor instead ordered the protection of all Orthodox churches and institutions.

“Therefore, when it comes to conflicts, you cannot dictate something to Moscow from Kyiv, and you cannot dictate something to Kyiv from Moscow. Ukraine has its own bishops, and Ukrainians should receive instructions from them on how to understand what is happening from a religious point of view,” the father said. says Oleg.

“And we who live here have our own bishops, who, based on the principle of economy, that is, of expediency, give us a clue on how to exist in such a situation,” said he continued.

“It is inevitable here that interests coincide. Therefore, I am surprised when they start scolding Metropolitan Onuphrius on talk shows. They are ignorant people,” the father said. Oleg believes.

“The Metropolitan of Kyiv should be with Kyiv. The Metropolitan of Ukraine should be with the Ukrainian flock. And he must think of them day and night, especially those who are surrounded, those who are wounded.

Likewise, the head of the Russian Church should take care of his flock in Russia.

However, “the situation is different with regard to the patriarch. The patriarch must be above national and state interests. Because the patriarch is the patriarch of all who are under his omophorion,” the father said. notes Oleg.

And Saint Nicholas gives us a wonderful example of how to act in such a situation, says the missionary priest.

In conclusion, Fr. Oleg argues that it is not correct to say that Russians and Ukrainians are one people:

The Bible says that God has set a limit for each nation to inhabit, and we should not say that we are one people. If we are two different countries, then it is no longer one people. A country imposes citizenship on everyone, and they must remember their country as a kind of boundary of responsibility, drawn by the hand of God. By the will of the Creator, we were born into this nation, into this country, into this family.

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