Patriarch should be above national, state interests; only the ignorant attack Metropolitan Onuphry—Russian missionary priest

Patriarch should be above national, state interests; only the ignorant attack Metropolitan Onuphry—Russian missionary priest

Moscow, July 4, 2022

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Those who criticize and berate His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine are just ignorant people. The Metropolitan of Ukraine should be with his Ukrainian flock, while the Patriarch, whose flock stretches across many states, should be above national and state interests, says one famous missionary priest in Moscow.

image | Patriarch should be above national, state interests; only the ignorant attack Metropolitan Onuphry—Russian missionary priest | The Paradise NewsArchpriest Oleg StenyayevOleg Stenyayev, Archpriest

“>Fr. Oleg Stenyaev, a missionary, theologian, and publicist of the Russian Orthodox Church 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 topic” right now, Fr. Oleg recalls the example of St. Nicholas (Kasatkin), a Russian bishop who served in Japan during the time of 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 that you are Christians,” Fr. Oleg recalled.

And being a Russian himself, St. Nicholas decided to go into reclusion during the war to pray for peace between the Russian and Japanese people. He also stopped 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 was presented with 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 all Orthodox churches and institutions to be protected.

“Therefore, when it comes to conflicts, you can’t dictate something to Moscow from Kiev, and you can’t dictate something to Kiev 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,” Fr. Oleg said.

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

“It’s inevitable here that interests will coincide. Therefore, I’m surprised when they start to berate Metropolitan Onuphry on talk shows. These are ignorant people,” Fr. Oleg believes.

“The Metropolitan of Kiev should be with Kiev. The Metropolitan of Ukraine should be with the Ukrainian flock. And he should think about them day and night, especially about 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 when it comes to the Patriarch. The Patriarch should be above national and state interests. Because the Patriarch is the Patriarch of all who are under his omophorion,” Fr. Oleg notes.

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

In conclusion, Fr. Oleg argues that it’s 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 shouldn’t say that we’re one people. If we’re two different countries, then it’s no longer one people. A country imposes citizenship on everyone, and they must remember their country as a kind of border of responsibility, outlined by the hand of God. By the will of the Creator, we are born in this nation, in this country, in this family.

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Source: Orthodox Christianity

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