'A local Onufriy' appointed to the key post of BOC, the OCU speaker comments on church staff rotations in Belarus

26 August, 07:42
Orthodox
The ROC changed the leadership of the Belarusian Church because it is afraid that Belarusians will seek autocephaly following the example of Ukrainians.

This opinion was expressed by the speaker of the OCU, Archbishop Yevstratiy (Zorya), who commented on church rotations in Belarus.

"The replacement of Metropolitan Pavel with Veniamin, who is highly super-loyal to Moscow, conducted by the Russian Synod, is a very eloquent gesture. They are terrified that Belarusians will demand autocephaly, so they appointed 'a local Onufry' to the key post," the Hierarch wrote on his Facebook page.

The Archbishop of the OCU recalled that in 1918 only the Bolshevik offensive on Kyiv forced the Central Rada to issue the Fourth Universal proclaiming the Declaration of Independence of the Ukrainian People's Republic. Before that, they only cared about autonomy within Russia in every possible way.

"Will something happen that will make Belarusians understand that only real independence from Russia (including Church autocephaly) is the only way to achieve the goals that the protesters are currently setting for themselves? Or will they continue to entertain the illusion that they can simultaneously seek the right to choose their own President - and be friends with Russia, which has not had such a right since the first election of Yeltsin? That they can remain in strict subordination to the Moscow Patriarchate, which is tied hand and foot to the Kremlin - and build a democratic country despite the Kremlin's will?" asks the speaker of the OCU.

As it was reported, on August 25, 2020, a meeting of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church was held in the Danilov Monastery in Moscow.

The Synod took into account the request of the Patriarchal Exarch of all Belarus, Metropolitan Pavel of Minsk and Zaslavl, to dismiss him from the office of the Patriarchal Exarch of all Belarus, expressing gratitude for the work he had done.

The Synod appointed Pavel to the office of Metropolitan of Ekaterinodar and Kuban, head of the Kuban metropolis.

The Synod appointed Bishop Veniamin of Borisov and Maryingor as the Patriarchal Exarch of all Belarus and Metropolitan of Minsk and Zaslavl, retaining the temporary administration of the Diocese of Borisov.

Metropolitan Pavel has led the BOC since 2013.

The Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epifaniy, supported the protests in Belarus and called on Belarusians to strive to create their own Autocephalous Orthodox Church.