A correspondent attended the meeting Ukrainian Information Service.
The meeting of the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) with Odessans took place at the regional humanitarian headquarters in Odessa, and therefore a significant part of its participants are volunteers who organize and provide assistance to thousands of people each day. To a large extent, the sermon of the Father Epiphany was addressed specifically to the volunteers of the Gumshtab, but, without a doubt, also to all Odessans, benevolent people who live with acuteness the events of the current war.
The head of the regional Humshtab addressed the listeners with a short introductory speech Oleksiy Chornyi. After him, Metropolitan Epiphany delivered a speech. He noted that among the various dating options available to him, he chose communication with these people who are now helping thousands of other people.
Before the war, probably not everyone understood what charity was. But now, in the hour of trial, we see many who stand out for their sacrifice. Many lay people did not engage in charity in the pre-war period. But it turned out that someone has a talent for attracting help from abroad, someone helps in hospitals, someone goes to the front line. Currently, there is a very wide range of work for charity. And everyone contributes. And we are convinced that victory will definitely be on our side. For God does not give people greater trials than they can bear. It’s hard for everyone these days. But there are those who have more trouble than others– says Epiphany.
Epiphany and Oleksiy Chornyi
The head of the OCU noted that we are now talking about 7 months of full-scale invasion, 8 years of Russian-Ukrainian war, but he pointed out that this war has been going on for several centuries. He added that this war has many components, being hybrid. This happens not only on the battlefield, but also in people’s minds and souls. And according to him, it is probably up to our generation to put an end to this war, once and for all.
Now a number of areas of our country have been liberated and we believe that we will completely get rid of the occupiers. Of course, there will be trials after liberation, as we must restore all that has been destroyed. Because a lot of things have been destroyed. I saw 90% destroyed villages near Kyiv, Yepifany noted.
Epiphany pointed out that almost all the parishes of the OCU have become a small humanitarian center, where people collect everything they need, send it to the east, support the military, forced migrants.
Of course, this winter will be difficult. But if we help each other, we will pass these tests. We pray and ask God to continue to be merciful, and these trials are over, and we are already engaged in restoration, – added the head of the OCU.
People need support, mainly spiritual. The head of the OCU said that he was in hospitals, for example, he was in Kharkiv, he spoke with the wounded brought from the front, although it was difficult to call this communication, because the soldiers have recently been injured and anesthetized, and it is difficult for them to carry on a conversation. But they need support, and the fighters have to be given it.
Because they suffered for each of us. I tell everyone about it. Their achievement is the price of the relative peace we now have, and in Odessa, in particular. But the time will come when we will have a just peace. Not a “peace”, but a just one. Because there is “peace” even in captivity, but we saw what was happening in the occupied territories.
Because when there was Bucha, they said it was an isolated case created by a separate battalion. And now we see that it is a system designed to destroy us as a nation. But we cannot be destroyed. We are. And we have no right to give up. Yes, we are human, it is difficult for us psychologically. We have been living in a full-scale war for 7 months now. But we need to know our history. We had our own state for a short time. And its autocephalous church. We lost them. And the famines came, which claimed the lives of tens of millions of people. Therefore, the price we pay now may not be as high as it could be if we give up and the enemy enslaves us. There will then be millions of victims. We see that they are committing genocide against the Ukrainian people, – the head of the Ukrainian church concluded his speech.