Metropolitan Onufry: biography of the new Primate of the UOC
New Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate
One of the country's most influential churches has been led by a consistent opponent of European integration.
Metropolitan Onufry of Chernivtsi and Bukovinsky (Berezovsky) is today elected the new Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.
The UOC-MP received the new head of the church after the previous primate, Metropolitan Vladimir, died on July 5.
Voting for the new head of the church took place in two rounds. After the 1st round, the votes of the leaders were distributed as follows: Metropolitan Onufry of Chernivtsi and Bukovinsky - 36, Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovarsky - 24, Simeon - 9 of Metropolitan Vinnitsa and Mogilev-Podolsky.
In the second round, 48 bishops of the UOC cast their votes for Metropolitan Onufry.
Metropolitan Onufry (Orest Vladimirovich Berezovsky) was born on November 5, 1944 in the village of Korytnoye of Vashkovetsky, now Vizhnitsky, district of Chernivtsi region, into a priest's family.
In 1961 he graduated from high school, and from 1962 to 1964 he studied at the Chernivtsi Technical School, after which he worked in construction organizations in Chernivtsi.
In 1966 he entered the general technical faculty of Chernivtsi University, and in 1969, after the third year, he entered the second grade of the Moscow Theological Seminary, which he graduated in 1972.
The future metropolitan since 1970 for 18 years was in the brotherhood of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, where in parallel with his studies he bore different obediences (he sang on the choir, stood behind a candlebox, was the vicar of the governor).
He was tonsured a monk on March 18, 1971 with the name Onufriy in honor of the Monk Onufrios the Great.
In 1972 he entered the Moscow Theological Academy and graduated in 1988 with a candidate of theology degree, which he was awarded for his work on the theme “Pastoral ministry of St. Job, Father Superior of Pochaev.”
From July 20, 1988 to November 1990 - Viceroy of the Pochaev Lavra.
From Bishop to Metropolitan
By the Decree of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of November 24, 1990, Onufry was determined to be a bishop of Chernivtsi and Bukovinsky.
On January 22, 1992, he refused to sign the appeal of the bishops' meeting of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II on granting autocephaly to the Church in Ukraine and on January 23 was transferred by Metropolitan Filaret to the Ivano-Frankivsk Department.
April 7, 1992 was restored at the Chernivtsi department.
On May 27–28, 1992, he took part in the Kharkov Cathedral of the Ukrainian Church, taking, along with most bishops, an uncompromising position with regard to the deposed and anathema at the Cathedral of Filaret.
July 28, 1994 was elevated to the rank of archbishop and appointed a permanent member of the Holy Synod of UOC.
November 22, 2000 was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan.
Until December 14, 2007 he was the head of the Synodal Canonical Commission of the Ukrainian Church. Then he was appointed chairman of the Church Court of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
On February 24, 2014, the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Onufry was elected to the post of locum tenens of the Kiev Metropolitan Department in connection with the illness of Metropolitan Vladimir.
Subsequently, he took office after the death of Vladimir.
Onufria is considered a pro-Russian candidate.
The Church says that Vladyka Onufriy is a strong supporter of canonical unity with the Russian Orthodox Church.
Onufry does not support the European integration of Ukraine.
A quarter of a century after the atheistic persecution of poor, destitute people, we revive the faith of Christ on our earth and strengthen His Church, and Europe already shows us a concrete example of life without Christ. They do not pay attention to the commandments of the Lord, to His prohibitions. On the contrary, permissiveness is increasingly encouraged, according to which life is not sanctified by the law of God, but by human desires. But this is the wrong way. Unfortunately, not all human desires are holy, Metropolitan Onufry
He also called for peace in the Donbass, while calling the separatists "brothers and co-religionists."
We bury our soldiers in all regions of Ukraine, we bury the militias of Donetsk and Lugansk, because both of them are our co-religionists and brothers. The church daily prays for the world, calls for it. In Kiev, our monks stood between the warring parties and stopped the massacre, it is impossible to do this in the Donbass, since no one knows where and when it will begin., Metropolitan Onufry