KIEV, August 17 /ITAR-TASS/. Metropolitan Onufriy, the newly elected primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, will be enthroned as Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine in the Assumption Cathedral of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra on August 17. The liturgy, at which the enthronement will take place, is starting at 9:00 (10:00 Moscow time).
The Russian Orthodox Church has sent Metropolitan Ilarion, the head of the external relations department of the Moscow patriarchate, to the enthronement to be attended by the heads of all the 15 Local Orthodox Churches.
Metropolitan Onufriy, 69, is believed to be one of the most experienced Ukrainian hierarchs who has respect and authority both among bishops and ordinary people. He was born to the family of a rural priest in Bukovina, a historical region in Central Europe, currently divided between Ukraine and Romania, on November 5, 1944.
The Council of Ukrainian Bishops elected him Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine on August 13. He will be the second primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church replacing Metropolitan Vladimir who died on July 5 after running the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for 22 years.
Metropolitan Onufriy told journalists shortly after his election that people should start thinking about personal piousness and clear their hearts if they want to bring peace to the Ukrainian soil.
“I will do my best to improve myself and other people around me. This is the way to peace,” he said.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is the self-governing Church with the rights of broad autonomy granted by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexiy II on October 27, 1990.
The Kiev Pechersk Lavra was the first monastery in the Kievan Rus (the Old Russian state). It was founded in 1051, 70 years after the adoption of Christianity. It is the main spiritual center of modern Ukraine. The Lavra’s Assumption Cathedral dates back to 1073. It was built as a shrine for the Kievan princes and became the prototype for all future monastery cathedrals in the Old Russian state.