Open Letter to Bulgarian Bishops by Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye and Melitopol
Open Letter to Bulgarian Bishops by Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye and Melitopol

Brief Biography of Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye and Melitopol 

Metropolitan Luke was born July 11, 1971 in the town of Kharitsizsk, in the Donetsk region of the Ukraine. He graduated in 2000 from the Donetsk State Medical University, although he was already a priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, graduating from the Kiev Theological Academy in 2002. He was tonsured a monk in 2003, and given the name Luke, after St. Luke (Voino-Yasenetsky) of Crimea. Fr. Luke was consecrated a bishop in November 2005, and after having served in several different dioceses, including as abbot of Glinsk Monastery, he was appointed in 2010 as Metropolitan of the Zaporozhie diocese. 
In Zaporozhie, historically famous as the home of the Zaporozhian Cossacks, Met. Luke also became the spiritual guide of the Ukrainian Cossacks and youth organizations. Meanwhile, he also succeeded in becoming a doctoral candidate in medical sciences, in the Kharkov National Institute of Medicine.
Met. Luke has always been a sober-minded opponent of the rather cavalier disdain for canonical law and order that has developed in Ukrainian religious affairs during recent years. He took part in the consecration of Bishop Luke at Holy Trinity Monastery.

Open Letter to Bulgarian Bishops:

Dear brothers in Christ and fellow intercessors before the Throne of God!

Christ is Risen!

            Our Universal Church is now passing through difficult times.  The canons have been flagrantly violated, a deliberate and brazen legalization of the schism has taken place, and the scale of the destruction of pan-Orthodox unity is increasing. Against this background, the position of each Local Church and each bishop acquires extreme importance.  After all, we are not speaking of some kind of conflict over administrative boundaries or privileges, but about the preservation of the true faith, the purity of Orthodoxy, which in the current conditions they are trying to replace with a simulacrum based on the primacy of the power of one religious center.  Unfortunately, this process has also affected  Ukraine.  In this respect, we have always been grateful to the Bulgarian Church for its unwavering support of canonical Orthodoxy in our country, which the reposed Patriarch Neophytos personally expressed to me. What happened in Istanbul stands out from the orderly and systematic series of steps of the BOC to defend the true faith.  We can see from the church media that this is also understood in Bulgaria, where respective  initiative has caused much criticism and perplexity in the church environment.  I should at once note that I do not wish to judge or blame anyone.  For, in the first place, this is an internal matter between the participants in this action and the Bulgarian Church itself, and all relevant questions must initially be resolved within the BOC itself.  However, I consider it possible to urge you, my fellow bishops, to think very carefully before making any fateful decisions, including for us.

             In particular, this concerns the recognition of a certain religious structure. A structure whose supporters seize other people's churches, beat and maim Orthodox Christians. A structure where apostolic succession is absent, and the consecrations of its senior leadership are void from a canonical point of view. A structure whose leaders express their readiness to follow the path of a new union and integration into the anti-Orthodox world.  A structure whose founder supported the Bulgarian schismatics led by Metropolitan Pimen in 1996 by concelebrating with them.

Dear fellow bishops! As we know, “a good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit” (Matthew 7:17-18). That is why I implore you, in the days of Holy Pentecost when we all celebrate the birthday of our Mother Church,  to do what is right in accordance with the doctrinal truths of Orthodoxy, the canons and the conscience. After all, much will depend on your decision. First and foremost, the future path of our Church: whether towards a grandiose schism, which will be far worse than the schism of 1054, or towards purification and healing through the restoration of broken unity. Let us not transgress what must not be transgressed. For as St. John Chrysostom said: “The Church is not the walls of church, but the laws of the church.”

Truly Christ is risen!

Sincerely yours - in the love of the Crucified and Risen Lord for us  - brother and fellow servant

Luke Metropolitan of Zaporozhye and Melitopol

Share This:

< PreviousNext >
You might also like:

Holy Trinity Monastery
1407 Robinson Rd.
PO Box 36
Jordanville, NY 13361
Telephone: (315) 858-0940
FAX: (315) 858-0505