Metropolitan V. Lypkivskyi’s Reflections on the Challenges of the Believers in Soviet Ukraine
The reflections of the metropolitan of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church V. Lypkivskyi on the challenges of the Orthodox believers in the conditions of the anti-church policy of the authorities based on the materials of the sermons of the church hierarch are analyzed in the paper. We can see the reflections of erudite and courageous person – a connoisseur of the history of Ukrainian nation, church, philosophy, and the development of science. With the help of reflection, metropolitan V. Lypkivskyi correlated his personal views and values of his church with the propagated communist ideals. The church hierarch comprehended the past in order to develop life strategies for believers. To all the key events in the life of Jesus Christ, V. Lypkivskyi prepared sermons linked with the church’s historical past and called for a renewal of the Christian life. The sermons promoted Christian doctrines, with particular emphasis on the benefits of just the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. It is noteworthy that in the sermons V. Lypkivskyi referred to the Holy Scripture and did not mention other ecclesiastical writings.
Lypkivskyi responded to the Communists’ attempts to create society comprised only materialists. The church hierarch prophetically warned the believers who refused to attend church and denied God that they would receive nothing except a few ten-ruble notes and a piece of bread. The desacralization of life, according to the metropolitan, not only destroyed church institutions but also deprived a person of a sense of integrity, dignity of his or her personality. In fact, the metropolitan had a presentiment of the era of totalitarianism when the desacralization of the individual would occur. To counteract that, the hierarch tried to cultivate the personal faith of man in God. In his sermons, the idea of preserving the faith and counteracting the atheisation of the population raised most often. The texts of the sermons show that metropolitan V.Lypkivskyi paid attention not only to the routine issues urgent for believers in the context of anti-religious politics, but he thought about the fate of the whole Ukrainian nation. Metropolitan V. Lypkivskyi is a Ukrainian prophet who foresaw the essential problems of humanity and Christianity in the 20th – 21st century – desacralization of personality, churchless and everyday life Orthodoxy.
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