Internal bleeding recently opened in the Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine.
On his Facebook page, Archpriest George Kovalenko wrote:
“The state of health of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Vladimir, has been serious but stable since mid-December of 2013. He has been either in the hospital or at his residence in the Monastery of the Theophany.
“Unfortunately, his condition is such that it does not allow him to serve on his own, but His Beatitude regularly receives Holy Communion.
“Yesterday evening, at the request of those responsible for our Primate’s treatment, seven priests carried out the Blessed Mystery of Unction.
“Alongside the church prayers, a council of physicians was held. The fact that the council was held on Sunday night is already evidence of the fact that there are real problems and threats, but such problems and threats have arisen periodically for a long time and have always been solved by the Church’s prayer and the professionalism of the doctors.
“During the prayers, His Beatitude did not open his eyes, but when ‘Peace be to all’ was said, he raised his hand to bless, and during the prayers he tried to cross himself. We were pleased and moved by this, because he is our spiritual father.
“But against the background of recent developments and false information concerning the Church, we authoritatively and officially declare that Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine is the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church until the last minute of his life.
“This is not only the requirement of our Church’s Typicon, but also the profound conviction of the episcopate, clergy, and faithful, who pray daily for their Primate.
“For addressing all issues of the Church, there is the chosen locum tenens, the Holy Synod, bishops, clergy, the abbots and abbesses of monasteries, the parish councils, and everyone else is in their place, with their obediences and responsibilities.
“The unity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is the legacy of Metropolitan Vladimir and we must preserve and increase this gift of the restoration of Ukrainian Orthodoxy unity!
“P.S. Today His Beatitude already received bishops, headed by the locum tenens, conversed with them, and congratulated Vladyka Onuphry on his upcoming Name Day”.