07-12-2017

A parish of UOC-MP stops remembering Patriarch Kirill to protest against limiting the autonomy of UOC-MP

Archimandrite Arseny (Bochkary), Doctor of Theology, Rector of the Church of St Sergius of Radonezh, Diocese of Kamyanka of the UOC (MP), covering part of the Dnipropetrovsk region, informed the diocesan bishop on the unanimous decision of his parish to cease remembrance the Moscow Patriarch during the worship, starting from the feast of the introduction of the Virgin (4 December).

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The parish explained their decision to protest against the latest resolutions of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church held on November 29 - December 2 in Moscow, which "deprived the UOC of the fundamental rights and privileges, having documented the transformation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, at best, into a church unit with the rights of the Exarchate (as it was before 1990)”, reports Religion in Ukraine.

In His report to Archbishop Volodymyr (Orachov) of Kamyansk and Tsrychansk Archimandrite Arseniy praised the amendment made by the head of the UOC Metropolitan Onufriy to the ROC statute that the UOC's governing center is in Kyiv.

“However, together with the understanding of the situation in the Church in Ukraine, the leaders of the Moscow Patriarchate administration showed certain stubbornness and rigor in relation to the Ukrainian Church, supplemented the Charter of the Russian Orthodox Church by new provisions, which not simply level off the previous statement about the center (and, hence, the place of taking all decisions without exception) of our Church in Kyiv, but simply deprive of its rights and freedoms, which it had until recently.”

The report reminds us that during the time of the Kyivan Church as part of the Constantinople Patriarchate (862 - 1686), the latter not only avoided interfering in the internal affairs of the Kyivan Metropolis without special need, but also granted a status that demonstrated its rights practically as an autocephalous Church. “The election of Metropolitan and Bishops, court matters, traditions of worship and the language of service, preparation and consecration of the myrrh, book-printing - all these matters the Kyiv Metropolis decided itself under the wise leadership of their Metropolitans and through the councils regularly convened by them,” the document says.

“Instead, joining the Moscow Patriarchate practically immediately led to the loss of all these rights,” the document reads.

Archimandrite recalls that the special status of the Ukrainian Church (as it was called in the documents of the Great Local Council of the Russian Church of 1918) “with its special privileges based on the principles of autonomy” (the definition of the mentioned Local Council of the Russian Church) was restored and canceled by the Russian Orthodox Church several times during the 20th century, until he got the most expressive character during the time of the head of the UOC, Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan) (1992-2014).

From 2014, when the Moscow Patriarchate “by its silence, or even direct or indirect assistance, by the attempts of the state authorities of the Russian Federation to take control over the lands of Ukraine ... hypocritically betrayed the interests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” in Ukraine they refuse to reregister the charters of dioceses and parishes, and the Parliament is proposed to approve bills on the renaming of the UOC to the “Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine,” says Archimandrite Arseniy, adding that the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine, when "some of its land was stolen, will be never forgotten by the Ukrainian people.

He calls notorious the ruling of the Council of Bishops the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow on Ukraine. “It is a matter of the already mentioned introduction to the Statute of the Russian Orthodox Church, as a result of which the Statute of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church should be approved in Moscow [5, p. Х.3]. Instead, according to the Charter of our Church, this document should be adopted, amended and supplemented only by a resolution of the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church [10, pp. II, 1, II, 7],” he writes.

In particular, Archimandrite Arseniy indicates that on the blessing of the Primates of the UOC Metropolitans Volodymyr and Onufriy "the name of the Moscow Patriarch may be not mentioned during the worship - this was indirectly envisaged in the Charter of the UOC. Now, the Russian Orthodox Church has stressed the obligatory requirement to commemorate the patriarch in all churches of the UOC.

"Otherwise, as a proud lack of understanding of the true ecclesiastical and political situation that is now in Ukraine, this can not be explained!" - says the Archimandrite of the UOC. People from the temples during the service come to the people when they hear the name and title of the Moscow Patriarchate; some people go to the UOC-KP and the UAOC would not even hear that name (not so long ago, it was because of this reason that the people went to the union in the west ...) in the current conditions, for the population of Ukraine, there is a certain feat to hear that name on the service, and while refraining from condemnation ", - reports Archimandrite on the state of affairs in the parishes of the UOC .

The report also examines in detail a number of other decisions of the Moscow Council unacceptable for parishes of the UOC - the approval by the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church of the formation or abolition of the dioceses of the UOC, obligatory force of the decisions of the Councils of the Russian Orthodox Church for the UOC, on the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church as the highest court for the UOC, for receiving of the holy myrrh for the UOC from the patriarch of Moscow, etc., that “contradicts the Charter of the Ukrainian Church” and is “a clear violation of its Charter.”

Archimandrite concludes that the ROC “hypocritically and treacherously (often veiled) deprived of basic rights and privileges, showing the nominal care of the faithful of Ukraine with the words about the center in Kyiv, while actually documenting the transformation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, at best, into a church unit with the rights of an Exarchate (as it was before 1990).”

With a view of all this, "on my own part, and also by the authority entrusted to the Almighty God through Your Eminence, I am reporting to you, Your Eminence that I cease remembering the name of the Moscow Patriarch during the services,” Archimandrite Arseniy informs and points to the unanimous decision of the parish on this matter.

“This purely church protest is connected not only with the time of Patriarch Kirill Gundyayev's primacy and will continue until at least until all these shameful decisions are removed from the statute of the Russian Orthodox Church and the rights and privileges of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will not be returned at least to the extent it had enjoyed before November 29, 2017,” he noted in the report.

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