27-04-2018

Moscow Patriarchate will exist in Russia and the Russian exarchate will be present in Ukraine, says Patriarch Filaret

The unification of churches in Ukraine will proceed on a voluntary basis. The Moscow Patriarchate will exist in Russia, and in Ukraine there will be an exarchate of the Russian Church. Patriarch Filaret of Kyiv and All Russia-Ukraine stated this, answering the questions of the Ukrinform correspondent after the events in Kyiv dedicated to the 32nd anniversary of the Chernobyl accident.

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“For Ukraine, this means that Ukraine will be united. Today it is divided. The Orthodox Church is divided, and our society is divided. And when there is one Ukrainian Orthodox Church, there will be different political parties, but all of them will serve the interests of Ukraine. And this will be the merit of the independent Local Ukrainian Church,” Patriarch Filaret of Kyiv and All Russia-Ukraine reiterated.

 

At the same time, he noted that this initiative was not new, and other churches, including Russian ones, had gone through this.

 

“We do not bring anything new. All the churches - both Greek and Romanian, and Bulgarian, and Serbian – followed this path. All without exception. When the state was formed, an independent Church was formed. We suffered for a long time, but those churches also suffered for a long time. And the Russian Church itself should remember its history. It also obtained autocephaly in 1448. Without the consent of the Kyiv Metropolitan, though it belonged to the Kyiv Metropolis. Without the consent of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. And throughout 141 years it had remained unrecognized. But later it was recognized. Let it remember own story and not harm us,” said the head of the UOC-KP.

 

As to the UOC-MP in Ukraine, the Patriarch Filaret said: "There will be the Moscow Patriarchate in Russia, and we will have the Ukrainian exarchate of the Russian Church.”

He also stressed that the unification of churches in Ukraine will proceed in a peaceful manner.


“The union will be only peaceful. If anyone does not want to join the Ukrainian Church, he may not be joining. But then he must belong to this Russian exarchate. And everybody will know that this is the Russian Church. But I think that Ukrainians will be in the Ukrainian Church,” stressed the Primate of the UOC-KP.


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