UOC (MP) made public the official statement on President of Ukraine’s Appeal to Ecumenical Patriarch

22 April 2018, 11:40 | Inter-Orthodox relations | 4 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

The Department of External Church Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate made public a Statement on the Appeal of the President of Ukraine to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew regarding the bestowal of Tomos of Autocephaly on the Orthodox Church in Ukraine."


We present the full text of the document:

Statement of the Department for External Church Relations

Ukrainian Orthodox Church

with regards to the appeal by the President of Ukraine

to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I

with regards to “granting a Tomos of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine”


On April 19, 2018, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, by Resolution No. 8284, supported the appeal of the President of Ukraine P. O. Poroshenko to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I regarding the “granting of a Tomos of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine”.


In connection to this, and with the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv and All Ukraine, the UOC Department for External Church Relations draws attention to the following.

In accordance with Article 35 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the Church is separate from the state, and therefore the Church decides on issues of Church life independently. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which has canonical relations with Ecumenical Orthodoxy, did not appeal to Patriarch Bartholomew I to grant autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine nor did it authorise the President or deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to do so. In connection to the above-mentioned initiatives, the government is overstepping its constitutional boundaries and interfering in Church affairs.


Such actions by the Ukrainian state in the religious sphere could be justified only if the Church in Ukraine had a legally established state status, as it was in the history of many states and still remains in certain states of the world. However, since the Church in Ukraine today does not have government status and is separate from the state, then the state authorities have absolutely no grounds whatsoever to meddle in Church affairs.


The issue of granting of Church autocephaly falls within the competence of canon law, and not to the competence of state laws. Autocephaly is granted to the Church, and not to the state, and therefore the Church, and not the state, should initiate or ask for this status.


At the same time, it is a matter of concern that the granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine is viewed as an issue not only of religion, but also of geopolitics. We believe that the sphere of religious life should not become the subject of political manipulation. We should not confuse Church and politics, and even more so geopolitical issues. In this regard, we consider it unacceptable that autocephaly should be viewed from a geopolitical point of view. For the Church, autocephaly is not a political issue, but an ecclesiological one, that is, with regards to the life and nature of the Church as the Body of Christ (cf. Eph. 1: 22-23)


The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has always advocated and stands for the restoration of Church unity and for a single Church. However, the method proposed and proclaimed by the authorities to achieve unity does not correspond to the canonical law of the Church and contradicts Ukrainian legislation. After all, the authorities are asking for a Tomos to provide autocephaly to a single Church structure that does not yet exist. We believe that we must first overcome schism, restore Church unity, and only then raise the question about changing the canonical status of the single Orthodox Church in Ukraine. Since it is impossible to have a single Church in Ukraine without the canonical Church, there is in fact a reason to believe that, under the pretext of creating a single Church today, this is yet only another routine attempt to legitimize church schism.


The hierarchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has regular contacts with the hierarchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Based on the experience of such communication, we have no reason to suppose that the Ecumenical Patriarchate can commit acts that would harm the unity of the Church both locally and globally. Even from the point of view of the Constantinopolitan Patriarchate itself, which is in the position of coordinating the joint actions of all Local Orthodox Churches and expresses a coherent view on all the various issues of Church life, the question of possible Ukrainian autocephaly cannot be solved unilaterally, since all the Orthodox Churches have not yet come a consensus on the issue.


His All-Holiness Bartholomew I, Patriarch of Constantinople, has repeatedly and publicly referred to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv and All Ukraine as being the only canonical head of Ukrainian Orthodoxy. Today, people outside of the Church are trying to convince us that the same Patriarch Bartholomew can grant autocephaly without even asking the canonical head of Ukrainian Orthodoxy about the issue.


In addition, the Patriarchate of Constantinople, like all other Local Orthodox Churches, does not consider the “UOC-KP” and “UAOC” to be full-fledged Churches, as is evidenced by the non-recognition of the validity of the priesthood of these two structures. This is confirmed by the fact that the hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Constantinople require reordination of “UOC-KP” and “UAOC” clergy who return to them from schism. Thus, several dozen such cases of reordination have taken place in European countries, particularly in Spain and Portugal. All this convinces us that the Patriarchate of Constantinople will continue to observe and vigorously defend the canonical order of the Church and universal Church unity.


The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is the Church that has existed and operated in our lands since the baptism of Kyivan Rus’ in 988 A.D. The “UOC-KP” and “UAOC” are only parts of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which have relatively recently fallen away from unity with the Church. Accordingly, we see the restoration of the unity of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine only after the return of those parts that have fallen away, and only then will there be “one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:16).

With the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv and All Ukraine, we call on the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to preserve the unity of the Church, to remain calm, not to succumb to informational provocations, to continue praying, and not to forget that the fate of the Church is wholly and entirely in the hands of God.


Система Orphus
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  • Михаил | 23 April 2018, 13:45
    comment comment

    Ни убавить, ни добавить - все чётко, ясно и правильно. Немного перефразируя Евангелие, можно сказать: Оставьте кесарю (государству) кесарево, а Богу Богово.

    • velovs@ukr.net | 23 April 2018, 13:51
      comment comment

      А именно здесь - чёткая, ясная и правильная отповедь-ответ Михаилу: https://risu.org.ua/ua/index/expert_thought/open_theme/70875/

    • В. Ясеневий | 23 April 2018, 17:02
      comment comment

      А бог-то, по-ВАШЕМУ МИХАИЛ, это конечно рпц и упц мп???

  • enzian | 23 April 2018, 11:05
    comment comment

    Заметушилась гундяєвська агентура в Україні.

Сan leave comments only to registered visitors Еnter

Last comments

  • bopa | 8 June 2020, 11:43

    То перераховані факти ви називаєте "фантазиями и ночными кошмарами"? Чому викладену інформацію ви "Очередная статья нижайшего интеллектуального уровня"? У вас

  • Slava43 | 4 June 2020, 13:46

    Це жодна агітація. На Буковині казали :»Мойше герехт, Сури герехт».

  • Slava43 | 4 June 2020, 13:39

    За часів союза, УПЦ підлягала моіковському патріярхату, примусово. Від незалежності УПЦ старалась отримати незалежність від Москви. Тепер, коли Україна має ТОМОС та незалежність то Лавру потрібно

  • Стефан | 2 June 2020, 15:54

    Последние события показали глубокий кризис РПЦ МП, где только отдельные редкие священнослужители твёрдо исповедуют Православную Веру, как схиигумен отец Сергий Романов, которого сейчас травят

  • Рокитне | 2 June 2020, 12:34

    Це добре було б.

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