Member of Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Synod: Moscow Church is a daughter of the Ukrainian Church

11 July 2018, 14:21 | Inter-Orthodox relations | 2 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

A few days ago, Russian publication Orthodoxy and the World interviewed an influential Greek hierarch, Metropolitan Elpidophoros, a persistent supporter of Ukrainian autocephaly, and a member of the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Ukrinform’s attention was drawn to the fact that the interview was given not in the standard question-answer form, but in the form of quotations, and the journalists’ question sound as comments. In general, the publication’s commentary took more space than the speaker's answers.

The agency then ordered a translation of the Greek original into Ukrainian. The source was more eloquent than Moscow’s version, according to Ukrinform.

His Eminence Elpidophoros, in particular, once again confirmed the thesis that the right of granting autocephaly to the Local Church falls exclusively within the jurisdiction and responsibility of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Synod of Constantinople.

“The decision to grant autocephaly is an exclusive prerogative of the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Synod of Constantinople, as was the case with all the Patriarchates. The patriarchates of Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Georgia – all these Churches had obtained their own autocephalous and patriarchal status from the EP. There were no signatures by other churches. There was no common decision-making,” the hierarch said.

"Now for the Ukrainian Church; As you know, Ukraine as a State became independent several decades ago, but the Local Church there suffers from a split, which also has lasted for decades and raises concerns of the believers. Today is the time when there are millions of Orthodox Christians who are considered schismatics and are outside the community of the Orthodox Church. We do not believe that as a Patriarchate we can afford the luxury of perpetuating this situation indefinitely,” the Metropolitan said.

According to him, Constantinople has the right to grant autocephaly, however, the Ecumenical Patriarchate did not ignore other Churches and decided to inform them about the bestowal of the Tomos.

“As you should already know from the media, the Church of Russia has launched a campaign to inform other Churches. In essence, this is a campaign of slander against the Ecumenical Patriarchate, a campaign, as it is more accurately said, of blackmail: say if the Ecumenical Patriarchate does so -- such and such things will happen, there will be a schism, the end will come, the second coming, and similar things.. trying to intimidate and frustrate other Orthodox Churches, striving to exert their influence to the greatest extent possible politically or in any other way known, on the Churches, so that they do not recognize the possible proclamation of autocephaly of the Church of Ukraine. It is through such activities of the Russian Church that the Patriarchate decided to establish a representative commission including the hierarchs of the EP, whose delegation is visiting Orthodox Churches all over the world to inform them of real facts, of true intentions, of the actual state of affairs with a view to resolving the problem of Ukraine in order to dispel false and misleading information and distorted messages spread by the Church of Russia,” added the hierarch.

Metropolitan Elpidophoros has also noted that the allegation that Ukrainian Church is the daughter of the Russian Church is false.

“In the case of the Ukrainian Church, the allegation that Moscow is the mother Church of the Church of Ukraine, voiced by anyone, is paradoxical and distorted. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The Moscow Church is the daughter of the Ukrainian Church, the latter – the Ukrainian Church – being the daughter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. You know that Christianization (Baptism) of Rus (people of Rus), not of Russians -- because as you know, Kyivan Rus is something different --that is, of the present-day Ukrainians, was carried out in St Volodymyr’s times, upon his conversion. So the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is Ukraine, is Kyiv, and therefore we are the Mother Church ... "

Answering the interviewer's request for clarification given there was no Ukraine back in those days, the Metropolitan of the Ecumenical Patriarchate replied:

“It already existed. The territory may be called differently, but the land is the same. We are not interested in the name or territory. We are interested in abiding with the canons. Perhaps, it was called differently, but we are talking about the same land, at least about the same geographical area. Thus, the Church in Constantinople is the Mother Church for the Ukrainian Church, and the Church in Kyiv is the Mother Church to Moscow.

By the way, it was recognized and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow confirmed it himself, while on an official visit to Constantinople, that for us Kyiv is our homeland, is our mother. So, as you can see, things are presented from a different perspective. Today, no one can say that the Church of Moscow is the Mother Church for Ukraine. Both historically and canonically it is paradoxical to say anything like that in all respects.”

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  • Mauricio | 13 July 2018, 04:24
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    Very well said ! russians steal everything : even history! They have such inferiority complex that they resort to steal as much as they can

  • | 11 July 2018, 14:50
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    Боже, нехай восторжествує Твоя Правда!

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  • | 15 September 2019, 07:30

    Може, якийсь "святейший" і дійсно (де-факто) буде проти. Але ж на то є чітка й однозначна БОЖА ВОЛЯ і ПЛАН-ЗАДУМ. Й тому ХТО, врешті-решт, здатен і направду зможе завадити і не допустити їх

  • barni | 15 September 2019, 05:27

    Взагалі то, є три ОСНОВНІ гілки християнства це католики, православні і протестанти і говорити про визнання т.зв "угкц", ну на край смішно. А щодо об"єднання - хто ж проти, але

  • enzian | 14 September 2019, 18:38

    Мішка, не примазуйся до католиків. Ти загальновизнаний агент Москви.

  • Михаил | 14 September 2019, 01:41

    1.УГКЦ всегда стояла и стоит на патриотических началах, а т.н. "пцу" только примазывается к патриотизму, потому, что ей так выгодней. 2. УГКЦ общепризнанная каноническая восточная

  • | 12 September 2019, 16:56

    А тут можемо побачити дуже конкретну і активну - різнопланову богонатхненну практичну діяльність об'єднаних (різноликих) українських християн-волонтерів заради досягнення такої

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