UOC demanded of the exarchs of Constantinople to leave the area

© RIA Novosti / Stringreplace in fotobanka-Pechersk Lavra. Archival photoUOC demanded of the exarchs of Constantinople to leave the area© RIA Novosti / Stringreplace the image Bank

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church stopped the service with the bishops of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and demanded that the exarchs of the Patriarch Bartholomew to leave Kiev. This is the website of UOC-MP on the results of the meeting of the Holy Synod.

«The Synod called on Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to cease interference in the internal Affairs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and not to violate its canonical territory», — stated in the decree.

Therefore, the Synod expressed respect to the appointment of the Patriarch of Constantinople two exarchs in Kiev, describing it as «flagrant interference in the internal Affairs of the Orthodox Church.»

«Members of the Holy Synod called upon the clergy, monastics and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to intensify their prayers for the preservation of the unity of the Holy Orthodoxy», — said in the document.

In addition, the Synod appealed to the Verkhovna Rada and encouraged it to refuse to accept bills about changing the subordination of religious communities, about the special status of religious organizations and for change of name of religious organizations. UOC consider the legislative intent unconstitutional and anti-Catholic.

They «have the purpose of legal liquidation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church by means of raider attacks through the name change, illegal interference in the control and seizure of property (shrines, temples and monasteries),» reads the resolution.

The refusal of the Metropolitan

Before it became known that the head of the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine Onufry, head of the UOC-MP, refused to meet with the Exarch of Constantinople.

«The Bishop of Kiev there is one legitimate, recognized by all is his Beatitude, Metropolitan Onufry. According to Church rules, all visitors to another city, the clergy must know his Bishop. Coming here must first get his blessing to work here and then only have to do their work. This was not done. His Beatitude then strictly maintains the canons of the Church. Once appointed exarchs, and he immediately said that they would not meet,» — said RIA Novosti head of the press service of the UOC-MP Vasily Anisimov.

Managing the Affairs of the UOC Metropolitan of Boryspil and Brovary Antony, for his part, acknowledged that currently there is no direct dialogue of the UOC with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as «grossly violated the principle of the existence of the local Orthodox Church.»

The question of autocephaly

In Ukraine there are the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church is self-governing Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, and unrecognized by the world Orthodox Church structures — the «Kiev Patriarchate» (UOC-KP) and the «Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church» (UAOC).

The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is trying to achieve recognition of non-canonical religious structures and creation on their basis of a unified national Autocephalous churches outside the framework of the UOC. Autocephaly is the status of the local Church, involving its administrative independence from other churches.

The Patriarchate of Constantinople «in preparation for the granting of autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine» was appointed Exarch in Kyiv Archbishop Pamphylian Daniel from the USA and Bishop Hilarion of Edmonton Canada.

In the Russian Orthodox Church condemned it and expressed Constantinople protest, stressing that the appointment of the Exarch to Ukraine is a gross violation of Church canons. The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church decided to cease commemoration of the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I during the Patriarch’s divine services. In fact, it means the severance of diplomatic relations. The ROC also called on the primates of other local churches to begin a pan-Orthodox discussion of the situation.

The Russian Orthodox Church abroad (ROCA) also said it would suspend a joint service by hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. This decision was made by the Synod of bishops of ROCOR.

ROCA refuses to work in the Episcopal assemblies if there are representatives of Constantinople. These decisions were taken after similar actions of the Russian Orthodox Church, they will devote a circular decree.

«High voltage»

The conflict around the question of the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church, said the Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS countries Vladimir Zharikhin. According to him, Poroshenko, interfering in Church Affairs, trying to create tension in the country, to postpone the presidential election.

«They don’t have enough of Donbass, they do not have enough internal tension in the country, it is necessary to add all these games with an independent Ukrainian Church. This, of course, will create a very high voltage,» — said the expert during a round table on the theme «Political, diplomatic, spiritual and linguistic split: where drifts Ukraine».

He said that Poroshenko tends to cancel or postpone the election due to low rating, however, feels if you go through the aggravation of the situation in the East, it may fail.

«So he decided another way-through the creation of internal tension, internal conflict on religious grounds – to do the same – to cancel or delay the presidential election. Because all the survey results show that for him the main task is not even victory in the elections, and the main task is to reach the second round, which he, apparently, ordinary electoral methods cannot reach,» said Zharikhin.

The expert did not rule out that Poroshenko could still use a variant with the worsening in the East, which he has not yet allowed transatlantic leadership.