The Ecumenical Patriarchate lifted the anathema Filaret

© RIA Novosti / Stringreplace in fotobanka of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate, Patriarch Filaret. Archival photoThe Ecumenical Patriarchate lifted the anathema Filaret© RIA Novosti / Stringreplace the image Bank

The head of the non-canonical Church in Ukraine, Filaret (Denysenko) said at a briefing that the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople took his anathema.

«To accept the bishops that were ordained me after the imposition of an anathema is valid, it was necessary to invalidate the political anathema that you have imposed on me,» said Filaret.

He added that the Synod also removed the anathema and with Archbishop Makarios of Miletich, who heads the so-called Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.

«This decision on the invalidity of all these restrictions gives us the opportunity now to unite with the bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate, who want to unite, and to unite with the Autocephalous Church,» said Filaret.

The decision is illegal

Earlier, a source in the ecclesiastical circles of Greece has told RIA Novosti that the decision of Constantinople illegally, because he excommunicated those priests of the Russian Orthodox Church.

«Filaret was excommunicated by the Russian Church for what he did. <…> One mistake follows another. It seems that the schism is growing with these decisions, Bartholomew,» said he.

The spokesman also stressed that the autocephaly is possible to provide only the canonical Church with the legitimate Synod.

«If there is no legitimate Synod with the legitimate representatives of an autocephaly cannot take place. With this aim they return canonical», — he said.

The head of the press service of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Vasily Anisimov said that the decision of the Synod «ridiculous» and stated that Filaret should have a right to appeal, and not in 20 years.

«And the second (Makarios. — Approx. ed.) under the anathema was not exactly, but all told me that they are not anathema,» concluded Anisimov.

The struggle for autocephaly

In may 1992 the Council of bishops of the UOC Filaret was dismissed from the post of Primate, and in June of the same year already the Cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church stripped him of his dignity. He refused to obey the decisions and willfully created a non-canonical structure — the «Kiev Patriarchate», which is not recognized by all local Orthodox churches. In 1997, the ROC betrayed Philaret anathematized.

Kiev authorities are trying to achieve recognition of non-canonical religious structures and creation on their basis one local Autocephalous Church in Ukraine outside the framework of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Autocephaly is the status of the local Church, involving its administrative independence from other Churches.

Last month the Patriarchate of Constantinople said that «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.

The Russian Orthodox Church has condemned the decision and expressed Constantinople a protest. It is noted that the appointment of the Exarch to Ukraine is a gross violation of Church canons, according to which the bishops of one Autocephalous Church cannot interfere in the Affairs of another.