Saturday, December 8, 2018

UOC-MP bans all from Unification Council participation

Kyiv, December 7 (Interfax) - The Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church said that the Patriarch of Constantinople "has no canonical right to convene any meeting in Ukraine" and has banned its clergy and laypeople from attending the so-called unification gathering, the Church's information and enlightenment department said.

"The Holy Synod also stressed that Patriarch Bartholomew does not have the right to summon to such meetings the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's archbishops. The planned 'unification gathering' is an illegal meeting because it will involve representatives from schismatic groups," the UOC Synod said in a statement after its meeting in Kiev on Friday.

In view of this, and on the basis of the November 13 resolution of the Bishops' Council the UOC episcopate, clergy, monks, nuns and laypeople are not being blessed to attend the so-called unification gathering, the statement said.

"No [UOC] priest or layperson is authorized to represent the Ukrainian Orthodox Church at this gathering," the statement said.
And also...
Kyiv, December 7 (Interfax) - Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine and other bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church who received invitations to the unification assembly have returned them without response to Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, the Union of Orthodox Journalists said, citing a source in church circles.

Most of the invitations were addressed to the heads of the local administrations, not the bishops themselves, and the bishops were summoned to the former's offices, where they were given the documents and encouraged to attend the assembly.

The envelopes containing the invitations also contained a copy of a letter from Patriarch Bartholomew to Metropolitan Onufry, which stated that Constantinople will consider Metropolitan Onufry a schismatic if he does not attend the assembly.

The purpose of the unification assembly, scheduled for December 15, is to create a Ukrainian church independent of the Moscow Patriarchate. The canonical Orthodox Church has declined to participate in this project.


  1. So taking schismatics in without repentance, and declaring those who have not committed a crime schismatic in their place? So much for unity or canon law.

    1. As someone who has, apart from the rhetoric of either side, supported the EP 'intention' for at least trying to bring normalize the Ukrainian rupture, this bit about

      "Constantinople will consider Metropolitan Onufry a schismatic if he does not attend the assembly."

      reveals the weakness of the EP's strategery. If he is willing to unify some but make others "schismatic", then what's the dog gone point?

      Not that the MP's current strategery of playing the long game until the Ukraine (once again) collapses from internal or outside pressure (military or not) is any better...

    2. Yes, this for me symbolizes the reality that there is more to this than good intentions, too much politics for anything good to come of this.