Thursday, June 28, 2018

UOC-MP goes to Constantinople to discuss autocephaly

(Romanian Church) - A delegation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) met Saturday with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at his residence in Constantinople, where they held a five-hour meeting regarding the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church.

Four members of the Standing Holy Synod of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) went to the Phanar to discuss the initiatives made for the issuing of the tomos of autocephaly and to report the UOC stance on this matter.

The Ukrainian Bishops presented the current situation of the church life in Ukraine to His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

Participants in the meeting

The UOC delegation included Metropolitan Agathangel of Odessa and Izmail, Metropolitan Ilarion of Donetsk and Mariopolsk, Metropolitan Theodor of Kamenets-Podolsk and Gorodok, and Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary.

As reported by the Ukrainian Church on their website, the meeting was attended by Protopresbyter Nikolai Danilevic, vice-president of the UOC Department for External Church Relations, and Vadim Novinsky, deputy of Ukrainian Rada.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate was represented by Metropolitan John of Pergamom, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, Metropolitan Bartholomew of Smyrna, Archimandrite Bessarion Komzias, and Archimandrite Ambrosios Chorozides.

Invitation to Kiev

During the meeting, the Ecumenical Patriarch received the official invitation of HB Metropolitan Onuphry to appoint a representative to attend the festivities in honour of the 1030th anniversary of the Christianization of Rus that will take place at the end of July, and which will be attended by representatives of all local Orthodox Churches.

The communique states that the talks took place in an ‘open, constructive and fraternal’ atmosphere.

After the five-hour meeting, statements were given to Ukrainian journalists present at the event.

Useful, constructive talk

Metropolitan Emmanuel of France declared that ‘it has been a very useful and constructive talk, during which we exchanged views on the issue of the Ukrainian Church, which we are all worried about.’

Metropolitan Emmanuel stressed that the Ecumenical Patriarchate has never ceased and continues to be interested in the healing of the church problem existing in Ukraine, for the establishment of peace, reconciliation and the cooperation of all for its benefit.

Dialogue, the way to solve Ukrainian problem

‘We are convinced that we can all together cooperate and can make a common contribution to the benefit of Ukraine and to solve this problem.’

‘Today’s talk was a blessed moment for us and we believe that in this communion and in constant dialogue we will achieve a common goal for the benefit of the entire Orthodox Church,’ Greek Metropolitan of France said Saturday to Ukrainian journalists.

Schism must be healed

In turn, Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil referred to the meeting noting that ‘it was long and sincere, everyone exposed their vision of the situation in Ukraine and not only, because schisms exist not only in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, but also in many local Orthodox Churches, and we should find ways to heal schism.’

‘Several times we have talked about the impossibility of legalizing schism and the need to heal it. Figuratively speaking, sometimes medicines do not help, and we are now looking for what will help to unite our brothers, who have long been outside the Church, and we see the wish of the Patriarch of Constantinople, from the Church that we received Baptism, to help us in this regard.’

Ecumenical Patriarch wishes to help

‘His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew said that he does not want to interfere in this situation, but that he wants to help as a responsible person and the first among the equal hierarchs of the entire Orthodox world to solve this very complex issue,’ Metropolitan Anthony told journalists after the meeting on Saturday, 23 June 2018.

‘For the moment no one knows how this issue can be solved, since it is very complex, but we must do everything for our brothers and compatriots who are in schism to return to the Orthodox Church,’ the Metropolitan of Boryspil added.

Initiatives for Ukrainian autocephaly

Several initiatives have been made lately by the Kiev state authorities and two non-canonical ecclesiastical structures for the establishment of a single local Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

Currently, only one canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church is recognized at international level, namely the ecclesiastical body under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Until present, several Autocephalous Orthodox Churches have expressed their support for the canonical UOC – MP, but talks on autocephaly still continue.
And also...
(ROC) - On 25 June 2018, the Name Day of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine, after the Divine Liturgy in the Kiev Lavra of the Caves 70 archpastors who attended the celebrations held a consultation.

The permanent members of the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church who had took part in the meeting with His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in his residence in Istanbul on June 23, informed all those present of its results.

The hierarchs who took part in the consultation adopted a joint statement which reads in particular, “The Patriarchate of Constantinople refuted the information that the canonical mechanism of overcoming the schism in the Ukrainian Orthodoxy had already been agreed upon and the text of the Tomos of Autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church had been drafted. It also proved to be wrong that the unilateral granting of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church could take place in the nearest future or within some fixed period.” Noted in the document is the readiness of the Patriarchate of Constantinople “to join the process of overcoming the Ukrainian church schism in consultation with the fraternal Local Orthodox Churches.”

The participants in the meeting expressed their concern over “a possibility of the establishment in Ukraine of parallel ecclesiastical jurisdictions as was reported by the press,” and emphasized that such step could deepen the church schism in Ukraine. On the other hand, in the event the Ukrainian Orthodox Church would be transformed into a structure of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, it would lose “many of the rights granted to it over the recent decades.”

The hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church stated: “The existing canonical status is sufficient for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to fruitfully carry out its mission among the people of Ukraine. The attempts to change this status will only result in the restriction of rights and freedoms that our Church enjoys, having the rights of wide autonomy. Moreover, these attempts will not heal but deepen the schism both in the Ukrainian Orthodoxy and in the Ukrainian society as a whole.”

The archpastors unanimously confirmed their intention to abide by “the episcopal oath taken at the consecration to be faithful to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.” To confirm their position, all the archpastors present at the consultation signed the statement.


  1. Fr. you need to start reading your news from all the sources in order to get a balanced view. Have you read for example the statement from the EP web site about the meeting on June 23rd? Or this article which states:

    "Despite the loud declarations by representatives of the UPTsMP and deputy Novinsky about the results of the visit to the Phanar, experts call attention to the fact that the release clearly speaks about a resolution and consideration of the interests of the whole Ukrainian nation. And this clearly indicates that the UPTsMP and Novinsky are deliberately manipulating information and interpreting in their own way what was said at the Phanar.
    We give a translation of the Phanar's own press release that was posted after the meeting with the delegation of the UPTsMP.
    Bulletin of the Press Service of the ecumenical patriarch:
    A delegation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate visited the ecumenical patriarch.
    On 23 June of this year, a delegation of the UPTsMP visited in the residence of the ecumenical patriarch on the Phanar. The meeting was held at the request of the Ukrainian side. The delegation of the UPTsMP consisted of Meetropolitan of Odessa and Izmail Agafangel, Metropolitan of Kamenets-Podolsk and Gorodok Feodor, Metropolitan of Luhansk and Alchev Mitrofan, Metropolitan of Borispol and Brovary Antony, and Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich and Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada deputy Vadim Novinsky.
    Members of the UPTsMP delegation were received by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in the cathedral of St. George. The patriarch presided at the conversations. In addition to him the meeting included also Metropolitan of Pergamon John, Metropolitan of Gaul Emmanuel, and Metropolitan of Smyrna Bartholomew. During the conversations, the existing situation in Ukrainian Orthodoxy was discussed, and there also was an exchange of opinions about the desire of the Mother-Church to restore the unity of Orthodox believers in Ukraine and about the prospects for granting the status of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine."

    In his statement for Ukrainian news media, Metropolitan Emmanuel (EP) noted: "Today, under the presidency of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, we worked with pleasure with a Ukrainian delegation here within the walls of the Mother-Church in Constantinople. This was a very useful and constructive cooperation during which we exchanged opinions on the Ukrainian question affecting all who live in Ukraine.

    1. I'll believe the schismatics when I see it. According to them Autocephaly will be granted in the next month. So far Russia, UOC-MP, Antioch, Georgia, Poland, the Czech & Slovak, and Serbians have said no way Jose.

  2. Poland & Czech & Slovak churches, Estonia & Finland received autocephaly/ autonomy from the EP because the EP in the preamble to the 1924 Tomos to the Church of Poland stated the annexation of the Metropoly of Kiev by Moscow in the 17th century was not recognised. Thus, the EP as Mother Church did not approve.