UOC-KP Calls on UOC of Canada to Help Church in Ukraine and in
Withdrawing Kyivan Patriarchate from Artificial Isolation
15 March 2013
"The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate welcomes the
efforts of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada to help the Ukrainian
Orthodox Church, to overcome his separation and artificial isolation,"
spokesman of the Kyivan Patriarchate Archbishop Yevstratii said in
regards to the results of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada (UOCC)
to Constantinople in February.
During its visit to Constantinople, the UOCC delegation explained to
Bartholomew I its position that the Orthodox Christians of Ukraine
should have their own autocephalous church in communion with all the
Orthodox people in the world. The Orthodox Church of Canada endorsed the
efforts of Constantinople in 2008 to correct this painful problem by
trying to grant autonomy to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. Even though
these attempts were unsuccessful, the UOCC still has hope that Patriarch
Bartholomew and the Mother Church will continue to support the unity
among the churches in Ukraine. As the UOCC emphasized in their summary
of the visit, Patriarch Bartholomew "assured his love for Ukraine, that
he will continue to pray and is willing to do everything possible,
following canon law, to facilitate the integration process between the
Orthodox Churches in Ukraine."
The UOC-KP, commenting on the results of the UOCC visit to
Constantinople, said: "For the church in Ukraine in general and for the
Kyivan Patriarchate in particular it is very important that the
Patriarchate of Constantinople and other Local Churches knew the truth
about the state of Ukrainian Orthodoxy, getting information not only
from the hostile Moscow Patriarchate. This will allow the Local Churches
to take more appropriate steps in solving the so-called Ukrainian
question. We hope that the Ukrainian Church in Canada will serve to
spread this truth."
Archbishop Yevstratii said: "The Kyivan Patriarchate appreciates the
historical and spiritual heritage of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of
Canada, its unique identity. We hope to maintain and enhance this
legacy. We believe that the future of the UOC of Canada is in the hands
of its hierarchs, clergy and faithful, who jointly in the spirit being
council-ruled will build its life. There are individuals and forces that
want to bring into discord to our church and the Ukrainian Orthodox
Church of Canada by spreading the idea that the Kyivan Patriarchate
seeks to subjugate the church in Canada. This is not true, and there
have never been such intentions or attempts neither in the past nor now
-- we appreciate and respect the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada and
are convinced that it should determine its future by itself as it did
during the whole period of its existence."
The bishop mentioned also the unpleasant aspects of the relations
between the two churches, but noted that they should serve as a lesson
and not lead to confrontation but to a better understanding of each other.
On behalf of Patriarch Filaret, Archbishop Yevstratii again thanked all
members of the UOCC, with whom there were official and private meetings
-- both abroad and in Ukraine.
"As a church, which is under the aegis of the Ecumenical Patriarch, the
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada has a unique opportunity to become
an effective mediator in overcoming the division in Ukrainian Orthodoxy
and recognizing the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church in the
Motherland," said the hierarch.
"The Kyivan Patriarchate is open to cooperation with the Primate of the
UOCC Metropolitan Yurij, hierarchs, clergy, and all the faithful of the
Church in Canada. We hope that the entire UOCC will unite in helping the
church in Ukraine and in withdrawing the Kyivan Patriarchate from
artificial external isolation," concluded Archbishop of Chernihiv and
Nizhyn Yevstratii, the press center of the Kyivan Patriarchate reports.
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