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External Church Relations of UOC-MP Comments on President’s Meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.risu.org.ua/eng/news/article;25548/ Head of Department of External Church Relations of UOC-MP Comments on President’s Meeting with Patriarch
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 5, 2008
      http://www.risu.org.ua/eng/news/article;25548/

      Head of Department of External Church Relations
      of UOC-MP Comments on President’s Meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew

      30.10.2008, [17:22] // UOC-MP //

      Kyiv—In his comment on President Yushchenko’s
      meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew I of
      Constantinople on October 28th in Istanbul and
      the president’s proposal to hold the next
      All-Orthodox Conference of 2009 in the Cathedral
      of Holy Sophia in Kyiv, the Head of the
      Department of External Church Relations of the
      Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate
      Archimandrite Kyryl (Hovorun) stressed that
      UOC-MP welcomes the “efforts of the Ukrainian
      state authorities aimed at overcoming the
      existing Church divide in Ukraine, if these
      efforts are made with respect for the canonical
      order of the Church and in constructive
      cooperation with the authorities and all the
      interested parties and, first of all, with our
      country’s biggest Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”

      “Let us remember that before the celebration of
      the 1020th anniversary of Kyivan Rus’ baptism,
      when the Ukrainian authorities invited the
      Universal Patriarch Bartholomew I, it cherished
      hopes that the universal patriarch will help to
      solve the Ukrainian church question. In
      particular, they considered a model of overcoming
      the divide, envisaging legitimization of the
      existing schismatic groups in Ukraine through
      their subordination to the Constantinople Church
      and establishing thereby parallel canonical jurisdictions.

      The Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the person of
      its head and the Holy Synod repeatedly stressed
      the danger of that scenario, for it will
      inevitably lead to further polarization of
      Ukrainian society according to “east-west”
      criterion and would cause a wave of conflicts of a religious nature.
      Instead, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church offered
      another way to renew Church unity, envisaging
      abandonment of monopolization of the right to
      settle the Ukrainian Church issue by any single
      Church and engagement of the whole Fullness of
      Universal Orthodoxy in the process. It was
      exactly this proposal that was set out in the
      address of the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox
      Church to all the heads of the local Orthodox
      Churches, which was then passed to the addressees
      at the Gathering of the Heads in Istanbul in
      October this year. In particular, it said the
      following: “ The Ukrainian Orthodox Church
      fulfills its saving ministry today in complicated
      historic conditions. At the same time, it has the
      necessary potential to unite the divided
      Ukrainian Orthodoxy and consolidate Ukrainian
      society. To accomplish this mission, the
      Ukrainian Orthodox Church needs a unified
      position of all the local Orthodox Churches on
      ways to overcome Church divisions in Ukraine. We
      hope that the joint mind of the Universal Church
      enlightened by the Holy Spirit will show the way
      to the renewal of Church unity commanded by God.”

      Obviously, Ukraine’s President supported exactly
      this model of settlement of the Ukrainian Church
      issue when he spoke of “appropriateness of the
      proposal to hold” the All-Orthodox Conference on
      this question in Kyiv. So, one can see a change
      of plans of the state authorities as to the
      renewal of unity of the Orthodox community of
      Ukraine: they actually declared abandonment of
      the intentions to settle the Ukrainian issue by
      using only one church, however authoritative it
      may be in the Orthodox world. Instead, they
      supported the initiative of the Ukrainian
      Orthodox Church to engage all the local Orthodox
      Churches in settlement of this issue.”
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