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Bishop Expresses UOC-KP Attitude towards Upcoming Visit of Moscow Patriarch to Ukraine

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.risu.org.ua/eng/news/article;29782/ Bishop Expresses UOC-KP Attitude towards Upcoming Visit of Moscow Patriarch to Ukraine 30.06.2009, [18:08] //
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 30, 2009
      http://www.risu.org.ua/eng/news/article;29782/

      Bishop Expresses UOC-KP Attitude towards Upcoming
      Visit of Moscow Patriarch to Ukraine

      30.06.2009, [18:08] // Inter-Christian relations //

      KYIV—The head of the Information and Publishing
      Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox
      Church-Kyivan Patriarchate (UOC-KP), Bishop
      Yevstratii (Zoria), described to RISU the
      attitude of the UOC-KP towards the visit of
      Patriarch Kirill of Moscow to Ukraine. The
      patriarch plans to be in Ukraine from 27 July to
      5 August, 2009. Bishop Yevtratii stressed the
      unacceptability of expressing anti-Ukrainian and
      anti-state ideas, which, according to him, are
      propagated by Patriarch Kirill. “With such
      anti-Ukrainian positions, Patriarch Kirill can
      hardly expect a warm and hearty welcome in
      Ukraine. For when guests come into a home, they
      come with an open heart and not with a desire to
      take away the house and drive out the hosts,” remarked the bishop.

      Bishop Yevstratii noted that “if the visit was a
      pastoral one, a visit of a proto-hierarch to his
      flock,” “it would be viewed in the same way as
      the visit of the Pope in 2001… He has a right to
      pray together with his faithful and visit
      churches, which recognize him as their
      patriarch.” At the same time, he stated that
      today the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) does not
      show such an attitude. According to him,
      statements and actions of the head of the ROC
      show that he absolutely ignores both the idea of
      an independent Ukrainian Church and the idea of an independent Ukraine.

      “As we can see from the statements and actions
      made by Patriarch Kirill in the last months, all
      his opinions are clearly of an anti-Ukrainian
      character, especially politically,” noted the
      bishop. In particular, he referred to the
      statements of the Moscow Patriarch that described
      Kyiv as the southern capital of Russian
      Orthodoxy, that he is not to be considered a
      foreigner in Ukraine, that he does not understand
      the meaning of Russia’s Independence Day (now
      known as Day of Russia), and that he is against
      such an independence if it is understood as independence from Kyiv, and so on.

      In addition, Bishop Yevstratii noted that
      discussion about Mazepa also exposed a clear
      anti-Ukrainian position of the Moscow
      Patriarchate. The question is not about Mazepa
      and his anathema on which there are absolutely no
      canonical grounds, but about something else: that
      it is an anathema on the independence of Ukraine
      and anyone aspiring for this independence. They
      do not wish to lift such an anathema for they
      think it is right that this idea should be
      anathematized,” said the bishop in an interview with RISU.

      Bishop Yevstartii stressed that UOC-KP does not
      try to hide its attitude towards the position of
      the Moscow Patriarchate and that it will send its
      opinion in writing to the ROC.

      The bishop also said that during the visit of the
      Moscow Patriarch, it will be impossible to avoid
      public criticism of his position.
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