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Moscow Patriarchate assails Yushchenko's intervention in church affairs

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=2472 15 January 2007, 10:01 Moscow Patriarchate assails Yushchenko s intervention in church affairs Moscow,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 15, 2007
      http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=2472

      15 January 2007, 10:01
      Moscow Patriarchate assails Yushchenko's intervention in church affairs

      Moscow, January 15, Interfax - The Ukrainian president's initiative
      to set up a commission for the unification of the Ukrainian Orthodox
      Church and the breakway Kievan Patriarchate is casting doubts on the
      secular nature of the Ukrainian state, the Moscow Patriarchate said.

      "Viktor Yushchenko's insistence on forming a 'unified local church'
      with active assistance from the state arouses surprise," Archpriest
      Nikolay Balashov, a spokesman for the Moscow Patriarchate department
      for external church relations, told Interfax.

      Father Nikolay made this statement in remarks about Yushchenko's
      initiative, voiced on Friday to the Synod of the Kievan Patriarchate,
      unrecognized in the Orthodox world.

      "The leader of a secular state - as Ukraine is defined in the
      constitution - has formulated his program regarding the future of
      Ukrainian Orthodoxy. Moreover, he is making proposals on how many
      bishops and priests a joint theologian commission, to be charged with
      the task of forming a new church, must have," Father Nikolay said.

      Meanwhile, "representatives of the Kievan Patriarchate are not
      bishops or priests in the real sense of the word, since they have no
      legal ordination, while their head Mikhail Denisenko [former
      Metropolitan Filaret] has nothing to do with the Church at all, as he
      was recently excommunicated. These circumstances are being utterly
      disregarded," he said.

      "This position is shared by all of the world's local Orthodox
      Churches and has been confirmed by its high representatives on many
      occasions, last in July 2005," Father Nikolay said.
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