Ukrainian church contemplates compromise


RISU, 16 May 2016


For the sake of recognition by world Orthodoxy, the Kiev patriarchate is prepared, during the transitional phase, not to insist on the status of a patriarchate, while retaining this designation within its own boundaries and for internal consumption. Such a decision was made by participants of the Bishops' Council of the UPTsKP, which was held in Kiev on 13 May.


UPTsKP Archbishop of Chernigov and Nezhin Evstraty, commenting on this decision, declared that they are not talking about renouncing the patriarchal dignity. He said that several commentators and representatives of the Moscow patriarchate consider that the status of the patriarchate is an insurmountable barrier for recognition of the autocephaly of the UPTsKP.


"Therefore, the council has clarified its view on this matter, namely: without renouncing the status of the patriarchate, we will not insist on its immediate recognition on the part of Constantinople, if on its part this question were to be raised (for now it is not being discussed and there are only personal opinions of various representatives, both 'for' and 'against' the recognition of the patriarchate)," he said.


In the event of the implementation of this decision, the church in Ukraine will subsequently be called "UPTsKP," but in its relations with other local churches the Kiev patriarchate will not insist on their use of the patriarchal title.


"In practice, this can be resolved very simply:


"1. The recognized church will be called the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and it will not be required to specify that this is the Kiev patriarchate (just as officially it is not specified that the RPTs is the Moscow patriarchate and the Georgian Orthodox Church is the Georgian catholicosate, etc.).


"2. With regard to the title of the primate, then it is quite possible to introduce an additional title that has already been used historically in the Kievan church (for example, by the holy prelate Metropolitan Peter Mogila):  Archbishop. Thus many primates of churches have borne the title of both archbishop and patriarch, particularly the ecumenical patriarch.


"Therefore it is quite possible, in my opinion, to establish the title 'Archbishop and Patriarch of Kiev and all-Rus-Ukraine.' In that event, those who still do not recognize the status of a patriarchate may use in letters or commemorate during liturgies 'archbishop of Kiev,' without demeaning his dignity," Archbishop Evstraty emphasized. (tr. by PDS, posted 16 May 2016)

Background article:

Ukrainian Orthodox Church seeks recognition
May 13, 2016

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