Ukrainian Orthodox leader tentative about prospects for unity council


RISU, 26 June 2015


In an interview with the Internet resource Dukhovna Velich Lvova, Metropolitan Makary explained that, if a Unification Sobor is held on 14 September, he will vote for Patriarch Filaret's candidacy for the post of head of the united church. At the same time, the UAPTs primate did not avoid the problematic questions regarding the conditions of unification of the UPTsKP and UAPTs.


"After making a statement and beginning the process of unification, I traveled to the ecumenical patriarchate. There they clearly said that they want, and will cooperate in every way for, the unification of the Orthodox churches of Ukraine. And we want unification, but, I repeat, not by joining the UPTsKP. The Kiev patriarchate has rejected my suggestion concerning the common name, the UAPTsKP. So, if such a suggestion is rejected, we will bring it to the common sobor, but under the condition that the representation in voting will be 50-50. But since the Kiev patriarchate has suggested one priest for every 15 parishes, then it is clear that the proportion will be unequal, and we will not go along with this. Relative to the name, there is also another suggestion: to abolish both names, UPTsKP and UAPTs, and to select one name, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and then let the government consider to whom and upon which bases it gave this name in 1992, and let it correct the mistake," Metropolitan Makary explained.


With regard to the statement by UAPTs Bishop of Kharkov Afanasy, that the unification commission did not have the right to sign, without the consent of the episcopate, official documents on unification, Metropolitan Makary emphasized: "I will certainly talk with him about this matter. At the next bishops' council, I will urge the bishops that they be thoughtful in their statements, particularly with regard to the activity of the commission created by the bishops' council. A decision with respect to this document will be adopted by the patriarchal council, the bishops' council, and the council of each diocese. If the dioceses support the decision regarding the Unification Sobor on the conditions of the Kiev patriarchate, I will support that decision. We are a sobor-ruled church and therefore all decisions must be adopted collegially and nobody may dictate conditions to anyone. In our church, not everybody is for unification, but the majority is. And as the majority decides in each diocese, so it will be."


The primate of UAPTs emphasized that if uniting is not achieved now, then other conditions will be sought that will satisfy both sides. If a Unification Sobor is held on 14 September, then the metropolitan will vote for Patriarch Filaret: "If we get to a sobor, then it is clear that there cannot be two primates. One will have to be set aside and the other elected or confirmed by a common conciliar decision. I will vote for him."


With respect to the prospects for drawing UPTsMP into the unification process, Metropolitan Makary answered: "It is possible that at some time the UPTs will depart from Moscow. There are rumors about this. We should unite, because the nation needs this. The main thing is that it is necessary to pray and to rely on God's will, and the Lord will order this matter wisely." (tr. by PDS, posted 28 June 2015)


RISU, 26 JUNE 2015


According to the primate of UAPTs, Metropolitan Makary, the UAPTs did not receive any official letter of invitation to conduct a dialogue from the UPTsMP. The metropolitan stated this in an interview with the Internet resource Dukhova Velich Lvova.


"There was no meeting with His Beatitude Onufrey, because first, I was on the road, and second, I did not receive an official letter of invitation and the suggestion expressed at the sobor from the UPTsMP was oral. If there is a desire to meet, I am ready to meet, to discuss, and to come to agreement. But, of course, not in the way shown on the television channel 1+1 in the report from St. Andrew's church. At that time I said that I am ready to bow if His Beatitude along with the bishops find the strength to leave Moscow. At the time, the sentence was torn out of context and regarded as if I am ready to bow." (tr. by PDS, posted 28 June 2015)

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