Kiev patriarchate complains about Kirill's report to Orthodox primates


RISU, 25 January 2016


Patriarch Kirill's speech at Chambesy at the assembly of local Orthodox churches about the situation in Ukraine provoked an immediate reaction on the part of the synod of the UPTsKP, which was held in Kiev on 23 January under the chairmanship of Patriarch Filaret.


The synod of the UPTsKP [Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev patriarchate] expressed outrage, calling Kirill's speech tendentious, non-objective, and filled with references to non-existing facts or to the bias or distortion of facts.


The UPTsKP emphasized that the speech deceived participants of the Synaxis [Assembly] relative to the real situation in Ukraine, including the question of the transfer of parishes of the Moscow patriarchate under the omophorion of the Kiev patriarchate. "Therefore this speech, as a public proclamation of untruth and the introduction of other deception, is unworthy of the rank of bishop, which Kirill bears, and of the post of primate of the RPTs, which he occupies," the UPTsKP synod's decision says.


The UPTsKP bishops explain such conduct of the head of the RPTs by the fact that Kirill is dependent upon the state authorities of Russia, who since late February 2014 and up to the present time have conducted military, informational, and economic aggression against Ukraine, and occupied Crimea and part of the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces. Therefore the UPTsKP bishops emphasize that "there are objective grounds to maintain that the statements and actions of Patriarch of Moscow Kirill and the Moscow patriarchate as a whole relative to Ukraine are under the influence of the government of Russia and are an element of its aggressive policies."


The UPTsKP stresses that the leadership of the church of the Moscow patriarchate in Ukraine, both in the center and in the provinces, categorically eliminates any suggestions about dialogue, speaking only with ultimatums and ignoring the real desire of their own parishioners to get out from under the jurisdiction of the Moscow patriarchate.


"In cases where some place there appears the possibility of a peaceful resolution of the question of the use of a church and other property of a parish by means of alternating performance of the liturgy by two parts of a former parish of the UPTsMP, the central leadership of the church of the Moscow patriarchate in Ukraine prevents this by consciously exacerbating the confrontation," the synod's decision says.


The UPTsKP emphasizes that no independent international institution, such as the UN, OSCE or other authoritative international organization, has confirmed the reliability and objectivity of statements that the Moscow patriarchate has made regarding the so-called seizure of church buildings in Ukraine.


The UPTsKP bishops again testified in the synod that "the Kiev patriarchate continues to call the leadership of the church of the Moscow patriarchate in Ukraine to constructive dialogue with a goal of working out a clear means acceptable to both sides for exercise by believers and their parishes of the right to free choice of subordination to one or another church that is guaranteed by Ukrainian laws.


In connection with the false accusations advanced by the patriarch against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev patriarchate, the UPTsKP synod asks Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to send to Ukraine an authoritative commission for study of the case and a subsequent report for local Orthodox churches.


At the same time, the UPTsKP emphasized: "In light of the fact that the side of the Moscow patriarchate is a participant in the conflict and is dependant upon the government of Russia as an aggressor state and itself falls under a number of objective accusations, we consider that representatives of the Moscow patriarchate cannot be included in the membership of such a commission, but should only give to it testimony and evidence." (tr. by PDS, posted 25 January 2016)

Background article:
Moscow patriarch indicts Ukrainian Orthodox Church
January 22, 2016

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