Doubts raised about future of Ukrainian church


Credo.Press, 4 December 2018


The unification council of the autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine will convene on 15 December. This was reported to the publication Apostrof on 4 December by sources in church circles.


In particular, as has become known, at the council the charter of the united local church of Ukraine should be confirmed. Also the primate of the newly created church should be elected, who will receive the tomos from the hand of the patriarch of Constantinople.


The publication also published fragments of some document, whose authenticity it is impossible to establish. It follows from it that supposedly the patriarchate of Constantinople, although it grants autocephaly to the church in Ukraine, will however insist that communication with other local churches by the newly established autocephalous church be confirmed through the patriarchate of Constantinople.


An advisor to the Ukrainian president, Rotislav Pavlenko, reacted indirectly to this "sham," recalling that the charter of the autocephalous church will be adopted at the unification council but the Constantinople patriarchate has formulated only its own desires for this charter. At the same time Rostislav Pavlenko did not refute the report that the council is scheduled for 15 December. (tr. by PDS, posted 4 December 2018)



Interfax-Religiia, 4 December 2018


The charter of the "United Local Church," which was worked out by Constantinople, does not presuppose the creation of the autocephaly that Ukrainian authorities expect, Vesti writes on Tuesday.


Citing information from its own sources, the publication quotes basic points of this charter from which it follows that one should not speak about the independence (autocephaly) of the new structure; rather it is talking about complete subordination to Constantinople (and this is a different status—"metropolitanate").


"It seems that the independence of the new structure that the patriarchate of Constantinople is going to create in Ukraine will be of an order lower than the substantive independence of a canonical Ukrainian church," the head of the synodal Department for Relations of Church with Society and News Media, Vladimir Legoida, wrote on his Telegram page.


Among the fundamental points prescribed in the charter is the fact that the Ukrainian church is "inextricably linked" with the patriarchate of Constantinople, and through it with all the other churches (that is it is no different from the situation currently existing for the UPTs, which is linked with the Orthodox world through the Russian Orthodox Church).


The head of the Orthodox church in Ukraine may be only a metropolitan and not a patriarch.


The Bishops' Council of the church is required on all global matters to contact the patriarchate of Constantinople and the latter, responding to the communication, will instruct the council what is "necessary." Also, according to the publication's information, the point contains the qualification that Constantinople need not explain its decisions.


In addition, the future Ukrainian church will receive myrrh, used in sacraments, only from Constantinople, which is one of the chief signs of the absence of real autocephaly.


Also the "United Local Church" will not be able independently to canonize its own saints but will submit their names to Constantinople for confirmation.


Finally, the patriarchate of Constantinople, according to the charter, will become the supreme appellate structure. This means, for example, that a bishop who is inhibited from ministry, or deprived of his see, or subject to some other sanctions has the right to appeal to Constantinople; that is, the Ukrainian church will not be independent even in a matter of internal disciplinary decisions.


As reported, the draft of the charter of the church being created in Ukraine, independent from the Moscow patriarchate, was approved by the Synod in Istanbul at the session on 27-29 November. (tr. by PDS, posted 4 December 2018)

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