Meeting of administrative body of Ukrainian church


Religiia v Ukraine, 24 May 2019

On 24 May 2019, a regular session of the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Orthodox Church of Ukraine) was held in the Metropolitan's House of the Holy Wisdom cathedral in Kiev. All members of the Synod participated in the session, Religiia v Ukraine reports, citing


The following permanent members participated in the session: Metropolitan Filaret (he has the unofficial status of "honorary patriarch" in the PTsU), Metropolitan of Lvov Makary, and Metropolitan of Vinnytsia and Bar Simeon. The following temporary members also participated: Metropolitan of Lvov and Sokal Dimitry, Metropolitan of Cherkassy and Chigirin Ioann, Archbishop of Donetsk and Mariupol Sergei, Archbishop of Poltava and Kremenchug Fedor, Archbishop of Rovno and Ostrog Ilarion, Archbishop of Chernigov and Nezhin Evstraty, Archbishop of Kharkov and Khotin German, Archbishop of Vyshgorod Agapit, and Bishop of Dneprovsk and Krivorog Simeon.


Archbishop of Poltava and Kremenchug Fedor was appointed chairman of the synodal Department for Youth Affairs, Archbishoop of Ternopol and Kremenets Nestor was appointed chairman of the synodal Department for Relations with Patriotic Youth Public Associations, and Metropolitan of Lvov and Sokal Dimitry was appointed chairman of the Institute of Church History.


It was determined that in the course of a month, registration of the charters of the administrations of dioceses of the UPTs (PTsU) should be completed. Also the process of registration of new versions of charters of monasteries and ecclesiastical educational institutions of the UPTs (PTsU) was begun.


According to canonical procedure, foreign visits, particularly pilgrimages, should be conducted by bishops with the blessing of the primate of the PTsU, Metropolitan Epifany.


The Synod forbade bishops and priests to advance their candidacies for election to the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada or for offices of local administration where acceptance for permanent work is provided. At the same time, they are permitted in exceptional circumstances, with the blessing of church authorities, to run for election as deputies of bodies of local government, subject to certain conditions.


A decision was made for the celebration in 2019 of the 30th anniversary of the revival of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (19 Sept. 1989).


The previously elected as bishop Archimandrite Epifany (Dimitriu) will be consecrated Bishop of Olviia and vicar bishop of the primate of the PTsU to deal with the Greek-speaking flock in Ukraine.


It was clarified that in accordance with established procedure, the names of "His Beatitude Metropolitan Epifany and the ruling bishop of the diocese" should be raised in the liturgy in all churches of the UPTs (PTsU).


The Synod heard and adopted for information the report of the commission that studied the situation in the cathedral church of the Nativity of Christ in the city of Odessa.


The synod testified that in its life and activity, the local Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Orthodox Church of Ukraine) is governed by Sacred Scripture and tradition, the canons of the Orthodox church, its own charter that was adopted by the unification council of 15 December 2018, the tomos concerning autocephaly of 6 January 2019 that was subsequently registered by the state, and the decisions of its own charter bodies.


It was noted that the local UPTs maintains internal unity and urges the episcopate, clergy, and faith to discuss all questions that arise and resolve them in a spirit of fraternal love commanded by God, avoiding inflaming of strife, confrontation, and division. The Synod also expressed full support for the primate of the UPTs (PTsU), Metropolitan of Kiev and all-Ukraine Epifany.


Upon the conclusion of the session, Metropolitan Filaret declared to journalists that he will fulfill the decisions of the Synod, provided they accord with the "interests of the Ukrainian church."


We recall that the Synod session occurred against the backdrop of a conflict situation that occurred as the result of attempts of Metropolitan Filaret, the former patriarch of the UPTsKP, to head the PTsU. (tr. by PDS, posted 24 May 2019)



Interfax-Religiia, 24 May 2019


Filaret Denisenko, the "honorary patriarch" of the new church of Ukraine (PTsU), declared that anti-Ukrainian forces are exerting influence on its head, Metropolitan Epifany.


"Almost all decisions, which were made at the Synod, were aimed at there not being a Kiev patriarchate in Ukraine. What is interesting is that the forces (in the PTsU) that are influencing our primate, Metropolitan Epifany, are anti-Ukrainian and Muscovite, and they influence the primate and therefore such negative decisions are made," Filaret said after the session of the Synod of the PTsU on Friday in Kiev.


At the same time, Filaret refused to be specific as to just who he has in mind while speaking about anti-Ukrainian forces.


He also repeated his previously expressed disagreement with points of the tomos about the subordination of the PTsU. "Thanks to the ecumenical patriarch for the tomos, which he gave, but I do not agree with everything that is written in the tomos," Filaret declared, emphasizing that he accepts the tomos only in that part that gives autocephaly to the Ukrainian church.


As regards decisions of the Synod, Filaret noted that he will fulfill those decision that do not contradict the canons and interests of the Ukrainian church. (tr. by PDS, posted 24 May 2019)




RISU, 24 May 2019


There is no dual-power in the PTsU, although Honorary Patriarch Filaret did not support the decision of today's Holy Synod.


This was declared at a briefing by the primate of the PTsU, Metropolitan Epifany.


"The Synod showed that in its future life and activity, the PTsU will be guided by Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and the charter, which was adopted on 15 November within the walls of the sacred Kiev Sophia. We were nearly all unanimous in the previous decisions, but the last decisions were not signed by just one member, Patriarch Filaret," the first hierarch reported.


He said that Synod members discussed the situation in the church, particularly the latest statements by Vladyka Filaret.


"We discussed the situation that has arisen in the PTsU, and those statements that have been heard in the course of recent days. The patriarch confirmed at a session of the Holy Synod what he made public earlier: that the Kiev patriarchate exists and that he has not cancelled its registration. We all tried to persuade him and to show that legally and actually the UPTsKP is no more and that the Kiev patriarchate lay at the base of the local Orthodox church. Therefore to a certain degree we discussed, talked, cajoled, but everyone saw that His Holiness Patriarch Filaret, unfortunately, remains in his opinion," Metropolitan Epifany said.


Despite these disagreements, in Metropolitan Eifany's opinion, there is no dual-power in the church. "There is a primate who conducts the administration of the PTsU.


It was agreed with Patriarch Filaret that the parishes of the city of Kiev and those parishes that were subordinate to him as the diocesan bishop before 15 December will remain within its structure.


We respect His Holiness Patriarch Filaret. It was my personal decision and wish to leave the parishes composing the Kiev diocese for him. We did and we will do everything possible so that His Holiness Patriarch Filaret, who has put so much effort into the development of the PTsU, will feel not only spiritually comforted but also materially," the PTsU primate noted. (tr. by PDS, posted 25 May 2019)


RIA Novosti, 24 May 2019


The election of an archimandrite of the Greek Orthodox Church as "bishop" of the new church of Ukraine will not add to its canonicity and will not facilitate the unity of world Orthodoxy, declared the head of the synod's Department of Relations of Church with Society and News Media of the Moscow patriarchate, Vladimir Legoida.


Earlier the Greek church news agency Romfeia reported that at the Synod of the new church of Ukraine held on Friday, for the first time a clergyman of another local church was chosen as a bishop, a cleric of the Demetriada and Almire metropolia of the Greek church, Archimandrite Epifany. "The PTsU Synod decided that if one Epifany (the head of the new church, Epifany Dumenko) is good, two is even better, and elected a cleric of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archimandrite Epifany, a bishop of the PTsU. They calculate that clerics of canonical Orthodox churches, by their presence in the episcopate of the splintering PTsU, add to its canonicity, which will facilitate the recognition of this structure by other churches," Legoida wrote in his Telegram channel. "In fact, they simply expand the ranks of schismatics and place under threat the unity of world Orthodoxy," the representative of the RPTs added. . . . (tr. by PDS, posted 24 May 2019)


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