U.P.Ts. SPOKESMAN STATES WHICH CHURCHES' HIERARCHS DID NOT COME TO KIEV AND WHY
Union of Orthodox Journalists, 28 June 2019
The presence of representatives of local Orthodox churches in Kiev speaks of the fact that Metropolitan Onufry is recognized as the only and canonical head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UPTs).
The spokesman of the UPTs, Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich, reported which local churches' representatives were unable to come to Kiev for the celebration in honor of the day of the heavenly guardian of Metropolitan Onufry and what were the reasons. He stated this in his interview with Pershi Kozatsky.
In the first place, Father Nikolai noted that "there were representatives of the majority of local Orthodox churches and they all treated His Beatitude as the metropolitan of Kiev.
He said, "this means that Metropolitan Onufry is recognized as the only and canonical head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church."
The UPTs spokesman recalled last year's letter from Patriarch Bartholomew to the primate of the UPTs, which said that after the unification council of 15 December, Metropolitan Onufrey has lost the right to be called metropolitan of Kiev and all-Ukraine.
"So you see, none of the local Orthodox churches recognizes this. Because all treated Metropolitan Onufry as if it was he who is 'metropolitan of Kiev and all-Ukraine.' And our church is recognized as the only canonical church of Ukraine. Nobody recognizes these fantasies of the patriarchate of Constantinople," Father Nikolai emphasized.
The vice-chairman of the Department for External Church Relations reported that "representatives of the Greek church did not come. I will say frankly: we understand that they wanted to maintain neutrality between the patriarchate of Constantinople and us, and they did not want to take someone's side by virtue of their arrival. They are in a dual subordination: they are administered by the Synod in Athens, but they commemorate Patriarch Bartholomew."
In addition, the UPTs spokesman explained, "the churches of Antioch and Albania did not come, but for technical reasons. The patriarch of Antioch sent greetings, which were addressed to 'His Beatitude Metropolitan of Kiev and all-Ukraine Onufry.' Thereby he also indirectly does not recognize the fantasy of the Phanar. That's the reality for you."
Father Nikolai said that "the delegation of the Georgian church did not arrive because of the political situation in the country. It was not at all because they supposedly "intend to recognize the PTsU." (tr. by PDS, posted 28 June 2019)
U.P.Ts.M.P. CELEBRATES METROPOLITAN ONUFRY'S ANGEL DAY WITH POLITICAL RHETORIC
RISU, 25 June 2019
On 25 June 2019, the day of remembrance of Saint Onufry the Great [St. Onuphrius of Egypt, 320-400—tr.], before the start of the ceremonial liturgy, a briefing was held for news media with the participation of representatives of local Orthodox churches—Alexandrian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Cypriot, Polish, Czech, Romanian, and the Orthodox Church in America (represented by Archpriest N. Polataika), who arrived in Kiev for the celebration of the angel day of the primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. This was reported by the Department of Information and Enlightenment of the UPTsMP.
At the briefing, representatives of the local Orthodox churches spoke out with specific messages. In particular, the representative of the Alexandrian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan of Carthage Melety, noted: "Our presence here signifies nothing other than support of the canonicity of your church."
Metropolitan of the Cypriot Orthodox Church Isaiah, in his turn, addressed the Ukrainian authorities with a request "to return the seized UPTs churches to its faithful." The metropolitan of Cyprus also called the Ukrainian authorities to guarantee equal rights to believers of all confessions in the country.
"I would like to convey a request for those who lead the Ukrainian people. We would wish to ask the government of Ukraine that it do everything that depends upon it in order to return the church buildings that have been taken from the believers of the UPTs, who are spiritually nurtured by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry," the hierarch of the Cypriot Orthodox Church noted. "The religious rights of believers of all confessions should be completely ensured. We ask that people who were driven out of their own church buildings and who are worshipping in adapted premises be returned to their own churches and that their rights be restored."
At the end of the liturgy in the Kiev caves lavra, Metropolitan Isaiah read an appeal to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, the Ukrainian government, and the parliament on this matter. (tr. by PDS, posted 28 June 2019)
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