“The Patriarch of Constantinople Has No Canonical Right to Convene Any Assembly in Ukraine”

Resolutions of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, December 7, 2018

On December 7, 2018, a session of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was held in the residence of the primate of the UOC on the territory of the Holy Dormition-Kiev Caves Lavra in which the hierarchs addressed the upcoming so-called “unification council” and the Ukrainian state’s increasing interference in the life of and persecution against the Church. The portions of the Synod’s report regarding Ukraine are presented here:

Photo: news.church.ua Photo: news.church.ua

LOG No. 41

At the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine—

JUDGMENT WAS BORNE on the interference of the state authorities in Church life in Ukraine and the holding of the so-called unification council.

Reference:

On December 5, 2018, the President of Ukraine P. A. Poroshenko announced the convening of the so-called unification council on December 15, 2018 in Kiev. The hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are receiving invitations signed by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. These pages are being delivered to the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church by Ukrainian state representatives.

RESOLVED:

1. To note that despite the numerous appeals of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the state authorities in Ukraine continue to grossly interfere in Church life.

2. To state that on the basis of the resolutions of the Bishops’ Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of November 13, 2018, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, as other Local Orthodox Churches,1 does not recognize the decisions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople from October 11, 2018, in particular on the extension of the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to the territory of Ukraine and the lifting of the anathemas and ecclesiastical prohibitions and the restoration of the hierarchical and priestly rank to the leaders of the Church schisms in Ukraine.

3. To emphasize that the Patriarch of Constantinople has no canonical right to convene any assembly in Ukraine and to summon the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to it.

4. To consider the planned “unification council” an unlawful assembly, as it will be attended by representatives of the schismatic groups.

5. In this regard and on the basis of the resolutions of the Bishops’ Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from November 13, 2018, the episcopate, clergy, monastics, and laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are not blessed to participate in the so-called unification council.

6. To express concern about the numerous cases of pressure on the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to force them to take part in the so-called unification council, which is a direct prompting towards violating the hierarchical oath that the bishops undertook to observe even under threat of death.

7. To note that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church does not authorize any of the bishops, clergy, monastics, or laity to represent the Ukrainian Orthodox Church at the so-called unification council.

8. To emphasize that, in accordance with the statutes on the governance of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, a council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is convened by the primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine.

9. To emphasize that no decision to convene a council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been made today.

10. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church will consider any decisions of the so-called unification council invalid and having no legal or canonical force.

LOG No. 42

At the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine—

JUDGMENT WAS BORNE on the pressure and legal persecution of the episcopate, clergy, and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Reference:

After the Bishops’ Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, held on November 13, 2018, the episcopate, clergy, and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have been subjected to pressure and unfounded legal persecution.

In particular, the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are being summoned to “conversations” with the Ukrainian Security Service and they’re creating obstacles for them in crossing Ukrainian state borders.2

On November 23, 2018, the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice canceled the decision on the state registration of the right of usage of the Holy-Dormition Pochaev Lavra complex of buildings to the Pochaev Lavra.

On November 28, 2018, the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers canceled its order of July 17, 2003, “On the Exclusion of the Buildings of the Holy Dormition-Pochaev Lavra from the Composition of the Kremenets-Pochaev State Historical-Architectural Reserve.”

On November 28, 2018, for the first time in thirty years, a commission of the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture inspected the cultural valuables located at the Holy Dormition-Kiev Caves Lavra.

On November 30, 2018, law enforcement agencies conducted a search on the territory of the subsidiary farm of the Kiev Caves Lavra in the village of Voronkov in the Boryspil Region of the Kiev Province.

On December 1, 2018, twenty priests of the Rivne and Sarny Dioceses of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church received summons to the Ukrainian Security Service for interrogation.

On December 3, 2018, searches were carried out in cathedrals, diocesan offices, churches, and even in the private homes of priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Zhytomyr, Ovruch, and Korosten.

On December 5, 2018, twelve priests of the Rivne and Sarny Dioceses of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church were interrogated in criminal proceedings according to article 111 of the Ukrainian criminal code (treason) and article 161 of the Ukrainian criminal code (incitement of religious hatred).

On December 5, 2018, the Kremenets-Pochaev Reserve conducted a check of the presence of Church valuables in the Holy Dormition-Pochaev Lavra.

RESOLVED

1. To state that the government authorities are committing groundless legal persecution against and exerting pressure on the episcopate, clergy, and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in order to force them to participate in the so-called unification council; to consider such actions a violation of the constitutional right of the citizens of Ukraine to freedom of religion.

2. To ask His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine to inform the Local Orthodox Churches, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, international human rights organizations, and diplomatic institutions about the pressure and legal persecution of the clergy and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Translated by Jesse Dominick

Ukrainian Orthodox Church

12/10/2018

1 Thus far, the Serbian and Polish Churches have officially rejected Constantinople’s decisions.—Trans.

2 After the session, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Donetsk and Mariupol was forbidden by Kiev authorities to cross from Donetsk into Kiev-controlled Ukraine.—Trans.

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Comments
laurentiu ivanel12/12/2018 9:45 pm
All of them remained in comunnion with heretic ecumenist unorthodox apostat barholomeu naming hym as right teaching word of ruth after unholy and theft ''synod'' of Crete. So they remained in comunion with untruth in the front of our Lord. No one stood for Tuth even some do not participated they signed in January 2016 in Chambesy, and after Crete even some did not received documents they continued to consider the panheretic as Orthodox witch is saying to Darkness - Light and to Lye - Truth. So simple from now on is Judgement for our Church all of them did not stood for Christ and flock. May Our Lord repent us that those who did not stand for Lord to repent and come back to Orthodoxy in Churh
Isaac12/10/2018 8:51 pm
Wasn’t the Fifth Ecumenical Council convened independently, and even against the express wishes of, Pope Vigilius? Did it not summon him and threaten him with excommunication and deposition? If that is the case, why couldn’t any local Church, especially the largest and spiritually healthiest Church, convene a council in spite of the fact that the EP does not want one?

The explanatory letter of said council is clear that when the Orthodox faith is being undermined, normal ecclesiastical protocol and custom need not be followed.
Bob12/10/2018 7:58 pm
Why is no action being taken to depose Bart???!!!
Mikail12/10/2018 4:39 pm
Why have the other local Churches not called a council? Why is there a deafening silence from many of the Orthodox clergy and monastics around the world (including Mount Athos). Are they waiting for the persecutions to turn into bloodshed? I beg of you holy hierarchs...do the right thing. Do not find yourself on the wrong side of Christ's holy Church.
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