Kiev, April 4, 2019
The Holy Synod of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church gathered at the Kiev Caves Lavra yesterday under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, discussing a number of issues of Ukrainian Church life and governance.
In particular, the Synod issued a statement on the situation in the Ukrainian and world Orthodoxy, in which it calls upon Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to admit its mistake, rescind the tomos granted to the schismatic so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” and begin correcting its mistake.
The bishops write:
It should be noted that the actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine has caused great harm to Ukrainian Orthodoxy, and also became a threat to pan-Orthodox unity. We believe that the Patriarchate of Constantinople and personally Patriarch Bartholomew must admit their mistake and start working on correcting it. A way of rectifying their mistake could be to rescind the granting of the Tomos, call for the schismatics to repent of their sin of schism and convene a pan-Orthodox Assembly in order to facilitate a conciliar decision which may help resolve the Ukrainian ecclesiastical question.
The Synod notes that the idea of overcoming the ecclesiastical schism in Ukraine by giving a tomos of autocephaly to the schismatic side of the conflict turned out to be false: “Ecclesiastic reality in Ukraine illustrates that for Orthodox Christians, the Tomos did not bring with it any unity, peace or respite as was promised by the initiators of this idea from church and state circles a year ago. Instead, the fruits of the Tomos became violence, conflict, confrontation, tears and suffering for the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”
Moreover, the Synod writes that Constantinople’s perceived right to interfere in other Local Churches “is totally unfounded, artificial, false, and contrary to the Church’s canons. Accordingly, the Patriarchate of Constantinople does not have any right whatsoever to interfere in the Church life of Ukraine.”
The statement also notes that none of the Local Churches have recognized the schismatic church and that several have explicitly rejected it, regarding the consecrations and ordinations of the schismatics as illegitimate.
In conclusion, the Synod writes: “We ask everyone to pray that the Lord preserve the unity of Holy Orthodoxy, strengthen us to remain steadfast for the Truth of God, and grant us peace, tranquility and mutual understanding in our Ukrainian state. May our Lord God bless us all!”
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