Kiev, August 14, 2019
On December 15, the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” (KP) and the schismatic “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church” (UAOC) united to create the new “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” (OCU), the brainchild of ex-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.
And while “Patriarch” Philaret Denisenko schismed from the OCU in just a few months and continues the struggle to keep his KP alive, the UAOC has officially dissolved itself, reports Ukrainian News, with reference to a message in the parliamentary newspaper “Voice of Ukraine.”
“On July 29, 2019, the Unified State Register of Legal Entities, Individual Entrepreneurs, and Public Associations recorded the termination of the religious organization, ‘The Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church’ by way of reorganization, namely by joining the religious organization ‘The Kiev Metropolia of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Orthodox Church of Ukraine),’” the message reads.
In connection with the liquidation of the UAOC, all delegations of authority issued in its name before July 29 have been withdrawn.
Likewise, at their July 27 session, the bishops of the OCU Holy Synod resolved to terminate the activities of the UAOC, in addition to those of the KP, stating that as of July 29, the governing bodies of the UAOC and KP had officially become the liquidation commissions created by the OCU Synod.
Makary Maletich, formerly the head of the UAOC, stated in May that the UAOC would not dissolve itself until the KP did. Despite joining the OCU, Philaret Denisenko continually declared that his KP still existed, and he never submitted the originals of the necessary documents for liquidating the KP. The Ukrainian Ministry of Justice confirmed in May that the KP did still legally exist.
However, the Ministry of Culture declared the KP officially liquidated late last month. Philaret, nevertheless, continues to operate his now much smaller KP.
The UAOC was the much smaller of the two schismatic groups operating in Ukraine for several decades, although it existed before the KP. In fact, it was “Patriarch” Volodomyr of the UAOC who left to found the KP with then-Metropolitan Philaret Denisenko, the former canonical Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine, in 1993.
The Patriarchate of Constantinople’s “rehabilitation” of the “hierarchs” and “clergy” of the KP and UACO in October have proved highly problematic for other Local Churches, considering that Philaret was defrocked and anathematized, and the UAOC was wholly lacking in any sense of Apostolic Succession.