Moscow, September 7, 2018
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church says accusations against the Russian state being unable to resolve the church schism in Ukraine are groundless.
In an interview with Interfax, head of the press service of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Vasiliy Anisimov stated that accusations against Russia not being able to resolve the church schism in Ukraine are "silly, to say the least".
As reported recently, patriarch Bartholomew has said he will take upon himself the initiative of overcoming the Ukrainian schism, because "Russia, being the one responsible for the current situation in Ukraine, is not capable of resolving the matter". The reason for such initiative, as the patriarch explains, is due to requests from the Ukrainian government and the leader of the self-proclaimed "Kiev Patriarchate".
Any actions taken by the Patriarch of Constantinople that are not agreed upon with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, be it the withdrawal of prohibitions against the anathematized Michael Denisenko (“Patriarch Philaret”), the organization of parallel church structures, or the granting of autonomy or autocephaly to schismatics, will be received "extremely negatively" by the Orthodox faithful in Ukraine. "This will lead to another wave of confrontation and will intensify the socio-political turmoil in Ukraine, which currently is experiencing one of the worst social-economic crises and is engaged in a bloody conflict in Donbas", stated Anisimov.
Vasily Anisimov also requested Patriarch Bartholomew to comment on information on an alleged bribe given by Ukrainian authorities for the granting of autocephaly: “And how, by the way, are things going with the multimillion-dollar gift for the Tomos to the Patriarch of Constantinople that the entire Ukraine was buzzing about? Neither in Kiev, nor in Istanbul is anyone denying or confirming the information, even though official requests have been forwarded to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine. Or is it that this matter is just so trifling that it doesn't deserve any attention?"