Still no progress towards Ukrainian unification council—UAOC “bishop”

Kiev, November 9, 2018

Photo: YouTube Photo: YouTube

A representative of the schismatic “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church” (UAOC) has explained that there still have been no negotiations towards the unification council and that it will not take place by the end of November, despite public statements from other officials.

Ukrainian Parliament Chairman Andrei Paruby said a few days ago that the council should be held by the end of the month. Ukrainskaya Pravda has reported that the council could tentatively be held on November 21 or 22, and the Russian newspaper Kommersant, citing sources in the Patriarchate of Constantinople, reports that the council will be held on the 21st, as Interfax-Religion reports.

“Archbishop” Athanasy (Shkurupy) of Kharkov and Poltava of the UAOC spoke about the impending council on air the ZIK TV station yesterday, explaining that by the end of the month, the most that could happen is a council of the also schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” (KP).

According to Shkurupy, the negotiating commission, tasked with discussing the agenda for the unification council, has not held a single meeting.

The head of the UAOC, “Archbishop” Makary Maletich has expressed the same doubts several times. In a mid-October interview he noted that the obstinacy of Philaret Denisenko, the head of the KP, has brought the unification process to a halt. Later in October he noted that no negotiations had yet taken place and that he had serious doubts about the unification process. Moreover, he explained that the Constantinople Exarchs were rushing them.

“When the commission is working, the negotiators should work together to work to develop the charter and other documents about how the Church will live after the unification,” “Abp.” Athanasy said. “But there have been no proposals to date either from the Kiev Patriarchate or from the government—if it’s already initiated this whole process, then it should also at least be the arbiter in this process, but they haven’t approached us yet. I personally don’t know anything.”

Answering the question whether the council will be held by the end of November, Shkurupy expressed himself unambiguously: “I am sure of this. Maybe there will be a council of the Kiev Patriarchate, but the unification council—on what basis?”

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