Kiev, December 20, 2018
Ukraine’s new nationalist church, the creation of which was crafted and overseen by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, has no independent right to revise its own statutes without consequences, according to Archimandrite Cyril Hovorun.
In an interview with the Ukrainian site Left Bank, Archim. Cyril, a theologian, scholar, professor at the University of Loyola-Maryomount in Los Angeles, and cleric of the canonical Church known for his involvement in the Ukrainian autocephaly movement, explained that if the new Ukrainian schismatic group, an amalgamation of two previously-existing schismatic structures, makes changes to its statutes, then Constantinople will make changes to its tomos of autocephaly.
An English translation of the interview is available at the site Panorthodox Synod.
“From the point of view of some representatives of the new church, they can [make changes] without the consent of the Constantinople Patriarchate. But I also want to say that during my discussions with Constantinople on this issue, I heard the following point: if the Charter is revised, [the]Tomos will be reviewed,” Fr. Cyril explained.
Looking for clarification, Left Bank asked if that means that even once the tomos is received by the new Ukrainian Church, Constantinople will reserve the right to change it.
“Yes,” Fr. Cyril responded. “Because it was [noted] from the outset that the Charter and Tomos are one set of documents. And if one document changes in this package, then the other document may change accordingly.”
He also notes that the statutes for the new church were written by the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople because the two uniting Ukrainian schismatic groups were unable to cooperate and write their own statutes.
Further, Fr. Cyril claims that the participants in the council adopted the statutes from Constantinople without any realy discussion on the matter—they were more focused on electing a new primate.
“Unfortunately, I must say that the Charter was given the least attention. Even during the Council when the Charter was voted on, it was not discussed,” Fr. Cyril said, explaining that from an electoral point of view, it was given little attention because the tomos of autocephaly is considered much more important.
Follow us on Facebook!