Moscow, May 28, 2022
The Russian Orthodox Church won’t respond to yesterday’s Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church based on media reports, but awaits an official communication from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
When the UOC Holy Synod met earlier this month and resolved to hold yesterday’s meeting, the hierarchs stressed that “it’s fundamentally important that this process takes place without violating Church order… The discussion on this or that issue should not lead to going beyond the canonical field and should not lead to new divisions in the Church of Christ.”
Following the morning’s consultative meeting, and sessions of the Holy Synod and Bishops’ Council, a Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was held, the highest governing body of the Ukrainian Church, consisting of hierarchs and clerical, monastic, and lay representatives, declaring the UOC’s complete self-governance and independence. Media and social media speculations immediately began about the meaning of this decision and what status the UOC now has.
However, the Russian Church is refraining from speculation.
“Since the Russian Orthodox Church hasn’t received any appeals from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, we can’t respond to the information we receive from the press and from the internet,” Vladimir Legoida, the head of the Synodal Department for Church, Society, and Media Relations and acting head of the Patriarchal press service told reporters yesterday, reports Patriarchia.ru.
“We pray for the preservation of the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church. We pray for the speedy advent of peace and for the cessation of bloodshed,” the Church representative said.
According to him, the Ukrainian Church is currently “in a very difficult situation and is under pressure from various sides: from the authorities, schismatics, nationalist-minded representatives of a certain part of the public, from the media.”
“In a situation when external forces are trying to destroy the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church, it would be highly irresponsible on our part to enter into detailed comments on decisions taken in the self-governing Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” concluded V.R. Legoida.
As OrthoChristian reported this morning, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia was commemorated in the Liturgy broadcast live from the Kiev Caves Lavra today.