“The process of providing tomos is imposed from the outside”: the UOC broke the Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople
The Holy Synod of the UOC at a meeting in the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra decided to stop the Eucharistic message with the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The episcopate explained such a move by the unlawful interference of Constantinople in the internal affairs of the local church. The UOC emphasized that the process of providing the tomos is “imposed from the outside.” President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko was going to meet with the episcopate, but in the end did not come. Experts do not exclude that the Ukrainian leader refused to attend the meeting, realizing that he would not be able to persuade the bishops to leave the UOC, and fearing criticism of their actions.
The Council of Bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, chaired by the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Onuphrius, at a meeting in Kiev, decided to stop the Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Such a step is connected with the illegal intervention of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the affairs of the Local Church, explained the Ukrainian bishops. They also stated that they consider invalid the decision of Patriarch Bartholomew regarding autocephaly to non-canonical church structures in Ukraine.
“The process of providing tomos about autocephaly is artificial, imposed from outside, does not reflect the internal ecclesiastical necessity, will not bring real church unity and will deepen the division and intensify conflicts among the people of Ukraine,” the UOC said in a statement.
The Synod stressed that Constantinople ignored the voice of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, as well as the opinion of believers.
“We regret to say that hundreds of thousands of appeals of the believers of our Church to Patriarch Bartholomew with an appeal not to legitimize the schism under the pretext of creating autocephaly have been ignored,” the UOC said.
The council also spoke out against changing the very name of the church and stated that "the eucharistic communion of the UOC with the Constantinople Patriarchate is currently impossible and stops."
Earlier it was reported that, at the initiative of the President of Ukraine, a meeting was arranged with the bishop of the UOC. The theme of the meeting of the clergy with the head of state was to be the situation around the creation of a single local church, independent of the Moscow Patriarchate. However, Poroshenko did not come to the meeting.
Later, an Interfax source said that during a meeting of the Council of Bishops of the UOC, which was held in the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, Poroshenko called Metropolitan Onufry and said that he was waiting for the archbishop in "another place." In response, the head of the UOC invited the president to a meeting on the church's territory - in the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.
"Do not succumb to provocations"
Meanwhile, the UOC noted that Poroshenko refused to meet with the bishops of the UOC, because he wanted to hold a meeting in the administrative building.
“In the presidential administration, we were indicated as the reason for the reluctance of Petro Poroshenko to meet on the territory of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. It was more convenient for him to hold a meeting in a secular institution. But this format did not quite suit the hierarchs, since the issues considered at this meeting were to have a purely ecclesiastical nature, therefore the solution of all these problems was envisaged at the church platform and by church people who are authorized to solve all the most important problems that arise before the Ukrainian the Orthodox Church, ”said Archbishop Nezhinsky Clement in a conversation with RT, noting that Poroshenko initially knew where the meeting would take place.
The Ukrainian president understood the possible criticism of his actions by the bishops at the general meeting of the UOC, said Rostislav Ischenko, the president of the Center for System Analysis and Forecasting.
“He (Poroshenko. - RT ) would speak, but in his face they would say everything they think about his recent actions. This is unprofitable for the Ukrainian leader, since it would be widely covered in the press, ”he said in an interview with RT. In addition, Ischenko believes that there was no guarantee that a significant part of the bishops would declare their readiness to leave the UOC.
- Kiev-Pechersk Lavra in Kiev
- RIA News
Nevertheless, experts do not exclude that part of the clergy will follow Poroshenko. However, the majority, in their opinion, will remain in the service of the UOC.
“Most bishops will remain loyal to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, dignity and honor. They will not succumb to provocations, although the pressure on them will intensify, ”says the doctor of historical sciences, professor of Moscow State Linguistic University, Roman Silantyev.
Despite the fact that the decision to grant autocephaly to unrecognized church structures is non-canonical and is condemned by the hierarchs of both the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Constantinople will not stop the process begun, analysts emphasize. This is largely due to the fact that Constantinople intends to strengthen control over the local church, Rostislav Ischenko said.
“Constantinople is not so much willing to provide autocephaly as to capture other people's churches. He wants to strengthen his control over Ukraine. Their actions hurt the interests of all Orthodox churches, ”he added.
This explains the statements of representatives of the UOC on the termination of eucharistic communion.
“This is a logical suggestion of a general church position. The church has autonomy, and in order to confirm the decision of the Synod of the MP of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church must assemble a synod and bring such a question up for discussion, ”noted Roman Silantyev.
Tomos Filaret will not give
Recall, the Ukrainian authorities and the non-canonical church in Ukraine are counting on getting a tomos about autocephaly from Constantinople before the end of the year. At the same time, the tomos request for tomos should be carried out by the head of the local church, and in the case of Ukraine, the request for the granting of autocephaly was initiated by official Kiev.
At the same time, Patriarch Bartholomew can provide the tomos to Onufriy, Metropolitan of the UOC-MP, and not representatives of unrecognized church structures in Ukraine. According to a RIA Novosti source in church circles, there is no talk about the provision of a tomos to Filaret or Macarius - representatives of a non-canonical church. At the same time, Constantinople takes into account that Onuphrius did not ask for tomos.
“Tomos will not give autocephaly to Filaret. No such thoughts. In a statement dated October 11, they removed the anathema from him. Only this and nothing more, “- said the source RIA Novosti.
The source added that so far no church recognizes the decision of Constantinople on Filaret and Macarius.
“Not one. This means the unity of the Orthodox Church. No dad of the Orthodox. In Orthodoxy, the Council decides everything, ”he said, not excluding that if Bartholomew followed the chosen line further, the Patriarchate of Constantinople would weaken even more.