Ukraine’s bid to unite the Orthodox Church failed for canonical reasons – Russian Metropolitan


WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – July 15, 2021) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s efforts to unite the country’s Orthodox Christian believers in one church have failed for canonical reasons, the chairman of the Orthodox Church’s External Church Relations Department Russian Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) said at a summit.

“There was an attempt by former President Petro Poroshenko to unite these groups. The attempt failed for purely canonical ecclesiastical reasons,” the Metropolitan said at the international summit on religious freedom in Washington on Wednesday.

In 2018, the Ukrainian Independent Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) was formed by the merger of two other non-canonical branches of Orthodoxy in the country at the initiative of then President Petro Poroshenko and the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

The following year, Bartholomew I handed over the tomos of autocephaly, the decree of independence, to the UOC-KP. The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), as well as the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is historically part of the Moscow Patriarchate, refused to recognize it.

The Moscow Patriarchate called the situation a “legalization of the schism”, stressing that it would have catastrophic consequences and affect millions of Christians in Ukraine and other countries.

Metropolitan Hilarion said that the Russian Orthodox Church is not only the Church of the Russian Federation, it has canonical jurisdiction in other countries of the former Russian Empire, as well as in China and Japan. .

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the largest in Ukraine, has canonical and spiritual ties with the larger Russian Orthodox Church and maintains its autonomy and autonomy there.

“In the Ukrainian case, we have an example of violation of human rights and the rights of some Orthodox Christians,” said the Metropolitan.

After the formation of the new jurisdiction, it seized hundreds of religious buildings previously owned by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, he said.

“About 500 churches have been transferred to another jurisdiction, and some of them have been taken by violence. In some villages we have priests and believers who do not have church buildings and pray on the site. ground, ”he said.

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