KIEV: November 13, 2018
Statement from the Council of Bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
The Council of Bishops of the UOC considers unacceptable the unlawful interference by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the internal affairs of another Local Church.
The decisions of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople of October 11, 2018, regarding the Ukrainian church question, are invalid and such that are canonically null and void, says the official statement of the Bishops’ Council of the UOC, which held an emergency session at the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra on November 13.
“In particular, the decision to establish the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the territory of Ukraine is the result of speculative interpretation of church history,” the document says. “And the decision to remove the anathema and other church bans from the schism leaders and the recognition of the validity of the pseudo-chirotonies they committed during their stay in the schism is the result of a distorted interpretation of Orthodox canons. The history of the Orthodox Church does not know the cases of overcoming the schism through its mere legalization. Having taken such anti-canonical decisions, recognizing the schismatics in their existing ranks, the Patriarchate of Constantinople itself embarked on the path of schism, according to church canons. In this regard, the Eucharistic communion of the UOC with the Constantinople Patriarchate is currently impossible and ceased. ”
Bishops of the UOC insist on the unacceptability of the unlawful interference of the Constantinople Patriarchate in the internal affairs of another Local Church and attempts to solve the Ukrainian church question with the participation of the government and schismatics, ignoring the voice of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
“Instead, we note with regret that hundreds of thousands of appeals of the believers of our Church to Patriarch Bartholomew with a call not to legitimize the schism under the pretext of creating autocephaly have been ignored,” the document says.
We recall that today, a meeting between the UOC episcopate and the President of Ukraine was scheduled for 14.00. Eventually, it did not take place. At 11.00, a session of the Holy Synod of the UOC was held. It was followed by an emergency session of the Bishops’ Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.