Filaret: Ukrainians Were Deceived, OCU Is Not An Independent Church

Patriarch of the UOC KP Filaret Denisenko. Photo: Glavcom

Patriarch of the UOC KP Filaret Denisenko. Photo: Glavcom

UOJ – 12/6/19

The head of the UOC KP Filaret said that the Ukrainians received the “wrong” Tomos from the Patriarch of Constantinople and declared: “We don’t want such autocephaly”!

The head of the Kiev Patriarchate Filaret Denisenko is confident that “the so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine is dependent on the Patriarchate of Constantinople,” and therefore “we don’t want such autocephaly”! He told about this in his interview with the “Glavcom” edition.

According to Filaret, the OCU cannot be considered an independent Church on a number of grounds. In particular, because it does not have the right to make myrrh, “and the Church that does not have such a right is not independent.”

The second reason, which testifies to the dependence of the OCU on Fanar, in Filaret’s opinion, is that “The Tomos forbids us to have eparchies and parishes outside Ukraine … and indicates that these Ukrainians (emigrants – Ed.) must belong to the Constantinople Patriarchate”.

Filaret is sure that “thanks to the Ukrainians, the Patriarch of Constantinople wants to increase its flock in the same way as it does through the Greek churches.” In turn, the “patriarch” of the UOC KP emphasizes, “we stand on the positions of freedom of choice: if you want to affiliate with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, then you can do it. But the Tomos makes us give our overseas flock”.

In addition, according to Filaret, “the Tomos spells out that the Patriarch of Constantinople will solve the problems that arise in the OCU. Then the question arises: what then is our autocephaly? Therefore, we do not want such autocephaly.”

When asked by a journalist why Filaret agreed to create such a church, the head of the UOC KP replied that he did not know the content of the Tomos: “At the Council on December 15, we knew that the Tomos would be granted on January 6, 2019. But the content was hidden. If I had known that it would have been such a Tomos, then we would have refused it.”

Therefore, he believes that there is still no independent Church in Ukraine, and the OCU is “autocephalous only in name, because, in fact, the OCU has no rights of an independent autocephalous Church”.

At the same time, Filaret recalled talks with the same Metropolitan Emmanuel during the presidency of Viktor Yushchenko. According to him, the Kiev Patriarchate was then simply offered a contract, the meaning of which boiled down to the fact that the UOC KP became a part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, following the example of the semi-autonomous Cretan Church.

Filaret asserts that at that time it was due to these conditions that he rejected the proposal of the Phanar representatives. But now, he says, “they hid from us that there would be almost the same thing in the Tomos. First, they held the Council, and then they gave the Tomos with practically the same wording that were proposed earlier.”

Moreover, the head of the UOC KP stressed that the Phanar’s promises to give the OCU the status of patriarchy may never be fulfilled, and the Ukrainians, in fact, were deceived.

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that at the forum of the Ukrainian intelligentsia “For the Ukrainian Orthodox Church! For the Kiev Patriarchate!”, which took place on June 11, 2019, in Kiev, Filaret declared that he did not accept the Tomos.

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