Patriarch Filaret: UOC-KP is ready to dialogue with the Moscow Patriarchate

His Holiness Patriarch Filaret of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine (Non-Canonical Ukranian Orthodox Church - Kiev Patriarcate)

10/11/2010

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Patriarch Filaret tells Russia Patriarch Kiril to relinquish claims to Ukraine Orthodox

Speaking on the Voice of America during his official visit to the United States, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate) described the present relationships of his church with the Russian Orthodox Church.

I would advise ROC Patriarch Kiril to recognize the UOC, give up supporting the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) and thus foster the unification of the orthodox in Ukraine, Filaret said. This done, the good relations between the Ukrainian and Russian churches can be restored and influence the overall relations between our countries. “If the churches are on a friendly footing, the peoples and states will also be on a friendly footing,” Filaret added.

The visits of Patriarch Kiril to Ukraine do not win him more ground in Ukraine – on the contrary, they strengthen the Kyiv Patriarch, the Ukrainian patriarch said. Kiril referred to the feelings among Ukrainians caused by Kiril’s visits: “We believed we belong to the Ukrainian church. However, it turns out we belong to the Russian church.” Such doubts of Ukraine orthodox give more credibility to the Kyiv Patriarch, Filaret explained.

According to the head of the UOC (KP), his church remains open to a dialog aimed at bringing the two Ukrainian orthodox churches together and creating a single Ukrainian orthodox church.

By contrast, Filaret observed, Moscow wants Ukraine orthodox to unite and to be brought to the fold of Moscow.

Still, the prospect of creating a single independent church in Ukraine is good as it is promoted by the existence of independent Ukraine. “The process of unification of Ukraine orthodox is under way and there is no stopping it,” Patriarch Filaret stressed, RICY reports.

Patriarch’s official visit started on Oct. 29 and will end on Nov. 16.

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