His Eminence Yevstratiy - Archbishop of Chernihiv and Nizhyn of the UOC-KP

His Eminence Yevstratiy – Archbishop of Chernihiv and Nizhyn of the UOC-KP – May 2016

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Our Ignorance Will Disintegrate Orthodoxy in Ukraine:

In order to obtain recognition of Universal Orthodoxy, the Kyiv Patriarchate is ready to renounce its patriarchal dignity while keeping the name in its own territory for domestic use. This decision was taken by members of the Council of Bishops of the UOC, which was held on May 13 in Kyiv.

Commenting on this decision, Archbishop of Chernihiv and Nizhyn of the UOC-KP Yevstratiy (Zorya) said it was not about rejection of patriarchal dignity. According to him, some commentators and representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate believe that the status of the Patriarchate is an insurmountable obstacle to recognition of the autocephalous UOC-KP.

“Therefore, the Council explains its vision in this matter, i.e., without rejecting the status of the Patriarchate, we will not insist on its immediate recognition by Constantinople, if this issue will be considered (it is not discussed now, these are personal opinions of certain representatives – both for recognition of the Patriarchate and against it),” he says.

If this decision is implemented, the Church will be further called the “UOC-KP” in Ukraine, while in communication with other Local Churches the Kyiv Patriarchate will not insist on the use of its patriarchal title.

“In practice, this can be solved very simply:

1. The recognized church will bear the name of the “Ukrainian Orthodox Church” and there will be no need to specify the Kyiv Patriarchate (just the same as it is not officially specified that the ROC is the Moscow Patriarchate, and the Georgian orthodox Church is the Georgian catholicosate, etc.).

2. Regarding the Primate’s title, an additional title may be introduced that has historically been used in the Kyivan church (eg., by the Holy Hierarch, Metropolitan Petro Mohyla) – Archbishop. So there are many heads of Churches, which bear both titles – Archbishop and Patriarch, in particular – the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Therefore, in my opinion, it is possible to introduce the title “Archbishop and Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine.” In this case, those who do not recognize the status of the Patriarchate, may address in letters or remember during worship the “Archbishop of Kyiv” without humiliating his dignity,” Archbishop Yevstratiy (Zorya) insists.