05 September 2018, 14:57
Any unilateral actions by Constantinople Church on 'Ukrainian issue' to aggravate unrest in Ukraine - Ukrainian Orthodox Church (updated)
Moscow, September 5, Interfax - It is unacceptable to accuse Russia of not being able to resolve the problem of church schism in Ukraine, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate told Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew.
"It is silly, to say the least, to accuse the Russian state of not being able to resolve the schism problem in Ukraine, as provocateurs are doing. Do they really believe that Yeltsin ordered KGB secret agent nicknamed 'Comrade Antonov' ['Kiev Patriarchate' leader Filaret] to organize a schism, to hide the Communist Party's gold and Putin now needs to issue a reverse order? Then why is it being done by Patriarch Bartholomew, not Turkish President Erdogan?" Vasily Anisimov, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church press service, said in an interview with Interfax-Religion on Wednesday.
According to earlier reports, Patriarch Bartholomew has recently said at a Synaxis (council) of the Constantinople Church in Istanbul that "since Russia, as the one responsible for the current painful situation in Ukraine, is unable to solve the problem, the Ecumenical Patriarchate assumed the initiative of resolving the problem [...]receiving a request to this end by the honorable Ukrainian Government, as well as recurring requests by "Patriarch" Filaret of Kiev appealing for our adjudication of his case."
In the meantime, the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church calls on Patriarch Bartholomew not to give in the pressure from the current Ukrainian administration.
"What does it have to do with the Ukrainian authorities, which have already been declared criminal by their opponents, its anti-constitutional, anti-law God-building requests? According to all polls, they do not have any chance of prolonging their existence. And responsibility for everything that has been done will have to be born. Does Constantinople want to be known as an accessory of a criminal administration? Do they in Istanbul really want secular state structures to run church affairs? If Patriarch Bartholomew begins fulfilling wishes of Pyotr Poroshenko, how can he deny the wishes of those who will replace him?" the Ukrainian Orthodox Church press secretary said.
It is obvious that any actions by the Constantinople Patriarchate not authorized by the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, including the lifting of disciplinary punishment from Mikhail Denisenko (Filaret), upon whom an anathema has been pronounced, the organization of parallel church structures, the granting of self-governance, autonomy and autocephaly to schismatics, will be "extremely negatively received" by Ukraine's Orthodox Christians, he said.
"That will lead to another wave of opposition and will aggravate the socio-political unrest in Ukraine, which is in a severe socio-economic crisis and is stuck in the bloody conflict in Donbas," Anisimov said.
He also asked Patriarch Bartholomew to comment on the information on an alleged bribe given by the Ukrainian authorities to Constantinople for granting autocephaly.
"By the way, how are things with the multi-million gift for the tomos to the Constantinople Patriarch, which was broadly discussed in Ukraine? No one in Kiev or Istanbul confirms or denies that. Official inquires have been made in Ukraine with the National Anti-Corruption Bureau on that matter. Or is that such a small thing that it should be ignored?" Anisimov said.