13 May 2019, 16:15
Schism is possible in OCU - "Honored patriarch" Filaret
Kiev, May 13, Interfax - A schism is possible in the new Orthodox church of Ukraine (OCU), "Honored Patriarch" Filaret Denisenko said, adding that he is authorized to call an assembly.
In his commentary to a news program, which aired on Sunday, Filaret said head of the new Ukrainian church Yepifaniy Dumenko talks with him very rarely.
Filaret said he had talked with Yepifaniy no more than five times since the creation of the new church of Ukraine.
"Is that communication? The church needs to be run every day. Therefore, there is no communication. Because there is no communication - and it should be - the church is divided because my task as patriarch now is to keep the Ukrainian church," he said.
At the same time, he said that he as head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine can call an assembly.
The honored patriarch said the (non-canonical - IF) Kiev Patriarchate still exists.
"It [the Kiev Patriarchate] exists. It doesn't need to be brought back. It exists. Is there a patriarch? If there is a patriarch, there is a patriarchate. There is the Kiev Patriarchate. Therefore, there is no need to bring the patriarchate back. It exists and it should exist [...] And there will be a patriarchate. And it will not stay self-proclaimed forever. Time will come when it will be recognized," the former head of the "Kiev Patriarchate" said.
Responding to a question as to whether he believes the OCU can be divided, Filaret said: "I believe it is possible. But we will create a unified church."
A unification assembly where the Orthodox Church was created was held in Kiev on December 15, 2018. A local assembly was held before the unification assembly. The so-called Kiev Patriarchate had made a decision to eliminate the church.
On January 5, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew signed a tomos granting autocephaly to the new church of Ukraine. He gave the document to Yepifaniy on January 6 and his enthronement took place on February 3.