20 June 2019, 19:03
Filaret, supporters to leave Ukraine's new church on June 24 - new church of Ukraine
Kiev, June 20, Interfax - The synod of Ukraine's new church (Orthodox Church of Ukraine, OCU) said at a meeting on June 24 that honored patriarch Filaret and his supporters had separated and left the OCU of their own accord, Yevstratiy Zorya, deputy head of the external church relations department of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, said.
"When a small group of people holds such assemblies, it's separation, it's not division, it's not a schism, it's just separation of a specific group that supports the opinion of Patriarch Filaret," he told a briefing on Thursday, stating the opinion of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine on the June 20 "local assembly" where Filaret announced the restoration of the "Kiev Patriarchate."
"My assessment is such: Patriarch Filaret and those who were with him in the meeting separated by leaving the Orthodox Church of Ukraine [...] I think the holy synod just states that they left the Orthodox Church of Ukraine of their own accord," Zorya said.
Responding to a question about possible bans on Filaret and those who supported him, he said that "if they don't belong to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, then, accordingly, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine bears no responsibility for them."
Zorya said he believes no sanctions will be imposed on Filaret. "He will just have no powers in the OCU," he said.
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