02 November 2007, 15:11
Ukrainian schismatics are trying to enlist support of the USA Senate in their campaign against the Moscow Patriarchate
Moscow, November 2, Interfax – The leader of the self-declared Kiev Patriarchate Filaret Denisenko discussed a possibility of establishing the united Orthodox Church in the Ukraine with US Congress Members.
Friday a Kiev issue of the Kommersant daily reported that Denisenko met with Republican Senators George Voinovich and Sam Brownback, and Gus Bilirakis, the head of the support group to the Greek Orthodox Church in the House of Representatives.
It was the first meeting on such level in the entire history of the “Kiev Patriarchate”, said the newspaper.
“Patriarch Filaret made a point of his urge towards uniting the Ukrainian Orthodox churches,” says the official statement of the Ukrainian Embassy in the USA.
According to Kommersant, Yevstraty Zorya, press-secretary of the “Kiev Patriarchate”, this meeting advances recognition of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate by the Constantinople Patriarchate where the Moscow Patriarchate may stand to lose almost half of the parishes, and ultimately, lose the campaign for the leadership in the Orthodox world.
“The main argument of the Moscow Patriarchate against us is that other local Orthodox churches do not recognize our autocephaly. The meeting with the head of the support group to the Greek Orthodox Church evidences that the Constantinople Patriarchate is ready to meet us halfway and recognize the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP). Then the main argument of the Moscow Patriarchate will be gone,” said Zorya.
Meanwhile, press-secretary of the Ukrainian canonical Church Vasily Anisimov said that Archbishop Christodulos of Athens during his stay in Kiev recognized Metropolitan Vladimir (Moscow Patriarchate) as bearer of Apostolic succession in the Ukraine.
“If a Greek Orthodox Church representative met with Denisenko, <...> Christodulos would subject such a person to excommunication,” Anisimov said.