24 July 2008, 13:25
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church urges the Constantinople Patriarch to keep out of its affairs
Moscow, July 24, Interfax - The Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church urged Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople not to interfere in its affairs.
"The Ukrainian Orthodox Church can settle its inner problems independently. Assistance of other local Churches should not turn in their interference in inner affairs of our Church," an address to Patriarch Bartholomew says as adopted at an extraordinary session of the Ukrainian Church Synod and cited by the Moscow Patriarchate official website.
The Holy Synod members state that all initiatives on overcoming church crisis in the country should be coordinated with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as the "only recognized Orthodox Church in Ukraine" that is a member in the family of local Churches.
Besides, the Ukrainian Church Synod says that interference of state authorities and various political and public forces is also undesirable as it always results in "grave conflicts that may take many years to overcome"
The address to Patriarch Bartholomew stresses that recent centuries in the Constantinople Patriarchate history "have shown how politic interference in church matters resulted in painful church splits."
"Present situation in Ukraine is not an exception. It is interference of political forces that has led to the current schism," members of the Ukrainian Church Synod believe.
Head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad also participated in the Synod session on the invitation of Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev.
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