Moscow, July 30, Interfax - The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate criticizes Ukrainian authorities for their attempts to set up an independent local Church contrary to the opinion of the majority of people.
"Viktor Yushchenko abused his authority, violated the constitution and ignored the opinion of hierarchs on the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church outspoken at the Bishops' Council in Moscow," Archbishop Ionafan of Tulchin and Bratslav said at the Moscow-Kiev video bridge organized to sum up the results of Ukrainian celebrations of the 1020th anniversary of Russia's Baptism.
Thus, the Ukrainian hierarch commented on the initiative of the Ukrainian President Yushchenko to establish an Orthodox Church independent from Moscow.
According to the archbishop, Yushchenko "interferes in a strictly canonical field of church organization and administration." "He demonstrated it more than once when meeting Patriarch Bartholomew."
Archbishop Ionafan stressed, Ukrainian autocephaly (church independence - IF) was impossible without complete unanimity between people and hierarchs on the question, which was lacking.
The archbishop also said that the Ukrainian Church Synod stated twice that the establishment of the local Church was unviable.
The hierarch also told that when he prayed at the liturgy near the monument to St. Vladimir the Baptist he "was distracted by talks in the presidential lodge and involuntarily overheard them."
"You won't believe me! They talked about cold beer! What restaurant serves it colder. And these people speak about autocephaly and spirituality! They need cold beer and sturgeon with horse radish rather than autocephaly," Archbishop Ionafan summed up.
He stressed that "the plan of forced (spiritual - IF) separation of Ukraine from Russia is Ukraine's perish." "God forbid for the Yugoslavian scenario to work here," the hierarch stated.