Moscow, November 2, Interfax - The clergy of the Kharkov Diocese has affirmed its allegiance to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate amid talks about autocephaly.
"Clerics, who have gathered, pledged their allegiance to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church headed by its primate, His Holiness Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine," the Kharkov Diocese told Interfax on Friday.
As reported, in October, the clergy of the Sumy and Dnepropetrovsk regions, as well as of the dioceses of Poltava, Zaporozhye, Odessa, Kherson, Rovno, and Kirovograd, voiced their support to the canonical Church.
Andrey Yurash, the director of the Ukrainian Culture Ministry's department of religions and interethnic relations, said earlier that over 50% of communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church would join the new church, which is being created by Constantinople.
In September, Patriarch Bartholomew sent two exarchs to Kiev to prepare for the establishment of an autocephalous church independent from the Moscow Patriarchate. On October 11, the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate abrogated its ordinance of 1686 that put the Kiev Metropolitanate under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate, announced the opening of a mission in Kiev, and rehabilitated the leaders of the unrecognized Ukrainian Orthodox churches. In response, the Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate announced that it was fully severing its relations with the Constantinople Patriarchate.