2018-12-07 10:48:00

Ukraine's new Orthodox church will be independent - Poroshenko's entourage

Kiev, December 7, Interfax - The Ukrainian presidential advisor Rostislav Pavlenko has dismissed suggestions that Ukraine's new united Orthodox Church will be only partly independent.

"Myths are being spread that it would be some limited independence. Not so," Pavlenko said at a briefing in Kiev.

Indeed, the Ecumenical Patriarchate is the last point of appeal for resolving conflicts which cannot be resolved inside a particular church, he said. It is the exercise of this right that enabled "millions of the Orthodox Ukrainians to return to the pan-Orthodox communion" after the Patriarchate of Constantinople's decision of October 11, 2018, the advisor said.

"This is the exercise of the first by honor patriarch of his role as an arbiter," Pavlenko said.

Asked what title the new church leader will attain, he said the main thing was the creation of an independent church, and the question of a title was "that matter that will be discussed to ensure the correct manner of communicating with the outside church world and supplying information within," Pavlenko said.

"As we know, currently there exist 14 recognized independent Orthodox churches. Ten of them are led by patriarchs, three by archbishops, and three by metropolitans. But they are all independent. Likewise, a state can be led by a president or a monarch but they are all independent and equal states," he said.

At the unification Orthodox gathering on December 15, the hierarchs of the (Moscow Patriarchate) Ukrainian Orthodox Church will be treated in the same way as those of other churches, i.e. as equals and co-founders of a new independent united church, Pavlenko said.