Wednesday, May 25, 2022

    Ecumenical Patriarch: OCU has been slandered by those who don’t want its independence

    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said that the Orthodox Church in Ukraine has become the object of slander and falsehood by people who do not want the OCU to be independent of external influences.

    “We are very satisfied with all that has been achieved in the Orthodox Church of Ukraine from the granting of the Tomos of Autocephaly to this day. We feel proud of the service and witness of this Church, which we cannot conceal has been the target of a merciless assault of slander and falsehood from circles that do not want an Orthodox Church in Ukraine independent of external influences,” Bartholomew said in an interview with Ukrinform.

    All the Orthodox Church of Ukraine endures, he added, “is also experienced by the Mother Church, the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”

    “Unfortunately, some people seem accustomed to speaking untruths and exercising a peculiar religious bullying, thinking that in this way they will intimidate the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the local Autocephalous Churches, and the newly-founded Orthodox Church of Ukraine itself. However, Orthodoxy cannot be threatened. The Church cannot be terrorized. Lies and defamation do not unnerve us; on the contrary, they solidify our faith in the Canons, the tradition, and the Truth of the Church,” the Ecumenical Patriarch emphasized.

    The patriarch also praised the pastoral work of the OCU head and expressed faith in the future of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

    “His Beatitude Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv is a prudent Primate, who knows how to manage ecclesiastical matters with efficiency and in the spirit of the canonical tradition of Orthodoxy. We have confidence in him and favorable hope for the future of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. My exhortation to him is that he continue on the straight path, which is the only way that leads to the edification of the faithful and unity,” Bartholomew concluded.