Sunday, June 26, 2022

    OCU Synod calls on authorities to ban Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine as hybrid aggression tool

    The Synod of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which was convened on May 16, called on the state authorities to make decisions that would stop the use of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine as an instrument of hybrid aggression. The Synod of the OCU is also disappointed that the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine keeps referring to itself as the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

    The OCU Synod noted that for decades the representatives of the ROCinU had consistently promoted, circulated, supported, and propagated both among their faithful and in Ukrainian society the ideology of the “Russian world” – the foundation and key justification of Russian aggression against Ukraine.

    The Synod of the OCU stated that the hierarchs of the MP in Ukraine did not find the right words or courage to condemn the ideology of the “Russian world” in their public statements.

    “Had it not been for the previous conscious and persistent work of the ROCinU in promoting the ideas of the ‘Russian world,’ the war would not have come to our land,” said the OCU.

    The OCU reminded that the war began on February 20, 2014, more than eight years ago and therefore the OCU cannot be the cause of the Russian war against Ukraine, as stated by the Synod of the UOC-MP.

    The OCU Synod stressed that the ROCinU did not properly assess numerous facts of deliberate destruction of UOC-MP churches by Russian invaders, nor did it condemn the collaborationism of the UOC-MP clergy and did not respond to the call for unification.

    “Instead, the hierarchs of the MP in Ukraine focused on the accusations against the OCU, calling its very existence and the Tomos of autocephaly it has received ‘the cause of the Russian invasion.’ Didn’t you, the hierarchs of the MP in Ukraine, notice that the war had started long before the Unification Council in St Sophia and the receipt of the Tomos? Do you still not understand that the reason for Putin’s order to wage war against our people is the very existence of independent Ukraine, its statehood and sovereignty, its successful democratic development, the love of freedom that Ukrainians have in them?” the OCU Synod said.

    The OCU stated that the UOC-MP doesn’t want to change anything because instead of convening the highest governing bodies of the UOC-MP, they are convening a sort of a round table where it will not be possible to pass a specific decision.

    “… They have not made any correct conclusions from what has happened, they want to continue to be subordinate to Moscow, to obey Kirill Gundyaev, to work for the implementation of the ideas of the ‘Russian world,’” the OCU stressed, calling on MP leaders in Ukraine to finally cede from Moscow and unite in an autocephalous Local Church.

    The OCU has assured that they do not intend and neither are they willing to focus on the disputes of the past, but seek to create the future together. There is also no canonical alternative to the OCU. Parishes that join the OCU preserve and will preserve their traditions, being free to choose the language of worship. “Abbots and clergy who support the decisions of their communities will remain in place. The same applies to the MP hierarchs in Ukraine once they decide to fulfill their canonical duty and follow the church order defined in the Tomos of autocephaly,” the Synod said in the statement.

    Separately, the Synod of the OCU called to remember that “no oaths and obligations to the Moscow Patriarchate have any canonical force in Ukraine, because the very existence of the ROC jurisdiction in our country is a canonical anomaly and violation of the Tomos of autocephaly.”

    “We are convinced that the church’s unity and the independence of the Orthodox from Moscow’s influence are an integral part of Ukraine’s victory in the ongoing war for its freedom and independence. So we must act now, not sometime in the future, make decisions, not offer vague promises, take responsibility, and not expect steps from someone else,” the OCU concluded.