Monday, June 27, 2022

    OCU Primate: Merger of Ukrainian Churches into single local one is inevitable

    The unification of the Ukrainian Church into a single local one is inevitable in the future, but it’s only those willing who will join.

    Head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Metropolitan Epifaniy addressed the issue in an interview with NV.

    “The unification is inevitable. Irreversible processes began in 2018, when we held a unifying Council, and the three branches of Ukrainian Orthodoxy merged into a single local Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Then, unfortunately, few Moscow Patriarchate bishops attended that Council, but three and a half years later, when a large-scale Russian invasion began, many hierarchs and clergy, and especially MP believers, realized that it was impossible to stay with this Church. Therefore, gradually, from the grassroots, from parishes, they began to join the OCU,” he explained.

    At the same time, he added that only those who have the relevant desire will join. It is assumed that in Ukraine there will be some who will remain with the ROC. However, it is unclear whether there will be an exarchate or a metropolis.

    “They will take the appropriate name of the Russian Church and, please, we do not need those who will destroy the Ukrainian Church from the inside. So there’ll be unity only with those who have matured to this unity,” added Metropolitan Epifaniy.

    According to the OCU Primate, the division in Ukrainian Orthodoxy has been going on for 30 years. But for the sake of Ukraine, “we are ready to start this dialogue from scratch and write our modern church history together,” the metropolitan continued, answering questions of whether any lustration procedure is provided for in the church.

    “But we must also admit our mistakes as without this any movement is impossible – we need to reconsider what has been done, leave it in the past, and build a common future together. Therefore, there will be a dialogue, and the commissions will decide who we’ll accept and who we won’t. If someone has proved to be a bad person, it will only be a problem for the church,” he concluded.