Archimandrite Kyrylo Govorun, an acclaimed theologian, commented on the current status of the UOC MP. He says that there is no need to talk about the legitimacy of the UOC MP’s autocephaly, and that it is yet to walk a long path in this direction.
“In the case of the UOC under the leadership of Metropolitan Onufriy, we are dealing with a certain step towards such legal autocephaly, although there is still a very long way to go toward such autocephaly. But there is no need to talk about its legitimacy at all. This is a self-proclaimed autocephaly, and no one is going to recognize it yet,” the theologian said in an interview for the Spiritual Front of Ukraine.
He noted that it is about self-proclaimed and implicit (unexpressed) autocephaly, and it has a number of problems about it.
“I also call it ‘technical’ autocephaly: where autocephaly itself is not openly proclaimed, but it exists in fact. The problem of this autocephaly is not only that it has not been openly proclaimed, but also that it has not been recognized and it is unlikely that other Churches will do it in the near future. I can already hear voices from the UOC-MP saying that “we don’t care if we are recognized. We proclaimed ourselves what we wanted to proclaim, and we can put an end to that,” Father Kyrylo believes.
According to the Archimandrite, this only shows their obliviousness and ignorance of the Orthodox tradition.
“Because there should be recognition. Actually, this is the path taken by Patriarch Filaret when he unilaterally proclaimed the autocephaly of the Kyiv Patriarchate. It should be noted that Filaret, unlike the current leadership of the UOC, tried to achieve at least some kind of recognition: he wrote letters, established contacts, etc. Of course, he didn’t succeed. It came only with the granting of a tomos by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. This is the same path and the same problems that the UOC is facing now. Therefore, recognition and legitimacy are secular analogs of the concept of canonicity,” he concluded.
Also, Kyrylo Hovorun is sure that not everyone is interested in both churches being in a real union.