Saturday, July 20, 2024

    What’s behind participation of Ukrainian hierarchs in ROC meeting?

    The Pravblog Telegram channel published photos from the ROC Bishops’ Meeting. The photo shows two Ukrainian metropolitans of the so-called UOC (in unity with Moscow), namely Hilarion of Donetsk and Mitrofan of Horlivka.

    It should be recalled that recently, the head of the so-called “DPR,” Denys Pushylin, announced that both dioceses – Donetsk and Horlivka – had been transferred to the ROC control. However, the dioceses themselves neither confirmed nor denied the statement. Moreover, the vicars of these dioceses co-served with the head of the UOC (MP) Onufriy.

    It was also reported on some platforms that the ROC Patriarch Kirill personally launched a campaign to remove Metropolitan Hilarion of Donetsk from the chair, due to his alleged desire to remain with the UOC (MP).

    However, as we can see, dioceses and their leaders did become part of the Russian Church. After all, there is no other way to explain the clerics’ participation in that meeting. It is not yet known what caused such a move. Is it the pressure from the side of the Russian authorities or willingness on the part of the church leaders themselves? The answer to this question will become clear eventually.

    The only thing that raises no doubts is the statement that the annexation of Ukrainian dioceses by the Moscow Patriarchate continues. The loss of dioceses in Donbas is a serious challenge for the UOC (MP). After all, as we said in our previous publications, the Donetsk diocese is one of the powerful and influential ones so a change in its jurisdiction will deal a significant blow to the authority of the UOC (MP), and will automatically mean the loss of the Sviatohirsk Lavra.

    Because of this, there is increasing interest in the reaction of Onufriy and his Synod to the participation of these metropolitans in the ROC Bishops’ Meeting. We will also remind you that Metropolitan Hilarion of Donetsk is a permanent member of the Synod of the UOC (MP). In this regard, a logical question arises: does he not represent the entire UOC (MP) at that meeting, and is he not a secretly delegated official representative of this religious community at the meeting? If not, how will the UOC (MP) explain his participation and will they punish him for it?

    We are yet to hear the answers to these questions, and so far we will continue to follow the developments in the Trinity Lavra, where the infamous ROC Bishops’ Meeting is taking place. Its outcome is becoming more and more interesting.