Bishop of Kherson reports a tendency for unity between the OCU and the UOC-MP in the region
As Bishop of the OCU of Kherson and Kakhovka, Borys Harko, explains in an interview with Religiyna Pravda, this is due to the fact that people very often choose not a "canonical Church", but a priest.
"Canonicity was not the dominant motive here even ten years ago. The right father? They go to him," the Bishop said.
The clergy of the Diocese of Tavria of the OCU consists of more than two dozen young priests from Western Ukraine. When they arrived here, they realized the severity of the situation, but decided not to return to their native region, Bishop Borys noted.
"It would be both a personal and pastoral defeat. They adapted to the situation, started serving, and people started supporting them," he added.
According to Bishop Borys, today almost all parishes are united around the authority of a particular priest. Moreover, mothers of some clergy of the UOC-MP go to the services of OCU priests.
"For example, Bishop Nykodym's mother (the first priest of the UOC-MP in the Kherson region, who joined the OCU, and then was ordained a bishop) went to our parishes before the Tomos and was then a believer of the UAOC, although there were three Moscow churches nearby," Bishop Borys said.
Another example takes place in the satellite town of Kherson, Oleshky, where many clergymen live.
"The mother of two priests of the Moscow Patriarchate goes to our church there. Our believer. That is, people follow the authority of the priest," Bishop Borys emphasized.
He also said that the clergy of the UOC-MP and OCU in the Kherson region support cultural and diplomatic relations, which is a good sign for unification.
"I can't complain about human relationships. They are diplomatic and cultural. The UOC-MP understood then and still understands, that there would be unification. Now it did not happen according to their desire and scenario, but in Kherson, they do not make a conflict because of this. And this is the first step towards full unity," Bishop Borys believes.