Bulgarian Patriarch did not oppose Ukrainian autocephaly, - Ukrainian presidential administration
“Bulgarian Patriarch Neophyte did not oppose the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine,” Rostyslav Pavlenko, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine, said in an exclusive comment to the RISU journalist. This is his commentary on the information published by the UNIAN Religion news agency on its website on June 20, 2018. The agency actually attributed to the Patriarch Neophyte a stance he did not express. Journalists interpreted the words about the need to act according to the canons as the rejection of autocephaly, which is not one and the same thing.
As RISU has already reported, on June 15, Bulgarian Patriarch Neophyte and Rostyslav Pavlenko, the Special Envoy of the President of Ukraine on religious affairs, met on the premises of the Episcopal Assembly in Sofia. Patriarch Neophyte said that the situation in Ukraine was repeatedly discussed at the meetings of the Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, and the head of the BOC reiterated his position on these issues. The secretary of the Holy Synod of the BOC, Bishop Gerasim, added that the Synod was well acquainted with the Ukrainian situation and understands its complexity, but called for strict observance of the church canons, which the Orthodox Church had adhered to for centuries.
At the end of the conversation, the Patriarch stated that it was necessary to intensify prayers to God. “If something is impossible for a person, it is possible for God,” said the first bishop of the BOC.
In the said report by UNIAN-Religion it was noted that the Polish Church expressed a “similar position”, which creates a false illusion that the Polish Church did not support Ukrainian autocephaly. The Synod of the PAOC also called for the observance of the church canons, but did not oppose Ukrainian autocephaly. However, the UOC (MP) tried to nevertheless misinterpret the position of the Polish episcopate. The Church resources twisted the words of Metropolitan Savva of Warsaw, as stated by Rostyslav Pavlenko.
Fr. Mykola Danylevych, the church representative, tried to refute the words of Pavlenko, referring to a secret letter from the Poles. However, he declined to release this letter.
As reported, the information agency "UNIAN-Religions" this year has twice (in the first and second quarters) become the leader of the unprincipled Ukrainian media involved in jeans journalism. Such conclusion was reached by experts of the Institute of mass information, which are engaged in the research of jeans journalism in the media. Specialists note that in the first quarter UNIAN-religions published on average 50 “jeans news” a week. The largest customer of UNIAN-R, according to analysts' findings, was the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate).