Canon lawyers of Constantinople lay out arguments in favor of canonical affiliation of Ukraine to Ecumenical Patriarchate
The Kyiv Orthodox Theological Academy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate translated into Ukrainian the study The Ecumenical Throne and the Ukrainian Church in which the canonists of the Constantinople Patriarchate substantiated the canonical affiliation of Ukraine to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Religion in Ukraine reported citing lb.ua.
The study, based on the research of archival documents, states that the Ecumenical Patriarchate had never transferred the Kyivan Metropolis to the Moscow Patriarchate. The canonical boundaries of the Russian Church were identified in 1589, when it was promoted to the status of the Patriarchate, and was never changed by any patriarchal or synodal Tomoses. The Kyiv Metropolis has never been within its borders.
The Kyiv Metropolis existed since its foundation as a diocese of the Ecumenical Throne, and every Metropolitan of Kyiv received a consecration from the Patriarch of Constantinople until the 17th century.
In 1686, Ecumenical Patriarch Dionysius IV, under severe pressure, allowed the Patriarch of Moscow to ordain the Metropolitan of Kyiv, starting with Gideon. The document according to which the Moscow Patriarch received this permit is called the "Charter of Transfer". But according to the current terminology, the word "transfer" implies "permission" of the ordination, but not the inclusion of the canonical territory into another autocephalous Church. This permission was issued for the reasons of oikonomia (practical use) given the long distance between Kyiv and Constantinople and the war between the two kingdoms in which Kyiv and Constantinople were located.
The characterization of the Kyiv Metropolis as "subordinate" to the patriarch of Moscow is explained there as well, and literally means to “ordain a metropolitan” therein. The Moscow Patriarchate understood this, but never adhered to the above conditions, wishing to include the Metropolitan of Kyiv and Ukraine into its canonical jurisdiction.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate, because of its difficult historical circumstances, for a long time kept silent regarding the violations, although never forgot about them. This is evidenced, for example, by the granting of autocephaly to the Polish Church in 1924. The relevant Tomos says that this decision is based on the fact that in terms of church affiliation Poland is part of the Kyiv Metropolis, which in turn is under the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
“Thus, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has the right and obligation to exercise proper maternal care for the Ukrainian Church in any situation that it deems necessary,” the study says.