Constantinople: Russian-backed people among Metropolitan Epifaniy’s entourage is myth
The statement that Metropolitan Epifaniy is surrounded by pro-Russian forces is a myth,” Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, Ecumenical Patriarch’s representative, answered back to Patriarch Filaret.
Metropolitan Emmanuel of France stated that he did not agree with the statement of Patriarch Emeritus Filaret of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, who said on May 24, after the meeting of the Synod of the OCU, that the head of the OCU, Metropolitan Epifaniy, was influenced by the pro-Moscow forces whose main task was to destroy the Ukrainian Church.
“The Church is not only rooms, buildings or temples, the Church, first of all, is created by a faithful people who support it at all pains. All these people who supported the Kyivan Patriarchate and the UAOC, today they support the OCU and its Primate, Epifaniy. I do not see any new people. The church has nothing to be afraid of. It does not play any political role and does not interfere in political matters. All the accusations that its Primate is surrounded by some pro-Russian forces is a myth. Metropolitan Epifaniy is a young and powerful person that we support together with all Ukrainians,” said Metropolitan Emmanuel of France.
The Orthodox Metropolitan of France, subordinate to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, emphasized that the Tomos, which was signed by the Ecumenical Patriarch and clergymen of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, laid the foundations for the new autocephalous church. The clergyman also noted that the text of the Tomos was not a result of negotiations between the two parties, it outlines how the Church should function. A similar text was provided by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to all the local churches that received autocephaly in their time.
“No one has the right to judge what is right in the text and what is not. And those who do not accept certain provisions of the Tomos are refusing to be in the fold of this Church. This Church has a great future, it stands on its feet and it chooses the way it will go,” said Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, according to Channel 24.