Kyivan Patriarchate’s Rep: Dialogue with UOC-MP is Not the Only Possible Way
KYIV — Representatives of the Kyivan Patriarchate commented on the decision of the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) of November 24, 2009, as to the preparation of a dialogue with the Kyivan Patriarchate. “One had ambivalent impressions from these decisions. On the one hand, it is positive that the process of preparation for the dialogue can be continued and that it will not be abandoned. For before the session of the Holy Synod, there were fears that radical opponents of the dialogue in the synod will pass resolutions which would make the further process of communication of the work team impossible,” commented the spokesman of the Kyivan Patriarchate, head of its information and publishing department, Bishop Yevstartii (Zoria).
“On the other hand, there are also negative tendencies: the documents passed by the synod are filled with the rhetoric of the past. Such words were used ten-fifteen years ago. If anyone hopes that one can overcome the division of the Ukrainian Church in this manner, one is greatly mistaken,” continued the bishop.
Bishop Yevstratii stressed that the way of the dialogue with he UOC-MP is the right but not the only way of overcoming the divide in Ukrainian Orthodoxy: “However, the dialogue is not the only way out of the current situation. One should not forget that the Ecumenical Patriarch has been and continues to be an important factor in solving the Ukrainian Church issue. Constantinople is our mother-church. And, unlike the Moscow Patriarchate, which has difficulties showing a constructive position toward us, the Constantinople Patriarchate has a more open attitude,” stated the spokesman of the Kyivan Patriarchate.
The bishop stressed that unlike the Moscow Patriarchate, the Constantinople Patriarchate is afraid of the dialogue with the Kyivan Patriarchate or meetings or negotiations with Patriarch Filaret. “If the preparation of the dialogue with the UOC-MP comes to nothing, perhaps the opening of the Representative Office of the Ecumenical Patriarchate will give a new impetus for the process of the unification of the Ukrainian Church,” summed up the bishop.