Latvian Church could follow the path of Estonia, - OCU spokesman
Hierarch of the OCU Yevstratiy Zorya expressed this opinion in the interview with Ukrinform.
"The Latvian state tolerated the Moscow Patriarchate for more than 30 years, and the Moscow Patriarchate was used as a tool to destroy the Latvian state... Should the state protect itself and the security of its citizens from Russian aggression, or should it not? There are tasks of the state, and there are tasks of the Church. And let the Church regulate its position from the point of view of the canon law and in accordance with the practice that exists in the Orthodox world. It seems to me that it is absolutely logical and simple to do what neighboring Estonia did almost 30 years ago: they turned to the Ecumenical Patriarch and received a resolution of their situation from him. Either it will be autocephaly, or it will be autonomy, or it will be some other form, but this falls within the competence of the Ecumenical Patriarch," the OCU hierarch said.
Commenting on the question of whether something has changed in the relations of the Ukrainian Church with the Moscow Patriarchate, Archbishop Yevstratiy expressed doubt and noted that he does not see any official reaction to the fact that Moscow took three Crimean dioceses from the UOC-MP and unofficially stole what was previously occupied and what was captured.
"That is, Crimea was taken clearly," documented", and the Donbas and the occupied other parts of Ukraine were taken de facto. For example, Metropolitan Elisey of Izyum and Kupyansk went to Moscow to meet with Patriarch Kirill. On what grounds did he go there, and why did he go there? Obviously, not just to see him. What is the reaction of Metropolitan Onufriy, as the head of a religious association, who is officially responsible for responding to such things? Or is there a reaction from those who are officially empowered to respond – Metropolitan Anthony, Metropolitan Klyment, archpriest Mykolai Danylevych? Although, when a community decides to leave the Moscow Patriarchate in a remote village in a parish, they react instantly. At the same time, there is no reaction to the fact that Moscow took several thousand religious communities, monasteries, and dioceses from them. This is a real fruit that indicates that communication with Moscow has not been severed,” the hierarch said.
As reported, in early September, the Latvian Seimas adopted a law submitted by President Egils Levitis on the withdrawal of the Latvian Orthodox Church from the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Estonia was the first Baltic country to remove the Orthodox Church from the jurisdiction of the MP. In 1993, the country's state authorities registered the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church as the sole legal successor of the "illegally and repressively liquidated church administration". And in 1996, after persistent requests from the Estonian government and the vast majority of Estonian Orthodox parishes, Constantinople resumed the operation of the Tomos of 1923.