Metropolitan Epifaniy: absolute majority of our hierarchs want to stay in OCU
Almost all hierarchs, clergy and faithful of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine testify that they wish to remain in the recognized autocephalous Church. Primate of the OCU, Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and all Ukraine said it to UKRINFORM, commenting on the statements of Patriarch Emeritus Filaret.
"The absolute majority of hierarchs are faithful to the principles that we unanimously adopted at the Council. Almost unanimously, only one participant out of 200 voted against it during the meeting of the Unification Council. We have got the idea. We want to develop our One Local Orthodox Church which is recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and -- in the future -- will be recognized by other local Orthodox Churches. Speaking about some other mechanisms to return or proclaim the Patriarchate, contrary to the Unification Council, can automatically return us to the previous state, the state of the unrecognized Church," Metropolitan Epifaniy said.
The Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine stressed that this is the reason why "almost all hierarchs, clergymen and faithful show that they want to be in the recognized independent autocephalous Local Orthodox Church."
“While the statements made by some hierarchs of our Church get practically no support. Therefore, the hierarchs, seeing a certain danger, rallied and demonstrated that we are united and move only in the direction that we have outlined up to this time," Metropolitan Epifaniy summarized.
As reported, on May 14, Patriarch Emeritus Filaret published an appeal in which he announced that the Kyiv Patriarchate continued to exist, and he remained the effective Patriarch.
By contrast, on May 24, the Synod of the OCU expressed unconditional support for Metropolitan Epifaniy and denied the existence of the Kyiv Patriarchate.