Metropolitan of Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada: We Will Not Be Pulled Into Sphere of Influence of Moscow Patriarchate
Archbishop of Winnipeg and Metropolitan of Canada, Yurii (Kalishchuk), addressed his flock to explain why the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada did not accept the offer from the Archdiocese of Canada of the Orthodox Church in America to make available to his church the Relics of the Holy Great Prince Volodymyr of Kyiv that have been in Canada for some weeks.
Metropolitan Yurii said it was an act to show the church's unacceptance of the position of the Moscow Patriarchate and determination to defend the truth about the Ukrainian Church.
According to the press service of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, the address reads that the relics of the great Ukrainian saint "are accompanied with supporting literature such as liturgical texts that reference Russia and an informational article entitled 'Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Great Prince Vladimir, in Holy Baptism Basil, the Enlightener of the Russian Land Commemorated on July 15,' written from a pro-Moscow, Tsarist and Soviet historical point of view." According to the metropolitan, its intention seems to be to give the impression that the historical personages and events presented there bear a direct relationship to present-day "Russia" "in order to usurp for the Moscow Empire
that he was building, the history and legacy of Kyivan Rus."
The address says that the UOC of Canada cannot view without suspicion and
scepticism any proposal "either directly from the Moscow Patriarchate or
through its affiliate, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow
Patriarchate)," but can only view it as "an attempt to pull the
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada into its sphere of influence or to falsely
represent that such is the case, and thereby create or exacerbate divisions
"The present Russian state and the Moscow Patriarchate have had 19 years,
following the collapse of the Soviet Union, to disassociate themselves from
the policy of persecution and repression of Ukraine. . . . The Moscow Patriarchate
should have acknowledged the transfer of the Church of Ukraine (1686) into its
jurisdiction as un-canonical and, together with the Ecumenical Patriarchate,
cooperated to recognize the Ukrainian Church as an Autocephalous Church in a
sovereign state," reads the address.
The metropolitan stressed that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
"will not agree to have its name associated with the propagation of
tendentious interpretations of the history of the peoples of Ukraine and
Russia, nor to collaborate with those propagating political ideologies and
ecclesiastical projects, which are detrimental to the Ukrainian people, the
Ukrainian state, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church."