Metropolitan Volodymyr: Purpose of UOC Council is to summarize church activity, not to redistribute power
In an interview to the official website of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan) of the UOC-MP spoke about the main reasons for convening the second in the last 20 years Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The decision to convene the council provoked a lively discussion not only among clergy but also in the secular press.
The name of the council, Jubilee, reveals the reasons for convening the UOC council. The primate of the UOC-MP noted: “Last year we marked the 20th anniversary of today’s status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and our 75th anniversary. Next year we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Kharkiv Council and our election to the cathedra of the Kyiv Metropolitans, which next year will also celebrate a jubilee – the 1150th anniversary. This year the whole country is preparing to celebrate the 20th anniversary of independence, and on July 9 we will mark the 45th anniversary of service in the hierarchical order.”
Therefore, according to Metropolitan Volodymyr, the council will be an attempt to combine the celebrations with the Jubilee Council of the UOC and a good opportunity to review church activity, because the events will bring together hierarchs, hegumen, clergy, and laity.
As during the last council, which was held in 1992, the primate of the UOC-MP said that “during this time the Holy Synod and the Council of Bishops approved hundreds of resolutions and appeals. All of this requires the reception of the Plenitude of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”
As for the analysts’ thoughts about a possible redistribution in church power, the primate explained that “in the church there cannot be a ‘coup’ or ‘redistribution of power,’ because this is not church terminology and not church methods. This is political rhetoric. And there is no place for politics in church affairs.” Metropolitan Volodymyr said that the church condemned “political Orthodoxy.” Politics divides, but the church should unite.”
“From the members of the council,” said the primate, “we expect to hear not only about results and achievements but also about the problems and challenges facing our Holy Church today. Based on these observations and suggestions, the hierarchy will come up with future plans for the church institutions.”
According to Metropolitan Volodymyr, “it is not necessary to make any theological or administrative choices”; therefore, the council is being convened to review church activity.