Moscow resorts to tricks: theologian comments on the “new” status of the UOC-MP
Today, at the Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, following the speech of Metropolitan Onufry (Berezovsky) of Kyiv, a unanimous decision was taken to amend the Charter of the Russian Orthodox Church in the provisions regulating the status of the UOC. A number of mass media immediately burst out with victorious messages about the great victory and the provision of some new status to the UOC, independence and autonomy.
But in reality, everything is not so rosy. Ilya Bey, the Master of Theology and a lecturer of Kyiv Theological Academy, analyzed all the clauses relating to the status of the UOC and offers his conclusions:
“Moscow wants to blur the eyes of Kyivan authorities. It is precisely for this purpose that the updated article of the ROC include paragraph 4 “The church bodies of governance and administration of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are its Council and Synod, chaired by its Primate, bearing the title “His Beatitude Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine”. The center of governance of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is located in Kyiv.” Obviously, the ROC wants to circumvent the requirements of draft law No. 5309 (on the names of religious organizations which make part of a religious organization having the governing center in a state recognized as an aggressor state) ... Moscow not only failed to give anything new to Kyiv with this decision, nothing new, but also resorted to a trick. No significant changes actually took place in the position of the UOC within the ROC. On the one hand, Moscow has pretended to have returned to Kyiv what it had withdrawn in 1990-ies, having dedicated the UOC to a separate chapter in its Charter, on the other hand, the today's decision explicitly reads the following: “Let the Ukrainians think that their decision-making center is really in Kyiv.”