"Now, the autocephaly is beyond doubt," - Metropolitan of the OCU Mykhail (Zinkevych) on the SBI ‘Tomos case’
Metropolitan of Lutsk and Volyn (OCU) Mykhail (Zinkevych) talked to Vasyl Dombrovsky (RISU) about possible options for the development of the investigation conducted by the State Bureau of Investigation.
"I consider this case hopeless for nothing will change the autocephalous status of the Ukrainian Church. The investigation and the question voiced by certain politicians will not change the fact that Ukraine has obtained Tomos. The rumors saying this case may provoke changes in the management of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine are baseless," the metropolitan said.
While asked whether he had any concerns about initiating proceedings against church leaders and bishops involved in the unification process, Bishop Mykhail replied:
"I am sure that there will be no politically inspired investigation against church leaders who took an active part in the negotiation process with Fanar. Though there will be individual statements from various people, they will get no reaction from society. Neither society nor the Church nor Poroshenko will suffer from it. Many things cannot be proved. For instance, how can I possibly evince that Petro Poroshenko pressured me? It is impossible to prove whether he threatened my relatives or me with arrest. How should one react when someone says one thing and does the opposite? How can you prove that someone frowned at you and glared threateningly? There are no signatures and facial expressions are no proof. Thus, I think that attempts at pressure, contrary to facts, are unprovable. Previously it was said to be a quarrel between Patriarch Filaret and Metropolitan Epifaniy, and now they will call it a dispute between Zelensky and Poroshenko."
At the same time, the bishop believes that "the patriarchate must exist. If not, we must create one and determine its very format. We need this to retain the idea of the patriarchal system in Ukraine. We have to talk it up because we might lull ourselves with the idea of a metropolis, and then forget about patriarchy altogether. And if this comes to pass, we will lose our role in the Ecumenical Church. We are presumably the largest Church after all."
As to whether the SBI investigation into the "Tomos case" will affect the OCU's relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the metropolitan is convinced that there will be no change. According to Metropolitan Mykhail, allegations against him will not matter:
"The situation is the following: whatever said will sound like nonsense for even pro-Russian forces have nothing to dig at Ukrainian autocephaly."