OCU debunks shared myths about peace, diaspora and union with Rome
This is stated in his report, which was published on the official website of the OCU.
As Metropolitan Epifaniy noted, receiving myrrh from the Ecumenical Patriarchate is obligation enshrined in the Tomos. The creation and consecration of one's own myrrh in no way determines the state of the presence or absence of autocephaly.
A number of autocephalous churches also receive Holy Myrrh from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, such as the Patriarchate of Jerusalem or the Church of Cyprus.
"This emphasizes not the dependence, but the unity of the Church of Christ, which, although divided into local parts, remains a single church, the one Mystical Body of Christ," the first hierarch noted.
The Kyiv Pechersk Lavra once brewed myrrh independently, although the Kyiv Metropolia was not autocephalous.
Now, according to Metropolitan Epifaniy, the OCU uses myrrh consecrated in the UOC-KP and UAOC.
It consists in the fact that the OCU allegedly abandoned Orthodox Ukrainians living abroad and transferred them to the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
"In fact, our local church may well provide clergy or candidates for ordination who would continue to carry out their service for Ukrainians abroad, being under the jurisdiction of local hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, but preserving the Ukrainian church tradition and fraternal connection with the OCU," the Primate of the OCU explained.
The hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate also appeal to the OCU to provide them with clergymen to perform ministry in such communities. Other local churches, whose believers are at the mercy of the motherland, also live by this principle.
The third myth is the spread of the idea that autocephaly is the first step towards "merger" with Rome.
"Yes, we should indeed show that we have developed good relations with the Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic churches in Ukraine, as well as with a number of Protestant denominations and with the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
However, we have repeatedly stressed and once again attest that there are dogmatic differences between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, which are the reason for the lack of Eucharistic unity. We do not want to exaggerate or downplay the significance of these differences – we only state the fact that they exist," the Primate of the OCU stressed.
Metropolitan Epifaniy noted that the OCU is a local part of the Orthodox Church, while the UGCC and the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine are part of the Catholic Church.
In addition, there is a difference between the OCU and the UGCC and the ROC in Ukraine both in the jurisdiction and in faith.
"Therefore, the issues that separate us go beyond the Ukrainian context and concern not only our relations. Therefore, the cause of unity of the entire Orthodox and all Catholic churches does not and cannot have a local positive solution," the first hierarch stressed.