Open Orthodoxy Network participants, being predominantly UOC-MP faithful, appeal for the Tomos and call everyone to dialogue
The participants of Open Orthodoxy Network gathered in Kyiv on August 20-23 at the roundtable themed “What Orthodox Church of Ukraine should be like”. The uniqueness of this event is that most of the present belong to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) and, at the same time, are convinced supporters of the autocephaly of the one local Orthodox Church in Ukraine.
The Open Orthodox University of St Sophia the Wisdom initiated the statement signing.
The participants of the round table issued a final statement welcoming the desire of the Patriarch of Constantinople and Ecumenical Orthodoxy to provide the Tomos for Ukrainian Orthodoxy, clarifying what the Orthodox Church should be like, and called upon Orthodox Ukrainians to renounce “the language of hostility and violence to anyone in solving any issues”.
“We are open to dialogue and call on Orthodox Ukrainians who belong or will belong to different Orthodox jurisdictions, to renounce the language of hostility and violence towards any person in solving any and all issues, including administrative and property issues.
We offer peaceful coexistence, cooperation and co-ordination instead of war between jurisdictions.
We welcome the desire of the Patriarch of Constantinople and Ecumenical Orthodoxy to help Orthodox Ukrainians overcome Church divisions. However, we must not be passive observers, but active participants in the processes of reconciliation in Ukrainian Orthodoxy. The bestowal of the Tomos of Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is merely a starting point in the process of unification of Orthodox Ukrainians and the making of the Ukrainian Church on the basis of biblical wisdom, evangelical openness and Orthodox unity. It depends on us, the Orthodox clergy and believers, what the future of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine will be like.
In order to get rid of the imperial, totalitarian and Soviet constructs in our Church and public life, we need not only the Tomos but also a large-scale conciliar process involving the best Orthodox theologians to bring us back to authentic traditions of the Church of Kyiv and to become our milestone. We need not only the unity of Ukrainian Orthodoxy but also the unity of the people of Ukraine. Therefore, we see our Orthodoxy open to dialogue with society and the media, research circles and the academia, with other religions and denominations, with believers and non-believers. We support the efforts of the President of Ukraine and other Orthodox believers who were elected by the people of Ukraine to high government offices or are active members of civil society, to contribute to the process of obtaining the Tomos of autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.”
The signatories also called on the State authorities to ensure the strict observance of Ukrainian legislation and to protect the constitutional right to freedom of opinion and religion, thus preventing violence and ensuring a peaceful and legal solution to all contentious issues.
Anyone who agrees with the statement, regardless of their denomination, can now sign the statement in the Merezha (Network) group.