Patriarch Bartholomew will be simply unable to deny autocephaly to Ukrainians, Patriarch Filaret
Primate of the UOC-KP Patriarch Filaret expressed confidence that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will soon be obliged to provide the Tomos of autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. He said this during a sermon on May 28 at the Lutsk Holy Trinity Cathedral, Volynska Pravda reported.
Patriarch Filaret has emphasized that the UOC-KP is a full-fledged Local Autocephalous Orthodox Church, where the grace of the Holy Spirit works and sacraments are performed.
“Does Divine Grace work in us? It does. Here we are waiting for the Tomos from the Ecumenical Patriarch on the autocephaly of our Church. Why do we need this Tomos? Cannot we pray to God without the Tomos? Cannot we celebrate Divine Liturgy? Are the priests devoid of the grace and the right to forgive sins in the sacrament of Confession? We do have all that. And why do we want this Tomos of autocephaly to be granted to us? Only one is the reason - we want to enter the Eucharistic communion with all the Orthodox Churches. This is what we need - to pray with the totality of the Church of Christ, and this time is approaching,” said the Patriarch.
The head of the UOC-KP also noted that Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, for over 25 years has been moving forward and back in the matter of recognition of the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church.
“And now he is in the situation that he cannot back out. Nothing to say about all the circumstances that urge the Ecumenical Patriarch to grant Tomos of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church. But he asked that the entire episcopate of the UOC-KP submitted the appeal to him, and this was done. He also asked the hierarchs of the UAOC - and they submitted the petition. He asked (Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I) the episcopate of the UOC (MP), but the bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate are afraid to be punished by Moscow if there is no Tomos. But there were also brave men who supported the idea of autocephaly and the petition for the bestowal of the Tomos. At the request of the Ecumenical Patriarch, the President and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine also submitted their appeals. So, on our part, everything has been done - we are waiting for it now,” said Patriarch Filaret.