Patriarch Filaret Calls on Clergy and Laity of UOC-MP to Defend Their Independence
Patriarch Filaret of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate is concerned about the real threat of the loss by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) of its independence and self rule. On the occasion of the Feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, he addressed the clergy and laity of the UOC-MP, calling on them to prevent “Moscow's taking away of even that incomplete freedom, which is enjoyed by the church now, by means of deception.”
In his address, Patriarch Filaret reminded that it was thanks to his initiative that the UOC received its status in 1990. Later, he was dismissed from leadership by bishops loyal to Moscow and the Statute of the UOC was changed. According to the Patriarch, history repeats itself today.
“Today, we all can see that the majority of the members of the Synod of the UOC-MP led by Metropolitan Agafangel took advantage of the illness of Meropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan) and made a number of steps toward the usurpation of power. Moreover, there are all grounds to state confidently that the actions of Metropolitan Agafangel and his accomplices are supported by Moscow Patriarchate and Patriarch Kirill, whose final goal is to deprave the UOC-MP of its status of an independent and self-ruled church and subordinate it directly to Moscow again,” the website of UOC-KP quoted Patriarch Filaret as saying.
“How do they plan to do that? By way of making alterations to the Statutes of the UOC-MP which would stipulate election, appointment and rotation of the bishops of the UOC with the blessing of Patriarch of Moscow. In that way, without a formal annulment of UOC’s status of a self-ruled church,
The head of the UOC-KP noted that the present Russian regime seeks to involve Ukraine by force in the renewed empire and uses the influence of the Moscow Patriarchate.