Patriarch Filaret: Failure to recognize autocephaly not big misfortune
Patriarch Filaret of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate (UOC-KP) believes that the only difference between the UOC-Moscow Patriarchate and Kyivan Patriarchate is that the Kyiv Patriarchate has not yet been recognized by other national Orthodox Churches. However, this phenomenon is temporary, because sooner or later the Ukrainian Churches will unite.
"Today it is not recognized, but in the future it will be recognized,” he said during his visit to Donetsk, the UOC-KP website reports.
"All the Orthodox Churches, which arose after the collapse of empires, took a long time to be recognized – Serbian, Georgian, Greek, Bulgarian ... and Russian! " said the head of the Kyivan Patriarchate.
Patriarch Filaret said that the Russian Church was not recognized for longer than any other – 141 years. However, the spiritual life was not affected.
"But during those one hundred and forty years it existed as a Church and had a spiritual life, had monasteries, ascetics, saints. Therefore, not recognizing the church is not a great misfortune for the Church. And we are not recognized temporarily. It depends on how quickly it will unite with the MP in a single Ukrainian Orthodox Church," he said.
The head of the UOC-KP reported that they began to prepare for negotiations with the UOC-MP when Patriarch Alexy II was the leader, but when the Russian Orthodox Church was headed by Kirill, all negotiations stopped.
"He seeks no unification, but the elimination of the autonomy and independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate. Now there is a struggle in the UOC-MP – some want the church to be independent, and others part of the Russian Church. But it all depends, mainly, on God. When God creates the appropriate conditions we will merge into a single Ukrainian Orthodox Church. I have no doubt that this will happen," assured Patriarch Filaret of the UOC-KP.