Patriarch Filaret: New Head of UOC-MP Should Not Be Elected While Old One is Alive
Patriarch Filaret stated that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate is on the brink of a schism as he commented in an interview to Weekly.ua on the session of the Synod of UOC-MP planned for 26 January, where an acting head of that Church can be elected in view of the sickness of the Head of UOC-MP, Metropolitan Volodymyr.
According to Patriarch Filaret, “it does not do to elect a new head while the old one is alive. And he does not intend to retire. Let God allow Metropolitan Volodymyr to head [the Church] in future but the struggle for his seat has already begun.”
According to him, “it is not known now who will be elected the new head, but if the Ukraine-phobic Metropolitan Ahafangel of Odesa is elected, a schism will begin in UOC-MP. And the part of the Church which distances itself from Ahafangel will come to the Kyivan Patriarchate.” “In any way, the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine is not stable as opposite forces struggle against each other within it,” stated Patriarch Filaret as he noted that “Metropolitan Volodymyr and his entourage defend the preservation of the independent status of UOC-MP. So reported Unian.net.
As RISU reported, the Press-Secretary of Metropolitan Volodymyr, Protopriest Heorhii Kovalenko in a commentary to tyzhden.ua refuted the information that an acting head of the Church is to be elected at the coming session of the Synod of UOC-MP, which information was spread by mass media.
In answer if that information is true the protopriest said: "I hear it for the first time now. Its is senseless both from the point of view of the canons and Statutes. Therefore, I do not understand what can be the source of that information. It appears that there are many smart people in the media who have no close relation to real life. The session is planned to be held on January 26, but it might be postponed."