Patriarch Filaret: UOC-MP Keeps Faithful By Deceit
During his visit to the Bukovyna region, Patriarch Filaret commented to our RISU correspondent Yurii Chornei that anouncements on the walls of churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) equate people baptized in the Kyivan Patriarchate with people who have committed suicide and thus who are not to be prayed for.
"Why do they preach that the Sacraments of Baptism, Marriage, Burial in the Kyivan Patriarchate are invalid? In order to intimidate ordinary believers: do not go there, everything is not valid there. And people who do not know the Orthodox creed believe that. In that way, they keep a part of the believers," explained the hierarch.
Patriarch Filaret stated that al the Sacraments administered by the UOC-KP are valid and denied the wide spread thesis that the Kyivan Patriarchate is a "schismatic" church.
"I would like to give an example of Moscow calling others schismatics. As soon as the situation changes, it suddenly begins to call yesterday’s 'scismatics' 'divided brethren.' Remember when 'karlovchanie' were called schismatics. That is the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad was called 'Karlovatskyi schism.' Have you heard about it? And now, when the time has come to unite, Moscow does not call them schismatics any more but 'divided brethren.' There is no schism any more but a division," said the patriarch.
According to the patriarch, the determining role here is played not by the creed or the grace of the Holy Spirit but by the imperial policy.
"When it is convenient to them they call black things white and vice versa. Therefore, one should not pay attention to it," he stressed.
At the same time, Patriarch Filaret is of the opinion that the relations between the two churches should be dominated by love which will lead to unification.