Rep of UOC-Moscow Patriarchate Explains Why Decisions of Its Synod Are Valid
The Administrator of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), Archbishop Mytrofan (Yurchuk) of Bila Tserkva and Bohuslav commented at the web site of the Kyiv Cave Monastery on the response of the mass media to the decisions of the Synod of UOC-MP of 26 January. He explained why it was decided to appoint Mertropolitan Pavlo of Vyshhorod and Chornobyl temporary head of the Kyivan Eparchy of UOC-MP and to replace the administrators of the construction of the cathedral of Resurrection. The head of UOC-MP stressed that the Head of UOC-MP, Metropoliatan Volodymyr is aware of all the decisions of the Synod and that there is no schism within UOC-MP.
“His beatitude has been and continues to be our Primate… The Synod considered the current questions of the Church life, particularly, the appointment of Metropolitan Pavlo of Vyshhorod and Chornobyl temporary head of the Kyivan Eparchy and cancellation of the decisions of the previous Synod, which set up the committee of three vicar bishops of the Kyivan Metropolitanate to head the Kyivan eparchy. That mechanism of leadership during the period of sickness of his Beatitude has proved ineffective. It is necessary to make decisions, sign documents, therefore, the question arose who should do that. It undoubtedly should be carried out by one person… Metropolitan Pavlo was entrusted with the task to lead the Kyivan Eparchy as he always stays in the capital, in the monastery and knows the situation in Kyiv and Kyiv Region. He was the most suitable candidate. Also changes were made with regard to the construction of the cathedral of Resurrection. Bishop Oleksandr was dismissed from the position of the senior priest of the Church of All Saints because the process of construction has proved extremely complicated and to manage that process and financing thereof one should be good at it. One representative of our Church who is good at it is Metropolitan Sofronii of Cherkasy and Kaniv who built more than one Church. He has experience of construction of large churches. Therefore, it was decided to entrust him with the task of supervising the construction of the Cathedral of the Holy Resurrection,” Archbishop Mytrofan commented on the decision of the Synod.
As for the changes and addenda to the Statutes of UOC-MP, the Archbishop stressed that the Committee on Alterations and Addenda to the Statutes of UOC-MP will prepare the alterations, and that the final decision to pass or reject the alterations is to be made by the Council of Bishops of UOC.
The archbishop refuted the information that Metropolitan Volodymyr did not know about the decisions of the Synod: “On the eve of the Holy Synod, Archbishop Oleksandr of Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi and Vyshneve and I visited His Beatitude and discussed all the questions to be raised at the synod and His Beatitude was informed of all the developments. On the day of the Synod, Bishop Oleksandr and Metropolitan Lazar of Simferopol and Crimea also visited His Beatitude and reported to him on the decisions made by the Synod. They say that his Beatitude may not sign the decisions passed by the Synod. This is also not true. For the decisions at the Synod are taken collectively, that is with the consent of all the members of the Synod, and his Beatitude signs them only if all the members of the Synod agree with them. Therefore, if decisions were taken, actually all the questions raised at the Synod were passed unanimously. If his Beatitude does not agree with any decisions of the Synod, when he fully returns to the fulfillment of his responsibilities of the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, he has a right to submit the decisions to a repeated consideration and only then, they will be changed if it is necessary. As of now, all the decisions of the Holy synod of 26 January are valid and must be fulfilled by everyone whom they concern.”