Synod of the UOC-KP announces the Local Unification Councilto be held on September 14
The issue of unification of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church –Kyiv Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church into the single Local Ukrainian Orthodox Church was discussed on June 18 at a meeting of the Synod of UOC-KP.
The Synod of UOC-KP thanked Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for vesting the Constantinople Patriarchate hierarchs with the authority to act as observers in the dialogue between the UOC-KP and UAOC regarding association.
The presence of the Ecumenical Patriarchate hierarchs as observers in the dialogue between the UOC-KP and UAOC concerning association is the evidence of attention and support for unification process from the Mother Church of Constantinople and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Diaspora (under the aegis of the Ecumenical Patriarch).
The Synod approved the Final decision of the joint meeting of the Committees for dialogue between the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church with theUkrainian Orthodox Church - Kyiv Patriarchate and of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kyiv Patriarchate with the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church as of June 8, 2015 and announced the Local Unification Council to be held on September 14, 2015.
The delegates to the Local Council for Unification will be all bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kyiv Patriarchate, and one delegate per each ofthe fifteen registered religious organizations in each diocese.
To prepare the Local Council for Unification, the Commission for dialogue with the UAOC was vested with authority to participate in the joint pre-conciliar commission.
The Synod of UOC-KP vested Patriarch Filaret of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine with the authority to decide on additions or changes to the commission within the approved representation on the part of the UOC-KP in the number of 7 persons.
If necessary, Patriarch Filaret, directly or through members of the Commission on dialogue shall explain and interpret the UOC-KP proposals onunification.
As a sign of respect for the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, theUkrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchate will not accept the UAOC bishops that are willing to join the UOC-KP without their hierarchs’ consent.
The Synod of UOC-KP proposed Primate and the Bishops' Council of UAOC to suspend consecration of new bishops during the period before the Unification Councilboth in the UOC-KP and UAOC, as well as to stop increasing the episcopate of the UOC KP and UAOC by receiving bishops from other jurisdictions (excluding reception of bishops ordained in the Moscow Patriarchate).
The Synod also instructed Patriarch Filaret of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine to turn the UAOC on behalf of the Holy Synod to explain its position on unification.