Titles of the UOC-MP hierarchy became invalid after the proclamation of autocephaly of the OCU, - expert opinion
Experts of Cerkvarium reflect on who is the UOC-MP in Ukraine on its own, without the Russian canonical umbrella, and on what grounds do they occupy the largest shrine in Ukraine - the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra?
"No matter who the leadership of the UOC-MP considers themselves to be, after the announcement of autocephaly of the OCU, their titles are automatically null and void. From the Ecumenical Patriarch's perspective, these are now titular bishops who are temporarily subordinate to the Russian Patriarch. In practice, this means the following:
first, the UOC-MP is actually a parasinagogue (it should still be according to the canons? so be it);
secondly, the bishops who do not rule dioceses and are only assistants to Canonical diocesan bishops are considered titular bishops. At the same time, they must bear the historical names of cities that no longer exist at the moment;
thirdly, the OCU has every right to assign its own name to each such clone Bishop. For example, Metropolitan Onufriy, as a Titular Bishop, has the right to be called Bishop of Samvatas – after the ancient name of Kyiv, Σαμβατας, used in the tenth century by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus. And Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa has the right to bear the title of Bishop of Kotsyubiyovsky, or Hadzhibeysky, or of South Palmyra;
fourth, the temporary tolerance by the Ecumenical Patriarch of the presence of the hierarchs of Ukrainian origin under Russia (meaning not the state, but the church) may mean that from a canonical point of view after December 15, 2018, the presence of titular Russian bishops who are not part of the episcopate of the OCU and do not perform their canonical duties under the ruling bishops in such shrines as the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra is at least morally and ethically doubtful. However, this issue should be resolved in the legal framework by the Ukrainian state authority that once provided the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine with these premises for free use;
fifth, unacceptably boorish rhetoric against the Phanar may lead to the end of the era of temporary patience and the announcement by the Ecumenical Patriarch of the procedure for informing the Ukrainian authorities about the actual canonical status of bishops of the UOC-MP (Independence Day is just right for such an action). This already raises the issue of using the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra as a metropolitan residence not by the titular Metropolitan of Samvatas, but by the actual Metropolitan of Kyiv.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate "temporarily tolerates the existence of Ukrainian hierarchs under Russia not as local ruling bishops, but only as titular ones or those residing in Ukraine. This is stated in the response of Patriarch Bartholomew to the letter by Cerkvarium's editors regarding the true canonical status of the UOC-MP.