UOC MP issues an ultimatum to President Zelensky
This was stated by the UOC Chancellor, Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary in the program "Church and Society" on the Glas TV channel, Orthodox Life reports.
"Volodymyr Zelenskyy is the President of Ukraine, and no one can forbid him to meet with the leaders of other states or with the leaders of certain religious associations. Another situation is how justified the invitation of the president of Ukraine to Patriarch Bartholomew is, as the president should worry about the internal condition of society, about the internal situation. I believe that before inviting the head of a religious organization from another state, he should figure out how it will be perceived by Ukrainian society, whether it would lead to confrontation," Metropolitan Anthony said.
As the hierarch recalled, over the past two years, the UOC-MP has repeatedly declared its attitude towards the Ecumenical Patriarch.
"We unequivocally say that Patriarch Bartholomew illegally interfered in the religious situation in Ukraine, and this interference led to a confrontation, seizures of churches in our church, and the beating of our parishioners and clergy. And the words of Volodymyr Zelensky that Patriarch Bartholomew cares about peace in Ukraine sound rather discordant. Because we have not found a single case where Patriarch Bartholomew, knowing the real situation in Ukraine, could somehow prevent what was happening. I mean the raider seizures of our churches, illegal re-registrations. And all this happened precisely based on those actions, illegal actions, I reiterate, of Patriarch Bartholomew in Ukrainian Orthodoxy," Metropolitan Anthony said.
According to the hierarch, today the position of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is unequivocal: "We object to Patriarch Bartholomew's visiting Ukraine. This is because we understand and can assume that his arrival will not serve peace in Ukraine. The President should definitely know about this and ensure that no external situation, arrival, can entail a new round of confrontations among believers."
"And here it is fundamental that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has repeatedly stated: We must learn to live in line with the Constitution. And the Constitution explicitly states that the State is separated from the Church. Therefore, any interference of statesmen in the internal life of the Church is contrary to our basic law," Metropolitan Anthony concluded.
On October 16, after a prayer service for Ukraine in the Patriarchal Church of St. George in Istanbul, President Zelensky and the first lady met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
According to the official website of the President, Volodymyr Zelensky invited the Patriarch to visit Ukraine.
As RISU has already written, the UOC-MP was wary of Zelensky's visit to the Ecumenical Patriarch.