Canonical Orthodoxy in Ukraine and around the world dealt a heavy wound, his Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill in the messages to the primates of the local Orthodox Churches.
Messages were sent to his Beatitude the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria Theodore II, his Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch, his Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III, his Holiness and Beatitude Catholicos-Patriarch of all Georgia Ilia II, his Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, his Beatitude the Romanian Patriarch Daniel, Patriarch of the Bulgarian Neophyte, his Beatitude Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos II, his Beatitude Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Hieronymos II, his Beatitude Archbishop of Tirana and all Albania Anastas, Metropolitan of Warsaw and all Poland Sawa, Metropolitan of the Czech lands and Slovakia Rostislav, Metropolitan of all America and Canada Tikhon, reports patriarhiei.
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill announced that on December 15 this year in Kyiv with the direct participation of and under the direct patronage of the state authorities of Ukraine held a meeting of “bishops”, “clergy” and laity of the two schismatic Ukrainian groups. The participants of that illegal gathering held in the historic Church of St. Sophia, declared himself the “Unification Council.” In fact, the so-called Union was to merge together two of the schismatic organizations, of which one was formed. In “Cathedral” participated liepiskiu of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” and the other non-canonical structure – the “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.”
“Meanwhile, the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church led by recognized throughout the Orthodox world, his Beatitude Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine Onuphrius, in accordance with the decision of her Holy Synod of December 7, refused to participate in this event, considering it “illegal Assembly.” Despite numerous cases of pressure on her bishops, out of 90 bishops, the components of its bishops, pseudosobor was attended by only two bishops, one diocesan and one a vicar. The decision of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of December 17, they both because the movement split and gross violations of the oath the bishops removed from office and banned from serving,” — said his Holiness.
His Holiness recalled that the process “of granting autocephaly to Ukraine” was inspired by the head of the secular power of the country for their own political purposes. “Held the meeting only confirmed the fact of blatant interference of the state in Church life”, — stated the Patriarch. So, President Poroshenko, not only were the “Cathedral”, but sat in his presidency, personally watching the progress of the meeting. In “Cathedral” was also attended by the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Parubiy, who on 17 December announced in the coming days, the vote on the draft law on deprivation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church the right to be called in accordance with its constitutional name. “The purpose of this renaming is to conduct a re — registration of all parishes and monasteries, the invalidation of documents on the rights of the canonical Church to the churches and other Church property”, — said his Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill.
“To our great sorrow, in a hostile Church event contrary to the sacred canons and in violation of Church edicts was attended by representatives of the Constantinople Patriarchate, — said the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church. — Metropolitan Emmanuel of France presided at the Council of dissenters, having on the right hand pricesabsolute the Greek-Catholics Poroshenko, and on the left — excommunicated Filaret Denisenko and do not have Apostolic succession Macarius of Miletich”.
As noted by his Holiness, the sad result of this unlawful Assembly was the election of a “Primate” so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine.” They became the schismatic “Bishop” self-proclaimed “Kiev Patriarchate” S. P. Dumenko, all your pseudomonotone and even “monastic vows” with the name of Epiphanius has received at the hands erupted from Sana and anathematising Filaret Denisenko. The newly elected “Primate” hastened to declare publicly that Filaret life will retain the title of “honorary Patriarch’s life to help us to develop our unified local Ukrainian Orthodox Church”.
“An accomplished act of blatant lawlessness presented by the authorities and the Church of Constantinople as the unification of the Ukrainian Orthodoxy — drew the attention of the primates of the local Churches, his Holiness Patriarch Kirill. — However, enterprises in fact did not happen. As the dissenters were dissenters, and remained outside the Church. And even combined with each other, they still remain a minority in the Orthodox map of Ukraine”. His Holiness pointed out that according to government statistics cited by the Ministry of culture, canonical Ukrainian Church has 12 348 parishes, more than double the total number of parishes, formed a new pseudoterminal structure. The number of priests of the canonical Ukrainian Church is 10 424, the number of monasteries — 211, and the number of monastics – 4 721.
“The Ukrainian Orthodox Church — the largest religious organization in Ukraine. The episcopate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with the Moscow Patriarchate the status of wide self-government, on 13 November the Council of bishops unanimously called for the preservation of that status, for the preservation of the centuries-old unity with the Russian Church witnessed the Patriarch. — However, the Ukrainian government is doing everything to break this historic connection.”
His Holiness stressed that the dissenters, combined with each other, did the most important step is repentance for the sin of schism and return to the Church from which they came and from the unity which has disappeared. Instead, there is the legalization of the schism the Patriarchate of Constantinople under the guise of “autocephaly”.
The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church recalled: “of these actions his Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew held in January 2016 the Synaxis in chambésy in the presence of the primates of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church promised not to take any to the Cretan of the Cathedral, nor after him”. A violation of this their words led to the tragedy in the Orthodox world, concluded his Holiness Patriarch Kirill. He said: “the Incident of December 15 lawless action means that the Church of Constantinople ninety bishops, more than ten thousand priests, deacons and monastics, tens of millions of believers of the Canonical Church throughout Ukraine no longer exist only because it did not want to be members imposed upon them from outside of the project granting “autocephaly” and want to build Church life in accordance with Church regulations, and not the political ambitions of the authorities.”
His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Cyril has informed the addressees of the Epistles that the day after “the Cathedral”, December 16, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople officially recognized the election as “Primate” of the schismatic structure whose name is already commemorated in the Liturgy in the Patriarchal Church of St. George, and also announced that on 6 January of the coming year will provide the so-called Tomos of autocephaly. On the same day, Filaret Denisenko announced in the Kiev Vladimir Cathedral as an honorary Patriarch of a lifetime to manage an integrated schismatic “Church” along with the new “Prelate” who will represent the organization in external relations.
“We are witnessing a lawless interference in the internal life of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, anticanonical rude invasion of its borders and the deepening of division in the Church the Orthodox people, an even greater schism in Ukrainian Orthodoxy”, — said his Holiness.
He mentioned that in the recent past, the Orthodox world was faced with a similar threat to its unity in connection with the split, tormenting the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in 90 years. Then, as in the present case, the activities of the schismatics actively supported by the state authorities. “The most important step towards the restoration of unity in the Local Church has become a pan-Orthodox Council in Sofia, the convening of which were hot, including the Moscow Patriarchate, reminded His Holiness. And although his Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople as the solution proposed legalization of the schism and the voluntary resignation of the legitimate Primate of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church Patriarch Maxim, the Fullness of Orthodoxy, he defended the canonical rights of the Church and its first Hierarch, his correct canonical grounds for overcoming the schism”.
“Now we wonder, how can the voice of the multimillion canonical Church in Ukraine must be heard, — said the Patriarch. — I am convinced that in Ukraine in our days is not a conflict of interests of the Moscow and Constantinople Patriarchates, as some are trying to imagine it, but something much more dangerous: the deepest divergence of the Primate and the hierarchs of the Holy Church of Constantinople with Orthodox canonical tradition and patristic ecclesiology. There comes a time when further silence is no longer possible, because what is going on before our eyes, call the whole Orthodox world. There is no doubt that the Ukrainian scenario in the future can be implemented in relation to any other Local Church.”
His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill addressed to the primates of local Orthodox Churches with an appeal not to recognize the results held in Kiev of an illegal gathering of dissenters, and also to raise their authoritative voice and to do everything possible to stop the destructive Orthodoxy of action. “I urge You and the fullness of [your] Holy Church not to recognize the newly formed pseudoterminal structure and not to join with her in communion,” writes His Holiness.
“I beg Your Holy prayers of the persecuted Ukrainian Orthodox Church, about our suffering brothers and sisters, who are subjected to mocking and humiliation for loyalty to Holy Orthodoxy”, — these words drew his Holiness to the primates of the local Churches.