The Council of bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which met in the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra 13 November 2018, having heard of his Beatitude Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine Onuphrius on the challenges that have arisen in recent times to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, adopted the following: The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is a canonical and recognized local Orthodox churches make the service of God and the people of Ukraine, fundamentally supports the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is present in all regions of Ukraine and unites both controlled and uncontrolled Ukrainian government territory, suffering together with his people all joy and suffering. Ukrainian Orthodox Church entitled to all the rights of independence and autonomy which are necessary for fruitful service to God and the people of Ukraine. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has consistently advocated for the healing of division, for the restoration of Church unity, that is, one Church. However, the restoration of the unity of Ukrainian Orthodoxy should not mean turning the Church into an element of politics or propaganda, as it is contrary to the nature of the Church. We are convinced that the overcoming of the Church division has to occur without the intervention of the state, political and other external forces. The Council of bishops is against any attempts to change the name of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, as declared by the first persons of the state, and other manifestations of discrimination of believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church at the legislative level. In the case of adoption of the relevant laws by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will protect its rights by all lawful means, under “Basics of social concept of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” Ukrainian legislation and the European Convention on human rights. The Council of bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church believes that the decision of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople from Oct 11, 2018 with respect to the Ukrainian Church issue are void and those which have no canonical force. In particular, the decision to establish the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine is the consequence of the speculative interpretations of ecclesiastical history. And the decision on the removal of the anathema, and other ecclesiastical prohibitions of the leaders of the schism and the recognition of the validity of pseudomonotone that were committed by them during the stay in split, is the result of a distorted interpretation of the Orthodox canons. History of the Orthodox Church does not know of cases to overcome the division by simple legalization. Anticanonically in taking such decisions, recognizing Raskolnikov mere Sana’a, the Patriarchate of Constantinople, according to Church rules, he has become the path split. In this regard, the Eucharistic communion of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with the Patriarchate of Constantinople is currently impossible and is terminated. We consider unacceptable interference of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the internal Affairs of another Local Church and attempts to resolve the Ukrainian Church issue involving the state government and the dissenters, ignoring the voice of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Instead, we regret that hundreds of thousands of cases of believers of our Church to Patriarch Bartholomew with an appeal not to legitimize schism under the pretext of creating autocephaly remained without attention. The Council of bishops notes that the process of granting the so-called Tomos of autocephaly is artificial, imposed from the outside, does not reflect the domestic Church need not bring real Church unity, deepen division and exacerbate conflict among the people of Ukraine. Under these conditions, the participation of bishops, clergy and laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the processes considered impossible. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is essentially adheres to the canonical approach to overcoming the Church division. The basis of this approach is the need of the repentance of those who return from schism. Church doors were never closed to those who want to be spiritually committed Orthodox Christian. The Council of bishops says that the illegal actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople lead to profound ecclesiastical crisis in Ukraine, and in world Orthodoxy. Pray that the voice of the millions-strong flock of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was heard, and committed still by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the action was corrected. The Council of bishops of the Constantinople Patriarchate calls for dialogue with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with a brotherly participation of all local Orthodox Churches to conciliar decisions of this problem. The Council of bishops asked the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church his Beatitude Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine Onuphrius to appeal to the primates of the local Orthodox Churches about the crisis situation in the Church life of Ukraine as a result of unlawful interference of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Council of bishops encourages all the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to intensify prayers to keep unity among themselves and loyalty to Christ’s Holy Church and not be afraid of challenges, remembering the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: “be of good cheer for I have overcome the world” (Jn . 16:33).
13 Nov 2018