The new Ukrainian “Church”: the main questions about the “unification Council”

16 Dec. PRAVMIR. 15 December, Kyiv hosted the “Cathedral” on the creation of a new Autocephalous “Church.” In the temple of sacred Sofia brought together representatives of the unrecognized worldwide churches — the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. As he passed, what ended and what to expect next in our material.


  • As going to the “unification Council” – the chronology of a Autocephalous project
  • Is there life after Thomas?
  • On the “unification Council” in Kiev people is centralized wagons were brought from all over Ukraine
  • Poroshenko announced the creation of a Ukrainian national Autocephalous Orthodox Church
  • Participated in the “Cathedral” bishops of the UOC became the schism of the Ukrainian Church

What is the event


“Unification Council” was needed in order to create a new structure, in fact, conceived by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, which will be able to Tomos — a document of independence. Hand it will support the idea of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

As events unfolded, can be read here: How going to the “unification Council” – the chronology of a Autocephalous project


How did the “Cathedral”


In the Kiev Cathedral of St. Sophia gathered representatives of the unrecognized worldwide churches — the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.

It was attended by President Poroshenko, who recalled his role in “Autocephalous” project.

“After the forced pause 2010-2014 these negotiations (on the establishment of the Church) has resumed, immediately from the first days of my presidency. They lasted several years until during Easter the President’s meeting with his Holiness was not agreed road map, which brought the process to the finish line,” he said.


To create a crowd in the square before St. Sophia Cathedral, where the event, people were brought by the carloads at the expense of the administrations. About this on his page in Facebook wrote the MP from the Opposition bloc in the Dnieper district Council in Kherson Anna Sereda.

This information was confirmed in other regions of the country, in particular Vinnytsia site and the rector of St. Seraphim’s Church in the city Naked Pier of the Kherson region Gennady Shkil.

Federal news Agency reported that most of the audience at the Sofia area refused to answer questions.

“People are, just happy to be in Kiev employees of enterprises from all over Ukraine were brought to the capital almost forcibly,” he told journalists.

Photo: Federal news Agency/Anton Simonenko

Forced participation in activities in support of Thomas, and that the heads of administrations “cut” employees of budgetary institutions in Kiev “to support Thomas” reported previously.

“To the editor calling officials, doctors and teachers from almost all districts of the region. In an order them again as 5 years ago, sent to the capital. Such instruction allegedly came from the presidential administration,” wrote the Vinnytsia site


What was the result


The Charter was adopted by the new structure. The Primate of the “Autocephalous Orthodox Church – Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine” elected Epiphany Dumenko.

The representative of the new Church in Ukraine Archbishop yevstratiy (Zorya) said that in the statutes of the Church organization is the name of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, but including “legitimate to call the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. I think that soon all these things will be more precisely defined and spelled out”.

According to Eustratius, previously headed the Kyiv Patriarchate Filaret (Denisenko) is now called an honorary Patriarch in the new Church structure:

“The Patriarch is the honorary Patriarch of the Ukrainian Church under the Charter, it is the first among the members of the Synod, have been identified for this position.”

On the establishment of a Ukrainian national Autocephalous Orthodox Church said waiting on Sophia square, people, President Petro Poroshenko.

According to him, the day of the Foundation of the new Church is the final day of gaining the independence of Ukraine, “and Ukraine will be gone to drink, in the words of Shevchenko, “the Cup of Moscow of Moscow poison.

“This Church (Russian President Vladimir) Putin. It is the Church (Patriarch) Kirill. It is a Church without praying for the Russian government and Russian army who are killing Ukrainians. But this is a Church with God and Ukraine.” — said the head of Ukraine.

According to Petro Poroshenko, “it’s a miracle became possible thanks to the unwavering position of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, our Mother Church,” which “took advantage of his unconditional canonical right to heal the wounds inflicted on the Ukrainian Orthodoxy of the Moscow domination”.


What is known about Epiphany Dumenko


“Metropolitan” so-called Kiev Patriarchate Epiphany Dumenko (to “vows” in the “Kiev Patriarchate” Sergei Dumenko). Was born on 3 February 1979 in the village of Volkovo Ivanovo district of the Odessa region of Ukraine.

He graduated from the so-called “Kiev theological Seminary” and “Kiev Orthodox theological Academy” Kiev Patriarchate”.

Was the staff assistant and press Secretary of the Rivne diocesan management “Kiev Patriarchate”, as well as the personal Secretary of “Metropolitan of Rivne and Ostroh”. Taught in “seminaries” and “academies”. Since 2010 – rector of the “Kiev Orthodox theological Academy”.


In 2007 he was tonsured in “monk” and given the name Epiphany. In 2008, he was appointed Secretary of the “Patriarch of Kyiv and all Rus-Ukraine,” Filaret Denisenko. Was the Governor of the Kiev-Vydubitsk monastery, the administrator of the “Kiev Patriarchate”, was elected “Bishop of Vyshgorod, vicar of the Kiev diocese”. Introduced to the “Holy Synod” of KP, appointed administrator of her Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi diocese. The Chairman of the editorial Committee of the publishing Department of “Kiev Patriarchate”.

Was elevated to the rank of “Metropolitan of Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky and bila Tserkva” and appointed “vicar”. Later his title was changed to “Metropolitan of bila Tserkva and Pereyaslav”.

Is a member of the National Union of journalists of Ukraine.

Whether the representatives of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church


Patriarch Bartholomew called for “unification Council” to establish a unified local Church in Ukraine the episcopate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Onufriy. The head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church sent a letter back to Fanar, leaving him without an answer.

For example, his Beatitude the Bishop, likewise, received more than 50 bishops of the UOC, in whose name the Ecumenical Patriarchate sent a similar invitation.

And yet the Cathedral was visited by two representatives of the UOC Metropolitan of Vinnitsa and Barsky Simeon and Metropolitan of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky and Vishnevsky Alexander (drabinko). They are declared to have passed in a split.


“We are only stating that they went into schism, and inform the Local Church in the diptychs of canonical bishops of Ukraine, they no longer appear”, – said the head of the Synodal information Department of the UOC Archbishop Clement.

The scandals around the Cathedral


Media reported about the forced trip to Kiev under the pressure of security service of Metropolitan of Mogilev-Podolsky and Shargorodsky agapita (Baltica). The Lord denied this information, saying that he was going to Kyiv voluntarily, to meet with Metropolitan Simeon of Vinnytsia.

On the day of the Cathedral appeared the information that the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Vinnytsia captured radicals. Information was denied by the diocese, however, the Union of Orthodox Journalists from their sources learned that the statement was made under pressure.

“Also reported that representatives of the security Service of Ukraine trying to get the number of priests to maintain their mood Autocephalous Bishop of Metropolitan Simeon, who according to media reports, is now in Kiev, where will be held the so-called “unification Council.” In the direction of the clergy received various threats, if they continue to defend their canonical position”, – is reported on the website of the press service of the UOC.

The next day after the “Council” the Union of Orthodox Journalists reported that by order of the Metropolitan Simeon (Ostacolo) clerics of the Cathedral in Vinnytsia need to pray for the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew and the head of the new structure “Metropolitan of Kiev” Epiphany.

“The clergy of the Cathedral report that they are in a state of confusion. The main part asked the clergy of other churches in the Vinnitsa to allow them to do tomorrow with them. Several people, including the Secretary of the diocese Vladislav Demchenko, decided tomorrow to serve at the Cathedral,” writes the SPM.


The reaction of the Russian Orthodox Church and other local churches


In Russian and Ukrainian Autocephalous Churches “Cathedral” in Kiev called illegitimate and its decisions void.

Chairman of the Synodal information-educational Department of the UOC Archbishop Clement stated that the canonical position of the Church regarding the events of dissenters has not changed.

“Our Council of bishops and the Synod has repeatedly stated that the legitimacy of this “unification” of the Cathedral is equal to zero. During this time nothing happened that could change the position of our “the Church,” said Archbishop Clement.

Canonically held void called “the Cathedral” the Deputy head of the Department for external Church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Archpriest Nikolai Balashov.

“Non-canonical collection of individuals, partly with, and for the most part — not having a legitimate Episcopal consecration, under the overall leadership of a layman and head of state, as well as a visiting person, does not understand the local language, chose non-canonical “bishops” in the same non-canonical Primate. For us, this event means absolutely nothing. I don’t know what hoped two legitimate bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church who came to him. Sorry for all of them. A sad fate, – said the Deputy head of the DECR.

Non-canonical this event, said Chairman of the Synodal Department of the ROC for Church-state relations with society and mass-media Vladimir Legoyda.

Vladimir Legoyda. Photo: TASS

In his opinion, “no unification did not happen because there were two splinter groups that Constantinople tried some time ago to legalize”.

“Very curious to see how they will now be able to explain the legitimacy, the legality of its meeting without the participation of in fact, the only canonical Church. Interesting to listen to, well, get out somehow, I guess…there is No representation of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church was not, therefore, all the words that sounded before and after the Council of unification of the three branches of Orthodoxy – it’s not true…the Ukrainian Church was not going to, never came. There was information about the participation of two bishops, it is not reliably confirmed. But even if they were, this does not mean formal participation of Ukrainian churches”, – said Vladimir Legoyda.

Press Secretary of the Patriarch Alexander Volkov noted that “the canonical Orthodoxy in Ukraine today, even more strengthened,” and “the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in spite of everything, will continue the progressive development and Ministry on the Ukrainian land.”

“As for the decisions that were taken in again today defiled by that bunch of ancient Kyiv Sophia (St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev), then we can only say that the schismatics chose schismatic new head and, in fact, nothing for this schismatic group is not changed. Only if the earlier schismatic branches in Ukraine there were two, then later expected them to split and increase their number. And one can only pity the poor Ukrainian people, who so tormented by the insane will of their current temporary political leaders,” – said the press Secretary of Patriarch Kirill.

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church also recognized “the Cathedral” uncanonical. This was stated by a member of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Dometian of Vidin Daniel, whose interview was published on the official website of the BOC.


“What could be the result from a “Cathedral”, which was convened in contradiction with canonical order, and which involves persons who are outside the Church? In my opinion, the “Council” does not help to overcome the division among the faithful in Ukraine, but on the contrary deepens it. In this unfortunate situation, there is one consolation – it is the willingness of the Orthodox people in this country to keep the unity of the Holy Orthodox Church. This position is feedback and support throughout the Orthodox world”, – said the representative of the Synod of the BOC.

In the Belarusian Orthodox Church a new Church structure called the “schismatic”:

“This Church is for us from a formal point of view, is divisive, and the contacts can not speak”, – said the Chairman of the Synodal information Department of the Belarusian Orthodox Church Archpriest Sergiy Lepin.

What will happen next

Before the “Council” representatives of the “Kiev Patriarchate” reported that Constantinople is going to give Tomos 6 Jan. Later it became known that Patriarch Bartholomew was invited to Istanbul, the head of the new ecclesiastical structure “It is the bliss of Epiphany” for “joint divine Liturgy at the Phanar on the big feast of the Epiphany, and provide Thomas the creation of a new Autocephalous sister churches.”

Petro Poroshenko has said that he will go to Istanbul to retrieve Thomas along with the newly elected Primate of a local Orthodox Church. The President of Ukraine but stressed that the government will not interfere in the Affairs of the new “Church” structure, and that “the government will respect those who decide for whatever reason to stay in the Church structure that will preserve unity with the Russian Orthodox Church.”

And yet how events will unfold further – hard to say. It is likely that new ‘Church’ will qualify for Kiev and Pochaev Lavra, which is now owned by the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church that can turn into a confrontation with the parishioners. The warnings of experts and the possible scenarios of development of events – in the article “is There life after Thomas?”.

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