OCU Holy Synod scheduled for May 24 – Metropolitan Epiphanius
The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) will take place on May 24, OCU Primate and Metropolitan of Kyiv and all-Ukraine Epiphanius has said.
"We plan told hold a meeting of the Holy Synod on May 24," he said in an interview with the Ukrainian bureau of the British Broadcasting Service (BBC) published on Thursday.
Epiphanius said general matters concerning the OCU would be discussed at the meeting. He did not rule out that "an appraisal of actions, which have taken place before the meeting" could be discussed.
The metropolitan also said the process of parishes changing their denomination to the OCU had slowed after the presidential elections.
"After the elections, we see that the process of transition has indeed slowed a bit, but I believe that over time it will be pick up again, because there are many parishes that are waiting, which are determined and will gradually move and join our church," he said.
Epiphanius denied accusations made by Honorary Patriarch of Kyiv and All-Rus-Ukraine Filaret against him, namely that he is not an independent figure, adding that he spoke about them with Filaret.
"I said that I, as a primate, I cannot make all decisions alone. On December 15, at the Unification Council, we laid out a different model of church leadership. I alone, as a primate, have no right to change the charter. I don't have rights to violate the canonical order," he said.
Epiphanius said gossip about taking control of the Kyiv Patriarchal See or Kyiv-based St. Volodymyr's Cathedral from Filaret was inappropriate.
"Don't listen to gossip. No one is trying to take away anything. During the meeting of the Holy Synod, this was my clear position: we do not just leave St. Volodymyr's Cathedral and the residence on Pushkinska Street to the Patriarch, but we leave the management of the parishes in Kyiv in place. The diocese and all that now is part of the diocese of the city of Kyiv, except for St. Michael's Golden-domed Cathedral where I serve. Talking about taking away something does not correspond with reality," he said.