UOC-KP making every effort to have church in Ukraine independent of Moscow, Constantinople – Filaret
KYIV. Nov 18 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) Filaret says that the UOC-KP is making every effort to have a church in Ukraine that is independent of both Moscow and Constantinople.
"Due to the existence of Kyiv Patriarchate, Ukraine received the tomos of autocephaly. If it were not for Kyiv Patriarchate, would the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople have given the tomos? Whom to give? But there is no real autocephaly in this tomos. The rights of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine are limited. First of all, by the name itself. The bottom line is that, having received the tomos, you have power over orthodox Ukrainians only in Ukraine, and beyond it, Ukrainians should belong to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople," he said at a press conference at the Interfax-Ukraine news agency on Wednesday.
Filaret said that the exclusion of Kyiv Patriarchate from state registration put the church out of law, but it and her parishioners exist, and there are many of them. "We exist, and we will exist. And we will win, because the truth is with us," he said.
Head of the legal department of the religious organization Kyiv Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate Neonila Tkachenko recalled that the Culture Ministry for the first time in the history of Ukraine made a decision on the so-called "state of termination" of Kyiv Patriarchate, which has never been experienced by any religious organization in Ukraine.
"By interfering with the automated system, information about the state of Kyiv Patriarchate was forged as such that it has been in a state of termination since July 29, 2019, and has been terminated since December 13, 2019. At the same time, on June 20, 2019, the founder of Kyiv Patriarchate made the opposite decision to continue his activities, and it is the struggle for registration of this decision that has been going on for a year and a half," she said.
Tkachenko said that in its defense Kyiv Patriarchate initiated 63 court proceedings. "And only after a year, under pressure from society and legal insight, some judges managed to at least start the processes that were blocked for a year and a half. Proceedings covered all jurisdictions in Ukraine, in addition, a complaint was filed with the European Court of Human Rights. We ask to convey to the public that we will not give away a single parish, a single church, a single priest who decided to stay in the structure of Kyiv Patriarchate," she said.