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On 25 June 2018, the Name Day of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine, after the Divine Liturgy in the Kiev Lavra of the Caves 70 archpastors who attended the celebrations held a consultation.

The permanent members of the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church who had took part in the meeting with His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in his residence in Istanbul on June 23, informed all those present of its results.

The hierarchs who took part in the consultation adopted a joint statement which reads in particular, “The Patriarchate of Constantinople refuted the information that the canonical mechanism of overcoming the schism in the Ukrainian Orthodoxy had already been agreed upon and the text of the Tomos of Autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church had been drafted. It also proved to be wrong that the unilateral granting of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church could take place in the nearest future or within some fixed period.” Noted in the document is the readiness of the Patriarchate of Constantinople “to join the process of overcoming the Ukrainian church schism in consultation with the fraternal Local Orthodox Churches.”

The participants in the meeting expressed their concern over “a possibility of the establishment in Ukraine of parallel ecclesiastical jurisdictions as was reported by the press,” and emphasized that such step could deepen the church schism in Ukraine. On the other hand, in the event the Ukrainian Orthodox Church would be transformed into a structure of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, it would lose “many of the rights granted to it over the recent decades.”

The hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church stated: “The existing canonical status is sufficient for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to fruitfully carry out its mission among the people of Ukraine. The attempts to change this status will only result in the restriction of rights and freedoms that our Church enjoys, having the rights of wide autonomy. Moreover, these attempts will not heal but deepen the schism both in the Ukrainian Orthodoxy and in the Ukrainian society as a whole.”

The archpastors unanimously confirmed their intention to abide by “the episcopal oath taken at the consecration to be faithful to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.” To confirm their position, all the archpastors present at the consultation signed the statement.

DECR Communication Service

Photo by Department of Information and Education

of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church