The Church is ready to overcome the schism, – UOC hierarch

Head of the Office of the UOC at the International Organizations Bishop Viktor Baryshevsky (Kotsaba) said that the Church is ready to begin a dialogue to overcome the schism in Ukraine. Vladyka highlighted that in the programme "Spiritual Front" on the "The First Cossack" channel.

"Filaret’s letter was indeed an event at the Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church," said Bishop Viktor. "The Patriarch had made a hint at this event the day before. He said that we had a very important question that we, brothers, must think over and pray that God would send the right decision. When the letter was read, it was received with enthusiasm, with love. The first bishop, who took the floor, said something like this: "It seems to me that the long-awaited time has come for us to overcome the schism in Ukraine and come to the unity of Orthodoxy." We talked much after formal sessions, and everyone was encouraged. There was hope, and all were one. The next day made corrections. I got theses from the press conference of the former Metropolitan of Kiev, which I immediately voiced to the hierarchs. But the main thing is that even after that the Council did not change its unanimous decision and attitude to the event. I would express it in the following words: we should deal with it with love and discretion. These words were voiced by Patriarch Kirill: "We have got our own course – our path of the Church, and we are always open for every person who wants to come." The first step was made: the Council of Bishops established a commission. And the whole Church – both Ukrainian and Russian – is ready to start a dialogue, negotiations – a complex process that would lead to successful outcomes."

On November 30, 2017, at the Bishops' Council of the ROC, a letter from Filaret, the head of the Kyiv Patriarchate, was read, in which he asked for pardon from the Russian Patriarch and the bishops of the Church, requested to remove all "reprisals and excommunication" from him, and finally asked to restore eucharistic communion with him. At a press conference the next day, Filaret said that he would "never ever get repentant".
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