Bulgarian Church does not change its position on autocephaly in Ukraine

Patriarch Neophyte at a meeting with the Ukrainian delegation

The idea of autocephaly in Ukraine did not find support among the top leadership of the BOC.

This is evidenced by the results of the recent meeting of the Primate of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church Patriarch Neophyte with the Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Rostislav Pavlenko.

During the reception, the Special Envoy of the President of Ukraine on Religious Affairs explained in detail to His Holiness and the Highly Reputed Metropolitans the situation in Ukraine regarding the church question and added that since 1991 Ukraine has been struggling for its church independence, reports the site of the BOC.

His Holiness said that the relevant issues had been repeatedly discussed at sessions of the Holy Synod of the BOC and he had repeatedly stated his position on the matter. 

General Secretary of the Holy Synod Bishop Gerasim of Melnik stressed that the Bulgarian Orthodox Church is well acquainted with the Ukrainian situation and its complexity, but it is necessary to strictly observe the ecclesiastical canons, which the Orthodox Church has been following for many centuries.

The Primate of the Bulgarian Church has repeatedly condemned the actions of the schismatics in Ukraine. In 2015, the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church sent a letter to the President of Ukraine with a request to protect the rights of the canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine and its temples from the seizure by the "unrecognized" UOC KP.

In May of this year, the Synod of the Polish Orthodox Church called for the observance of the canonical order in overcoming the church schism in Ukraine, stressing that the issue of granting autocephaly in Ukraine can only be discussed after the schismatic groups have brought repentance and returned to the canonical Church.

On April 19, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine supported the church initiative of President Poroshenko to create the Single Local Orthodox Church in the country.

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