Prot. Nikolai Danilevich: UOC episcopate consciously signed the statement
The deputy head of the DECR of the UOC denied the information on the falsification of the bishops’ appeal dated June 25, 2018.
The episcopate of the UOC consciously signed the statement, said Protopriest Nikolai Danilevich on the "Radio Svoboda", commenting on the information about the meeting of the bishops of the UOC held on June 25 in the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.
"The bishops discussed all the ideas at this meeting and all agreed to sign, including Bishop Sophronius," said Protopriest Nikolai. "I will not comment on his further statements, but the episcopate of the UOC consciously signed what they signed."
According to Father Nikolai, the position of the UOC is that first there must be unity, and then the Tomos. At the same time, the idea of autocephaly is not at all denied.
"There is nothing wrong with autocephaly. Our Сhurch now, through the episcopate, said that at the moment we are satisfied with the existing status. Therefore, there will be a mistake to think that we are against autocephaly. But exactly that decision is now taken," the deputy head of the UOC DECR stressed.
Metropolitan Sophronius of Cherkassy and Kanev said in an interview with "5 Channel" that he "did not hear about the statement," although his name is among the 72 hierarchs of the UOC who signed the document.
On June 25, the bishops of the UOC adopted a joint statement, in which the higher clergy of the UOC expressed their vision regarding the bestowal of Tomos on autocephaly. The hierarchs present unanimously confirmed their desire to observe the episcopal oath given at the ordination to be faithful to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
In mid-April, Poroshenko turned to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople with a request to grant the Tomos on autocephaly for the Church in Ukraine and announced the creation of the Single Local Church. The Verkhovna Rada supported the appeal of the President.