Theologian: Transfer of Kiev Metropolitanate to ROC in 17 century was legal
Attempts to challenge the transfer of the Kiev Metropolitanate to the Moscow Patriarchate cannot be taken seriously, the ROC believes.
This was said by priest Pavel Yermilov, a religious historian and professor of theology at Saint Tikhon's Orthodox University, commenting on Patriarch Bartholomew's message of July 1, 2018.
"This claim looks rather strange, given that after the handover of the Kiev Metropolitanate to the Moscow Patriarchate in the 17th century the Church of Constantinople has never laid claim to Ukrainian dioceses," priest Pavel Yermilov told Interfax.
He recalled that there is the fundamental historical document which confirms the transfer of the Kiev Metropolitanate to the Russian Church, the 1686 document from Patriarch Dionysius of Constantinople.
He then quoted from the document: the Church of Constantinople "hereby resolves in writing for the Holy Metropolitanate of Kiev to be subordinate to the Holy Patriarchal See of the great city of Moscow, i.e. for the Metropolitan of Kiev to be ordained in it by His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow".
"Of course, one might try to put forward various interpretations of the 1686 document, but I don't think anyone would take them seriously, for the point of this document is quite clear and, like I said, has never been disputed," the historian concluded.
Earlier Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) stated that the archival documents "clearly show that the Kiev Metropolitanate was included in the Moscow Patriarchate by the decision of the Patriarch of Constantinople, and the temporary nature of this decision was not specified anywhere, no period was set."
On July 1, 2018, Patriarch Bartholomew delivered a message in which he stressed that "Constantinople never transferred the territory of Ukraine to anyone".
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.