UAOC: We are offered the "Stalinist" model for creation of the Local Church

"Archbishop" of the UAOC Igor Isichenko

A representative of the UAOC considers it dangerous for the Church to become dependent on the state.

This was said on the air of the "Hromadske Radio" by Igor Isichenko, the "archbishop" of the Kharkov-Poltava eparchy of the UAOC, commenting on the idea of creating the Single Local Church in Ukraine.

"We are offered a model that resembles the Byzantine model adopted by Stalin in 1943. Creation of the Church under the state request," the representative of the UAOC noted.

According to Isichenko, when the Church turns out to be an instrument for the constitution of the state, the institutions which should deal with it directly are replaced.

"The danger is in politicizing the mechanisms of the Church creation and depending on the state," Isichenko said. "When statesmen discuss how to create the Single Local Church, while topics how to combat corruption in the state, how to live in a Christian way, how to stop quarrelling are sidelined, this is an escape from reality into the mirages of church politics."

Isichenko believes that the idea of creating the Local Church strangely appeared on the eve of new presidential and parliamentary elections.

"It distracts attention from the realities of both the state life and church life," the UAOC representative stressed.

At the same time, the "archbishop" noted that Ukraine today lacks inter-church dialogue and establishing relations not only at the episcopate level but also at the level of the priesthood and laity.

"In 2015, we created our own process of dialogue between the Kharkov-Poltava eparchy of the UAOC and the UGCC," Isichenko said. "In Kharkov, the Prayer Weeks for Christian Unity are large-scale events, involving other Churches."

Such cooperation would help create a good social climate in Ukraine, the UAOC representative believes.

On March 28, the Kharkov-Poltava eparchy of the UAOC held the 29th Council, which adopted a plan of merging with Greek Catholics. Also, the Council of the Kharkov-Poltava eparchy of the UAOC (renewed) appealed to Sviatoslav Shevchuk with a request to represent the interests of the religious structure at the Pan-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations.

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