Met. Mitrofan: Tomos initiators’ aim is to prevent peace in Ukraine

Metropolitan Mitrofan of Gorlovka and Slaviansk

The Patriarchate of Constantinople is an instrument of a big political game, whose aim is to prevent peace in Ukraine, Metropolitan Mitrofan said.

The issue of granting autocephaly to Ukraine is generally not an ecclesiastic one. Politicians intervened very roughly into the church life. This was said by Metropolitan Mitrofan of Gorlovka and Slaviansk in an interview with the press service of the eparchy.

Commenting on the “canonical reinstatement” by the Constantinople Patriarchate of the heads of the UOC KP Filaret and the UAOC Makariy Maletich, the bishop explained, “It seems to a person who has been watching recent developments of the church life that two jurisdictions are competing with each other which one is more important, fighting for territory. In fact, it is not so.”

“The issue of Tomos and autocephaly is now being discussed by people who do not know how to open the door to the temple but consider themselves experts. This situation has turned the UOC believers into hostages who are only watching the process. We can only influence the situation through a personal attitude towards it and a personal choice that each of us will have to make in the given circumstances,” emphasized His Eminence.

According to him, “the coexistence of several jurisdictions in one territory is possible only if the state does not interfere in the life of the Church”: “We understand what the authorities want to achieve, this idea is openly voiced by President Poroshenko: this is the final break of the spiritual connection with the Russian Orthodox Church. Therefore, we have no hope that the state will not interfere in the life of church communities.”

“Filaret is excommunicated, he is in schism, and all Local Churches recognize such status of his. After the decision of the Synod in Istanbul on his 'canonical reinstatement', the question arises not about who Filaret is now to us but what Constantinople is to us now,” said the bishop.

He explained, “The Patriarch of Constantinople has appropriated the right to make such decisions individually in any territory, in any jurisdiction, despite the fact that our Church is catholic (conciliar). This is a big problem not only for Orthodox Christians of Ukraine but also for the World Orthodoxy. Splits are everywhere, it is not only a Ukrainian problem but there have always been rules we stick to in this matter. Today they are broken. If other Local Churches silently support the actions of Constantinople, each of them is going to be confronted with exactly the same situation further on.”

“Now we need to wait for resolutions of the Synod of our Church and the response of other Local Churches to what has happened in order to understand how to proceed further,” said Metropolitan Mitrofan.

Earlier, President Petro Poroshenko posted on his Twitter message that the Synod of the Constantinople Patriarchate made a “positive decision” on the granting of the Tomos to Ukraine. Later he edited his post, changing the word "Tomos" to "autocephaly”.

As the UOJ reported, on October 11, the Synod of the Constantinople Patriarchate decided to “to proceed towards granting autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine” and removed the anathema from the leaders of schismatic religious organizations – head of the UOC KP Filaret Denisenko and head of the UAOC Makariy Maletich.

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