"Metropolitan" and "patriarch" rolled into one: KP changes its head’s title

"Patriarch-metropolitan" Filaret Denisenko

At the “holy synod”, the UOC KP has changed the rules for titling its “primate”. Even the supporters of the Kiev Patriarchate did not grasp these rules at once.

At the meeting of the “synod”, which took place on October 20 “due the changes taking place in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, given the historical tradition and practice of the Local Orthodox Churches, and other essential circumstances,” the full and abbreviated title forms for the “primate” were introduced by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate. This was announced on his Facebook page by the UOC KP Spokesman Eustratiy Zoria.

“From now on, there is a full official title and abbreviated versions of it, used in daily life and worship and in relations with other Local Churches,” wrote Zoria.

The full official title was defined as "His Holiness and Beatitude (name), Archbishop and Metropolitan of Kiev – Mother of the Rus Cities and of Galicia, Patriarch of All Rus-Ukraine, Holy Archimandrite of the Holy Assumption Kiev-Pechersk and Pochaev Lavras."

The abbreviated form of the title is “His Holiness (name), Patriarch of Kiev and All Russia-Ukraine”.

At the same time, in the relations with other Local Orthodox Churches, the form “His Beatitude Archbishop (name), Metropolitan of Kiev and All Rus-Ukraine” will be used.

As evidenced by the comments under the post of Eustratiy Zoria, to understand these innovations was quite difficult. "Hybridish", as one of the commentators put it.

Another user of the social network asks, “Filaret said that the head of the future church would be a patriarch! And from this text it follows that the head of the UOC will not be the patriarch, but the archbishop and the metropolitan, which is lower than the rank of patriarch?! Do I understand it correctly?” Zoria answered, “You misunderstand it. You can see everything. Whatever will be, will be. I explained as best I could.”

“It’s too bad that even before you received the Tomos you cannot explain to people who are asking you. Is it difficult for you to answer the question? Or you are sociable just on the sidelines, but here you find it difficult? Such communication does not show loyalty and trust!” user Sergey Bilyk entered the discussion.

“I will say what Fr. Eustratiy cannot say directly: what is there to understand? After the decision of the Synod of Constantinople dated October 11, Patriarch Filaret is actually the Metropolitan, therefore the decision of the Synod of the UOC KP is a hybrid one: metropolitan for external use, patriarch for internal use. The letter to Patriarch Bartholomew is signed with the title "Metropolitan". I do not understand why this hybrid solution was needed. It was necessary to take the title of Metropolitan. And the head of the Local Church would have been the Patriarch then,” wrote Marko Volia.

Recall, according to the official communique of the Phanar, the hierarchs of the Church of Constantinople decided to canonically reinstate Filaret Denisenko and Makariy Maletich "to their hierarchical or priestly rank." Commenting on the canonical status of Filaret Denisenko, the hierarch of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Archbishop Job (Getcha) of Telmessos said that Phanar considers him "the former metropolitan of Kiev".

However, the Kiev Patriarchate did take its time to execute the decision of the Phanar vis-à-vis Filaret, continuing to commemorate the head of the UOC KP at the “divine service” in St. Vladimir Cathedral as the “patriarch”. And now, according to the journal No. 17 of the meeting of the “holy synod” of the UOC KP, the head of the Kiev Patriarchate for the entire outside world will be “His Beatitude Metropolitan Archbishop”, while the title of “patriarch” will apparently remain for “internal use”.

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