Filaret sees no rivals in the race for SLC primacy
The leader of the Kiev Patriarchate stated he must work to the end in order to preserve the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
“Patriarch” Filaret confirmed his intentions to head the Ukrainian Local Orthodox Church, if the Bishops' Council entrusts him with this. If not, he will completely reveal himself of any responsibility. He reported about it on air of the Ukrainian radio.
Filaret told what criteria the candidate for the primate’s position of the newly formed church structure must meet, stressing that he does not know who he could draw level with him as a competitor in the elections; furthermore, he is not ready to sacrifice his personal ambitions.
“But not because I consider myself the right candidacy,” said the leader of the Ukrainian schismatics. “But because Moscow will do everything to destroy the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. And therefore, in order to preserve the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and brring the cause to the end, I have to work to the end. <...> If only the Bishops' Council commits me to. If it doesn’t, then I disclaim responsibility.”
Asked by the moderator about who will lead the new Church – patriarch or metropolitan, Filaret replied that “so far, the Ecumenical Patriarch wants the Ukrainian Church to be led by the archbishop – a metropolitan, not a patriarch.”
“But our church has already decided that, for external use, the head of the UOC will have an extended title,” he added. “What I mean is there will be an extended title and a shortened title. The former sounds as the Archbishop and Metropolitan of Kiev and All Rus-Ukraine, while the latter will be needed for our internal use – the Patriarch of Kiev and All Rus-Ukraine. ”
Regarding the discepancies that arose between the UOC KP and the UAOC, Filaret said that all of them will be resolved at the Bishops' Council: "There will be an association, the primate will be elected, and the charter will be adopted." He also said that after the formation of the Single Church there would be no violence against the canonical UOC, including in resolving property issues.
“Our position is not to use force in relation to the eparchies and parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate: they must choose voluntarily. It is their choice and we will not influence it. Because we do not need defenders of the Russian world, we need honest Ukrainian citizens, patriots,” Filaret said, adding that over the years of hostilities in the east, the UOC believers “have abandoned the Moscow Patriarchate in dozens or, maybe, hundreds of thousands.”
Recall, the leader of the UAOC Metropolitan Makariy Maletich has repeatedly stated that he was shocked by the behavior of Filaret and was not ready to participate in the unification council on the terms offered to him: “I can be deceived once, twice, but it will not work anymore.”