Met. Anthony: Bishops’ Council confirmed the internal unity of UOC
The idea of the "Constantinople autocephaly" is not favoured by the clergy and believers, said Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich).
The current Ukrainian authorities, along with the schismatics and the Patriarchate of Constantinople, are trying to split the UOC, but the Bishops’ Council has shown the unity and integrity of the Church, the Chancellor of the UOC Metropolitan Anthony of Borispol and Brovary said in an interview with the "Romfea" agency.
According to Vladyka, the Ukrainian authorities promised the Phanar that from 20 to 25 bishops of the UOC, or at least 10 bishops, would be present at the unification council dedicated to the creation of a new church structure in Ukraine.
In fact, only one bishop refused to sign the decisions of the Boshops’ Council – Metropolitan Simeon of Vinnitsa and Bar.
However, such actions of the head of the Vinnitsa eparchy did not find support with his flock and priesthood. Metropolitan Anthony explained: Met. Simeon’s actions provoked protests from the clergy and believers of the eparchy. In addition, the decision of the Synod is binding for all members of the UOC, including the Vinnitsa eparchy, regardless of whether it was signed by Metropolitan Simeon or not.
Metropolitan Anthony called fantasies the information that the 15 bishops of the UOC will be represented at the “unification council” by the power of attorney: “in this case, the whole “unification council” can be conducted via the Internet, for example, via Skype. Why then come to Kiev?”
The hierarch also noted that not only the episcopate but also the ordinary believers of the Church reject the “Phanar autocephaly”: “If someone from the bishops goes there, to the “council”, then his believers and priests will be the first not to allow him to return to their eparchy. We have already seen this position in Vinnitsa. Therefore, the bishops will lose their eparchies and be left with nothing. All this means that the problem of the “Constantinople autocephaly” is not favoured by believers and this is not Moscow’s propaganda at all, as it is publicly tried to present.”
Also, Metropolitan Anthony recalled the decisions of the Holy Synod of the UOC, which said that autocephaly today does not reflect the internal needs of the Church, and is brought in from the outside, so the UOC will not take part in the “unification council”.
According to the hierarch, the activity of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople not only caused a split in Ukraine but also creates problems at the inter-Orthodox level.
Metropolitan Anthony noted that if the Phanar does not change its opinion, the situation in Ukraine will reach a dead end, and called for dialogue with the UOC, the Russian Church and other Orthodox Churches in the region.
“Together we will find a solution. We are ready for dialogue,” the hierarch stressed.
As the UOJ reported, earlier, the Chancellor of the UOC Metropolitan Anthony of Borispol and Brovary has explained: the actions of Constantinople regarding the church issue in Ukraine are the ground for creating new schisms.