UOC spokesman: Phanar’s church scam in Ukraine – challenge for all Churches
Ukraine is on the verge of a church scam for the first time in 2,000 years, and this is a challenge for all the Local Churches, Protopriest Nikolai Danilevich believes.
The Church is the body of Christ, it is a living organism, and therefore it is impossible to change it with the papers and decisions of several people somewhere in Istanbul. This was stated by the Deputy Head of the Department for External Church Relations of the UOC Protopriest Nikolai Danilevich in an interview with the "1Kozak" channel.
Commenting on the letter by Patriarch Bartholomew to the His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine, saying that in case of non-attendance at the “Unification Council” Constantinople would consider him a schismatic, the deputy head of the UOC DECR explained the logic the Phanar followed.
“Patriarch Bartholomew acts within his logic, invented by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. He says that since you are in my territory, you no longer have a schism: I removed the anathemas and took the UOC KP and the UAOC out of the schism. Accordingly, you are already equal and you need to unite. And since you are my subordinates, I still tolerate, by condescension I call you Metropolitan of Kiev, although you wear this title illegally, from the point of view of Bartholomew. But when a new primate is elected, you will not be able to wear this title. Such is the logic of the ideologists of the Constantinople Patriarchate, who do it all with us,” he said.
The priest said: “We are on the threshold of a large-scale church raiding” and explained that raiding is a change of the name, a change of leadership and asset-grabbing. In his opinion, all three parameters apply to this case.
He added: “Our Church did not mind considering the restoration of unity and even autocephalous status. This should be done later but not on the threshold of elections when there is no unity. Autocephaly will not bring unity as it is presented. Unity does not lie in the basis. Autocephalous is not natural now – it divides people. ”
Speaking about what to do in such a situation, he explained: "We just need ‘to be’, no matter how we are driven out and slandered. We’ve had considerable experience of ordeals for the entire XX century.”
We recall that Patriarch Bartholomew sent out invitations to the “Unification Council” to the UOC clergy. At the same time, a part of the letters was addressed not to the hierarchs themselves but to the heads of local administrations, who called the bishops "on the carpet" to give them the document and also personally urged the bishops to attend the "Council".
In the envelope with the invitation, each bishop also received a copy of the letter by Patriarch Bartholomew to His Beatitude Onufry which said that in case of a non-attendance at the “Unification Council”, the Phanar would regard Metropolitan Onufry a schismatic. The spokesman for the UOC Protopriest Nikolai Danilevich has already called such actions of the Phanar "a global church raiding of a pan-Orthodox scale".