Filaret: I will be at heads of OCU together with Epiphany
The leader of the UOC KP reported that his structure had won a victory at the “Council” as a result of a difficult and fierce struggle.
On December 16, 2018, the “honorary patriarch” Filaret, during the Sunday sermon at St. Vladimir Cathedral of the UOC KP, said that his structure had prepared a legislative basis so that there would be no more Churches in Ukraine except for the SLC.
“Yesterday, the Unification Council of the three Orthodox Churches took place,” he addressed the congregation. “As a result of the difficult, fierce struggle we won – those who stood for the united Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Now we will have one Ukrainian church in Ukraine. We created a legislative framework for the Verkhovna Rada to adopt a law by which there is only one Ukrainian Orthodox church in Ukraine.”
According to him, the unification is not over yet – this is only the beginning, but “the beginning is canonical.”
“Now we are waiting for the Tomos from the Ecumenical Patriarch to be granted to us on January 6. And then the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will become one of 15, 16 Orthodox Churches, and we will enter into the prayerful unity with them. There will be no longer accusations that we are schismatics, non-canonical. The dissenter will be the one who will not join us. Or he may not be a dissenter if he joins us,” believes Filaret.
He stressed that the head of the new Church, “Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine” Epiphany, was elected at the “unification council”, but the “patriarch” still remains.
“The Patriarch remains for life and, together with the Primate, governs the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” the head of the UOC KP said. “The primate who is going to receive the Tomos will represent the Ukrainian church from the outside.”
Filaret did not specify who will lead the OCU “inside” Ukraine: “When we are recognized as patriarchy, then the patriarch will represent the Ukrainian church from the outside. And in order for us to be recognized as patriarchy, we need to unite all Ukrainian Orthodoxy.”
After the sermon, the "hierarchs" of the OCU proclaimed many years of life first to Filaret and only after him – to Epiphany: "To our great vladyka and father Filaret, the holiest patriarch of Kiev and all Ukraine-Rus and sacred archimandrite of the Holy Dormition Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, and to His Eminence Metropolitan Epiphany ..."
According to the official communique of Phanar, the hierarchs of the Church of Constantinople decided to canonically reinstate Filaret Denisenko “to his hierarchical 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."
The Kiev Patriarchate did not hurry to execute the decision of Phanar with respect to Filaret, continuing to commemorate the head of the UOC KP at the “divine service” in St. Vladimir Cathedral as “patriarch”. On October 20, 2018, at the meeting of the “holy synod” of the UOC KP, the rules for titling the “primate” were changed: for the outside world he became “His Beatitude Metropolitan-Archbishop”, while within Ukraine he remained the “patriarch” and “sacred archimandrite of the Lavra ..."