Epiphany without his own office or Why UOC KP does not join OCU
Benefits, valuable real estate in the center of Kiev and the lack of faith in the OCU's viability are some of the reasons why the UOC KP keeps its current status.
While the government is exploiting all the available methods to “transfer” the communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church into the newly created OCU, the UOC KP is legally delaying the transition process. The delay is not accidental: expensive property has remained in the ownership of the UOC KP, in particular, an office complex in the center of Kiev, according to the investigation of the Radar project on NEWSONE channel.
The two “founder” churches – the UOC-KP and the UAOC – pledged to merge into the OCU before the “unification council” on December 15, 2018. Then "patriarch" Filaret Denisenko and ex-head of the UAOC Makariy Maletich announced the alleged self-dissolution of their organizations. This fact is confirmed by the official response of the UOC KP to the inquiry of investigative journalists.
However, the journalists found out that the UOC KP still functions as a religious organization, taking advantage of all the benefits (in particular, taxes and utility bills). The UPC KP continues to own the building of the diocesan administration at 36 Pushkinskaya St., in the very heart of Kiev. In turn, the head of the newly created OCU Epiphaniy does not even have his own office and huddles in the same room with the rector of the Kiev Theological Academy, right under the dorm of the seminarians.
However, this is not the whole property, which is listed on the balance of the UOC KP. The journalists found a modern building in the historical center of Kiev, in Desiatinny Lane, next to the St. Michael Monastery. It houses office premises, on the rental of which the UOC KP, apparently, earns.
“According to the UOC Legal Department, this controversial situation is primarily related to the fact that inside the UOC KP they cherish a chance to return to the time of November-December 2018, since the clergy do not have faith in the viability of the newly created OCU. And the head of the Department of the Ministry of Culture for Religious Affairs, Andrei Yurash, claims that the ministry cannot influence the UOC KP in any way,” the journalistic investigation says.
As reported by the UOJ, head of the OCU Epiphany Dumenko stated that there is no longer any Kiev Patriarchate or Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine. Epiphany specified that now the statutes of the UOC KP and the UAOC have already been removed from registration, while the Kiev Metropolis of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (OCU), which he simply calls the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the statute adopted on December 15 at the “Unification Council” are registered. Nevertheless, after the transition to the OCU, the communities in reality get to the UOC KP. And in Volyn today there are no official transitions of the UOC KP communities to the OCU at all.