Filaret: Personally, I am not satisfied with the Statute of OCU
Filaret believes the OCU should adopt and use its own Statute, rather than the Phanar’s. He finds it important to change the number of permanent members of the Synod.
The current Statute of the OCU has certain drawbacks and, therefore, it must be changed at the next Local Council, said “honorary patriarch” of the OCU Filaret Denisenko to “Glavkom”.
“Personally, I am not satisfied with the Statute. And, therefore, we should hold a meeting at the next Local Council and adopt the Statute of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, not of the Kiev Metropolis as part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, because we now use this Statute, the Greek Statute. We, as an autocephalous Church, must have our own Ukrainian Statute, which we must approve at the Local Council. Therefore, we are looking forward to convening the UOC Council, where the Statute of our Church should be adopted” said Filaret.
Among the shortcomings of the current statute of the PCU, Filaret called the procedure for appointing permanent members of the Synod.
“The most important thing is to change the number of permanent members of the Synod. We don’t need three, as now, but more, about 12. Others could have the opportunity to be temporary members of the Synod successively,” he said.
“Permanent members of the Synod should be authoritative bishops from different regions so that all Ukraine will be represented in the Synod by permanent members, that is, as we have had until now in the Kiev Patriarchate. And so, by the way, it was in the Ukrainian Church before the division, just such were the order and tradition that are not new to us,” added Filaret (Denisenko).
Therefore, Filaret proposes to first convene a Local Council, at which participants will adopt the Statute, and then elect the Synod on the basis of the new Statute.
Filaret (Denisenko) also expressed confidence that the Patriarchate of Constantinople would not object to these initiatives.
“They told us the following: for the time being, adopt the Statute that we offer to you, and when you receive the Tomos, you are the autocephalous church and you adopt such a statute that you need,” the “honorary patriarch” stressed.
We recall that the text of the Tomos granted to the OCU clearly states that there will be no permanent members of the Synod in this structure, they will change annually: “… which is convened annually from the Bishops invited in turn according to their seniority, from among those that have eparchies within the geographical borders of Ukraine”.
It also says that the Statute of the OCU must comply with the provisions of the Tomos: “…must comply with the provisions of this Patriarchal and Synodal Tomos in all”, and only “on all these conditions our Holy Great Church of Christ blesses and proclaims the Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine”.