ROC backs the UOC statement on situation in Ukrainian and World Orthodoxy
The Holy Synod of the Russian Church expressed support for the canonical Ukrainian Church and Synodal Statement on the situation in Ukrainian and World Orthodoxy.
On April 4, 2019, during the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, chaired by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus, a discussion was held on the situation in Ukraine (Journal No. 21), reports Patriarchia.ru.
The members of the Synod decided to support the Statement of the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of April 3, which, inter alia, states: “The idea of overcoming the church schism in Ukraine by granting the Tomos on autocephaly to non-canonical church groups (the UOC KP and the UAOC) turned out to be a grave error.
None of the Local Orthodox Churches recognized this illegal act of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and a significant part of the Local Churches, in particular, the Antioch, Russian, Cypriot, Serbian, Polish, Albanian and Orthodox Churches in the Czech lands and Slovakia have already expressed their disagreement in various forms with the decisions of the Constantinople Patriarchate. The Local Churches also declared that they did not recognize the newly created “Orthodox Church of Ukraine”; nor did they recognize the canonicity of clerical ordinations in this structure; thus, they forbid their clergy to have any prayerful communion and liturgical con-celebration with its representatives.
Therefore, there was no approval, i.e., the acceptance by the World Orthodoxy of these actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople which actually tried to legalize the schism. Accordingly, the legalization of schism is not the way to achieve church unity. We remind you that, according to the historical canonical tradition of the Church, autocephaly is granted only to a single Church within a particular state, but not to any part that broke away from the Body of the Church.
The Holy Synod decided to express the full support of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, living through a period of the hardest trials.
The session participants also stressed that the plentitude of the Russian Orthodox Church highly appreciates the courage and steadfastness of the episcopate, clergy, monastics and pious laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church being subject to persecution, unleashed against it by the current state power of Ukraine.
As the UOJ reported, earlier the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church at its meeting on April 3, 2019, discussed the situation in the church life of Ukraine and in World Orthodoxy, which has eventuated following the creation of the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), and published a Statement on the situation in Ukrainian and World Orthodoxy.