Filaret publishes an official address in connection with situation in OCU
In the address, “Honorary Patriarch” Filaret described how to remedy the situation in the OCU.
On May 14, 2019, “Honorary Patriarch” of the OCU Filaret Denisenko published on the official website of the Kiev Patriarchate an official address “to the entire Ukrainian Orthodox flock”.
“In recent days, a lot of negative information has appeared in the media about the alleged restoration of the Kiev Patriarchate and against me as the Patriarch. All this is aimed at the division of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (OCU - Ed.), which has just received from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople the Tomos of autocephaly. This makes me tell the truth about the situation in which our Church finds itself,” he said.
In his address, Filaret once again stressed that the Kiev Patriarchate does not need to be restored since it still exists. As evidence, the “Honorary Patriarch” recalled that the UOC KP is still registered in the state bodies of Ukraine.
Filaret called the refusal from the Kiev Patriarchate when receiving the Tomos “situational” and explained that it was necessary for the “theoretical” transition of the new church structure to the jurisdiction of the Constantinople Patriarchate.
According to the "hierarch" of the OCU, Filaret himself voluntarily "chose humiliation" and agreed to the election of a new "primate" so that Ukraine would receive the Tomos.
“It was agreed that the Primate would be Metropolitan Epiphany, who was nominated by Patriarch Filaret, but the Patriarch will continue to lead the Church in Ukraine. The Primate will represent the Church in the Orthodox world because the UOC (OCU - approx. Ed.) receives the status of a metropolis, and he will also help the Patriarch in administering the Church, but the Patriarch remains in charge of the Church. This agreement is broken and not implemented in practice. Therefore, the division has emerged in the Church,” Filaret stressed.
To continue uniting into the “Single Local Ukrainian Orthodox Church”, one must “live and work for the recognition of the future Patriarchate,” he continued.
According to the “Honorary Patriarch”, the name of the OCU laid down in the Tomos suggests that the parishioners of his religious organization living abroad do not belong to their church structure.
“Orthodox Ukrainians outside were outraged by this. They want to belong to their native Church,” Filaret said.
The conflict that arose in the newly created OCU, its “hierarch” explained by the disobedience of the head of this religious organization Epiphany Dumenko.
"The newly elected Primate of the UOC Metropolitan Epiphany does not comply with the agreements that were reached at the Council on December 15, 2018, at St. Sophia’s Cathedral," said the "Honorary Patriarch".
And he hinted that Moscow supposedly wanted the leadership of Epiphany, during which the “transfer” of the UOC communities to the jurisdiction of the OCU “slowed down or completely came to a standstill”, not a single bishop has moved to the new church structure since the bestowal of the Tomos, and Local Orthodox Churches have not recognized it either.
“The Primate does nothing inside the Church without the consent of the Patriarch. The Patriarch presides at meetings of the Holy Synod and at the UOC Congregations for the sake of preserving unity, its growth and establishment,” this is the way how to rectify the situation, in Filaret’s view.
On May 15, 2019, at 11:00 am, the “Honorary Patriarch” appointed a special press conference, during which he would comment on the state of affairs in the OCU. He will communicate with journalists "on the premises of the Kiev Patriarchate (36 Pushkinskaya Street, Kiev)".
On May 12, 2019, Filaret stated that he did not rule out the possibility of a split of the OCU. “I find the division of the Church possible, but we are creating a single Church – the Kiev Patriarchate. By all means,” he stressed.
On May 14, 2019, in Kiev, activists of the public organization “Corps of Defenders of the Revolution of Dignity” gathered outside the residence of the “Honored Patriarch” of the OCU Filaret Denisenko and called him and Epiphany to unity and harmony.