Filaret: We are not going to comply with conditions of Tomos

23 May 2019 23:13
Filaret Denisenko. Photo: Ukrayina Nova Filaret Denisenko. Photo: Ukrayina Nova

"Patriarch" Filaret said that if he had known the terms prescribed in the Tomos before, he would never have agreed to receive it.

Filaret said that the OCU does not intend to fulfill the conditions prescribed in the Tomos. He said this in an interview with the Current Time resource.

“We did not know its (Tomos – Ed.) contents at the Council. We learned about it after the merger. If we had known the contents of this Tomos, we wouldn’t have agreed to such a wording,” Filaret said. “Part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which was called the Orthodox Church in Ukraine – there is not such a name among the Orthodox Churches and not everyone understands what hides behind it. But the Tomos revealed to us the meaning of this name.”

Filaret listed those provisions of the Tomos that came out as an unpleasant surprise to him and which he is not going to implement now.

He called the expropriation of overseas parishes by Phanar as the first unacceptable point.

"If it is about the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, then it means that all Ukrainians who live in the territory of Ukraine or in emigration – in Europe, America, Canada, Australia, Latin America, who are part of the Kiev Patriarchate – they are our flock, our part,” Filaret told the reporters. “However, the Tomos says: no, those Ukrainians, who used to belong to you, do not belong to you now, but belong to the Patriarchate of Constantinople.”

The second paragraph, which the OCU, according to him, is not going to fulfill, is that myrrh should be supplied by Phanar.

“The Tomos says that we have no right to make myrrh. If we should get it from Constantinople, from Istanbul, it means that we are dependent,” explained Filaret. And since the OCU does not have the right to make it itself, then its status cannot correspond to the status of Autocephalous Church: “Nominally we are an autocephalous church, but in reality we are dependent on myrrh – whether we will be given it or not.”

In the third paragraph, Filaret indicated that he did not agree that any ecclesiastical conflicts in the OCU must be resolved by Phanar and summarizes, “These are three points that take away from us the rights of the autocephalous church. We are autocephalous by name but in fact, we are the church dependent on the Patriarchate of Constantinople.”

Six months later, after the arrival of the Tomos, Filaret found out that "not a single autocephalous church, which received a tomos on autocephaly from the Constantinople Patriarchate, has any similar provisions."

As a result, Filaret said that the OCU is going to comply with none of the above paragraphs: “We are not rejecting the Tomos, but we will not fulfill these three conditions enshrined in the Tomos. No way.

In addition, the “Patriarch of Kiev and all Rus-Ukraine” said that Patriarch Bartholomew forced him to refuse the post of the head of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine through the mediation of Poroshenko and considers such an act by the head of Phanar anti-canonical: “The Ecumenical Patriarch set a condition: there will be a tomos provided I refuse to put up my candidacy <...>. He told this to the president. And he demanded that I sign a paper that I refuse to nominate myself. From the point of view of canons and freedom, such conditions cannot be set.”

Filaret also repeated once again (he told about this at the press conference on May 15 – Ed.) that Epiphany and Poroshenko had deceived him by promising that in reality he would at leads of the new religious structure: “The original paper (Filaret’s written remission of his claims to primacy – Ed.) is kept by the Ecumenical Patriarch. Poroshenko handed it to him. It means there was an agreement that was subsequently shrugged off by President Poroshenko and Metropolitan Epiphany. It's not fair.”

Recall that in the text of the Tomos there is a reference that the Statute of the OCU must comply with the provisions of the Tomos: “it must necessarily meet the provisions of this Patriarchal and Synodal Tomos in everything”, and only “on all these conditions shall our Holy Great Church of Christ bless and proclaim the Orthodox Church in Ukraine as Autocephalous ".

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