Filaret’s press service: Statements about liquidation of UOC KP are illegal
The “Kiev Patriarchate” finds illegitimate the voting on the liquidation of the UOC KP as it did not comply with the rules and was held under Phanar’s pressure.
On June 5, 2019, the press service of the Kiev Patriarchate published an explanation that the decision on the liquidation of the UOC-KP cannot be recognized as legitimate since the meeting on December 15, 2018, at which it was made, does not comply with the rules and procedures of the Local Council of the UOC KP set in its Statute. Moreover, the “hierarchs” were not free in their decisions as they were subjected to pressure from representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, reports the official site of the UOC-KP.
The statement was a response to the document and video appearing in the media, which, according to the press service, “allegedly testify to the liquidation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate”. These materials, according to the UOC KP, "bring great misunderstanding and confusion into the church life of Ukrainian Orthodoxy since their interpretation is one-sided and biased".
The press service claims that the meeting of the “hierarchs, which took place in the Warm Sofia a few hours before the opening of the Unification Council,” was not a “Local Council of the UOC KP” because “the procedure for convening and holding the Local Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate, which is clearly set in the Statute of the UOC-KP, was violated”.
The “Kiev Patriarchy” claims that “the question of liquidation of the Kiev Patriarchate arose only in the morning just before the Unification Council as a demand of representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the Unification Council, without this formal refusal of the Kiev Patriarchate, the Unification Council could not be held”.
In addition, the “patriarchate” emphasizes that, due to violation of procedural rules, “the Secretariat of the Local Council was not formed”, which means that “protocols of registration, meetings, decisions, voting of the Local Council — DO NOT EXIST, which puts in doubt the legitimacy of this assembly.”
Based on this, the press service of the UOC KP states that “the meeting, which took place on December 15, 2018, in the Church of the Holy Prince Yaroslav the Wise (Warm Sofia), was NOT the Local Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate but a situational meeting of the UOC KP delegates before the Unification Council, which, at the request of the representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, adopted a formal, situational document that has no legal force but was necessary for participation in the Unification Council of Ukrainian Orthodoxy . In the event that such a document was not signed, representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate refused to start the Unification Council in Great Sofia. It should be noted that the UAOC was also made the same demand.”
Consequently, as the statement of the press service of the “Kiev Patriarchate” reads, since “there was no Local Council, it means that the Kiev Patriarchate continues to exist, especially since it is registered with state bodies”.
Also, it is emphasized that "the question of extending the functioning of the Kiev Patriarchate as a legal entity and the UOC of the Kiev Patriarchate is not debatable" since "it has a definite affirmative legal answer."
Moreover, the “Kiev Patriarchate” is confident that “all statements by officials of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine and various publications and comments on the media or social networks about the Kiev Patriarchate and the UOC KP as “liquidated” or those that ceased their activities with reference to the decision of the “Local Council”, which was not held, is not only a manifestation of incompetence but also illegal actions that undermine the foundations of the current Church.”
As the UOJ reported earlier, the “Honorary Patriarch” of the OCU Filaret wants to convene a local council to bypass Epiphany. In turn, the nominal head of the OCU Epiphany Dumenko said that he did not see the point in convening such a council.