Head of World Council of Churches worried about Phanar’s actions in Ukraine
During the meeting with Metropolitan Hilarion, the WCC head assured that the Council of Churches views UOC as the only generally recognized Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
On June 5, 2019, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, the Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate met with the president of the World Council of Churches (WCC), pastor Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit in Geneva. This is reported by the ROC DECR Communication Service.
The chairman of the Department for External Church Relations told his interlocutor about the plight of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church due to the unprecedented interference of the Ukrainian state in church affairs.
He stressed that the process of preparation and holding of the Unification Council of the OCU took place under conditions of unprecedented pressure from representatives of the central and local authorities of Ukraine on the hierarchs and clerics of the canonical Church.
He reminded that shortly after the Council, the Verkhovna Rada adopted two discriminatory laws against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which were signed by ex-president Petro Poroshenko.
Vladyka Hilarion noted that despite the pressure, as well as the granting by the Constantinople Patriarchate of the Tomos to OCU, the overwhelming majority of the hierarchy and the faithful has remained loyal to their Primate, Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine. He also recalled that to date none of the Local Orthodox Churches has recognized the newly created church structure.
Metropolitan Hilarion thanked Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit for his constructive position, which the WCC always takes on the ecclesiastic situation in Ukraine.
The Secretary General of the World Council of Churches assured that the WCC still considers the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as the only generally recognized Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
Special attention was paid to the preparation of the XI Assembly of the WCC to be held in September 2021 in the city of Karlsruhe (Germany). The topic of the Assembly is “The love of Christ moves the world towards reconciliation and unity”. The WCC Secretary General expressed the hope that representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church would take an active part in the preparation of the Assembly, especially in the field of theological reflection and full exploration of its main subjectmatter.
In this regard, he shared his concern about the situation in the Orthodox world, eventuated by the actions of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in Ukraine, and the break in communication between the Russian and Constantinople Churches. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit said that all this seriously hinders full participation of Orthodox Christians in the work of the WCC, stressing that, according to its status, the World Council of Churches does not consider it possible to interfere in the internal life of its member Churches, but sincerely seeks to give them a neutral place for fruitful dialogue and problem solving.
As the UOJ reported, earlier the UN Special Commission familiarized itself with the facts of intolerance and religious discrimination against the UOC believers. From May 20 to 24, 2019, the 28th session of the UN Commission on Combating Intolerance and Discrimination Crime was held in Vienna, which reviewed information submitted by the NGO Public Advocacy on the systematic violation of the UOC believers’ rights.