OCU urges patriots to be out of UOC-KP “Local Council”
The OCU press service published a statement in which it urged those “who wish the good to Ukraine” to opt out of the upcoming “Local Council” of the Kiev Patriarchate.
The press service of the OCU appealed to all “hierarchs, clergy and believers” with calls not to take part in the upcoming “Local Council” of the UOC KP, which is to be held on June 20. The corresponding Statement is published on the official resource of this structure.
The authors of the document assure that the OCU is not subject to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, but has the status of an independent Church: "The local Ukrainian Orthodox Church has a full status of autocephaly, i.e.full administrative independence."
It is also said in the Statement that the Tomos for the OCU "does not differ basically from a number of similar Letters, granted in the past to the autocephalous Local Churches" and therefore, according to the authors, its negative assessments "are quite consonant with the propaganda against the Tomos on the part of the Moscow Patriarchate", thus "causing surprise and deep rejection in the Church and society".
In addition, the OCU declares that “the UOC KP as a separate religious association ceased its activities by uniting and acceding to the established one Local Orthodox Church of Ukraine”; consequently, “holding any events on behalf of the UOC KP, in particular under the names of its statutory bodies (the Holy Synod, the Bishops' Council and the Local Council) are illegal.”
According to the authors of the Statement, Filaret has no right to convene either the “Local Council” of the UOC KP or any other and therefore, “any unauthorized and non-statutory meetings of an unspecified group of unauthorized persons, assigning this assembly the name of the “Council” means church division and separation of the organizers and participants of such meetings from the Orthodox Church of Ukraine with all canonical and legal implications.”
As a result, the OCU called on "all hierarchs, clergy and believers who wish the good to the Church and Ukraine" to take "no part in events and activities that destroy the unity of the Local Orthodox Church".
At the same time, Yaroslava Mishchenko (a.k.a. Lana Samokhvalova), an activist of the OCU, said on her Facebook page that the “priests” of Kiev receive text messages from Boris Tabachek, a rector of the Holy Vladimir Cathedral, inviting them to come to the temple to the Local Council of the UOC KP on June 20 at 10.30 am. In case of their refusal, according to Mishchenko, they are “threatened with dismissal from the parish”. Mishchenko called on the OCU leadership to be in touch with every “priest” and said that “everything goes according to Moscow’s plan for Filaret”.
Recall, Filaret announced a “Local Council” of the UOC KP to be held on June 20, 2019. He also said that the Ukrainians did not get the Tomos from Constantinople they counted on and said that “we don’t want such autocephaly”!