Filaret: If this OCU wants to secede from UOC KP – let it secede
If the new church structure wants to secede from the Kiev Patriarchate – let it be, but the UOC KP is and will be, the “Patriarch of Kiev and All Rus-Ukraine” declared.
The religious organization, led by Epiphany Dumenko, can secede from the Kiev Patriarchate, if it wishes so, the head of the UOC KP Filaret Denisenko said in an interview with the online publication Gordon.
According to Filaret, he himself is not going to cause a split.
“If this OCU is separated from the Kiev Patriarchate, then let it be separated. But the Kiev Patriarchate was, is and will be. Our task is not to split. Our task is to unite all Orthodoxy into one independent church," said the “Patriarch of Kiev and all Rus-Ukraine".
He added that Epiphany Dumenko, the Primate of the OCU, betrayed him.
“Epiphany has changed. He promised that he would be the primate and will represent the Ukrainian Church from the outside, while I will lead the Ukrainian Orthodox Church inside, but with him. He does not communicate with me, does not call, we only had several meetings but we spoke not so much about our business as about the weather. Actually, we should discuss church matters but he is reluctant to discuss them with me,” Filaret shared with journalists. “Now he has started a war against me – he takes away the most committed from me ... in order to show that he is a head, while patriarch Filaret is a figure of the past. He wants to show the authorities that he is the head of the Ukrainian church rather than the patriarch.”
The head of the UOC KP also stressed that the “Local Council” of the Kiev Patriarchate, which is scheduled for June 20, 2019, would be legal.
The new church structure considers the “Local Council” of the UOC KP illegal and therefore, they called on the patriots not to participate in it. “Arbitrary and non-statutory meetings of an unspecified group of unauthorized persons, assigning the name of the “Council” to this assembly means church split and separation of the organizers and participants of such assemblies from the Orthodox Church of Ukraine with all canonical and legal implications,” as the OCU explained its position.