UOC hierarch about OCU: One cannot just climb over a fence to get to Church

Archbishop Theodosy (Snigirev) of Boyarka. Photo: Stolichnyj Blagovestnik

Although Patriarch Bartholomew helped members of the new church structure to scale the fence, it does not make them church hierarchs, Archbp. Theodosy said.

One cannot just become a Church from a non-church, the vicar of Kiev Metropolis of the UOC, Archbishop Theodosy (Snigirev) of Boyarka, recalled in a conversation about the OCU. He clarified that the Holy Gospel says the same thing.

“One cannot just become a Church from a non-church; one cannot become a church structure simply by legalization from the philosophy of schism. In other words, it is impossible to climb over the fence to the Church. 'Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber' (John 10: 1 – Ed.). Moreover, the door to the Church is open. Come in, please,” said His Eminence Theodosy on the First Cossack live program.

According to him, even after Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew had granted the Tomos to the OCU, the schismatic spirit remained in the new church structure and therefore, conflicts within the OCU may also occur after the departure of the “schism rock” – head of the UOC KP Filaret Denisenko.

“The fact that Patriarch Bartholomew helped you to climb over the fence does not make you church people and the fact that you have become so to say a “canonical structure” does not make you church hierarchs. It means that the inner life in this structure will always be infected with a schismatic spirit and dissenting processes will be infinite there. Even without Filaret Denisenko some misunderstandings are certain to occur among them. Moreover, there are many ambitious personalities in this structure,” said Archbishop Theodosy.

The division of power, confrontation, perfidy by the son of their spiritual father (though it is not in our coordinate system) are natural processes for this structure, the hierarch of the UOC is sure.

Due to the lack of proper ecclesiastical self-consciousness and the grace of the Holy Spirit, these splitting processes are inevitable for the OCU, he concluded.

The vicar of the Kiev Metropolis also told how the Ukrainian people can be united. “If we want to preserve the unity of our people, we must not divide them, but tie them. Everything that alienates us must be excluded, while everything that unites us should be lauded,” said Archbishop Theodosy.

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