UOC cleric: Phanar may revise the policy in relation to Ukraine and OCU
Zelensky’s refusal to sign a joint communique with Patriarch Bartholomew may indicate that the Phanar will have to moderate his appetites for Ukraine.
Based on the results of the meeting between the Ukrainian president and Patriarch Bartholomew, it can be said that Vladimir Zelensky realizes that his voters are tired of all kinds of conflicts. Archpriest Oleg Tochinsky, a clergyman of the Volyn Eparchy of the UOC, said this in a comment to "Strana.ua".
He noted that the UOC was following the meeting in Phanar with attention, and “interest in this event was directly related to the difficult interfaith situation in the country that has developed in recent years and was inspired by the former Head of State and his followers”.
“First of all, it was important for the clergy and believers of the UOC to see whether the new President will continue the religious policy of his predecessor or keep the word he said during the inauguration,” the clergyman emphasized. “Based on the results of today's meeting, one thing can be said – Zelensky realizes that among his voters are people who are tired of constant conflicts on different grounds.”
In his opinion, in the current situation, it is best for the President to take the side of the law and treat all faiths equally without exception, “that is if you incited sectarian strife – answer before the law, if you seized a temple – return it, if you offended someone – apologize".
At the same time, according to the priest, Zelensky’s refusal to sign a joint agreement with Patriarch Bartholomew “may also indicate that the latter will have to moderate his appetites for Ukraine, including those “stauropegia” that he asked for himself in exchange for the Tomos."
“It follows from this that the Phanar can reconsider his policy towards Ukraine and the OCU as its creation. In addition, this situation is a clear signal for officials of the Ministry of Culture, who actively participated in the repressions against part of the population of Ukraine, stubbornly convincing everyone around that there were no church seizures in Ukraine, they say, these are all tricks of the Kremlin. If I understood everything correctly, then they will also have to answer for the six-month lawlessness that they actively supported after the bestowal of the Tomos. In general, I would like to hope that the course chosen by the President will bring the fruits of peace and justice to our country,” the cleric resumed.
As reported, on August 7-8, 2019, President Vladimir Zelensky paid a working visit to Turkey, where he met with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. During the meeting, the President emphasized that the authorities should not interfere in church affairs. In addition, the Ukrainian side refused to sign a joint statement prepared in advance by the Phanar in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry.