UOC hierarch explains why efforts to take away Church’s name intensified
The Phanar needs weighty arguments to show the groundlessness and unviability of the meeting of primates in Jordan initiated by the Jerusalem Patriarchate.
The UOC Chancellor, Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) of Borispol and Brovary, explained who benefits from taking the official name from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and why this topic has become active right now. The opinion of the hierarch was published on Vesti.ua.
Starting with an analysis of the situation in world Orthodoxy, Bishop Anthony noted the difficult position of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
“If earlier, at the pan-Orthodox level, there was hope for a solution to the crisis by compromising with the Phanar, then after the decisions made by Patriarch Theodore and Archbishop Ieronymos, it became clear to everyone that the problem was only getting worse,” he explained. “As a result, the head of the Jerusalem Patriarchate suggested holding a meeting of Primates of the Churches to consider the current situation, which threatens Orthodoxy with a global schism.”
The hierarch noted that at a meeting in Jordan, "not so much the problem of autocephaly for Ukraine, as the general desire of Patriarch Bartholomew to become the "Eastern Pope" by violating the principle of conciliarity and consolidating the status of the leading centre of all Orthodoxy for the Patriarchate of Constantinople, may arise".
“In such an eventuality, the Phanar may face very unpleasant consequences – including to recognize it as the party that headed the new schism in the Orthodox world. To avoid such a scenario, it is not enough for Istanbul to pretend that the Pan-Orthodox meeting in Jordan will not matter. It needs more weighty arguments that would make holding the mentioned event inappropriate. And here again, the task of ensuring the acquisition of the UOC or at least the lion's portion of its parishes by the forces of the so-called OCU becomes of paramount importance,” Metropolitan Anthony explained.
In his opinion, “success in this matter would allow Constantinople to manipulatively assert that the vast majority of Orthodox believers in Ukraine supported the autocephaly granted. And that it was not the legalization of the schism that took place but rather the ‘long-awaited unification’ of Ukrainian Orthodoxy within the framework of the new “autocephalous local Church”. And if so, then any claims to the Phanar from other Churches are no longer justified and therefore holding a meeting in Amman is pointless. All that remains is for everyone to recognize the correctness of the policy of Patriarch Bartholomew on the issue of interference in Ukrainian church affairs and, accordingly, enter into Eucharistic communion with the ‘OCU’”.
The law on renaming the UOC would greatly help the Phanar to put this plan into practice, the hierarch said.
“We should only be deprived of the official name and given it to ‘OCU’ (I would like to note that indirectly in favor of the possibility of implementing such a scheme is the active public use by some speakers of ‘OCU’ of the abbreviation ‘UOC’ to denote their organization), he specified. “And already the new ‘UOC’ will declare its rights to our property on the principle ‘since we are already called the UOC, then everything that belongs to the UOC is our property’.”
Vladyka Anthony stated that “such a scenario may be attempted. Moreover, the ‘OCU’ itself is vitally interested in filling its ranks. After all, based on some sociological studies, this organization lost more than 50 percent of its parishioners in less than a year.”
“However, no matter what dark clouds are gathering over the canonical Church, we all know that everything is in the hands of the Lord. And this means that for those who trust in God, there are no hopeless situations,” concluded Metropolitan Anthony of Borispol and Brovary.
We recall that the former head of the Department of the Ministry of Culture for Religions Andrei Yurash said that the law on renaming the UOC is not blocked by the court and is valid, and it is necessary “to motivate religious organizations to ensure that they comply with this rule of law”.