Metropolitan Anthony cites 9 arguments on inconsistency of Tomos for OCU

Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich). Photo: screen video

The UOC Chancellor explained why the Tomos, granted to the OCU, did not heal but exacerbated the schism and further divided Ukrainian society.

All assurances that the Tomos, issued by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, healed the schism in Ukraine are untrue. The Chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) of Boryspil and Brovary, said this in a commentary on the YouTube channel VITRAZHI: About Faith in Colours, citing 9 arguments to prove the ungrounded  character of such statements and the Tomos in general.

1. The Tomos did not heal but exacerbated the split: “Instead of two non-canonical structures – the so-called UOC-KP and UAOC – a new non-canonical organization called the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) has emerged," the Hierarch explained. “It includes the schismatics and self-ordained, who did not become canonical no matter what. This structure is characterized by politicization and segregation. Filaret, who actually created a split in the split, had already departed from it. This is logical, because a split can only give rise to a new split." 

2. The actions of Patriarch Bartholomew are contrary to the church canons and traditions of the Church: “He personally revises church issues, cancels the historical documents adopted by the Holy Church. In 2018, Patriarch Bartholomew committed a series of actions that violated canon law and norms which led to a crisis in the relations of all Orthodox Local Churches. The first violation is an invasion of the canonical territory of another Local Church. The second is the appointment of the Exarch to another Church without any coordination of such a decision with the hierarchy of this Church. The third is the establishment of church structures on the canonical territory of another Local Orthodox Church. Fourth – having Holy Communion with persons who are banned in another Local Church. Fifth, it is the reinstatement of a cleric without repentance after his anathematization in another Orthodox Church. And the sixth one is “congregation” with the people who do not have a valid episcopal or priestly ordination,” the Bishop said.

3. The Patriarchate of Constantinople by its actions in Ukraine contradicts itself: “Until 2018, the canonical status of the Primate of the UOC – today it is Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and all Ukraine – as well as the canonical punishments imposed on the former Metropolitan Filaret Denisenko, were not questioned or disputed by any Local Orthodox Church, including the Church of Constantinople. Also, nobody recognized as canonical the so-called church structures of UAOC and UOC-KP. Now these structures are allegedly recognized as legitimate, despite the fact that nothing has changed: they have not brought repentance, yet received legal consecrations,” added the Hierarch.

4. The independence of the autocephalous church is fictitious: “Tomos did not give independence but only resubordinated the schismatics to Constantinople,” he continued. “The so-called OCU turned out to be dependent on Constantinople because, firstly, it receives myrrh from Constantinople; secondly, the Church of Constantinople is the highest judicial authority for the OCU; thirdly, it does not have the right to open Ukrainian parishes in the Diaspora, which are all subordinate to Constantinople; fourthly, it does not have the right to canonize saints on its own – this is what the Patriarchate of Constantinople does for it.”

5. The Tomos has aggravated the split in the Ukrainian society even more, rather than reconciled it: “Near-church people were misled by the fact of the creation of the Ukrainian Church and the granting of an allegedly legal document to it. The bestowal of the Tomos is contrary to the canonical norms and rules of the Holy Apostolic Church,” the Hierarch emphasized.

6. The OCU does not behave in a Christian way: “Despite all the assurances that the Tomos will bring along peace and reconciliation, representatives of the so-called "OCU” or “Holy Church of Ukraine” act as raiders and robbers, relaying the aggressive policy of the UOC-KP, seizing the temples of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and throwing believers into the street."

7. The Tomos undermines religious stability in Ukraine: “The most terrible conflicts are conflicts on religious grounds,” the Hierarch recalled. “The connivance of local authorities leads to clashes and skirmishes between people, sowing enmity. The Tomos will even further exacerbate the split in society, failing to add to its unity.”

8. The process of Tomos-granting was lobbied by geopolitical and political forces: "The open participation and lobbying for the granting of the Tomos by ex-president Petro Poroshenko, with the evident support of US authorities, indicates that there is more political than ecclesiastic rationale in this process."

9. The Sacraments in the OCU are graceless: “Priestly and bishop consecrations in the so-called OCU are invalid, as Constantinople itself has previously recognized. The recognition of the self-ordained clergy without their repentance and proper ordination breaks the thread of apostolic succession in the Church. If the priesthood is not valid, then the Sacraments are also invalid,” Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary summed up.

Recall that earlier the UOC Chancellor, Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich), spoke about the pinnacle events of 2019 for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

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