Epiphany: Poroshenko’s power treated the Church more dutifully
The Ukrainian state should take care of spiritual security and contribute to the "true Ukrainian church," said the head of the OCU.
The previous authorities treated the OCU more responsibly, but now it receives insufficient assistance and support. The head of the OCU, Epiphany Dumenko, said this in an interview with the TV channel “Priamyi”.
In his opinion, the suspension of the process of re-registration of religious communities in favor of the OCU indicates the existence of "certain problems the state has."
“At the level of regional administrations, there is no desire to re-register religious communities,” he said. “Although it is to some extent illegal and unlawful. <...> Every community that seeks to move to the new church would like to immediately legalize this. And this depends not on us but on local governments. And now we see blocking by the regional administrations. Yet, we will draw the attention of the Ukrainian authorities to this fact.”
According to Epiphany, the state must be fully aware of the role the “true Ukrainian church” plays. At the same time, he emphasized that former president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko “did a lot to facilitate the unification process of obtaining Tomos, i.e. he fulfilled the duty as head of state."
“The Ukrainian state must take care of spiritual security. This is not about the interference of the Ukrainian state in church affairs; this is about helping the Ukrainian church to be strong, because our future, our common joint victory over the aggressor also depends on it. <...> We can see some difference between the previous government and the current government: the previous one was more responsible for the Church. Now we also have good relations with the Ukrainian authorities, there is no interference, but sometimes there is no such assistance and help on the ground. But in the future, I am sure, the state will fully understand the role played by the Ukrainian church, the true Ukrainian church, which stands on the principles that Ukraine should be a strong state. We are not a state-run church; we have never wanted this and never been so. But we are a statist church,” said the head of the OCU.
Recall that earlier the OCU spokesman Eustratiy Zoria thanked the United States and ex-president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko for “consistent protection of religious freedom” and work for the sake of the Tomos. According to Zoria, the name of Poroshenko "as the head of state, under whom and by whose efforts the Tomos of autocephaly for the Orthodox Church of Ukraine was granted, is written not only in the document but also in the history of the Church and Ukraine."