UOC comments on requirements of National Police to follow Phanar's orders

According to the National Police, the decision of Patriarch of Bartholomew of Constantinople on the temporary suspension of services due to the coronavirus also applies to the UOC. Photo: narodna-pravda.ua

Religious communities of the UOC receive a communiqué from the National Police of Ukraine demanding to follow the order of the Phanar’s head on quarantine.

On March 27, 2020, the head of the Synodal Legal Department of the UOC, Archpriest Alexander Bakhov commented on the requirements of the National Police of Ukraine to comply with the decision of Patriarch of Bartholomew of Constantinople, who ordered to suspend services during the coronavirus quarantine.

“In their messages, the National Police, in particular, note: <...> we ask you to comply with the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew as set out in the Communiqué of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of 18.03.2020, which says about the suspension of all divine liturgies, church events and rites in all its dioceses around the world to preserve the health and safety of the faithful of the UOC-MP,” reports the website of the UOC Legal Department.

In response, Archpriest Alexander Bakhov recalled that the Church is separate from the state, which means that no state authorities have the right to interfere in its internal life.

“According to the Constitution of Ukraine, the Church is still separated from the state. And neither the police nor any other public authority has the right to interfere in its internal affairs, let alone disseminate the decisions of an official of the Turkish Republic,” stressed the head of the UOC Legal Department.

He also expressed bewilderment over the contents of the Communique of the National Police, because if the OCU really received autocephaly, it itself should make such decisions.

“And here the spokespersons for the police speak about the blessing of Patriarch Bartholomew, which everyone should folllow. So, is the OCU autocephalous or not?” he concluded.

Earlier, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople decided to suspend serving in all churches because of the coronavirus. He sent the corresponding decree to all dioceses of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

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