Filaret to the authorities: Registration of OCU in 2019 was illegal
The head of the UOC-KP published an appeal to the Ukrainian authorities, in which he stated that the registration of the OCU statute in 2019 was illegal.
On July 1, 2020, the head of the UOC-KP Filaret Denisenko published the “Appeal of the Patriarch of Kyiv and all Rus’-Ukraine Filaret regarding the situation of Ukrainian Orthodoxy”, in which he claims that the registration of the OCU in 2019 was illegal. The document is published on the website of the UOC-KP.
In a letter addressed to President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Dmitry Razumkov and Prime Minister Denis Shmygal, Filaret writes that, despite the fact that “Ukrainian society, like the Ukrainian authorities, accepted the Council, which was held on December 15, 2018, at the St. Sophia in Kyiv as a council of two Ukrainian Churches (the UOC of the Kyiv Patriarchate and the UAOC), which united and formed a single Ukrainian Orthodox Church”, “in fact, on December 15, 2018, the Council of the Church of Constantinople took place at the St. Sophia of Kyiv,” with the participation of the UOC-KP and the UAOC.
The proof of this, he said, is the convening of the council by Patriarch Bartholomew, the participation of the bishops of the Patriarchate of Constantinople as its full members in it , and the fact that the originals of its decisions are in the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and not in Kyiv.
“At the Council on December 15, 2018, at the St. Sophia of Kyiv, the Primate was elected in the rank of Metropolitan of the future Autocephalous Ukrainian Church. Before receiving the Tomos, Metropolitan Epiphany did not have the authority of the Primate of the Ukrainian Church because it did not yet have the autocephaly status but was part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople,” writes Filaret.
The head of the UOC-KP focuses on the fact that the OCU has never had its own Statute, which an independent Church must have.
“The Statute of the Kyiv Metropolis as part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople was adopted at the Council,” writes Filaret. "The Statute was valid while the Kyiv Metropolis was part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, that is, from December 15, 2018, to January 6, 2019. This means that the Greek Statute has lost its force after the proclamation of autocephaly, that is, after receiving the Tomos on January 6, 2019 ... The truth is that the OCU operates without the Statute. The Statute adopted at the Council on December 15, 2018, is the Statute of another Church,” said the head of the UOC-KP.
“President Petro Poroshenko and his team, represented by the Minister of Culture Yevhen Nishchuk and the director of the Department for Religions and Nationalities Andriy Yurash, did not have the right to register the Church Statute of the Patriarchate of Constantinople on January 30, 2019. They had the right to register only the Kyiv Metropolis, led by Metropolitan Epiphany, on the basis of the received Tomos, but not the Statute of the OCU, since the Statute was not adopted at the Local Council. Therefore, the registration of the Statute on the management of the OCU is an abuse of power and illegal,” Filaret argues.
As reported earlier, Poroshenko said that he would not throw a stone at Filaret because of the Tomos case.