Hierarch of Russian Church: The fact that Moscow controls UOC is a lie
Metropolitan Hilarion recalled that the relation between the Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox Church is historical and spiritual, rather than administrative and financial.
On October 10, 2020, the Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk, said that the words that Moscow controls the UOC are a lie, according to the official website of the ROC.
Metropolitan Hilarion noted that there is a self-governing Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, which is the national Church of Ukraine.
"Its relation with the Russian Orthodox Church is historical and spiritual, but there are no administrative or financial bonds," the hierarch emphasized.
According to Vladyka Hilarion, “throughout the entire period of Mr. Poroshenko’s rule in Ukraine, politicians ... tried to convince the Ukrainian people that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is some kind of the fifth column of Moscow, that Moscow controls this Church and through it influences the Ukrainian population. This is a lie being ‘disconnected with reality’."
The Metropolitan recalled that “the struggle for the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church is a struggle waged initially by the schismatics. At first it was Filaret (Denisenko), then, upon the arrival of the 'Tomos', when the new church structure no longer needed him, Filaret was simply discarded."
The hierarch stressed that the Russian Church had never agreed that "overcoming the schism can be accomplished by legitimizing the actions of the schismatics", but said on the contrary that "overcoming the schism is possible only on a canonical basis."
His Eminence noted that "the majority of Orthodox believers in Ukraine rejected this ‘tomos’, while "the entire Ukrainian Orthodox Church, its entire episcopate, all its clergy, all its believers remain faithful to the canonical Orthodox Church."
“This is neither some kind of allegiance to Moscow nor some kind of political position – this is loyalty to those spiritual roots, spiritual sources that unite our nations, loyalty to our common baptismal font of Prince Vladimir, which was located not in Moscow or Petersburg or another Russian city, but in Kiev,” the hierarch upheld.
According to him, “Russian Orthodoxy originated from Kiev, and this spiritual unity is still preserved. We will continue to preserve it. This is not a position of the Russian Orthodox Church contrary to the will of the Ukrainian believers. It's just that the believers of the Ukrainian canonical Church wish to preserve unity with the Russian Orthodox Church," Metropolitan Hilarion summed up.
Earlier, the UOJ wrote that the Chancellor of the UOC spoke about the current status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.