German professor: ROC docs cannot have validity for evaluating UOC status

20 September 22:08
Professor at WWU Münster Thomas Bremer. Photo: Professor at WWU Münster Thomas Bremer. Photo:

Dr. Thomas Bremer notes that in May 2022, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church adopted a new Charter, which no longer mentions a relation to the Russian Orthodox Church.

German Catholic theologian, professor at the University of Münster, Dr. Thomas Bremer, criticized the way “experts” of the State Ethnic Policy of Ukraine interpreted the Russian Orthodox Church's documents as evidence of the “belonging” of the UOC to the Moscow Patriarchate. This is discussed in the professor’s Report regarding the “religious examination” by the DESS commission, which was published by the Myriany Telegram channel.

“It is clear that the ROC does not recognize the independence of the UOC,” writes Dr. Bremer. "The UOC has no means of influencing the Russian statements. The UOC cannot influence the statements. That means that no ROC document can prove anything in connection with the UOC, especially if any such document originated before May 2022. <...> It is questionable why the Ukrainian legislation should make itself dependent on Russia. Therefore, Russian documents (or any foreign documents) cannot have validity for a Ukrainian evaluation of any question.”

The professor recalled that on May 27, 2022, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church adopted a statute, which defines its status as self-reliant  and independent.

“The UOC council (sobor) which took place in May 2022 eliminated any mention of  the ROC, with the exception of a reference (for historical context) to the 1990 document which gave the UOC its status.. <...> The council decisions refer to a 'full self-reliance and independence',” emphasized Dr. Bremer.

As the UOJ wrote, Professor Thomas Bremer stated that the conclusions of the DESS “expert commission” cannot be regarded as a proof of the ecclesiastical-canonical connection of the UOC with the Moscow Patriarchate.

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