Kuraev: If the UOC believers do not need autocephaly, is this their fault?

Protodeacon Andrey Kuraev. Photo: zvzda.ru

The fact that the ROC does not grant autocephaly to the UOC is not Moscow dictatorship; it is millions of the UOC believers who do not want this,” says Andrey Kuraev.

Protodeacon Andrey Kuraev, a cleric of the Russian Orthodox Church, who is banned from priesthood, said in an interview to Glavcom that the believers of the UOC are not to blame for the fact that they do not need autocephaly, it is not their fault or their drawback.

“It all depends on Metropolitan Onuphry. If he had the ultimate goal of gaining freedom and had a roadmap to achieving it, Moscow would not be able to stand in his way. But he does not have such a goal ... Other hierarchs take in this behavior of their metropolitan and do not put pressure on him regarding autocephaly. This means that there is no such pressure on them from their clergy, sponsors, parishioners ... If these millions do not request for autocephaly, is it their fault or drawback? Neither Metropolitan Onuphry in Kyiv nor I in Moscow hear such appeals from within the Church. And this is not Moscow's fault," Kuraev noted.

Metropolitan Onuphry, in turn, sees no reason for autocephaly, since he monitors the statistics of parishes flowing into the OCU, and "they are fewer than the number of parishes newly created in the UOC," the deacon is sure.

“So given these figures, he quite logically sees no grounds for changing the policy. To this can be added the change of President Poroshenko to President Zelensky, whereby the politicization of the church problem has diminished in the country. State pressure on the Church has decreased. The UOC has reason to believe that, on the whole, it has won the ‘border battle’ after receiving the Tomos for the OCU. Yes, the enemy has not been crushed, not pushed back abroad, but he has not created any serious threats either,” Kuraev stressed.

As the UOJ previously reported, Kuraev asked the Patriarch to reconsider the defrocking case.

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