UOC Chancellor: No fear but see destabilization in Phanar head’s arrival
Met Anthony commented on the announced arrival of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to Ukraine and spoke about the significance of cross processions of the UOC.
It should be clearly understood that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is not afraid of the arrival of Patriarch Bartholomew to Ukraine. The UOC Chancellor, Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) of Boryspil and Brovary, said at a press conference at the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra on Thursday, April 8, 2021.
The Metropolitan emphasized that the task of the cross processions of the UOC is not a desire to demonstrate its mass character and "not a political action but always a prayer".
“Of course, it is very important when the cross procession gathers several hundred thousand our believers, as in previous years. This inspired people because when you read about our Church in the media, it seems that everyone is against us, and there are very few of us. <...> But the task is always precisely in joint prayer to ask God for both peace and prosperity for your country and protection of your Church," he said.
As for the reaction of the Church to the possible visit of the Phanar head to Ukraine, the UOC Chancellor noted that "it is necessary to clearly understand: we are not afraid of the arrival of Patriarch Bartholomew, but we say that this may cause destabilization in our Ukrainian society".
“Most likely, certain forces are using this as an impetus for the seizure of our temples. We will respond to the extent that our legislation and our inner Christian principles allow. We will never go against our Christian principles. <...> Yes, it hurts when we are beaten, when temples are seized, but we do not use force and never hit back. Yes, we defend our churches, but we do it within the framework of state laws and internal church regulations,” summed up Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary.
As reported, on April 8, a press breakfast with Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) was held at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra on the topic: the UOC in the context of a pandemic and an acute political situation in Ukraine and in the international arena.