DECR MP tells why UOC does not have autocephaly status
Metropolitan Hilarion said that autocephaly should come from the will of the entire church people, which is not the case in Ukraine.
On July 25, 2021, the head of the DECR of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk, explained why the Ukrainian Orthodox Church does not have the status of autocephaly.
In a sermon after the Divine Liturgy in the church in honor of the icon of the Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow, Metropolitan Hilarion said that he had often been asked why the Russian Church does not grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Vladyka noted that there is nothing wrong with autocephaly, "just as there is nothing wrong with the fact that the Russian Orthodox Church is autocephalous, although it was once a part of the Patriarch of Constantinople."
But, according to Metropolitan Hilarion, "autocephaly, i.e. complete church independence is something that should come from the will of the church people, which is not the case in Ukraine."
“We can only see that schismatics, opportunists use this topic of autocephaly in order to even more drive a wedge between Russia and Ukraine at the political level, and at the same time drive the same wedge at the church level," the hierarch emphasized.
Metropolitan Hilarion noted that “the church people in their fullness, the clergy and hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church do not want to separate from the Russian Orthodox Church,” and this was “very clear, publicly and repeatedly, expressed by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, including years ago at the bishop's meeting.”
Vladyka also said that "although the UOC is under colossal pressure from politicians and external forces, it maintains this unity and wants to keep it with all its might."
“In this situation, can we, should we talk about some kind of autocephaly, which no one asks of us and no one in Ukraine wants, except, as I said, schismatics and opportunists? Of course not,” the bishop noted.
Metropolitan Hilarion assured that “we will defend our unity, which dates back to more than a thousand years ago, when the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir baptized Kievan Rus not anywhere – on the Volga, on the Oka, or on the Irtysh, but he baptized it on the Dnieper. Exactly where Rus Christianity began and from where it sprawled throughout Russia,” summed up the Head of the DECR ROC.
Earlier, the UOJ wrote that according to the UOC Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka, the issue of autocephaly of the UOC will not be resolved as long as politicians intervene.