Because of Kremlin: World Congress of Ukrainians asks Fanar to change Tomos

President of World Congress of Ukrainians Pavel Grod with the head of Phanar and P. Poroshenko. Photo:

The President of the World Congress of Ukrainians said he had asked Patriarch Bartholomew to authorize the OCU to open parishes abroad to oppose the "Russian world".

It is necessary to expand the Tomos and give the OCU jurisdiction outside of Ukraine in order to counter the "hand of the Kremlin" in the Diaspora, said the President of the World Congress of Ukrainians Pavel Grod in an interview with Radio Svoboda.

Grod said that he discussed the "expansion of the scope of the Tomos" with the head of Phanar, Patriarch Bartholomew.

“When someone comes and emigrates from Ukraine, they look for a church – one of the main things,” he said. “If there is no Ukrainian Orthodox Church around, they immediately go to the Russian Orthodox Church. But we all know that the ROC is the 'hand of the Kremlin', even in the Diaspora. Therefore, it is important that we can create or open Ukrainian Orthodox churches in the Diaspora. I spoke about this with the Ecumenical Patriarch."

Grod believes that when discussing alterations in the Tomos, he talks about what the clerics of the OCU cannot. According to the citizen of Canada, the head of Phanar should give authority, which the OCU does not have abroad.

“The scope should be expanded even more. The OCU must have jurisdiction and authority to be able to operate outside Ukraine,” he said. “During our conversation with the Ecumenical Patriarch, I would say he was very open to this idea. So we will try to work it out with him. Because we represent the laity, we represent the civil society, and at times we can talk about what our clergy cannot. But we can speak on behalf of the laity."

As the UOJ reported, the UOC Synod instructed the Department for External Church Relations to provide spiritual guidance to the believers abroad.


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