Hierarch of UOC: OCU has no basic thing – real association of schismatics

Filaret and Epifaniy. Photo: 24.ua

Patriarch Bartholomew stubbornly denies his mistake with the OCU, showing similarities with the heresiarchs in the history of the Church, said Met. Varsonofy (Stoliar).

There is no basic thing in the OCU – real unification of Ukrainian schismatics in this structure. Metropolitan Varsonofy of Vinnytsia and Bar wrote about this in an article published on the UOJ website.

The hierarch noted that by granting the Tomos to the OCU, the head of Phanar committed a deliberate canonical crime, justifying his action by the "need" and "benefit" for the Church.

"According to him (Patriarch Bartholomew – Ed.), the 'autocephaly' of the OCU was supposed to overcome the split in Ukraine, unite the ‘three branches of Ukrainian Orthodoxy’ and bring millions of Ukrainians to the Church of Christ," said Metropolitan Varsonofy. "But none of that kind happened." And it is impossible not to see it. The OCU doesn’t have even a basic thing – real unification of Ukrainian schismatics within one structure."

He explained that one of the main principles of the Church's existence as an institution is the "one city - one bishop" principle, worded at the First Ecumenical Council. According to the logic of canon law, with the formation of the OCU, the dioceses of the UOC-KP and the UAOC in one territory had to unite into one, whereas one of the "ruling bishops" had to concede and make way for another.

"But nothing of that kind happened," the bishop stressed. “There are still two dioceses and two 'bishops' in each regional center. Moreover, in Vinnytsia, where after the split of Metropolitan Simeon (Shostatsky), the former ruling bishop of the Vinnytsia diocese of the UOC, there are three dioceses in the structure of the OCU: Vinnytsia-Bar, Vinnytsia-Bratslav, and Vinnytsia-Tulchyn. Despite the difference in names, all three structures have their sees in Vinnytsia, with the ‘ruling bishops’ also based there."

Thus, he explained, "the ‘autocephaly’ of the OCU did not fulfill its mission for which it was ‘issued’ by Phanar," but split the Orthodox world, to make matters worse.

Patriarch Bartholomew definitely sees and understands what is happening, Metropolitan Varsonofy is convinced. But "heresy is not a delusion of mind, but stubbornness of will", and the head of Phanar is unable to make the only right decision in this situation – to annul the decision on the Tomos for OCU, because admitting his mistake requires giving up pride, which has always been a painful solution for heretics as evidenced by the history of the Church."

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that Filaret was reprimanded by the OCU for "violating the canons", to which the liquidated UOC-KP responded with the saying "dogs bark, but the caravan moves on."

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