UOC spokesman: We only open parishes in countries with no Local Churches
Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich said that parishes of the UOC will open in 19 European countries.
Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich, the deputy chairman of the UOC Department for External Church Relations, said that the UOC is opening its parishes only in those countries where there are no Local Churches, reports news.church.ua.
"We have a principle that we open parishes of our Church only in those countries where there are no autocephalous Orthodox Churches, namely in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, etc. If we are talking about Europe, it is about 19 countries. However, we are not opening our own congregations in the countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, Greece, and Albania, because there are Local Orthodox Churches there and this is the canonical territory of the Churches. By the way, some of these Churches have already asked us to send Ukrainian priests to their jurisdiction for the care of our faithful or ask for a blessing for this or that priest who has already gone there to stay in the bosom of one or another Orthodox Church," Archpriest Nikolai said.
"But Ukrainians from those countries can also turn to us if they have a need for Ukrainian society. In agreement with a particular Local Church, respecting its canonical territory, a Ukrainian parish will be created under the jurisdiction of a Local Church: Serbian, Polish, Romanian, etc. These jurisdictional issues are simply resolved. The Local Churches meet our needs. We maintain constructive relations with the Local Churches. The main criterion is a spiritual benefit and help for our displaced people. And there will always be a form of organization of the religious society," added the spokesman for the UOC.
As reported, the spokesperson for the UOC said on opening parishes abroad: “The believers themselves turn to us.”