“Like Prince Vladimir”: Filaret calls on Zelensky to unite the Orthodox

Filaret Denisenko. Photo: ungsobor.church.ua

Filaret Denisenko said that Poroshenko failed to solve the problem of the split in Ukraine, but only aggravated the internal confrontation.

The head of the UOC-KP Filaret Denisenko addressed President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky with a proposal to create a Single Local Church. It is reported by cerkva.info.

“The decisions of the Local Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate of May 27, 2022, regarding the independent status of this Church from Moscow, opened up unique prospects for Orthodox unification and the creation of a truly unified local Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Unfortunately, the previous President of Ukraine did not solve the problem of the split Ukrainian Orthodoxy; on the contrary, he exacerbated the internal confrontation. Today, our Church, as you know, is divided into the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine under jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate. To this list, a purely Greek Church in Ukraine was added under the presidency of Poroshenko – the Exarchate of the Patriarchate of Constantinople," Denisenko told Zelensky.

The head of the UOC-KP stated that the division of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church into three branches is a crime against the Ukrainian people, and that the Church can effectively fulfill its pastoral mission only when it is united.

“It is not without reason that your predecessor, being the ruler of the then Cossack Ukraine, the great hetman Ivan Mazepa, called separation the main reason for our defeats: “Everyone is striving for harmony, but there are disparate voices instead,” Filaret noted.

Denisenko also considers it a mistake to believe that it is necessary to return to the solution of church issues after the victory of Ukraine, "because we need unity today and now."

According to Filaret, the One Local Church of Ukraine should have precisely the status of patriarchy, since “patriarchy is a guarantee of the true independence of the UOC from other sees and religious centers <…> and will put the UOC in its proper and deserved place in the family of Orthodox Churches.”

The head of the UOC-KP noted that the unification can take place only on a voluntary basis, in the spirit of Christian love and reconciliation, responsibility to the native people, at the All-Ukrainian Local Council, and that this very unity “will automatically solve the problem of ownership of the three Ukrainian Lavras and other shrines.”

“I request you to initiate unification processes in Ukrainian Orthodoxy on the part of the Ukrainian State and support the holding of the All-Ukrainian Local Orthodox Council, which would bring all Orthodox Christians in our country to unity and complete independence from other religious centers and proclaim the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with patriarchal status. Traditionally, the state has always influenced the development of the Orthodox Church and determined its external status. In particular, in the history of Ukraine, it was the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir the Great who introduced Christianity to Rus, and later the Hetman of Ukraine Petro Sagaidachny solved the problem of hierarchy in our Church. Perhaps the Lord Himself is opening up for you the opportunity to carry out a great historical mission – to help unite all the thousand-year-old Ukrainian Orthodoxy into a single local Ukrainian Church,” Filaret addressed Zelensky with these words.

As a first step, Denisenko suggested setting up a meeting with the heads of the UOC, OCU and UOC-KP.

Earlier, the UOJ reported that Filaret Denisenko appealed to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry to create a Single Local Church in Ukraine.

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Poll

Do you support the call of His Beatitude to end the war and organize an exchange of prisoners?
yes, the Church must do everything to end the war
67%
no, we must fight until complete victory
13%
we must pray, it's up to politicians to deal with the war
20%
Total votes: 136

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