Spokesperson for the Kiev Patriarchate Eustratiy Zoria
The Tomos stipulates that all Orthodox church institutions on the territory of Ukraine belong to the OCU, but in reality, this is not the case, Zoria hinted.
An analogy can be made between the refusal of the OCU overseas communities to join the bosom of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the reluctance of the UOC communities to transfer to the jurisdiction of the new church structure, said UOC KP spokesperson Eustratiy Zoria.
“The Tomos stipulates that all the metropolises, archdioceses, dioceses, parishes, monasteries and in general all Orthodox church institutions and organisations that are within Ukraine belong to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. But is this actually so? Obviously not. Because there is the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate,” he said on the first Ukrainian information channel “5 Channel”.
Now we are talking about 500 parishes from 11,000, which were declared before the start of all these events, and this process will continue just as when we are talking about parishes abroad, said Zoria.
According to him, there is no point for the OCU to force its communities to transfer under the jurisdiction of the Constantinople Patriarchate.
“If, for example, tomorrow the Ukrainian Church declares that we reject these parishes, they will leave us for the Ecumenical Patriarch, under his jurisdiction, they say: “We do not want to go.” Where will they be? Nowhere,” said the spokesperson for the UOC KP.
And he further emphasized that a great many Orthodox Churches abroad have their jurisdiction. Among them are Romanian, Serbian, Bulgarian, and Russian – even several jurisdictions, said the “hierarch” of the Kiev Patriarchate.
In his opinion, for the sake of “the good of believers” no one is forcing events and trying to adjust the “real life” within the framework set by the Tomos and the position of Constantinople.
“Even if we said: “We have the Tomos, therefore the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, the Pochayev Lavra belong to us”. I think that the first who would start saying “Please, do not hurry, do not do anything” is the Ecumenical Patriarchate,” Zoria hinted.
Earlier, the “honorary patriarch” of the OCU, Filaret Denisenko, in an interview with “Glavcom”, stated that the Kiev Patriarchate could not force its foreign dioceses to pass into submission to Constantinople. “Yes, there is such a requirement. But they themselves do not want to go to Constantinople <…> they do not want to go to the Ecumenical Patriarch. And no one can be forcibly separated from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” Filaret explained the obvious disregard by the new “Autocephalous Church” of the obligatory conditions stipulated in the Tomos for the OCU. According to the “honorary patriarch” of the new church structure, the UOC KP agreed to receive the Tomos of autocephaly in the status of a metropolis, but they regard this as only the first step towards the status of “patriarchy”.
In the same interview, Filaret stressed that the new church structure will be positive if suddenly the Primate of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine wants to join them. “We will accept him as a brother,” the “honorary patriarch” of the OCU gave assurance.