25 October 2018, 14:41
Canonical Church's believers oppose autocephaly - Ukrainian Orthodox Church official
Kiev, October 25, Interfax - The creation of a "unified local church" has become a political project, and the flock of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church does not support it, according to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
"Had it not been for the war, the events that occurred would not have occurred, we would have gradually achieved calm changes. The changes that are occurring now are revolutionary, and the people don't accept them," Archpriest Nikolay Danilevich, deputy head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, said on ZIK television.
First, the very idea of autocephaly is compromised by the schism; second, the state has gotten involved in the issue; and third, the creation of "a unified local church" is presented as a political project against Moscow, he said.
"There is little church and a lot of politics in this case," the priest said.
The creation of a local Church cannot be forced through, as is now being done in Ukraine, he said.
"Autocephaly could have been the fruit of church consciousness, if we had grown toward it. Now this issue has been taken over by politicians, and they're using church instruments for their own purposes and in secularization processes. That's what alarms our believers," the priest said.
According to earlier reports, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko said in the Verkhovnaya Rada on September 20 that "a tomos is essentially another act proclaiming the independence of Ukraine," thanks to which "the empire" will lose "one of the last levers of influence," which will cause "the fall of the Third Rome as an ancient conceptual claim of Moscow to global hegemony."