Moscow, September 20, Interfax - Metropolitan Onufry, recognized by all of the local Orthodox Churches, is the sole canonical leader of the Orthodox congregation in Ukraine, according to Metropolitan Timothy of Vostra, an exarch of the Holy Sepulchre in Cyprus (the Jerusalem Orthodox Church).
"Our position remains the same: we recognize as canonical the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that is under the omophorion of Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine," Metropolitan Timothy told Interfax-Religion on Thursday, when asked to comment, on his behalf, on the latest developments in the Ukrainian church life.
As for the appointment of two Constantinople's exarchs to Kiev, "the Orthodox Church has certain rules to which every Church must strictly adhere," including "the rules regarding the canonical territory of the Russian Church and the behavior of one church towards another," Metropolitan Timothy said.
"A unification of Orthodox Ukrainians is possible only through repentance and on the canonical basis which resulted from centuries of church practice and was approved by Ecumenical Councils," he said.
During a visit to Kiev on the occasion of the 1,030th anniversary of the Christendom of Rus two months ago, Metropolitan Timothy said that the state and the church do not always have overlapping interests.