Kiev, November 15, Interfax - The story of pledging Tomos to Ukraine is deceptive, as in fact the issue is not about complete autocephaly, a Ukrainian Orthodox Church official said.
"It's not autocephaly, it looks like deceit," Archpriest Nikolay Danilevich, deputy head of the UOC Department for External Church Relations, said on Facebook.
"This situation reminds me of the story when Europeans who came to the newly discovered American land several hundred years ago exchanged knickknacks for natives' gold," he said.
The new church will get the status of an autocephalous archidiocese according to the model of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia. It will be run independently, but will receive myrrh and approval of elected heads from the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
"I don't know if this information is true, but if you trust it (and there are reasons to trust it), then what is the difference between the status of 'an autocephalous church' that is offered and the status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church," the priest said.
If the rights stated in the article are called an autocephalous church, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is also autocephalous, he said.
"Then what is the difference in status? The Ukrainian Orthodox Church also received myrrh from the Russian Orthodox Church, and the choice of our head is also automatically blessed by the Moscow patriarch," Father Nikolay said.
Speaking about the provision stating that the head of the new "church" is to be approved by the Constantinople Patriarchate, the priest said the story with the most recent interference by Constantinople in the affairs of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia shows that "a candidacy of the new head may not always be liked on the coast of the Bosporus."
"A full-fledged autocephalous Church elects its head itself, and no one approves him," the priest said.