Kiev, January 13, Interfax - The "honorary patriarch" of the new church of Ukraine (UOC), Filaret, has recalled his signature under a resolution by the Kiev Patriarchate's local council, dated December 15, 2018, to liquidate this church.
"This resolution is invoked by Ukrainian Culture Ministry officials who have denied state registration to a resolution by the local council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate, dated June 20, 2019, overturning the December 15, 2018 resolution by the so-called local council of the KP-UOC. This led Patriarch Filaret to inform Ukrainian Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports Vladimir Borodiansky of having recalled his signature under the December 15, 2018 resolution," the KP-UOC stated on its website.
Filaret wrote to Borodiansky that despite numerous attempts to have the June 20 resolution registered, the ministry's state secretary had refused to do so, and the resolution was eventually abolished by another, of June 20, 2019.
"A recall of signature is an acceptable legal act justified by Articles 9 and 13 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and Articles 22 and 35 of the Ukrainian Constitution, which make it impossible to worsen the legal position of Ukrainian citizens exercising the right to freedom of conscience in the Kiev Patriarchate," Filaret said.
Over the past few months the patriarch has stated that the KP-UOC continued to exist and he had no intention of complying with the three tomos conditions for the autocephaly of the OCU.
On June 20, a meeting held by Filaret under the title of the local council of the non-canonical Kiev Patriarchate overturned the December 15 resolution, and Filaret himself allowed for the co-existence of the three churches in Ukraine. Should the OCU led by Yepifaniy Dumenko wish to merge with the KP-UOC, no one will object; otherwise, the OCU may exist separately, Filaret said.
The OCU has refused to recognize meetings attended by Filaret at local councils and their resolutions as legally and canonically valid. On June 24, its synod resolved that Filaret remained an OCU bishop but could no longer lead the Kiev diocese.
In December, the OCU synod decided to set up an OCU mission for Filaret. He also has a life-long right to perform religious services at St. Vladimir's Cathedral in Kiev. The council urged Filaret and his entourage to make peace and end the self-imposed isolation.