2005-09-16 12:25:00

Chancellor of Ukrainian canonical church: Opening of representations of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine is inadmissible

Kiev, September 16, Interfax - Chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Archbishop Mitrofan of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky called the opening of representations of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine ‘disagreeing with common sense.’

He considers this move of Constantinople an ‘intervention into internal affairs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,’ UOC press service reported.

Archbishop Mitrofan said that the opening of the representations was ‘an initiative of state structures’, and this is a direct intervention of the state into Church affairs.

‘This contradicts the statements by the Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko who said that the authorities had no right to intervene into church affairs. The state behind the back of Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine is negotiating with representatives of Constantinople about the opening of representations,’ the hierarch noted.

Archbishop Mitrofan addressed the Ukrainian authorities and all those involved in the process on the inadmissibility of opening the Constantinople representations in Ukraine. ‘This initiative outrages on the norms of relations between the Orthodox Churches and evokes deep public indignation,’ he noted.

He is convinced that such representations will complicate the situation and bring about another schism that will end the unity of Ukrainian Orthodoxy forever. ‘These representations will destabilize the ecclesiastical situation and never become centers for the process leading to unity’, chancellor of the canonical Ukrainian Church thinks.

Archbishop Mitrofan also reported that the opening of Constantinople representations was discussed at the Council of an uncanonical group - the ‘Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church’ (UAOC) in August. Among participants were Filaret Denisenko, leader of another self-proclaimed group - the ‘Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kievan Patriarchate’, and presidential adviser on science A.Sagan.

Archbishop Mitrofan said that presidential advisers were deeply mistaken in their forecasts concerning representations and integration of schismatics as they did not take church reality into account. Economic, political, social, and religious problems will aggravate and confrontation between the Churches will deepen.

The UAOC leader Mefody Kudriakov said earlier that a hierarch of the Patriarchate of Constantinople Hilarion (Rudnik) negotiated with the UAOC and Kievan Patriarchate so actively because state authorities are interested in opening the Constantinople representations.