Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, says it is ready to dialogue to overcome the schism
Members of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church announced they are ready to continue the dialog with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kiev Patriarchate and Ukrainian Autocephalous Church. There is a decision to establish a Commission that will continue the dialogue with “Filaret followers” and “autocephaly proponents”.
This information is stated in the Appeal of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate to the bishops, clergy, monks and the laity in response to recent events in Ukraine.
“On February 22, 2014, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kiev Patriarchate has issued a statement to our Church appealing to overcome the division of Orthodoxy in Ukraine. We welcome all initiatives aimed at overcoming the breakup,” the document says.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate, reminded that overcoming the schism must be addressed through a balanced and professional dialog based on Orthodox canon law. “We consider it dangerous to use the complicated political situation in the country for making uninformed decisions in the sphere of church life,” warn the authors of the document. “We reaffirm our commitment to dialog, but believe it is possible to discuss this issue in peace, without any pressure from the public and political life. Restoration of unity in Ukrainian Orthodoxy is exclusively ecclesiastical matter,” says the statement.
The UOC MP stress they welcome the efforts of officials and politicians to overcome the schism, but in any case, these efforts should not turn into interference with the internal affairs of the Church.
The Moscow Patriarchate confirmed their readiness to engage in dialog not only with the Kiev Patriarchate, but also with the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. They have already formed the appropriate commission, which included the head of the UOC Department for External Church Relations Archbishop of Luhansk and Alchevsk Mitrophan (chairman); Archbishop of Kamenetz-Podolsk and Gorodotsky Fedor; head of the Synodal Department for Health and Pastoral Care at Medical Facilities, Bishop of Lvov and Galitchina Filaret; Executive Secretary of the UOC Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Nikolai (Danilevich) and vice-rector for scientific and theological work at KGAiS V.V. Burega.