It seems that the Patriarchate of Moscow and Patriarch Kirill has called Metropolitan Onufriy of the Russian Church in Ukraine to order, following the declaration of “its full independence and autonomy” by the Patriarchate of Moscow.
The Holy Synod of the Church of Russia convened yesterday regarding the decisions taken by its church in Kyiv under Metropolitan Onufriy.
In the communiqué issued after the meeting, it is stated that the decisions of the Ukrainian Church came after “pressure from representatives of the schismatic bodies, local authorities, mass media, extremist organizations and nationalist-minded part of the public”.
The Synod also stressed that “the status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is determined by the Charter given by Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia on 27th October 1990.
It rejected the proclamations of Metropolitan Onufriy and the members of the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on autonomy, stating that the additions and amendments to the Statute on the Governance of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church adopted by the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church need to be examined under the established procedure in terms of their compliance with the aforementioned Charter and the Statute of the Russian Orthodox Church.
It added that the decision not to commemorate the Patriarch of Moscow in a number of dioceses of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has already resulted in divisions within the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and runs counter to Canon 15 of the First-Second Council”.
More “explanatory” is the statement made by Metropolitan Ilarion of Volokolamsk, who noted that it is not true that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was separated from the Russian Church.
“No statement on separation from the Russian Orthodox Church was made. No statement was made that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church would have a certain new status. On the contrary, she has reaffirmed again that she has the status of independence and self-governance that was granted to her as far back as 1990,” he said.
He also stressed “It is because for many years the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been denied the right to be named by the name she calls herself. She is forced to change her name to “the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine”, and the aim of this is the re-registration of all the parishes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and their expropriation in favor of the schismatic structure. It is in the context of all that is happening in Ukraine today, in the context of unprecedented pressure made upon the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that these developments should be perceived”.
It should be recalled that at the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Church in Ukraine on May 27, the Synod of Bishops decided on its independence and autonomy from the Moscow Patriarchate, while it even expressed disagreement with the stance of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow regarding the war in Ukraine.