By Kostas Onisenko
All Orthodox parishes in Ukraine belong to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, according to ecclesiastical rules.
This position was expressed by the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epiphaniy, during an interview he gave in view of Easter on the Ukrainian Radio Liberty.
Answering a journalist’s question about the transfers of parishes from Russia to the Church of Ukraine, the Metropolitan said: “We need to understand this issue more deeply. We may be wrong about “transfers”. Because according to the Tomos of Autocephaly and according to the explanations of Patriarch Bartholomew, all Orthodox parishes in Ukraine belong to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
However, there is a Canonical (based on ecclesiastical rules) collapse in Ukraine as there are those who do not recognize this reality.”
Metropolitan Epiphaniy estimated that this situation will gradually normalize: “I believe that gradually they will be united with the recognition of the Tomos. It is not a transfer, because in fact they are in Ukraine and according to the decisions made by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, all of them belong to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine but temporarily want to belong to the Russian Church even though this is not right according to religious rules”.
Among the many issues raised during the interview, the head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine also referred to the decision – as last year – not to rent a plane to transport the Holy Light to Ukraine, so that the money saved would be used for the needs of the suffering and the needy.
“We will not rent a private plane but like last year, the companies that will make flights at that time – it may be technical (flights) – promised that this year they will bring us the Holy Light. Maybe not at the time we would like it, at night, in a few hours. It may be in the morning but we will definitely take the Holy Light and carry it all over Ukraine, “said Metropolitan Epiphaniy.