The autonomy from the Patriarchate of Moscow was decided at yesterday’s meeting by the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church in Ukraine, under Metropolitan Onoufriy.
After three months of Russian bombings of Ukraine, statements by Moscow’s Patriarch Kirill in support of the Russian political leadership, and Metropolitan Onoufriy appeal to President Putin to end the war, the Church Bishops’s , decided to declare “its full independence and autonomy” from the Patriarchate of Moscow, as characteristically mentioned in the announcement of the Synod.
The Council of Bishops “condemns the war as a violation of God’s Sixth Commandment (“Thou Shalt Not Kill), and expresses its condolences to all those affected by the war. He also called on all Ukrainian authorities and the Russian Federation to continue the negotiation process, and to seek a strong and rational solution that could stop the bloodshed.
It is characteristic that it points out that “we express our disagreement with the position of the Patriarch of Moscow Kirill regarding the war in Ukraine”, for the first time separating its position and condemning the position of Kirill, who continues after three months to bless ”this war. “The Synod approved relevant amendments and additions to the statute for the administration of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, indicating its full autonomy and independence,” the statement said.
The Church under Metropolitan Onoufriy also refers to its relations with the autocephalous Church of Ukraine, under the Metropolitan of Kiev Epiphaniy, essentially talking about the possibility of dialogue, but also setting specific conditions. In particular,
they emphasize that “in order for the dialogue to take place, the representatives of the Church of Ukraine must stop the occupation of churches and the forced transfer of parishes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. “They have to realize that their normal status, as defined by their statutes, is not in fact autocephalous and is significantly inferior.”
It is noteworthy that after the publication of the announcement, Nikolai Danilevich, Vice-President of the Department of Foreign Ecclesiastical Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in a post at Telegram that “the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has distanced itself from the Moscow Patriarchate, confirmed its independent status and amended its independent charter.
All references to the connection of the Church with the Moscow Patriarchate have been removed. In fact, in its content, the statute of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is now the statute of an Autocephalous Church “