23 July 2008, 11:29
Moscow, July 23, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate Ukrainian Orthodox Church accuses Ukrainian authorities of their attempts to split the country's Orthodoxy with Constantinople involved.
Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Department for External Church Relations Archimandrite Kirill (Hovorun) said that Kiev-Constantinople negotiations had recently activated with Viktor Yushchenko engaged, the Segodnya Ukrainian paper has reported.
According to Fr. Kirill, they want Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to declare that two schismatic Ukrainian organizations "The Kiev Patriarchate" and "The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church" join his Church when visiting Kiev celebrations of the 1020th anniversary of Russia's Baptism. In this case, their leaders will become Constantinople metropolitans.
If the talks are a success, the edition further notes, both structures will become canonical, while none of the local Orthodox Churches has recognized them so far.
Fr. Kirill believes, such developments will result in acute confrontation in church structures and Ukrainian politics, in new churches captured, and the key point is that it will result in world Orthodoxy schism.
According to the information of the Ukrainian Church representative, Yushchenko and the "Kiev Patriarchate" leader Filaret Denisenko seek to obtain autocephaly (self-governance) from Constantinople for this schismatic organization in a short run. Though, Fr. Kirill believes, Patriarch Bartholomew has a different plan.
"Today his Church totals to three million of people scattered all around the globe. With Ukraine under him, his flock significantly increases. And he will hardly refuse the latter unlike Yushchenko hopes," the priest stated.
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