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Archimandrite Kirill Hovorun: “Moscow patriarchate has several candidates for the new church primate


 "This Synod will be the first and last, where the participation of bishops will be voluntary. To act very quickly "After the historic synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, who declared his willingness to give to the Homeland a Ukrainian Church, in Kyiv they began preparing for the Unity Council. The bishops of the three Orthodox churches: the UOC-KP, the UOC-MP and the UAOC should take part in it. Taking into account the position of the UOC-MP, which after the synod of the Russian Orthodox Church declared the rupture of relations with Constantinople, as well as the position of the UAOC, which is already criticizing the UOC-KP for not wanting to compromise, the organization of the Synod is not a simple matter. On October 24, Patriarch Filaret announced that more than 40 bishops from the Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, 14 from the UAOC and some number from the church of the Moscow Patriarchate will take part in the Unity Synod. The UOC-MP has the largest number of bishops among all Ukrainian Orthodox churches. The paradox is that had this church agreed to take part in the Unity Council, it will dictate the agenda and, presumably, had a precondition. But the categorical position of the Russian Orthodox Church holds back the Ukrainian episcopate, which in the future threatens the UOC-MP with complete marginalization.

In an interview with Glavkov, a professor at the University of Loyola-Merimount in Los Angeles, the Archimandrite of the Moscow Patriarchate Church Cyril Hovorun, described who has the greatest influence on the decisions of the UOC-MP top hierarchy that deprives herself of church power and prospects in Ukraine.

Proponents of a single local Orthodox Church are now in anticipation of the Unity Council. How to accelerate the process and hinder the last step towards the dream of autocephaly?

The contradictions were cultivated for a long time, from the very beginning of church separation in Ukraine. On the one hand, there are disagreements between the Kyiv Patriarchate and the UAOC, but there is perhaps even more discrepancy between these two structures and the UOC-MP. They accumulated over a long time and it is really difficult to solve them, but it is possible. Now everything depends on the will of the leaders of these churches and those who help them.

Ukrainian churches are now lacking in gospel altruism, abandoning their own ambitions and their own rights. During the period of independence, each church was more or less opportunistic in terms of power. There was, for example, a Ukrainian President who approvingly approached the Moscow Patriarchate, then the Moscow Patriarchate immediately enjoyed this. When this President changed, he approached the Kyivan Patriarchate, and the Kyivan Patriarchate immediately began to use this favoritism. This is a certain fact. Now also there is a certain political situation, which wants to use some of the churches. It seems to me that everyone must give up this political opportunism, be humble and altruistic. Only then can they reach agreement.

No agreement have been reached throughout the entire period of independence.Where do you come from now?

There was no such a chance to unite before. The window of opportunity that is now open to Ukrainian churches gives the right to speak about it. It is unknown how long this window will be open. But it should encourage Ukrainian churches to forget about the controversy, the old images.

Opportunity window may close? Do you mean that Constantinople can review its decision on Tomos?

We see how much pressure exerted now and on the Ecumenical Patriarchate and on Ukraine. We do not know how long the people who decide on Ukraine will have the strength keep this siege and resist. Therefore, we must act as soon as possible. Constantinople has taken a step that it is impossible to cancel or ignore - he resumed its metropolia. Metropolis is most in line with the corporate interests of Constantinople Church. But this very little answer the autocephaly. Had Constantinople had the same motivation to defend its corporate interests as some Ukrainian churches show, it would stop at this step (the Metropolia's restoration - "Glavkom") and did not continue to go on the path to autocephaly. But he made it quite clear that he intended to give an autocephaly, provided of course that the Ukrainian churches would unite. If Ukrainian churches continue to emerge from their corporate interests without taking care of the general interest of Ukrainian Orthodoxy and society, then nothing prevents Constantinople from returning to its corporate interests and leaving everything as it is: to the restored Kyivan Metropolia of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In this case, Constantinople will not rush to provide autocephaly.

What are the interests of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, about which nobody speaks?

For example, have their jurisdiction in Ukraine.

Could there be some sort of secret agreement, since the example of pressure and bribery in 1686 suggests that such a practice might be?

I do not think that there are currently any existing arrangements between Moscow and Constantinople.

"UOC-MP could play a key role in the unification process."

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