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Autocéphalie en Ukraine : une question de pouvoir ?


The head of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate,” “Patriarch” Philaret Denisenko has declared that he will be the head of the united autocephalous Ukrainian Church that he believes the Ecumenical Patriarch will grant, and that the Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras will be taken from the already-existing canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and be given by the state to his “church.”

The former metropolitan of Kiev, excommunicated and anathematized by the Russian Church for creating a schismatic body, addressed these issues in an interview on the website of his confession, reports The Union of Orthodox Journalists.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko recently appealed to the His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to grant a tomos of autocephaly to a unified Ukrainian Orthodox Church. His appeal was delivered with the backing of the Ukrainian Parliament and the hierarchs of Ukraine’s two schismatic “Orthodox” bodies—the “Kiev Patriarchate” and the “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church”—which exist as supports for Ukrainian nationalism, fueled by anti-Russian sentiments.

The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate then resolved to initiate a dialogue on the issue of Ukrainian autocephaly with the other Autocephalous Orthodox Churches.

Philaret stressed that he is going to claim the place of the Primate of the new Ukrainian Church, “because it is necessary to complete the difficult task of uniting the Church,” and that “in the name of unity of the Church,” he is ready to forget everything “done to him” and what “has been said about him in the Moscow Patriarchate.”

As the metropolitan of Kiev, Philaret himself was under the Moscow Patriarchate, and was one of the candidates for the patriarchal throne in 1990 but he was not chosen. In 1991, he appealed to the Moscow Patriarchate, being under its jurisdiction, for autocephaly for the Ukrainian Church. The request was denied, and Philaret disobediently created the KP in June 1992.

The canonical Ukrainian Church held a council in Kharkov in May 1992, deposing Philaret and banning him from clerical functions, and Met. Vladimir was elected as the Ukrainian primate. This decision was recognized and supported by the entire Orthodox world. Philaret was invited to the council but did not attend, then going into schism.

He now claims that it was the Ukrainian Church that left him.

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