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15.11.18 12:38

Kyiv Patriarchate says arrangements for church unification assembly still underway, date not yet confirmed

Media reports that the date for holding a unification assembly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine has allegedly been chosen are just rumors.

Kyiv Patriarchate says arrangements for church unification assembly still underway, date not yet confirmed

"The date of the assembly will be officially announced. As long as it has not been announced officially, in fact, it does not exist. The same applies to the draft tomos, which has long since been compiled; however, it is to turn into a document only after it is officially adopted and made public," Archbishop Yevstratii (Zoria), head of the information department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, wrote on social media in the early hours of Nov. 15, Censor.NET reports citing Interfax-Ukraine.

'Different sources, especially the Kremlin-sponsored fake media in Ukraine, have been spreading rumors about the Assembly's date with only one goal: if, for any reason, the Assembly doesn't take place on the date announced by them, say, more time will be needed for the arrangements, they will create a 'high treason' tsunami," he said.

"Therefore, there is no need to hope against hope to avoid any 'high treason' waves as a result. A wreath is placed on one's head, not on one's foot. When the date of the Assembly is finally announced, it will mean that the arrangements have been completed. And now the arrangements are underway," the spokesman for the Kyiv Patriarchate wrote.

Earlier, the media repeatedly reported that the unification assembly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine will take place on Nov. 22. It was reported that Metropolitan Emmanuel of the Greek Orthodox Metropole of France, a representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, will arrive in Kyiv on Nov. 15.

On April 17, 2018, President Poroshenko said Ukraine was closer than ever before to creating an autocephalous united local church.

On Sept. 2, hierarchs held meetings (Synaxis) of the Hierarchy of the Ecumenical Throne Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) to confirm that the Church of Constantinople is authorized, without the consent of other churches, to grant autonomy, or autocephaly, to a church that has requested it. This paves the way for autocephality of Ukraine's church. Further measures, such as the adoption of documents at the Synod, are expected to be taken in October.

Subsequently, on Sept. 7, Ecumenical Patriarchate has appointed two Exarchs in Kyiv as part of preparations for granting autocephaly to Ukraine's Orthodox church. "Within the framework of the preparations for the granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has appointed as its Exarchs in Kyiv His Excellency Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon from the United States, and His Grace Bishop Hilarion of Edmonton from Canada, both of whom are serving the Ukrainian Orthodox faithful in their respective countries under the Ecumenical Patriarchate," the Ecumenical Patriarchate said in an announcement.

On Sept. 25, the UOC-MP declared that it was demanding that the Patriarchate of Constantinople withdraw its exarchs from Ukraine. In particular, the Holy Synod of the UOC-MP at a meeting held in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra September 25, expressed its attitude regarding the appointment of the Exarchs of the Constantinople Patriarchate to Kyiv.

On Oct.11, 2018, Ecumenical Patriarchate has decided to proceed to the granting of autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine. In addition, the legal binding of Synod’s Letter of 1686 was abolished, thus pulling the Kyiv Metropolis from under Moscow jurisdiction. The Ecumenical Patriarchate also reinstated head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Philarchate Filaret and head of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church Makariy in their canonical status.

On Oct. 12, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) called for the episcopate, clergy and believers of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) to begin preparations for a unifying Council.

On Oct. 15, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church decided to break the eucharistic communication with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

On Oct. 18, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed the law on the transfer of the St. Andrew's Church to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople for perpetual free of charge usage.

On Nov. 13, Poroshenko was to meet with the episcopate of the UOC-MP at the "Ukrainian House" downtown Kyiv. At the same time, the episcopate of the UOC-MP on this day held in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra an emergency meeting of the synod, which decided to convene a council, where all bishops' attendance is obligatory. Following the meeting, the council of bishops of the UOC-MP confirmed its readiness to meet with Poroshenko, but on the church territory.

On Nov. 13, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) announced it did not recognize a decision by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to continue the process of granting autocephaly to the church in Ukraine and is going to sever Eucharistic communion with Constantinople. The Moscow Patriarchate also said they would not take part in the creation of a new, autocephalous church in Ukraine, as their Council of bishops considers that granting the tomos of autocephaly is "artificial" and "forced from outside."

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