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26.12.18 13:15

Over 20 parishes of UOC MP in Vinnytsia region join Orthodox Church of Ukraine

As much as five parishes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP) joined the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) last weekend alone.

Over 20 parishes of UOC MP in Vinnytsia region join Orthodox Church of Ukraine

Over 20 parishes of the UOC MP based in the Vinnytsia region agreed to place themselves under authority of the OCU, according to Archdeacon Vladyslav Demchenko, a spokesperson for the Vinnytsia diocese of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Censor.NET reports citing Ukrinform.

"The transition of parishes from the jurisdiction of the UOC MP to the one of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is gaining momentum. Now we can confirm that there are already more than twenty such parishes. Some of them have already formalized their plans, the rest are still working on it. But we receive phone calls and give consultations on a daily basis," Demchenko said.

According to him, five parishes joined the OCU last weekend alone.

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 autocephaly 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."

The Unification Council that announced the creation of a new local Orthodox Church of Ukraine, approved its charter, and selected its leader was held in Kyiv on Dec. 15.

On Dec.20, the Verkhovna Rada passed a bill to rename the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. If a religious organization subject to this legislation fails to change its official name and does not apply for re-registration within four months after the law takes effect, its statute becomes void.

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