The unification of the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches is the question that does not lose its applicability for many years. However, over the last year people began to discuss it more often in the context of separation from the Moscow Patriarchate, which is obviously due to the fighting in the east of Ukraine and the desire to distance from anything that is connected with Russia. The Archbishop of Chernihiv and Nizhyn of the UOC KP Yevstratii Zorya told to "GORDON" about the inter-church relations and the prospects for a unified Orthodox Church in
- one of the largest Orthodox countries, it has all the historical and canonical prerequisites for the church to be independent Ukraine
No doubt that there will be a single local church in
Under the current circumstances it is very difficult to say how quickly it will be. We have seen such stunning changes around us over the past year that I wouldn't dare even to talk about how close or far away we are from this perspective. It can happen this year, for foreseeable limits, or it can happen in a year or two or five years. In any case, the most important thing - it will happen, I am absolutely sure.
The main obstacle in a way to unification is the position of the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. Behind the management of this church there is the
The new management, which came to the power in the UOC Moscow Patriarchate is absolutely pro-Moscow
The situation looks absurd when the main propagandists are awarded by Patriarch Kirill. Main Russian media propagandists as Kiselev and Dobrodeev, who are responsible for the seas of blood on the
The new leadership, which came to the power in the UOC Moscow Patriarchate is absolutely pro-Moscow, and they proved it already. Patriarch Filaret on election day of Metropolitan Anufry said he is not a patriot, and he proves that all the time. He is a patriot, but not a patriot of
But this does not mean that the position of this exact church is the position of the whole church. Many believers, priests and bishops have completely opposite opinion. They do not pray for the Patriarch Kirill and would like to have a single local church. I think that their wish will come true. We can not know how and when this will happen, but we can see that all the actions that
We are facing the examples when on the local authority level there are obstacles for parishes to jump from one Patriarchate to another
As we said, about 30 parishes have already moved to Kiev Patriarchate. But we see that the Moscow Patriarchate takes great pain to counteract it, declares that it is occupation of temples, even though it is a will of the public. The public, either completely or of vast majority decides to leave the Moscow Patriarchate and go to the Kiev Patriarchate. How people can capture their own temple – it is donbnot clear for me.
To keep this process, the Moscow Patriarchate, firstly, is fanning hysteria around the alleged capture of temples, and secondly, is trying to influence the authorities to ensure that they are strongly opposed to this process. We are already facing the examples when on the local authority level there are obstacles. The documents are not registered, criminal cases for the far-fetched reasons are opened.
The main motivation from the
People, as they say, vote with their feet – they stop going to the temples of the Moscow Patriarchate
If to speak about the Ukrainian society, there are gradual changes. More and more people are realizing that there is a difference what Orthodox Church to visit and what Patriarch to support. Even unconscious support of Patriarch Kirill and his policy of "Russian World" in
There is no difference between the Orthodox in religion, but there is a difference between the Orthodox and Greek Catholics. Greek Catholic Church professes those doctrines which are professed by the Catholic Church. As long as there is no unity between Orthodox and Catholics, to speak of the unity of the Orthodox and Greek Catholics is possible only if the Greek Catholics will accept the Orthodox religion or the Orthodox will accept the Greek-Catholic one. There are no tendencies for that, so to speak about these things in the foreseeable future is groundless. We need to talk not about the unification of Greek Catholics and Orthodox, but we should talk about cooperation and collaboration. Thank God we are in good relationship with the Greek Catholic Church, we cooperate and we can see the result of this cooperation.