Now, the Ukrainian Church, while still under the spiritual leadership of Moscow, will be more independent
The Russian Bishop’s Council, held in Moscow, made an important step on Thursday to grant more independence to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) of the Moscow Patriarchate, Interfax Religion reports.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has faced much persecution in post-Maidan Ukraine, where Ukrainians are encouraged to view Russians as mortal enemies and view any interaction between Moscow and Ukraine as a negative.
"The participants of the Council unanimously supported the request of the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Onufry to give the UOC a separate chapter in the Charter of the Moscow Patriarchate," the press service of the forum told journalists.
In his earlier report, Metropolitan Onufry reminded the congregation that in the current charter of the Russian Orthodox Church, the status of the UOC is prescribed in paragraph 18 of chapter XI under the title "Self-governing Churches."
"Taking into account that the indicated point 18 of Chapter XI of the Statute of the ROC has not fully reflected the definition of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church of 1990 on granting independence and autonomy to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in its administration, it is proposed that the following changes to the current ROC Charter are made: paragraph 18 .. "to single out a separate chapter of the ROC's charter, entitled" The Ukrainian Orthodox Church" said the head of the UOC.
This initiative was supported by the participants of the Council. Prior to this, the status of the Ukrainian Church was irregular, because of its historically close relationship with the Russian Church.
Now, the Ukrainian Church, while still under the spiritual leadership of Moscow, will be more independent.
The charter of the Moscow Patriarchate will now list the UOC center as Kiev, rather than Moscow.
Additionally, the All-Church Court will now extend to the entire territory of the Moscow Patriarchate, with the exception of Ukraine.
As explained in the press service of the Council, "these amendments, in fact, recorded what has already happened in practice."