“Canonical Surrealism”: The Moscow Patriarchate Reminded Constantinople That It Hasn’t Existed for 565 Years

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard



The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate reacted to the statement made by the Constantinople Archbishop Job (Getcha), according to which the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) ceased to exist after the Ecumenical patriarch Barthlomew made decisions concerning Ukraine, and thus all its clergymen belong to Fener.

This was reported on November 2nd by the deputy head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), Archpriest Nikolay Danilevich, whose words are cited by Interfax.

“The UOC is very sure that Constantinople hasn’t existed for 565 years. This is a historic fact. But, apparently, Fener still hasn’t noticed this,” he said.

“And the Ukrainian Orthodox Church exists,” added Danilevich. “And this is a historic fact too. And it is obvious. That’s why such statements made by certain representatives of the Constantinople Patriarchate are akin to some canonical surrealism”.

Earlier the archbishop of Telmessos Job said that “from a canonical point of view” today the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate doesn’t exist, and bishops in Ukraine de facto are bishops of the Ecumenical throne and must wait for the directive of Ecumenical patriarchate concerning further service.

Later he reported that the autocephalous church in Ukraine will receive the name “Orthodox Church in Ukraine”, having emphasised the use of the pretext “in”. In turn, the head of the legal department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), Archpriest Aleksandr Bakhov, noted that changing the name of the canonical church can become the pretext for the cancellation of rent agreements between the church and the state, which owns the country’s largest monastic complexes.

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Thus, 3 Lavras are located in Ukraine, and all belong to canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church: the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra in Kiev, the Pochayev Lavra in the Ternopol region, and the Svyatogorsk Larva in the Donetsk region. At the same time, the rooms and the territory of the Kiev-Pechersk and Pochayev Lavras belong to the state. In 2011 it transferred 75 objects of the so-called “lower Lavra” in Kiev to the free use of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church [Moscow Patriarchate – ed]. And the premises of the Pochayev Lavra were claimed by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in accordance with the order of the Cabinet of Ministers from July 17th, 2003.

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