A move towards unity among Ukrainian Orthodox

 — July 10, 201510 juil. 2015

The number of Orthodox jurisdictions in Ukraine may be about to shrink. Since the end of the Soviet era, the Ukrainian Orthodox churches have been divided into competing jurisdictions and affiliations. Although relations between the groups is somewhat fluid, the recent conflict in eastern Ukraine and Crimea has raised the importance of forming a single indigenous Orthodox church. The coming Pan-Orthodox Council also provides a strong initiative to resolve jurisdictional disputes. The major groups are the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP), and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC). The members of each of these churches are Ukrainian, but the UOC-MP is under the larger jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Moscow. The others have sought recognition from canonical Orthodox churches. In a major development, the Kyivan and Autocephalous churches have agreed to convene a Unification Council or Sobor in September. If all goes well, the two will elect a single primate and establish a permanent Sobor for the new united church.

A joint meeting of representatives from the two churches was held on June 8 at the Kyiv Orthodox Theological Academy at St. Michael’s Monastery in Kyiv. In addition to the delegations from both churches, there were observers from the Ukrainian diaspora as well. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canada and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA are both under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. With the approval of Patriarch Bartholomew, Bishops Ilarion and Daniel participated in the discussions about unification and signed the agreement as observers. The observers will also be invited to participate in the unification Sobor on September 15.

Press releases issued by the churches in Canada and the USA celebrated the news as a move towards the eventual establishment of a single Orthodox Church in the Ukraine.

The agreement is as follows:

A final decision of the
joint meeting of the Committees for dialogue of the

Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church
with Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate

and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate
with Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church

St. Michael’s Monastery, Kyiv
June 8, 2015

Gathered at a joint meeting in the presence of observers from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, His Grace Bishop Ilarion, Bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, and His Grace Bishop Daniel, Bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA; and the UAOC Commission for dialogue with the UOC-KP Commission together decided the following.

1. To express appreciation to His All Holiness Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople – New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and the Mother Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Diaspora for sending observers of this dialogue.

2. State that decisions V UAOC under the Local Council (4-5 June 2015) and the UOC-KP under decisions of the Holy Synod (from May 12, 2015), intend and desire in the near time to unite in a single national Orthodox Ukrainian Church.

3. Recognize that according to canonical norms, statutes of both churches and laws of Ukraine, the unification of both Churches is possible through the Unification Council.

4. Offer the Primate of the UAOC and the Council of Bishops and Primate of the UOC-KP and the Holy Synod immediately, by June 30, 2015, to decide on the convening of the Unity Council for final unification of UAOC and the UOC-KP into a single national church.

5. The composition of delegates for the Unity Council is defined on an equal basis, all the bishops of the UAOC and UOC-KP, and one delegate for every fifteen registered religious organizations (base number of religious organizations is determined on the basis of official data on registration Ministry of Culture of Ukraine as of January 1, 2015). The final determination of representation within the UAOC and the UOC-KP depends on the decisions of their statutory bodies.

6. Following the decision to convene the Council (in accordance with Para. 4 of the final decision) Commissions for dialogue between the UAOC and the UOC-KP converted into common Pre-Sobor Commission, which is preparing for Council. The Pre-Sobor Commission is an equal number of bishops and representatives from the clergy and laity of the UOC-KP and UAOC, but no more than seven on each side. Chairman of relevant Committees for dialogue of Pre-Sobor Committee are co-chairs of the Commission. The observers from the Ecumenical Patriarchate will be invited to participate in such commission.

7. The date of the Unification Council proposed to convene on Sept. 14, 2015, the day the beginning of the Church year. The venue of the Unity Council intended Saint Sophia Cathedral.

8. After deciding to convene the Council (in accordance with Para. 4 of the final decision) in time for the council imposed a moratorium on the transition of parishes and bishops from one jurisdiction to another.

9. According to the approved in the Ecumenical Patriarchate of 2000 Symfonitikon, provisions define that freedom of liturgical concelebration and Eucharistic unity of Primates, bishops and clergy of the UAOC and the UOC-KP, according to their mutual agreement.

10. From the opening of the Unity Council and to the adoption of the Unification Council decision to merge the UAOC and the UOC-KP and the election of one Primate of the United Church, Primate UAOC and the UOC-KP is co-chaired the Unification Council.

11. Unification Council will address all proposals submitted and Conditions approved by UAOC (4-5 June 2015) and the Holy Synod of the UOC KP (12 May 2015), including questions about the Primate and the name of the united Church, taking into account the position of the Council on UAOC’s name for the united Church “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchate.” Decisions on all issues of the Unification Council decided by a majority vote.

This final decision is composed of three identical copies, each three pages certified by the Chairmen of the Committees, signed by all members of the two Commissions present at the meeting and certified by observers from the Ecumenical Patriarch. In order to inform both churches completeness final decision is published in the media.


UAOC Commission

+Andriy, Metropolitan of Halych
+Mstyslav, Archbishop of Ternopil
Archpriest Nikolai Kavchak (Lviv diocese)
Archpriest Eugene Shuvar (Ivano-Frankivsk eparchy)
Archpriest George Kushniryuk (Kiev diocese)

UOC-KP Commission

+Dymytriy, Metropolitan of Lviv
+Yevstratii, Archbishop of Chernigov
Archpriest Alexander Trofymlyuk (Kyiv)
Archpriest Alexei Holovatsky (Ternopil diocese)
Archpriest Mikhail Lesyuk (Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky diocese)


+Ilarion, Bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
+Daniel, Bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA

Posted: July 10, 2015 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=8636
Categories: Communiqué, NewsIn this article: Orthodox, Ukraine
Transmis : 10 juil. 2015 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=8636
Catégorie : Communiqué, NewsDans cet article : Orthodox, Ukraine

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