12:59 Jun. 16, 2016
Moscow's Patriarchate is too closely associated with Russia's ruling political regime, Ukraine MPs state
Ukraine's Parliament decides to address His All Holiness Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch and ask him to grant autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine (autocephaly from Moscow's Patriarchate).
Ukrainian lawmakers state that for two years Ukraine has been suffering the military aggression of Russia, which is recognized as an 'aggressor state'.
Ukraine's Crimea was annexed by Russia against all international laws.
"The war, unleashed and artificially supported by Russia, continues in the Donbas region. Under the circumstances, Ukrainians do not accept the church unity with Moscow's Patriarch Kirill who did not defend Ukraine's Orthodox Christians, yet became one of masterminds behind the 'Russian world' concept and, therefore, one of architects of the current hybrid war against Ukraine," reads the text.
Consequently, Ukraine's Parliament requests Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to "urgently use his canonical authority to overcome the church division in Ukraine and stabilize the canonical status of the Ukrainian church, following his historic address to the Ukrainian nation on July 26, 2008."
The appeal states that "Moscow's Patriarchate is too closely associated with Russia's ruling political regime. Therefore, the Ukrainian society treats Moscow's Patriarchate as Russia's Ideology Ministry not as a church".
MPs also stressed that many Ukrainian citizens think that "Moscow's Patriarchate is a moral accomplice of Russian aggression and hybrid war against Ukraine."
They noted that Ukraine's Orthodox Church is ready to obtain a status of the local autocephalous church, by all appropriate criteria: "Modern Ukraine is an independent state with its sovereignty recognized across the world; the Ukrainian nation has its own distinctive culture that cherishes its identity. Not only has Ukraine's Orthodox Church reached the level of being autocephalous, it can also become the largest Orthodox Church in the world, if it can overcome the division. "
The statement says that the canonical (ie lawful and valid) autocephaly of Ukraine's Orthodox Church can be provided only by Ecumenical Patriarchate.