Unification Orthodox Church in Ukraine seems far away


Eastern Europe


Photo Facebook, Ukraine UA

Although the direct consequences of the break between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the Moscow Patriarchate seem irrelevant, unification of the orthodox denominations in Ukraine appears to be further away than ever. That is the opinion of Dagmar Heller, expert orthodoxy from the Denominational Institute of Ecumenical Studies and Research in Germany.

Heller says in an interview with Idea that the injuries of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) under the Constantinople Patriarchate are too deep for a quick unification.

"Both sides have repeatedly expressed their will to end the schism in the Orthodox Church", Heller tells Idea. "But nothing is likely to change in the foreseeable future." She points out that hostilities after the secession of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine from the Moscow Patriarchate, in 2019, have caused deep rifts between the two Orthodox denominations in Ukraine. "Attacks, including the confiscation of church buildings by the newly created Orthodox Church and the fact that Archbishop Evstratiy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has called for a ban on the Moscow Patriarchate, have deepened the rift between the two sides."

Recently, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church published a new statute in which they distanced themselves from the Moscow Patriarchate. However, this does not mean it can join the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The consequences of the break with Moscow are nothing concrete, Heller asserts. "The Ukrainian Orthodox Church was already largely autonomous. Nothing will change for believers. Theologically and liturgically, the Orthodox Churches in Russia and Ukraine do not differ. It's all about politics or church politics."

Ukrainian diocese joins Moscow Patriarchate

Two dioceses of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in the Russian-occupied Luhansk region stopped commemorating Metropolitian Onufry of the Constantinople Patriarchate. That is reported by Religion.orf. They did so because of the decision of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate to break with the Russian Orthodox Church.

Recently, many dioceses switched the other way: from the Moscow Patriarchate to the Constantinople Patriarchate. However, the Moscow Patriarchate recently incorporated several dioceses of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in the Crimean region as well.



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