Ukraine: Ukrainian Orthodox Divide Again

Source: FSSPX News

The new autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine made the decision on June 24, 2019, to deprive Philaret, its “honorary patriarch,” of the right to rule the diocese of Kiev.

At the end of 2018, the Orthodox Church of the Patriarchy of Kiev was by law integrated into the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine, a structure recognized only by the Patriarch of Constantinople.

But Philaret did not want this Patriarchy, which refused to submit to Moscow, to submit to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. He publicly deplored the fact that the newly created ecclesial structure in Ukraine has the right neither to prepare holy chrism, nor to have any management over the diaspora, prerogatives that now belong to Constantinople.

Consequently, the dissident bishop is no longer at the head of the Diocese of Kiev, “having lost his canonical rights and obligations associated with the administration of the diocese.”

Ukraine now has multiple Orthodox entities: the largest is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church headed by Onuphre, the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine. It is autonomous, but maintains a canonical link with the Patriarch of Moscow. It has more than 12,000 parishes and 200 monasteries. There are now two other “concurrent” structures: the new autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church linked to Constantinople and that of Philaret, who previously headed the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kievan Patriarchate, which has never received canonical recognition from any other Orthodox patriarchate.