Interfax: Election of Metropolitan Onurfy head of Ukrainian Orthodox Church indicates pro-Moscow tendencies among bishops – “Kyiv Patriarchate”

Church Domes with Crosses file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 14 (Interfax) – The election of Metropolitan Onufry as head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church indicates that the majority of the bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate adhere to “Russian world” ideas and puts an end to the idea of creating a local Church of Ukraine, the self-proclaimed “Kyiv Patriarchate” said.

“Despite the hopes for the furthering, especially in the new conditions, of the cause of late Metropolitan Volodymyr (Ukrainian Orthodox Church) to have dialogue with the Kyiv Patriarchate to overcome church division, we have to say that by electing a consistent supporter of the ideology of the ‘Russian world’ and unity with Moscow, the majority of the bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine have rejected that path,” the “Kyiv Patriarchate” press center said in a press release.

The “Holy Synod” of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate) earlier said Metropolitan Onufry had practically blocked official dialogue with the “Kyiv Patriarchate” on overcoming the church division and the formation of a unified local Church.

“Metropolitan Onufry has more than once said, in unison with Moscow, that Ukrainians and Russians are essentially one people and that Ukraine does not need European integration and it would harm it, and he called Kremlin mercenaries and terrorists in Donbas ‘militia,’ etc. At the celebrations of Patriarch Kirill’s birthday, he thanked him for his ‘care’ for Ukraine,” the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate) said.

In the meantime, Metropolitan Onufry said on Wednesday the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) is open to dialogue with the self-proclaimed “Kyiv Patriarchate.”

“This issue is being discussed and we have always been and remain open to dialogue between various branches of the Orthodox Church. We want unification, but we have our own principles: the canons of the holy Orthodox Church, and unification is only possible according to these canons,” Metropolitan Onufry, the newly elected head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, told reporters in Kyiv.

Metropolitan Onufry reiterated that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is ready to have dialogue with its “Orthodox brothers” and work on resolving issues.

[featured image is file photo]