Ukrainian Church is ready to come to Moscow. (Her head speaks of the possibility of convergence)

The head of the breakaway Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kiev Patriarchate (UOC KP) Patriarch Filaret, previously had refused to even discuss the possibility of merging his church with the Russian Orthodox Church, announced the launching of negotiations with the Moscow Patriarchate with the ultimate goal should be a union of churches. Observers think that softening of the UOC-KP with the change of power in Ukraine - Patriarch Filaret protege of former President Viktor Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych is a parishioner of the ROC.

In an interview with the online edition of “The Island” head of the unrecognized Kiev Patriarchate said that “sees the desire for reconciliation” by the Moscow Patriarchate, and acknowledged that negotiations on the unification of churches actually began. “The subject of dialogue - the union, under what conditions it is possible”, - said unrecognized Patriarch Filaret. However, he clarified that the terms on which his church is ready to unite with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate, remain the same: “We have an independent Ukrainian state, but in an independent state should be an independent church.”

Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kiev Patriarchate was established in 1992 through the merger of the representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autonomous Orthodox Church. Proponents of the UOC-KP consider her heir to the Kyiv Metropolis, under the jurisdiction of the Constantinople Church. According to the State Committee on Nationalities and Religions, the beginning of 2010 in Ukraine the UOC-KP was the arrival of 4281, parishes combined in 32 dioceses, the number of parishioners is estimated to be approximately 14 million (at the UOC Moscow Patriarchate - 9.5 million).

Head of Information Department of the UOC-KP Bishop Evstratii (Zorya), commenting on the words of Patriarch Filaret, told Kommersant that “we are not talking about the accession to the Kiev Patriarchate of Moscow.” “Moscow is often confused with the concept of unity of the church administrative unity”, - said the bishop Evstratii.

15 July 2010

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