25 Jan 2019 19:15

New church's charter contravenes Ukrainian Constitution - Moscow Patriarchate's UOC

MOSCOW. Jan 25 (Interfax) - The charter of a church, which has been founded in Kyiv with the participation of the Constantinople Patriarchate in December 2018, is at odds with the Ukrainian Fundamental Law, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP) said.

"The fourth clause of the charter of this 'church', which was signed in Istanbul and made public in Kyiv, says that all of the Ukrainian Orthodox Christians are its members regardless their nationality. They cannot be such, but they are," UOC MP spokesman Vasily Anisimov told Interfax on Friday.

"Ukrainian citizens are not serfs, because they are entitled to decide for themselves to which church they will go," he said. Meanwhile, with this mandatory "membership" the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) actually ceases to be separated from the state that apparently contravenes the Constitution, too, Anisimov said.

On December 15, 2018, Kyiv hosted a reunification assembly, at which Ukrainian authorities with Constantinople's support have established a church, which is independent from the Moscow Patriarchate and united members of non-canonical churches. On January 6, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew presented the head of the new church with the Tomos on Autocephaly. None of local Orthodox churches recognized this church so far.