The overcoming of the schism in the Ukrainian Church must be free from political conjuncture, according to Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine.
"Politicians sometimes misunderstand the nature of the Church. The path
towards unification of the Orthodoxy in Ukraine requires patience, the
political conflict is hampering this process," the metropolitan said at a
meeting with Swiss diplomats at the Kiev Laura of the Caves.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC) is open
to those currently in the schism there are ways towards unification but
they must not depend on the political conjuncture, the Ukrainian Church
leader was quoted by a UOC spokesperson as saying on Friday.
Today, the UOC remains the main link connecting residents of the
war-torn eastern regions of Ukraine and people living in the rest of the
country, he said.
On June 16, Verkhovnaya Rada approved an appeal to Patriarch Bartholomew
of Constantinople to issue a tomos (decree) on an autocephaly of the
Orthodox Church in Ukraine and invalidate a 1686 act whereby the Kiev
Metropolia was made part of the Moscow Patriarchate ostensibly "in
violation of the canons." Constantinople never replied to the appeal.
Ukraine has three active Orthodox religious organizations: the UOC and
two Churches that are not recognized in the Orthodox world: the Kiev
Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.
Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko more than once spoke for
establishing a local Orthodox Church in the country. One of the goals is
to divide the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Moscow Patriarchate.