Orthodox Church of Ukraine not beholden to any political force, Epiphanius says
Epiphanius (Photo:Metropolitan Epiphanius/Facebook)
No Ukrainian politician or political force exerts control or undue influence over the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), the primate of the church, Metropolitan Epiphanius, said in a video address on April 13.
In the message, Epiphanius says the OCU is not a “hostage or party to political competition” in Ukraine, nor is it “Petro Poroshenko’s church.”
During his presidential term, Poroshenko championed the cause of establishing OCU as a pan-Ukrainian orthodox church, independent from the Moscow Patriarchate. The effort was ultimately successful in early 2019. Poroshenko used this achievement prominently while campaigning in the 2019 presidential elections, ultimately losing to Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
According to Epiphanius, the OCU is grateful to every political party that helps the church to grow and develop, but none of them will have an “exceptional, let alone controlling role” in church affairs.
“Our opponents (likely referring to the Russian Orthodox Church) are making all effort to subvert the trust and cooperation between us and the state that opposes the aggression of the ‘Russian world,” Epiphanius said.
“Various channels are spreading utterly false information that the OCU and the primate are allegedly controlled and directed by someone else. Statements like that are nothing but bold-faced lies and slander.”
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