Παρασκευή, 7 Δεκεμβρίου 2018

UKRAINIAN COUNCIL EVENING UPDATE


Nickolas Denissenko
UKRAINIAN COUNCIL-EVENING UPDATE

In addition to the letters of invitation, the letter sent by Patriarch Bartholomew to Metropolitan Onufry on October 12 was also posted on social media today. (A Ukrainian translation of the letter also appeared). Two highlights: 1) the patriarch tells M.O. that he may not "ecclesiologically nor canonically bear the title of 'metropolitan of Kyiv' following" the election of a primate at the unification council. He also encourages M.O. to participate in the council, as he may be a candidate for primate of the united church. And finally, he dismisses the accusation that he 'legitimized a schism', and said that he 'healed it', while urging M.O. to communicate with Metropolitans Filaret and Makary.
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More news today. First, multiple bishops posted photos of the letters they received from Patriarch Bartholomew inviting them to participate in the Ukrainian council on December 15 under the presidency of Metropolitan Emmanuel. (I have seen the Greek, Ukrainian, and English texts of these letters; perhaps there is a Russian version, too). The letter invites each participating bishop to bring one clergyman and one monk or layperson with him to the council. Each participant - including the two people accompanying the bishop - has the right to "vote for the composition of the list of three candidates" for the office of primate. In other words, the council itself is to include some representation of the Church, at the discretion of the bishop. (The letter does not provide instructions on how the bishop should select his fellow participants).
The synod of the Kyivan Patriarchate also met today and scheduled hierarchical council for December 13. The resolutions of the synod include language that only bishops have voting privileges at the council - not non-episcopal participants.
This news will certainly generate discussion; and hopefully many prayers, too, for this chance for separated Orthodox in Ukraine to unite. The previous chances were not realized - in 1921, 1922, 1942, 1991-2, and 2008