Translated from the Union of Orthodox Journalists. It looks like OCU might not just have problems with gaining recognition outside but also internally. Read my other posts on the Church topic, please…
Privileges, valuable real estate in the centre of Kiev, and the absence of faith in the viability of the newly created OCU are just some of the reasons why the Kiev Patriarchate doesn’t rush to transfer to the OCU.
While the government undertakes whatever methods available to, it to “transfer” communities from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to the newly created OCU, (the link talks about a takeover of a church in the Ternopol Region with the help of thugs from the Right Sector) the Kiev Patriarchate is dragging out the transfer process. The delay is not coincidental; expensive real estate in the possession of the Kiev Patriarchate, among others, an office block in central Kiev. So reported an investigation of the “Radar” project of the television channel NEWSONE.
The two founding Churches, that is the Kiev Patriarchate, and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC), took on the obligation to merge into the OCU at the “unification Council” on 15 December 2018. Back then, the “patriarch” Filaret Denisenko and the former head of the UAOC, Makarius Maletich, announced the dissolution of their organisations. This is confirmed by the official answer the journalists received from the Kiev Patriarchate.
However, as the journalists discovered, the Kiev Patriarchate still functions as a religious organisation, enjoys all the benefits (among others tax benefits and utility payment benefits). Among the properties still owned by the Kiev Patriarchate is the building of the eparchial administration, 36 Pushkin Street, at the very heart of Kiev. The head of the newly created OCU, Epiphanius, does not even have his own office, and shares space with the rector of the Kiev Ecclesiastical Academy right underneath the halls of residence of the seminarists.
Meanwhile, this is not the entire real estate which is in the ownership of the Kiev Patriarchate. The journalists also discovered a modern building in the historical part of Kiev, on the Desyatynnyi Ln., right next to the Mykhailovskyi Monastery. There are offices in this building, and the Kiev Patriarchate likely makes money on letting them out.
“According to the legal department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, such a contradictory situation is linked to the Kiev Patriarchate still believing the situation could be reversed back to the situation before November-December 2018. The clergy do not have faith in the viability of the newly created OCU. The head of the department of religion in the Ministry of Culture, Andriy Yurash, says the ministry cannot influence the Kiev Patriarchate.”-says the report.
As the Union of Orthodox Journalists reported, the head of the UOC, Epiphanius Dumenko, said that there no longer are the Kiev Patriarchate, or the UAOC in Ukraine. Epiphanius explained that the charters of the Kiev Patriarchate and the UAOC have been deregistered, and a registration was filed for the Kiev Metropolia of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (OCU), which he calls the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the charter was adopted on 15 December on the “unification Council.” However, after transferring to the OCU, the parishes in fact transfer to the Kiev Patriarchate, and in Volhynia, there aren’t any official transfers of the Kiev Patriarchate parishes into OCU.