UKRAINIAN AUTOCEPHALOUS ORTHODOX CHURCH
OF NORTH & SOUTH AMERICA
Archeparchy of the United States & the Americas
Metropolitan Mefodii’s Press Service
Comments on Autocephalous Orthodox Patriarchate Office
From: RISU - 17.02.2005, [11:40] // UAOC //
Kyiv– The Patriarchate Office in Kyiv of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) should “provide normal conditions for the statutory activities of the head of the UAOC.” So said the UAOC press service of Metropolitan Mefodii (Kudriakov), head of the UAOC, in a statement released on 12 February 2005. The press service was commenting on the attempted seizure by the metropolitan and his supporters on 4 February of the Patriarchate Office building, which up to that time had been used by UAOC Archbishop Ihor (Isichenko) of Kharkiv and Poltava.
“The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church is a legal Orthodox denomination officially registered in the appropriate state body in accordance with established procedure according to the law, and functions on a generally accepted and equal-right basis, guaranteed to each denomination by the state, without demanding special status or privileges for itself,” reads the statement of the UAOC press service. “On 15 September 2000, Metropolitan Mefodii (Kudriakov) was elected its head.”
The UAOC press service calls groundless the claims of Archbishop Ihor, who questions the status of Metropolitan Mefodii as head of the church and considers Metropolitan Constantine (Kostiantyn Bahan), who is head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA, as the spiritual head of the UAOC in Ukraine.
“In 1995, the Ukrainian parishes in the USA were subordinated to the Ecumenical Patriarchate [of Constantinople],” reads the UAOC press office statement. “At present, Metropolitan Constantine (Kostiantyn Bahan)… cannot make any decisions regarding the UAOC in Ukraine without the blessing and written consent of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.”
The statement says that “according to a decision made at a joint session of the Hierarchical Sobor [Assembly] and the Patriarchal Council of the UAOC of 9 April 2003, Archbishop of Kharkiv and Poltava Ihor (Isichenko) was expelled from among the bishops of the UAOC, ousted from all offices (including the office of the administrator of the Patriarchate of the UAOC), and removed from the staff of the UAOC.”
The statement also accuses Archbishop Ihor of using the building of the Patriarchate Office of the UAOC in Kyiv for not intended purposes, namely, to accommodate the Ukrainian Center of Byzantine Studies and Patristics.
“The above-mentioned building is the only one suitable for use as the office where the head of the UAOC, Metropolitan Mefodii (Kudriakov), should fulfill his statutory duties. Therefore, on 4 February 2005, it was decided to stop the unintended use of the mentioned building, to do necessary repair work, and to provide normal conditions for the statutory activities of the head of the UAOC.”
Metropolitan Mefodii and his supporters took control of the building on 4 February, but later that day they were removed and the police closed the building, waiting for a legal decision to resolve the conflict.
RISU Article: http://www.risu.org.ua/eng/news/article;4641
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