Metropolitan's Monthly Message
His Beatitude, Metropolitan STEPHAN
Offers His Thoughts On the Kyivan Patriarchate
and One Ukrainian Church

His Beatitude, Metropolitan STEPHAN

1 December 2000

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Our Motherland will be saved, in large part, from one Ukrainian Church that serves as a moral, political, and spiritual compass to her people. Because of this reality the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church will never take a "wait and see" approach to events unfolding in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church of the United States is a church of action. We are an energetic, pro-active, growing church trying, with God's help, to shape events in Ukraine and not be shaped by them.

Over the next year, our efforts will strongly complement the ongoing, visionary work of His Holiness Patriarch Filaret of Kyiv. The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church of the United States is now:

Beginning the long process of building relationships with key political leaders in Washington DC to heighten awareness about the current situation in Ukraine. Eventually, we will apply the same approach to leaders in Canada;

Making plans to travel to Washington D.C. next year to speak directly with American political leaders about the democratization of Ukraine and the important work of His Holiness Patriarch Filaret. Using national TV and radio media to promote these ideals.

Expanding public relations efforts in the United States to maintain continued visibility and dialogue with all Ukrainian-Americans about the need to support and strengthen the independence of the Kyiv Patriarchate.

The reluctance by any Ukrainian Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant -- to assist in this effort will contribute to making Kyiv a canonical satellite of Constantinople (as has been the experience in the Ukrainian Church in the U.S.), or even worse. Recent announcements of engaging the asssitance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul in the unification of the Church in Ukraine must be viewed with this possibility in mind. As Ukraine is independent, so too must all its churches -- Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant -- be free and independent.

In 2001, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in the United States will increasingly become an activist church that nurtures and fosters the spiritual unity of our people both here and in the Motherland, as well as in Europe, Austraila and throughout the Diaspora.

Please, in partnership and with the spirit of Christian fellowship, help us as we assist His Holiness Patriarch Filaret build a better and more democratic Ukraine. As you are aware, our Metropolia has always commemorated His Holiness and promoted the Patriarchate. Bishops of the Kyiv Patriarchate in Ukraine have supported us in this effort. We welcome any Ukrainian parishes to join us in supporting our Mother Church while retaining our right to be "Sobornopravna."

In Christ, I Remain, Sincerely,

Archbishop of New York
Metropolia of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in the USA

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