UKRAINIAN AUTOCEPHALOUS ORTHODOX CHURCH



OPEN LETTER TO RISU
Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church
Protests Lack of Fair & Balanced Reporting

To the Editorial Staff of the Religious Information Service of Ukraine (RISU):

Khrystos Voskres!

Dear Greek Catholic brethren, we are saddened to see the apparent lack of neutrality as regards the way in which the UAOC is depicted in various news articles on your site. It would be expected that such a widely-read and respected service such as yourselves would make every attempt to report the news as it is, without prejudice to any particular denomination or branch thereof.

In your reporting regarding the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, it would appear to the reader's eye, that there is favoritism shown in the style and placement of news about the church. This is apparent in recent articles relating to actions of a small group on the margins of the UAOC, spearheaded by Archbishop Ihor Isichenko. Most of the information, as you do note, comes directly from a website which he oversees and often contains incorrect or biased information.

As a recent example of this, it would be impossible for the true patriarchal tribunal of the church to be convened and pass canonical judgment, without the participation of all of the bishops and representatives of the UAOC throughout the country. This is further complicated by that fact that it was called for by a bishop no longer part of the official church.

Subsequently, these articles are often placed on other websites associated with the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which makes one wonder what the objectives are of those in charge of website management.

As you well know, the lawful head of the UAOC is our Primate, His Beatitude, Metropolitan MEFODIY, of Kyiv & All Ukraine. You are also aware that Archbishop Isichenko was dismissed from the official Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in 2003, by the Sobor of Bishops. This is not a battle of personalities, as your site might infer, but a matter of facts and truth.

Your most recent postings, which are libelous to the person of our Primate and to the good name of our Church are based on convoluted facts at best, and more importantly, do not reflect the official position of the UAOC, its hierarchy, clergy and faithful. At the very least, we would expect an editorial disclaimer to this effect, if you truly aspire to be a credible news agency and not another tabloid-style version of religious information.

Certainly, we appreciate the service that you provide to the Ukrainian religious community worldwide. However, the style in which our UAOC and even other churches, in particular, the UOC-KP have been depicted, is not respectful to the hierarchical leaders and church members of those denominations. Since your site is so widely read, many people could certainly get the wrong impression of religious life in Ukraine, by the manner in which our church has been depicted.

We ask you to be more fair and balanced in future reporting regarding the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. The information provided by Archbishop Isichenko and his group of supporters does not reflect the majority opinion within the UAOC, nor Ukrainian Orthodoxy as a whole. While we maintain the proper respect for His Beatitude, Cardinal Husar and the UGCC, we would expect that you do the same in regards to the UAOC and our Primate, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Mefodiy.

May God bless you in your GOOD work.

PRESS SERVICE OF THE
UKRAINIAN AUTOCEPHALOUS ORTHODOX CHURCH
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Addendum:

The following is an extract from the full protocol of the assembly of the Sobor of Bishops and Patriarchal Council of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, from June 2, 2005:

In attendance:

His Beatitude, Metropolitan MEFODIY - Primate of the UAOC
Metropolitan Andriyj of Halitch - Ordinary of the Eparchy of Ivano-Frankivs'k.
Metropolitan Roman - Ordinary of the Eparchy of Vinnytsa and Bratslav
Archbishop Ioan - Ordinary of the Eparchy of Khersones and Krym'
Archbishop Makariyj - Ordinary of the L'viv, Rivno and Tavriya Eparchies
Ihumen Ilarion (Savchuk) - Administrator of the Cherkasy and Kirovohrad Eparchy, member of the Patriarchal Council
Mitred Protopresbyter Ihor Kupita - Secretary of the Patriarchal Council

Schedule of the Day (minutes): . . .

1 . . .
2 . . .
3. THE HEARING:

(b) The Primate of the UAOC, His Beatitude, Metropolitan MEFODIY, opened to discussion, the illegal patriarchal tribunal of May 26, 2005, held in the church of St. Nicholay Naberezhnoho in the City of Kyiv (protocol attached).

3. IT IS DECIDED (with one voice):

b) The assembly of the "patriarchal tribunal" on May 26, 2005, in the church of St. Nicholay Naberezhnoho in the City of Kyiv is declared invalid and its judgment, without binding power.

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Ukrainian Version.

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