A religious examination of the charter of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) showed the existence of a church-canonical connection with the Russian Orthodox Church, the State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience reports.
“The State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience, within two months, ensured a religious examination of the Charter on the management of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for the presence of a church-canonical connection with the Moscow Patriarchate (Russian Orthodox Church). To accomplish this task, an Expert Group was created, which included five professors, doctors of sciences and one candidate of sciences – specialists in the field of religion, church history, freedom of conscience, state-confessional relations, theology, who have professional scientific publications in history, sociology, philosophy, religion in general and in the field of the study of Eastern Orthodoxy in particular,” the press service of the State Ethnopolitika said in a statement.
It is noted that the expert group came to the conclusion that the adoption of a new version of the Charter on the management of the UOC (MP) (dated May 27, 2022) and the Resolution of the Council of the UOC (MP) did not lead to a rupture of the church-canonical connection of the UOC with the Russian Orthodox Church, but itself The charter of the UOC (MP) as a structural subdivision of the ROC, which enjoys certain rights of independence, but does not create an autocephalous Church, remains unchanged.
Also, according to the conclusions, the relations of the UOC (MP) with the ROC are not the relations of one independent (autocephalous) church with another independent autocephalous church.
“The UOC also does not have the status of an autonomous Church, which would be recognized by other churches, and, therefore, from the point of view of ecclesiology and canon law, it is a structural subdivision of the ROC, having separate rights of independent formation without its own canonical subjectivity,” the message says.
In addition, the expert group came to the conclusion that the current activity or inaction of the highest bodies of church authority and administration of the UOC (MP) indicates that the UOC (MP) continues to be in a relationship of subordination relative to the ROC.
“It does not act as an independent (autocephalous) Church and does not proclaim its own independence (autocephaly). No documents or actions indicating the transformation of the UOC into an independent religious organization relative to the ROC were found by members of the Expert Group, ”the agency emphasizes.