MOSCOW, October 11. /TASS/. The Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate has announced the decision to lift the anathema against leaders of two extracanonical churches in Ukraine - Filaret of the Kiev Patriarchate and Makariy of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, a representative of the patriarchate informed on the outcomes of the Holy Synod, which took place on October 9-11.
"We have heard the appeal of Filaret Denisenko and Makariy. We have made a decision that at the time, the anathema was introduced for an insufficient number of reasons, due to some political motivations. This is why the Synod decided to include them in canon once again," he noted.
In October 1990, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church received the status of a self-governing church within the Russian Orthodox Church. In November 1991, Filaret, who was then heading the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, called for granting the Ukrainian Church autocephalous status. In May 1992, he was demoted from his post as head of the local church. However, Filaret failed to comply with the decision of the Russian Orthodox Church and, with support of Ukrainian officials, announced the creation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate. In February 1997, he was excommunicated and anathematized for sectarian activities by the decision of the Russian Orthodox Church’s Assembly of the Hierarchs.