KIEV, November 30. /TASS/. The founder of the schismatic Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to Kiev Patriarchate, Filaret, did not express any repentance to the Russian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Evestratiy Zorya, the press secretary of the Kiev Patriarchate told a news conference on Thursday.
"The Patriarch doesn’t have any reasons to repent to the Russian Church because he isn’t guilty of anything they accuse him of, and it you take requests for forgiveness as well forgiving others, that’s a duty for every Christian," Zorya wrote in Facebook where he also published the text of Filaret’s letter to Kirill I.
According to the press secretary, the letter asked the Russian Church to revoke all the decisions that were impeding its communications with the Kiev Patriarchate "as if they never existed".
"In other words, this means [Filaret asked] to recognize them as the ones that didn’t have any effect from the very beginning," Zorya wrote. "Patriarch Filaret has never recognized all those anathemas and excommunications and that’s why they don’t bother him. And let those whom they do bother find ways of annulling them."
Earlier on Thursday, the Council of Bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church adopted a document, which said the founder of the schismatic Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to Kiev Patriarchate had sent a letter to the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill I asking the latter to pardon him and to help overcome the split of the Church in Ukraine.
The document said the letter also contained a request on revoking all the prohibitive decisions, including disciplinary punishments and excommunications, for the sake of "reaching peace between the Orthodox Christians, who share faith, and reconciliation between peoples."
The letter ended with the words: "I am asking to forgive me for all the sins I committed in words deeds, and all my senses. On my part, I sincerely forgive everyone."
The Council said it had accepted the appeal with satisfaction and was considering it as a step towards eliminating the schism and restoration of rapport.