KIEV, December 1. /TASS/. Ukraine’s schismatic Orthodox Church reporting to Kiev Patriarchate, which the global Orthodox Christian community does not recognize as a legitimate local [national] religious entity, said on Thursday it welcomes a possible dialogue with the Russian Orthodox Church and views recognition of an autocephalous status for itself as the final objective of these contacts.
"Kiev Patriarchate welcomes Moscow Patriarchate’s willingness to conduct dialogue," said a statement that the Church published at its homepage.
"However, neither repentance of any kind before the Russian Orthodox Church nor administrative unification with it in whatever form can be the final objectives of this dialogue," the statement said. "The Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to Kiev Patriarchate views the recognition of an autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to it and unification of all the Orthodox Christians as the exceptional goals of the possible dialogue."
In connection with it, the synod of the unrecognized Ukrainian Orthodox Church plans to gather in the coming few day and to consider the start of a dialogue. Pursuant to the results of this consideration, it will take a relevant decision.
The statement also said that Moscow Patriarchate had made known its wish to open dialogue through the ruling hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in Eastern America and New York, Metropolitan Hilarion.
"It was understood that the dialogue would focus on eliminating the entire scope of problems impeding normal contacts between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to Kiev Patriarchate, the way the local [national] Churches should communicate with one another," the statement said.
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.