KIEV, June 23. /TASS/. Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople has met with the delegation of the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to the Moscow Patriarchate. During the meeting, he said he was opposed to the schism and attempts to create an autocephalous church in Ukraine, Metropolitan Antony of Borispol and Brovary, Chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to the Moscow Patriarchate, said on Saturday.
"Actually, it was stated several times today that legalizing the schism is out of the question. We are currently looking for those medicines, which will help unite and integrate our brothers who have been behind the church fence for a long time," he told the 112 Ukraine TV channel.
According to Metropolitan Antony, Patriarch Bartholomew "is reluctant to interfere in the situation." "However, as a responsible person, as the first among the equal patriarchs of the entire Orthodox Christian world, he wants to help resolve this complex issue." He added that the problem would be handled on the basis of the canonical rules. The patriarch paid particular attention to statements made by some high-ranking officials that the Tomos had allegedly been signed. "It was even said that those who say that the Tomos has been written are working against the Church of Constantinople," the metropolitan stressed.
Ukraine has one canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which reports to the Moscow Patriarchate and enjoys a very broad autonomy within the general structure of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Alongside with it, the country has two organizations unrecognized by the Eastern Orthodox Christian World - the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to the so-called Kiev Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.
Since the proclamation of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the Ukrainian authorities have been trying hard to create a local [national] Church that would be independent of the Moscow Patriarchate.
In late April, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) supported President Pyotr Poroshenko’s request to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to grant permission to create an autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine.