DECLARATION BY PATRIARCH OF KIEV AND ALL RUSSIA-UKRAINE OF PHILARETTE
In view of the dissemination of a number of publications, the express purpose of which is to sow confusion in the Ukrainian Church and in society, I want to undermine the process of dialogue between the Ukrainian side and the Constantinople Mother Church - the Ecumenical Patriarchate - to inform everyone of the following.
The election of the Primate for the only local Ukrainian Orthodox Church will take place at the Council, after the church union has been proclaimed and approved.
Self-nomination for Church Presidency is not allowed by canons. Earlier it was reported that the bishopric of the UOC-Kiev Patriarchate would propose my candidacy for election as Primate.
I thank the Bishop for expressing his trust in me, as well as being grateful for the strong support from the fullness of the Kyiv Patriarchate and the entire community. I now have an established vision of how we should proceed and our ongoing dialogue partners know about it through our personal communication. I assure that, in the framework of this dialogue, we have adhered to and will adhere to our commitments in the same way as our other participants.
What will be my response to the above-mentioned proposal for election, if it is officially announced at the Council - I will also formally inform the Council, substantiating my vision and decision before it, and expecting it to support my position.
The basis for the answer will be solely the understanding of the good of the Church and the responsibility before the Lord for the proper fulfillment of my ministry by him on the throne of Kiev, which I, for the grace of God, have been carrying for over 52 years.
Until now, when it was necessary for the Church, I was firm and steadfast, not abandoning the Presidency, though they demanded it from me in Moscow, using both coercion and promises. In the same way, for the good of the Church, I also made concessions, in particular when I was the Primate of the UOC, for the sake of unification in 1992 I conceded this position.
A year ago, the Moscow Patriarchate, my desire to achieve recognition of the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church, and took my letter about the steps taken to do so as an opportunity to destroy and absorb the Kyiv Patriarchate. I strongly resisted this - and the Moscow plan failed.
For all these decades, neither the threats of the mighty of this world, nor the sea of dirt that has been tarnished by my name, nor the "prohibitions and anathemas" - made me step back from doing God's will and serving the Ukrainian Church. History attests to the faithfulness of this path, and I want to assure our bishopric, clergy, and congregation that I will not depart from it in the future.
Therefore, now, with responsibility as the Patriarch of Kyiv and all Rus-Ukraine, I have done and will do everything necessary to ensure that the unification process is successfully completed, that a single Local UOC is approved and then recognized by other Local Churches.
At the same time, it is unacceptable that the excuse for change in the Church should be used by detractors to undermine its unity or transform it into an instrument of alien interests - such an instrument, which, alas, is now the Metropolitanate of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine. Our people and country need a truly independent Church, not an alien instrument, only covered by the name of independence.
Opponents understand the historical importance of what is happening, as well as the sensitivity of the preparatory dialogue process. That's why they do everything they can to thwart success by using different means - money, diplomacy, special services, dependent on them the media, using half-truth and outright lies.
I call upon the entirety of the Church of the Patriarchate of Kiev and the Ukrainian society, as well as all participants in the unification process, to preserve wisdom and sobriety. The purpose of the enemies is to sow distrust and confusion. Our common goal is to successfully complete the case.
And I believe it will happen - with God's help!
FILARET, Patriarch of Kyiv and All Russia-Ukraine
November 19, 2018