Head of the Kyiv Patriarchate of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church Filaret released the letter, in which he offers the counterparts from the Russian Orthodox Church to reconcile – for the sake of peace between the Orthodox Christians in both countries. Archbishop Yevstratiy Zorya released the letter’s copy at Facebook.
‘In my wish to stop the separation and discord among the Orthodox Christians; to restore the prayer communion, which is the way it’s supposed to be with the United holy apostolic church; to re-gain the God-bequeathed peace among the Orthodox Christians and reconciliation of the nations – I turn to you, urging to make the respective decisions, which would put an end to the ongoing opposition,’ the letter reads.
The Kyiv Patriarchate of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church originated in 1992 as a result of a schism, the division between the Moscow Patriarchate and its former locum tenens, Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine Filaret. He chose to convert his former see (of which he was head for more than two decades) into the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church, initially within the legal framework of the Russian Orthodox Church. The majority of the Pro-Russian bishops refused to support him, and forced him to resign his position.
Undeterred, Filaret, with the support of the Ukrainian government, initiated a merger with the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC). In response, almost all Pro-Russian bishops called a Sobor, where they refused to follow Filaret, and ruled to defrock and anathemise him. However the union between the Western Ukrainian and diaspora clergy of the former UAOC and the now 'defrocked' Russian Orthodox clergy who followed Filaret, became very fragile. Filaret assumed the Patriarchal throne in autumn 1995.
The Kyiv Patriarchate of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church is currently unrecognized by canonical Eastern Orthodox churches, although now the Ecumenical Patriarchate who is the Mother Church, and alone can only grant canonical status and autocephaly is examining the request and petition of the Ukrainian Government and its people to be officially recognized.