In Ukraine, there is only one Orthodox Church, which leads its succession from the Equal-to-the-Apostles Saint Prince Volodymyr, which is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), according to the the Chartered Secretary of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich). He said this at a briefing in Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra on July 28, as UOC Information Center reported.
“Objectively, in Ukraine there is only one Orthodox Church, which leads its succession from the Equal-to-the-Apostles Saint Prince Volodymyr, which is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. We had a different history and the Church was called differently, but it is the UOCthat is the heir to the Metropolitan of Kyiv, which appeared immediately after the Baptism of Kyivan Rus. Now there are many structures that are called both Orthodox and Christian, but historically these are parts of our Church that at one time or another split from their Mother Church," Metropolitan Anthony said.
A new book edition was presented at the briefing The Ukrainian Orthodox Church: Milestones in History.
"It is symbolic that on the eve of the Day of the Baptism of Rus, the UOC published the book The Ukrainian Orthodox Church: Milestones in History. "This is the work of the teachers of the Kyiv Theological Academy, who for the first time examined, as far as the sources allowed us, our history in order to objectively look at the continuity of church structures," Metropolitan Anthony pointed.
Metropolitan Anthony highlighted that the UOC is a Church that remains faithful to church canons and the Orthodox faith.
“And that is why those who say that the UOC is 1033 years old are not telling the truth. They are not yet 30 years old. There is only one Church that has a long glorious history - this is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which today is headed by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kyiv. This church is loyal to church canons, and the Orthodox faith. Nowadays there are different attempts to change the situation under various transformations - ideological, political; new ideologies are being created, a new vision of Orthodoxy itself is being created. But most of Ecumenical Orthodoxy insists on loyalty to history and canons," Metropolitan Anthony said.
At the same time, he recalled that yesterday more than 350 thousand believers of the UOC took part in the Great Procession of the Cross in honor of the Day of the Baptism of Rus.
"Yesterday we were participants in the procession, in which more than 350 thousand believers took part - people of different ages, different beliefs - political and social, various activities. From the north, from the south, from the west, from the east, from the center of Ukraine. All this showed that the UOC is the Church of the entire Ukrainian people. And despite all the statements and artificial sociological research, we see that the Ukrainian people are with the UOC because it is "flesh of flesh, blood of blood" of our people. We congratulate everyone on this holiday, we wish the Lord to preserve the Ukrainian people in the Orthodox faith in the future. This will be a good ground for the flourishing of our state," Metropolitan Anthony summed up.
The briefing was attended by representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches - Antioch, Serbian, Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.
“We are very happy that the holiday of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is shared by representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches. I think there would have been more representatives, but we all understand that now there is a pandemic, and the situation is developing in different ways,” Metropolitan Anthony said.
The Chartered Secretary of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church congratulated all attenders on the holiday.
"Today the Church prayerfully honors the memory of the Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Volodymyr, our Baptist. This is also a public holiday. We thank God that in our history there was such a figure as Volodymyr the Great, who took responsibility and opened the way for each of us to the Kingdom of God," Metropolitan added.