Patriarch of Kyiv and All Russia-Ukraine Filaret said that he was not satisfied with the status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Metropolis, reports Radio Liberty.
"The Local Orthodox Church of Ukraine is officially recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarch. But in Ukraine the Kyiv Patriarchate exists. We are not satisfied with the status of the metropolis. We have existed as patriarchs for more than 25 years. And the people elected patriarchs. I am the third patriarch. Before me there was Patriarch Volodymyr, patriarch Mstyslav. And so for Ukraine we are the patriarchy. And for the outside world, that is, for the Orthodox world, we are the Kyiv metropolis, "said Filaret.
He also added that he believes that the time will come when "all Orthodox recognize the Ukrainian church not as a metropolis, but as a patriarchate."
“When will it be? It will be when we unite all Ukrainian Orthodoxy into one church, then the time will come for the recognition of the Kyiv Patriarchate,” Filaret said.
The Unification Council in Kyiv on December 15 elected the head of the local Orthodox church in Ukraine, the Metropolitan of the former UOC-KP Epifaniy (Dumenko). The enthronement of the head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Epifaniy took place on his birthday.
Filaret stated that he was not invited to Istanbul on the ceremony of granting Tomos because he has the Patriarch rank, and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has the status of the Metropolitanate. 'I’m the patriarch, if I visit the ceremony as patriarch, it will mean that the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognizes the Orthodox Church of Ukraine as the patriarchy', Filaret pointed out.
According to the Patriarch, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has not ruled out the possibility that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church can receive the status of patriarchy.
“If we unite all the orthodoxy in one church, the reason for granting the status of patriarchy will appear. We are the patriarchy, but only in Ukraine, in other words, we have not been recognized yet. But we have been recognized as the Kyiv Metropolitanate. That’s why our aim is continuing the uniting process with the parishes and clergy of the Moscow Patriarchate. When we are united, we will ask the Ecumenical Patriarch to grant us the status of patriarchy”, - Filaret added.