The head of the stauropegic parish of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker of the UOC-KP in Philadelphia (USA) Bohdan Zgoba said that the diaspora of the Kyivan Patriarchate, like its leader, was removed from the decisions of the council in 2018, and therefore cannot recognize its results. This is stated in a publication on the UOC-KP facebook page.
“I believe that we were unjustly deprived not only of the right to choose our Primate, but also were not allowed to the council itself. Someone, perhaps, would like to accuse us that, you see, we ourselves were not very interested in the course of the church campaign in Ukraine. However, I want to resolutely object to such voices and recall the outstanding role of Ukrainian parishes abroad in the process of establishing relations with the Orthodox churches of the world and delivering truthful information to them about the state of Orthodoxy in Ukraine… Therefore, we are faced with the fact of malicious failure to comply with both church canons and democratic norms that are characteristic of both Ukrainian law and US law”, writes Bohdan Zgoba.
Also, the representative of the UOC-KP diaspora explained why he doubts the legitimacy of the council which had taken place in 2018.
“The invitations to the Ukrainian bishops to the council were sent out by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople; the Council was presided over by the representative of Patriarch Bartholomew, Metropolitan Emmanuel of Gaul, full members of the Council were the bishops and archimandrites of the Patriarchate of Constantinople The last proof is the storage of the original decisions of the Council in Istanbul, and not in Kiev.
We in the diaspora cannot recognize the results of the council on December 15, 2018, since we did not witness its legitimacy. It painful for us that we in the diaspora were equated with weak-willed slaves or serfs, for whom their fate was decided, having given all foreign parishes to the mercy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. With the last one, I appeal today to the US Constitution, the 13th amendment to which was ratified 153 years before the council in Saint Sophia Cathedral: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude… shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction”. I voiced several questions out aloud and sincerely believe that they will not become rhetorical, like the voice of someone who speaks with emptiness”, said the representative of the UOC-KP in the diaspora.