Kuraev: “You should not blame Moscow, there`s no request for autocephaly in the UOC”

Today there`s no request for autocephaly in the UOC. This relates either to the flock, or to the hierarchs, or to the Head, as supposes the ROC clergyman Andrey Kuraev (still being banned in ministry), who discussed this issue in interview for Glavcom.

“That`s why you should not blame Moscow here. This is an issue about Ukraine itself, about a great amount of her citizens. If they don`t have any request for autocephaly, is it their fault or a flaw? They feel no itching. The Ukrainian political and ecclesiastical situation is quite favorable, if not the implementation, then at least for the voice of such a request. But neither I in Moscow nor Metropolitan Onuphry in Kyiv hear such voices from within the church. And this is not Moscow’s fault.

If we were talking about the situation in Russia, I would agree with the assumption of fear. But the Ukrainian political, civil, mental situation is such that people are completely free and they can express their disagreement, make their choice. The metropolitan of Cherkasy Sophrony, when he was alive, said that he considered it is rational to create three Slavic patriarchates. He said it aloud and more than once, and no one punished him for it. Why did such voices disappear in the episcopate with his death? Honestly, this is not due to the fact that some Moscow intelligence service or the police are working”, says Andrey Kuraev.

Also, as Kuraev noted, statistics on parishes demonstrates the absence of autocephalous initiatives.

“Onuphry sees the statistics. He sees that the number of parishes flowing from him to the OCU is less than the number of parishes newly created in the UOC. And in these quantities, he quite logically sees no reason to change the policy. To this can be added the change of President Poroshenko to President Zelensky, because of this change the politicization of the church problem has decreased in the country. State pressure on the church has decreased.

The UOC has reason to believe that, on the whole, it won the “border battle” after receiving the Tomos of the OCU. Yes, the enemy has not been defeated, has not been pushed back abroad, but has not created any serious threats either”, Andrei Kuraev convinces.

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