The post-state cleric of the Russian Orthodox Church, Archimandrite Kirill (Hovorun), took part in the “Suspilne” TV program on February 1, 2021, where the process of transferring communities to the OCU was discussed. The cleric of the Moscow Patriarchate was invited to talk about how the process of determining the jurisdiction of religious communities is regulated by law abroad.
Answering the question, “is the transfer of parishes to the OCU abroad a conflict process”, Hovorun explained that “there are no OCU parishes abroad”: there are UOC-KP parishes that cannot decide what to do next, but the terms of the OCU tomos prohibit to this structure to have a representation abroad – in his words, “like most of the Local Churches”.
However, together with the UOC of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, there are a lot of different jurisdictions in the USA and Canada, and there are cases of transfer of communities from one structure to another, and all these issues are regulated by the courts, explains Hovorun.
The main reason that the seizure of churches of the UOC has practically ceased in Ukraine, Hovorun believes, is that “it is difficult for the community to defend its choice of the OCU”, because “it is under pressure, they are being dragged to court”.