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Ukrainians in Europe do not recognize the Church of Constantinople, – hierarch of the UOC-KP in response to the Phanar

Hierarch of the UOC-KP in the USA and Canada Luka Zgoba commented on the statement of the Synod of the Church of Constantinople, which had stated that the “patriarch” and the “Kyiv Patriarchate” never existed. According to him, the mass worship of the UOC-KP in Europe proves that Ukrainians do not recognize the power of Constantinople over themselves.

«Patriarch Philaret, primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchate, has been undeservedly and without cause attacked by the Constantinople Church in its effort to gain more Ukrainian constituents.

The recent decision of the Constantinople Church regarding Patriarch Philaret proves once again that the Patriarch’s extraordinary personality has significant importance to Orthodox Christians around the world. This fact is proved by meetings with ambassadors of countries friendly to Ukraine and the mutual cooperation with different international organizations that has been significantly intensified. Above all, from the first days of the Russia invasion, Patriarch Philaret has chosen to stay in Kyiv to provide spiritual and moral support, and to coordinate humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian Army, citizens and war victims.

Now Ukrainian people are looking for orientation and support in the civilized countries of the world. Having received different kinds of humanitarian assistance in Ukraine and abroad, Ukrainians, who have become forced displaced persons and refugees, first of all need strong spiritual support.  Ukrainian communities that had to leave Ukraine and find refuge in Europe DO NOT acknowledge the Constantinople Church, as this connection is superficial, formal and not corresponding to their religious beliefs and mode of communication with the Orthodox Church. So thousands of Ukrainians prayed during the Easter Holiday Liturgy in Orthodox Churches in different European countries, Australia and the United States of America. The same cannot be said about the Constantinople Church or Russian Orthodox Church.  There are a few in Europe but do not constitute a real spiritual protection center for Ukrainians or other Orthodox people leaving Ukraine because of the Russian invasion.

That is why the question of a United Ukrainian Diaspora is urgent and of special importance during the current events and cannot be entrusted to incapable institutions and mistrusted leaders who refuse to protect the interests of the Ukrainian people abroad. Still, the Ukrainian Orthodox Christians have united themselves and established new institutions to protect their interests. While different local churches were defining their priorities, the Ukrainian refugees had to find by themselves the way to survive abroad, establishing new communities.

Saint Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral in Philadelphia, under the omophor of the Kyiv Patriarchate, continues to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and supports obtaining permission by the Ukrainian refugees to come to the United States of America. Most regional organizations are not interested in the people, but rather in the amounts of money raised.

The legal existence of the Kyiv Patriarchate is proved at international and national levels by many legal facts and legal relations with local authorities, governmental bodies and heads of different countries that have acknowledged the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchate as the Kyiv spiritual center», Luka Zgoba writes.

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