Metropolitan Nikodim of Zhytomyr and Novograd-Volynsky explained why the UOC, from the beginning of the open Russian invasion of Ukraine, was forced to make appropriate decisions on the Charter. He said, “we didn’t have a spiritual crisis, we prayed and pray,” but the position of the UOC and its Primate was unambiguous – to condemn the actions of the Russian Federation, to recognize the aggressor as a bloody large-scale war.
“His Beatitude appealed to the authorities of the Russian Federation, to spiritual leaders, but he was not heard. Even when they said that in 5 days the Russians would be in Kyiv, he said – we are Ukraine, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, we condemn this. This is a spiritual leader,” recalled Metropolitan Nikodim.
“For more than 30 years, some of their ideologies have been imposed on us, they hang certain labels on us, they call us names, but our UOC has always been and will be with its Ukrainian people. With the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry and the decision of the Synod, the Council was assembled.
Legally, we have always been the UOC. We were self-governing, we did not depend on Moscow materially, financially, or in land issues, we did not transfer any money there, we opened our own dioceses, appointed our own bishops, clergy, had our own church court, departments; what they reproached us with – “you have questions in the Charter.” There was something in the Charter that needed to be changed. But this Council, which will go down in history, gave us complete independence, we changed the Charter. Everything that connected us with the MP has been completely changed, and now another life has begun, the independent UOC,” explained lord Nikodim.
“The issue of restoring cooking myrrh in our Church has been raised, it will most likely be resolved. The diaspora is already opening churches, communities are forming, even in Ireland. The SOC, the Serbian Patriarch blessed the opening of our community on the canonical territory of the SOC. No other Church has this.
The UOC has a Charter of the most extended autocephaly. But this word was not heard at this Council, because it is not proclaimed, it is recognized, it is given. This is the process of the forthcoming change,” says the Metropolitan of the UOC.