On January 31, 2023, the SSUEFC published on its website the Conclusion of the Religious Expertise of the Charter on the Administration of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for the existence of a church-canonical connection with the Moscow Patriarchate.
“According to the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine dated December 1, 2022 “Certain aspects of the activities of religious organizations in Ukraine and the application of personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions)”, put into effect by the Decree of the President of Ukraine dated December 1, 2022, The State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience, within two months, ensured a religious examination of the Charter on the governance of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for the presence of a church-canonical connection with the Moscow Patriarchate (Russian Orthodox Church). To accomplish this task, an expert group was created, which included five professors, doctors of sciences and one candidate of sciences – specialists in the field of religion, church history, freedom of conscience, state-confessional relations, theology, who have professional scientific publications in history, sociology , philosophy, religion in general and in the field of the study of Eastern Orthodoxy in particular.
The expert group came to the following generalized conclusions:
– The adoption of a new edition of the Charter on the management of the UOC (dated May 27, 2022) and the Resolution of the Council of the UOC did not lead to a break in the church-canonical connection of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with the Russian Orthodox Church. The status of the UOC as a structural division of the ROC, enjoying certain rights of independence, but not forming an autocephalous church, remains unchanged.
— The UOC has an ecclesiastical-canonical connection of the part with the whole in relation to the ROC. The relations of the UOC with the ROC are not relations of one independent (autocephalous) church with another independent autocephalous church. The UOC also does not have the status of an Autonomous Church, which would be recognized by other churches, and, therefore, from the point of view of ecclesiology and canon law, it is a structural subdivision of the ROC, having separate rights of independent formation without its own canonical subjectivity.
– The current activity or inaction of the highest bodies of church authority and administration of the UOC indicates that the UOC continues to be in relation to the ROC in a relationship of subordination. It does not act as an independent (autocephalous) church and does not proclaim its own independence (autocephaly). No documents or actions indicating the transformation of the UOC into an independent religious organization in relation to the ROC were identified by the members of the expert group.