Representatives of other orthodox confessions speak about Philaret pretty negatively. Ukrainian Christian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchy names him an unchurched lay-man, Ukrainian Christian Orthodox Autocephaly Church – "Lucifer of the Ukrainian people".
Philaret is known to take part in political life of Ukraine and to appear on billboards. At the same time, he proclaims a development of spiritual revival of Ukraine and creation of single Manorial Ukrainian Autokephale Church on the basis of UCOC KP.
After the press-conference on which Philaret promulgated his appeal to UCOC MP and UCOAC, and also to the Ukrainian people, our correspondent asked him some questions.
- What do you think about Ukraine as a country of many religions?
Ukraine is indeed a country of many religions. But most people belong to Orthodox Church. We have good relations with Greco - Catholic Church, with Roman Catholic Church and Protestant churches. So, the problem of religion itself worsened exactly in orthodox environment.
We consider that this situation can be changed. Our activity will be directed to that Kiev Patriarchy, as Manorial church, is acknowledged by other churches, and foremost by Universal Constantinople Patriarch, and occupies equal position with Moscow Patriarchy.
- UCOC KP openly supported Victor Yushchenko during elections. Do not you think that active participation in political life does not conform to Christian religion?
Kiev Patriarchy was neither on one candidate’s side nor another’s. We just prayed. So, all accusations are false.
As for our civil position, we supported, support and will support the Ukrainian state, Ukrainian people and interests of our society. It does not need to be bound to policy. New government offered the church to take active part in the revival of spirituality, and we accepted this proposal. And it is not a political interference in governmental matters.
- What about your image on billboards? Do not you think it is too much for orthodox religion?
It is not initiative of the church. There are sponsors who are engaged in this. We are engaged in distribution of God’s Law. We have already printed 350 thousand copies and distribute them in Ukraine free of charge. The church is not engaged in advertising.
- You called different branches of Ukrainian Christian Orthodox Church to unite under the canopy of UCOC KP; however, such idea did not find support. UCOC of MP names you "an unchurched lay-man Michael Denisenko". And patriarch of UAOC Dimitry Yarema even named you "Lucifer of the Ukrainian people". Is it possible to unite under such circumstances? What do you think about "Lucifer"?
I do not pay attention. When we talk about association with Autokephale Ukrainian Orthodox Church, we mean not one or another member of higher orders of clergy, but believers, clergy, which want to have Manorial church in Ukraine.
Victor Yushchenko was also named the servant of Satan and fascist. But this man won. So in this case, I am sure I am on the right way.
- Who, in your opinion, must lead new Manorial church which will appear after association of all orthodox religions in Ukraine?
Manorial church exists already. It is Kiev Patriarchy at the head of patriarch. It is not necessary to be created. Now the question is about that Autokephale church should join already existent Manorial church and that this Manorial church should get the status of acknowledged (By Constantinople) Autokephale church. Patriarch of UCOC KP must be the head of it.
Alex Bugar, ForUm
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