Rally in support of Patriarch Filaret held near St. Sophia Cathedral

Rally in support of Patriarch Filaret held near St. Sophia Cathedral

A rally in support of Honorary Patriarch Filaret is taking place near St. Sophia Cathedral where the Synod of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is holding a meeting.

According to an Ukrinform correspondent, several hundred people, mostly elderly, called themselves parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate. They are chanting "Filaret" and holding posters with inscriptions: "Hands off Filaret," "Filaret Is Our Patriarch," "Epiphanius, Money Doesn't Decide All," "Epiphanius, Don't Ruin the Church," "Filaret, We Support You."

Several dozen law enforcers are maintaining public order. The situation is under control.

The Orthodox Church of Ukraine was created at a unification council in Kyiv in December 2018. Metropolitan Epiphanius was elected the primate of the church. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and individual bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate joined the new church.

In early January 2019, the newly formed church received a tomos (ordinance) of autocephaly from the Ecumenical Patriarch.

However, on May 14, Honorary Patriarch Filaret published a statement in which he announced that the Kyiv Patriarchate continues to exist and that he remains the current patriarch. Filaret also added that Epiphanius had violated the agreements allegedly reached at the unification council on December 15, which led to dual power in the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. According to him, Metropolitan Epiphanius should be responsible for the external representation of the church, whereas the patriarch should be in charge of the internal church life in Ukraine.

On May 15, Filaret said at a press conference that he would not have nominated Epiphanius for primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine if he knew that there would be a division in the church between them.

On May 24, Metropolitan Epiphanius convened the Synod of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.


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