19 April 2018

This was stated by MP from Opposition Bloc Vadym Novynskyi in the corridors of the Verkhovna Rada on Thursday, April 19.

“Poroshenko’s speech is absolutely false and untruthful. It is replete with such “facts” that simply do not exist. I would like to advise him to read history, who was the first to use the phrase “Russian world”. He says that he is someone from the hierarchs of the Moscow church who invented it. But this is not true, Nestor the Chronicler, a resident of Kyiv, was the first to use this phrase in the Tale of Bygone Years. The president knows neither history nor laws, but tries to lead the church,” Vadym Novynskyi emphasized.

He stressed that the Opposition Bloc voted against this unconstitutional appeal to His Holiness Patriarch of Constantinople. “We have prepared our appeal to the Patriarch, which has already been signed by all the MPs of the Opposition Bloc faction, other MPs are also signing it. In it, we thank His Holiness the Patriarch for his continued support of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and for his constant attempts to help solve the problems of schism in our country, the split in the church on the basis of church traditions and church laws. We are convinced that the solution to the problem of schism lies not in the creation of some quasi-churches, about which the president is telling so beautifully and colorfully now. The schism can be overcome through the repentance of those who have gone into schism and return them to the bosom of the Mother Church. There can’t be another way,” the MP stressed.

The opposition politician expressed confidence that the Patriarch of Constantinople would never go against breaking church traditions, laws that existed for two thousand years, because this would mean a split in Orthodoxy. “This split will be worse than that of 1054, when the Christian church split into Catholic and Orthodox. Church hierarchs think for a hundred years ahead, unlike our president, who does not see anything beyond his nose. Although he should have thought about how he will go down in the history of the Ecumenical Orthodox Church: as a schismatic or as a person who contributed to the development of Orthodoxy in the world, this is a big question,” Vadym Novynskyi said.

Answering journalists’ question about whether the Opposition Bloc will appeal to the Constitutional Court about this statement, he noted that he considers that it is useless to appeal. “When we submit appeals, they are never considered. But there is no doubt that the decree is unconstitutional. Why is it anti-constitutional - I advise the president to re-read the Constitution, where it is said that the church is separated from the state. I want to tell all them who say that an independent state must have an independent church that the church is not the Ministry of Defense or the National Bank. The Church is the Body of Christ on Earth, the Lord Himself has created, with absolutely different laws, the Holy Spirit guides everything there, and not president Poroshenko,” the MP said.

As for the consequences of the appeal of the president of Ukraine to the Patriarch of Constantinople, according toVadym Novynskyi, it will not entail any consequences. “In 2016, there was an appeal like this that resulted into nothing. this time, I think, nothing will happen again, the Patriarch will not violate the church laws, he will not consider this appeal. I was at the Pan-Orthodox Council in Switzerland two years ago, where the Patriarchs of all the churches participated, and there was a direct question of Patriarch Kirill to Patriarch Bartholomew on his attitude to the church schism in Ukraine. He said that he supported the unified canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and would never agree to recognize schismatics. And if he now breaks his word, he will deceive the entire Orthodox world,” the opposition politician stressed.

Commenting on the possibility of a referendum on this issue, Vadym Novynskyi stressed that he did not consider it appropriate. “In a referendum, there is the opportunity to put questions in tricky ways so that people vote unconsciously. Church affairs should be resolved by church hierarchs solely. Politicians made a split in the church in 1992, and now they continue to split the country. It would be better if president Poroshenko thought about how to fulfill his promises to the country, which he gave before the elections of 2014, to establish peace. He deceived the Ukrainian people, and continues to deceive them,” Vadym Novynskyi concluded.

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