02.12.2009, [16:27] // UAOC // RISU.ORG.UA

KYIV — The head of the Theological-Canonical Committee of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC), Archbishop Yoan (Modzalevskyi) of Uman, commented on the Address of the Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) to the faithful of November 24, which stressed that unification is only possible within the UOC-MP and that “schismatic groups” should first repent the sin of the schism. The archbishop of the UAOC noted that he is prepared to accept the first condition whereas the second one requires a “compromise solution” to be found. RISU’s Ukrainian-language web site posted this story on December 1, 2009.

“I am ready to accept the first statement. Really, as long as the UAOC and UOC-KP [Kyivan Patriarchate] have not received canonical recognition, there are no grounds to talk about unification as equal parties,” said the hierarch.

At the same time, he stressed that the demand for repentance of the schism is not received well. “We are ready to admit our canonical mistakes, repent them as we see that it was what led our church to the condition of artificial isolation from world Orthodoxy. But we are not ready to recognize our church structure as a “schism.” We are not schismatics either according to our ecclesiological or canonical consciousness or our way of church life. One should distinguish between a schism and a church divide,” says the hierarch’s commentary given to the “Religion in Ukraine” web site.