Moscow, December 1, 2016
Politicians should not interfere in Church matters, and it’s necessary to observe the principle of the indivisibility of the Church, declared Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and All Africa in an interview with RIA-Novosti, commenting on the situation with the efforts to create an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Ukraine.
“I know Ukraine very well—both bishops and laity—and have a very good understanding about what incentives the people are pursuing, who are trying now to sow discord in Ukraine. From the very beginning, when the problem of the Church schism had only just arisen, the Alexandrian Patriarchate and I, as its representative, have taken the position that the Ukrainian Church is an integral part of the Russian Orthodox Church. When I served the Divine Liturgy in the Kiev Caves Lavra I stated that for the Alexandrian Church the canonical primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine. Then when the schismatics attempted to forcibly enter, without invitation, into the Holy Trinity church which was then a podvoriye of the Alexandrian Church in Odessa, I stood in the doorway and said: ‘It’s not going to happen.’ The ancient Alexandrian Church formulates its position thus: we stand before God together with the Russian Orthodox Church and call for the Orthodox Church to be one and undivided, as it always has been. There is no place for politics in Church matters. Politicians come and go, but the Church abides unto the ages of ages,” said the primate of the Alexandrian Church.
There is currently operating in Ukraine the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is a self-governing part of the Moscow Patriarchate, and also the ecclesial structures, unrecognized by the Orthodox world, the “Kievan Patriarchate,” and the “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.”