BRAMA, Dec 14, 2004, 11:00 am ET|
Primate of UAOC-S praises Patriarch Filaret
Is disappointed with Metropolitan Mefodiy
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Stephan Petrovich, Primate UAOC-S
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Stephan Petrovich, Primate of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church of North and South America Sobornopravna, issued a statement expressing deep disappointment with Metropolitan Mefodiy Kudryakov of the UAOC in Ukraine for failing to support Viktor Yushchenko in the presidential election. Metropolitan Stephan also praised the leadership of His Holiness Patriarch Filaret of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv-Patriarchate for his role in promoting democracy and called on all Ukrainian Orthodox Churches to unite behind "our Chief Shepherd."
"I am profoundly disappointed by the misguided decision of Metropolitan Mefodiy to support anyone but Viktor Yushchenko. His unfortunate actions unintentionally threaten a united Orthodox Church while compromising the long-term sovereignty of the Ukrainian nation," Metropolitan Stephan said.
"The UAOC of North and South America Sobornopravna applaud the courage that His Holiness Patriarch Filaret consistently showed before, during and after the presidential election. His Holiness stood shoulder to shoulder with Viktor Yushchenko for liberty, justice and freedom. Patriarch Filaret made all Orthodox Ukrainians in the Diaspora proud." he said.
"Patriarch Filaret has again demonstrated why all Churches, including those in the Diaspora, must support him and rally around the Kyiv-Patriarchate. No Ukrainian Orthodox Church needs the permission of the Moscow-Patriarchate or any other non-Ukrainian Orthodox group to establish a united Church. The Moscow-Patriarchate and others must be reminded that they are a guest in our Ukrainian Motherland," Metropolitan Stephan said.
"All Ukrainian Orthodox Churches who really are Ukrainian and don't just use the Ukrainian name," he added, "should make their way home to our Chief Shepherd, Patriarch Filaret, and our brother clergy during this exciting time in the Motherland's history to further one, united Ukrainian Orthodox Church in a nation that is truly free. It will be a great blessing when all Orthodoxy stands with our Chief Shepherd."