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UOC archbishops decline invitations to unifying council
The archibishops of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) refuse to accept invitations to the so-called Unifying Council, RIA Novosti reports. It should take place tomorrow, December 15.
The bishops follow the example of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphrius of Kiev and All Ukraine, who return messages to Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew without an answer. 56 bishops have already sent the invitations back to Phanar, not counting those who initially refused to accept invitation letters.
Note, that the Patriarchate of Constantinople warned Metropolitan Onuphrius that he could lose his title as a result of the unifying council. At the same time, Bartholomew hinted that Onuphrius could retained the title, if he appeared at the unifying council and took part in the election of the head of the so-called united Ukrainian church. Russkiy Mir reported earlier, that The Holy Synod of the UOC has severed the Eucharistic communion with the Constantinople Patriarchate.
The Russian Orthodox Church previously stated that Bartholomew acted on political grounds.
The first page of the charter of the "new church" was published on the media earlier. It stated that the church would be headed by the metropolitan instead of the patriarch. Constantinople would also gain control of the monasteries. The New Church will need permission to canonize its saints and to receive anointment of chrismation.