Dear UOCC members and members of BRUOC,
On the contentious issue of the appointment of Bishops, E. Harasymiw in his "Reflections..." (p. 3) writes that the Charter states in s.9[c] that, as a temporal matter, the UOCC By-laws may regulate the appointment of Bishops, which has been the case since 1929. But the recently amended By-laws state that such appointments can ONLY take place with Patriarchal approval. This By-law thus contradicts the Charter and is a violation of the 1990 Sobor resolution. That is the reason for the hang-up on the naming of the Bishop.
On Church canons, the very first section of the Charter includes the spiritual declaration of the Church. E. Harasymiw writes: "There is nothing in the Charter to indicate that the Church canons are the prerogative of an outside authority." (p. 4) It is the UOCC that is the interpreter of the canons, according to the Charter, not the EP. The UOCC remains canonical if it abides by its own spiritual declaration "that its faith and dogma are the same as that of the various already existing Greek Orthodox Churches, and adheres to the faith and dogma adopted by the First Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Christian Church." What the EP has offered is the political Kanonicity of a club that is managed by Moscow.
On Church jurisdiction, Harasymiw writes that nowhere in the Charter is there a hint that there can be any subservience to a jurisdiction that is subject to the EP.
The issue of subservience to the EP and Moscow (that cast the anathema) has been clearly pointed out by the shunning of the visitor as ordered by the Metropolitan's Decree, yet as mentioned, the canons are the prerogative of the UOCC only, not the prerogative of any outside body, so it is the Metropolitan that must take full responsibility for the Decree. Did the Metropolitan not say that he also has "directors" above him?
In 23 years, has anyone in the Consistory done anything to rectify the anomalies between the Charter and the By-laws? Why was the By-law Committee allowed to push these through? The issue must be challenged in court by the BRUOC as a query for proper determination and resolution. What better time is there to challenge the UOCC than now, just before the NW local embroglio and the signing of the partnership with Europe, that is a rejection of Moscow and the EP.
It is indeed ironic and shameful, that at this time, when all Ukrainians should be joining forces, the EP is advising the UOCC members to submit to the will of Moscow in his "Message" to the devout Ukrainians and this "Message" is printed in the Church Herald. The EP is not a friend of the UOCC but is the servant of Moscow.