Odessa Metropolitan calls upon the Ukrainian authorities not to interfere in the Affairs of the Church

*** The UOC has long received the Tomos and its administrative centre is located in Kiev

Moscow. August 30. INTERFAX – Former member of Parliament Metropolitan of Odessa and Izmail Agafangel believes that the state should not interfere in the internal Affairs of the Church.

“It is important to understand that Church and state are different in nature and in its aims and objectives. When disturbed the delicate balance, and state rulers are being flagrantly violated the norms of Constitution and international law when it interferes with Church Affairs, trying to impose their vision and their will, it always brings a lot of problems, there are conflicts in this important area of faith and freedom of conscience,” said Bishop in an interview to Ukrainian journalists on the eve of his 80th birthday.

According to him, it must be remembered that “the Church Is a Kingdom not of this world, it is set not by the leader or ruler, the head of the Church is God Himself, the Church can only be Christ, who goes against the Church goes against God”.

The relationship of Church and state, according to the Metropolitan Agafangel, the former at the time a member of Parliament should be built on a “Foundation of law”.

“Nobody has the right to destroy this Foundation and to trample the right to freedom of conscience and religion, without any proof blaming the citizens of the state in contrived crimes, and interfere in the inner structure and canonical Foundation of the Church, because it always leads to disastrous consequences,” – said the head of the Odessa Archdiocese.

He noted that religious conflicts and wars – the most terrible. “Current events in the middle East – evidence of this. And God forbid this happen again in Ukraine!” – said the Metropolitan.

So, he says, “let everyone do their job: Parliament adopts laws, which are designed to improve the welfare of the people, the government embodies the principles in life, the army protects the state security, the police struggling with the offenders, and let the Church prays, “o God-protected country of ours, civil authorities, army and people of her” and evidence of the eternal moral principles of our people,” said the Metropolitan.

He regrets that in Ukraine there are people who are talking about independent Churches about the so-called Tomos, but I don’t know and don’t want to hear that independence is already present in the control system of the UOC.

“We have a 1990 Tomos (a decree of Patriarch Alexy II – if), on self-government, that the administrative center of our Church is in Kiev. This is what we testified with Ukrainian bishops during a recent visit to Istanbul, the Ecumenical Patriarch,” concluded the Church leader.

The full interview, see Ukraine the Orthodox”.