HELSINKI (Sputnik) – The Finnish Orthodox Church has not made any official statements on its position with regard to the autocephaly of the Orthodox church in Ukraine, the Finnish Orthodox Church spokesman told Sputnik on Thursday, thus refuting Kiev’s claims that the Finnish church had allegedly supported the Ukrainian church’s independence.
“The Finnish Orthodox Church has never made any official statements on whether or not it supports the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox church. The official position is that we are following the development of the situation and we are praying for the preservation of peace and the unity of the Church,” deacon Vladimir Sokratilin said.
The spokesman noted that the meeting between Poroshenko and Archbishop Leo was an unofficial closed meeting.
On Wednesday, the press service of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that during his meeting with the Finnish Orthodox Church primate, Archbishop Leo Makkonen, Poroshenko thanked his interlocutor with for the Finnish Orthodox Church’s support for the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
After the Russian Orthodox Church cut its ties with the Constantinople Patriarchate following the latter’s decision to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, that previously answered to Moscow, the Finnish Orthodox Church expressed regret over Russia’s move and said it hoped for the normalization of relations between all the involved parties.
Moscow Patriarchate Says No Support For Ukrainian Church Autonomy
The Russian Orthodox Church has qualified the Constantinople Patriarchate’s move to revoke the 1686 act transferring the Kiev archdiocese to the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate as canonically void.