I feel very hopeful about this road to unity. The hope is probably fueled by the happy achievement of unity between my own Church (Russian Church Abroad) and the Patriarchate of Moscow two years ago.
But the hardest point to discuss will be the varying expectations of each Church. I have bolded the words of the Kiev Patriarchate bishop which show where the difficulty will lie in the negotiations.
KYIV, September 11 /UKRINFORM/. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC KP) praises a decision of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to set up a working party to hold a dialogue between the two churches.
"This decision shows that the words of representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate about a desire to overcome schism in the Ukrainian Orthodoxy are gradually nearing to real doings, the Press Center of the Kyiv Patriarchate quotes head of the Information and Publishing Department of the Kyiv Patriarchate Bishop Vasylkivsky Evstratiy (Zorya).
The UOC KP Press Center suggests that the start of the dialogue could be very difficult, but it also could be fruitful. "Both we and UOC MP want that the Orthodox Church in Ukraine to unite. This goal - the unity of the church - serves a basis to launch the dialogue," he said. At the same time, the Bishop said that there are different approaches to achieve the goal. "We see this unity through unification into the local, i.e. autocephalous, church. And the UOC MP says the unity should be reached within the Moscow Patriarchate, and then autocephaly".
He also reported that the Kyiv Patriarchate will soon establish a similar working group.
As UKRINFORM reported, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is planning to start a dialogue with the UOC of Kyiv Patriarchate in order to resume unity in the Ukrainian Orthodoxy.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Holy Synod at the Pochayiv Lavra monastery on September 9, which was chaired by Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine Volodymyr (Sabodan).
The UOC press service said that a working group had been created and tasked to prepare for holding a dialogue with representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, which is considered among Orthodox believers as noncanonical.