The Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) is not a participant in the political struggle and is not controlled by any political force, its leader, Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Rus, has said, denying reports about the OCU leadership's dependence on political leaders.
"For years, the structure of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine has been built on this false model of shadow control. Derkach, Novynskyy, Medvedchuk and other similar figures considered themselves to be members of a 'joint-stock company', deciding all key issues behind the backs of 'hired managers' in cassocks. This model has largely contributed to the current public disaster of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine.
Following the principle of hanging the blame on someone else, our opponents are persistently trying to discredit the Orthodox Church of Ukraine by imposing the image of the 'church of Petro Poroshenko' on it. In the same way, they once tried to present the Kyiv Patriarchate as the 'church of Kravchuk' - allegedly an exclusively party political project that works only for the image of one person," Epifaniy said.
He dismissed the allegations that Petro Poroshenko has influence on the OCU false gossip.
"Neither Petro Poroshenko nor any other politician, regardless of whether he represents the government or the opposition, plays any exceptional role in the life of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine that would give anyone reason to associate our Local Church with these names in this context," Metropolitan Epifaniy said.
He stated that false information is being spread through various channels that the leadership of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the Primate personally are allegedly controlled and directed in their actions by someone.
"Such statements are outright lies and dirty slander. None, I emphasise - none of the Ukrainian politicians had and have no control over the position and decisions of the Church," the Metropolitan added.