On July 27, 2023, the Local Council of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which is the highest conciliar institution representing the fullness of the church: laity, monastics, clergy and bishops from all over Ukraine, was held in the historic spiritual heart of Ukrainian Orthodoxy, Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv. In particular, the Vinnytsia-Bar Diocese was represented by Metropolitan Symeon of Vinnytsia and Bar, Secretary of the Diocesan Administration Archdeacon Vladyslav Demchenko, Abbess Yelikonida (Voyevoda) and Victor Popelnyuk.
According to the Statute of our Church, the Local Council is convened by the Primate every five years. Since this year is the fifth since the previous Council, the Holy Synod and the Hierarchical Council decided to hold it on the eve of the 1035th anniversary of the Baptism of Ukraine-Rus', despite all the difficulties and dangers associated with the ongoing full-scale russian aggression.
Before the Council began, a Divine Liturgy was celebrated in The Refectory (Heated or Little Sophia) with the participation of the delegates.
The Local Council heard the Report of the OCU Primate, considered a number of topical issues in the life of the Church and approved the relevant decisions, including:
1. To approve the Resolution of the Hierarchical Council of the OCU on the calendar issue and finally approve the transition to the New Julian calendar from September 1 this year, while retaining the right to use the old (Julian) calendar for parishes and monasteries that wish to do so.
2. To approve the decisions taken by the Holy Synod of the UOC (OCU) and the Hierarchical Council of our Church since the Unification Council, reflected in the relevant synodal documents and conciliar resolutions, including judicial actions.
3. To testify to the desire and readiness of our Local Church to engage in a dialogue aimed at achieving the unity of Ukrainian Orthodoxy around the Kyivan Throne on the basis of the Tomos of Autocephaly and in accordance with the principles previously presented by the Hierarchical Council.
4. To support, as the Hierarchical Council has already done, the Primate of the OCU in the issue of the independence of the Church from external influences on church life and church administration.
5. To approve the Statute (Regulations) on the governance of the UOC (OCU) adopted by the Hierarchical Council.
The Council also adopted the Message to Pastors and the Declaration "On a Negative Attitude Toward the Sin of Sodomy (Homosexuality)."
Also, before the start of the Council's work, the act of canonization of Metropolitan of Kyiv Raphael (Zaborovsky), who was canonized by the decision of the Holy Synod in March 2023, took place.
Having considered all the items on the approved agenda, the Council successfully completed its work, which was attended by 161 conciliar delegates.
According to the press service of the Kyiv Metropolis of the UOC (OCU)
Press Service of the Vinnytsia-Bar Diocese of the UOC (OCU)