A sample letter to Patriarch Bartholomew being circulated by e-mail reads as follows:
“I believe that it is time to recognize the Kyivan Patriarchate, with more than 15 million followers, as canonical and equal to the other Patriarchates of Local Churches. The currently recognized autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), notwithstanding its many fine clerics and faithful, is nothing more than the exarchate of a foreign Church and power on the sovereign territory of Ukraine.
“With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the announcement of an independent Ukraine marked a new beginning for Ukrainians worldwide. Ukrainians are now free to chart their own destiny as a sovereign European nation, without foreign influence. This independence should have extended to ecclesiastic life as well, in the form of an autocephalous Local Church headed by its own Patriarch.
“After twenty-two years of political independence, we are still caught in a stalemate in which neither Your All-Holiness nor the Patriarch of Moscow is prepared to recognize the Kyivan Patriarchate. There is a perception, based on published correspondence between your All-Holiness and the Patriarch of Moscow, that there is no urgency to resolve this problem and that a lack of resolution is indeed convenient.
“Respectfully, we have heard all the excuses why the Kyivan Patriarchate should not be recognized. Frankly, these excuses seem to be based upon political expediency and financial interest. We, as Ukrainians, would like this issue resolved in a timely manner for the benefit of all Ukrainian Orthodox, wherever they may be, and humbly ask Your All-Holiness for your intercession.
“Let our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s teachings guide your decisions. Support the freedom of God-loving Orthodox people of Ukraine!”
The letter is addressed to: His All-Holiness Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch, Rum Patrikhanesi, 342 20 Fener-HaliÁ, Istanbul, Turkey, Email: [email protected].
Copies may be obtained from Larissa Bayrachny [[email protected]].
BRUOC is also conducting an online petition entitled “Recognition of Kyivan Patrarchate in Ukraine is long overdue!”.
You can view this petition at: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/980/637/849/remove-the-moscow-patriarchate-from-ukraine/