Maryna Bahrova, a member of the Board of the Institute of National Policy International Union, believes that the presence of the lay people can be proof of commitment and support for spiritual guidance. The presence also plays an important role from a political point of view, as it helps to confirm the legitimacy of the Synod.
“The lay people, along with bishops and clergymen, have the right to take part in the Unity Synod. In this event, the lay people will mainly act as supporters of the association of Orthodox churches and a support group for their spiritual guidance. From a political point of view, this factor will confirm and strengthen the legitimacy of the Synod. The United Synod with the participation of a wide range of lay people will have a serious informational effect, which will increase the positive image of not only the authorities but also of the newly formed United Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Citizens of Ukraine wanted to have a canonical Orthodox Church that is in line with the national interests of the country, and they received it – that is the massage of Ukrainian power to the world community as a whole and to the rest of the Orthodox world,” Maryna Bahrova emphasized.
“The appropriateness of the presence of the head of state on the United Orthodox Synod is determined by the fact that, according to the canons of the Orthodox Church, the Orthodox Church cannot obtain a canonical status without the consent of the national authorities, in contrast, for example, with the Roman Catholic Church, whose capital is the Vatican – a separate state that was specially created for the management of the church, which we don’t have in Orthodox Christianity. Therefore, according to the canons of Orthodox Christianity, the president must take part in the unity Synod,” was mentioned in the comment.