Archbishop Mytrofan (Yurchuk), the administrator of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), named the reason why the seal of the head of UOC, Metropolitan Volodymyr, is kept by Metropolitan Ahafanhel of Odesa, reported Religion in Ukraine.
In answer to the question about the legitimacy of approval of church documents by Metropolitan Ahafanhel, Bishop Mytrofan said that the seal is kept by Metropolitan Ahafanhel “in order to ensure that the seal is in safe hands and is not used for any other purposes.”
The archbishop did not bother to explain why the seal should be kept in Odesa and not in Kyiv and why it should be kept by Metropolitan Ahafanhel and not the head of the UOC-MP, the administrator of the UOC or the Primate’s secretary.
According to a report of religion.in.ua, the administrator of the office of the Kyivan Metropolitanate of the UOC, Archimandrite Arkadii (Demchenko), recently visited Metropolitan Ahafanhel in Odesa. However, he refused to give back the seal. The metropolitan explained that he accepted the seal of Metropolitan Volodymyr for storage at the session of the Synod and will return it at a session of the Synod.
But it is not known whether Metropolitan Ahafanhel intends to give the seal back at the next session. According to the report, the keeping of the seal by the Metropolitan of Odesa is not authorized by any church documents except the tacit agreement of the members of the Synod.