In the interview to publicist Yevgeny Kiseliov chief of the Kyiv Patriarchate told about how he would have addressed the issue of autocephaly for the UOC if he had been elected patriarch instead of Alexy II. The interview was broadcast on channel ”Priamyi”.
Kiseliov reminded the head of the UOC-KP that in the spring of 1989, when the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Pimen died, it was Filaret who was appointed locum tenens and head of the funeral commission.
"In those days it was like this: who leads the funeral commission of the Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Communist Party was to become the next secretary general," Kiseliov said. "Whoever is in charge of the funeral of the patriarch was the next patriarch." If you had become Patriarch, how would you have reacted to the strive of the UOC to gain independence from the Moscow Patriarchate?
"At that time I was praying and I wanted God's will to be fulfilled on me," Filaret answered. "If God wanted me to become the Moscow Patriarch, I was ready to bear this cross." Patriarchal service is a heavy cross. But it was not in the plans of God. Therefore, I quietly delegated without any anxiety the rights as locum tenens to the Patriarch elected. And I do not regret it."
Kiseliov found this answer incomplete and once again said, "But if you did become Patriarch, how would you react to the strive of the UOC to gain independence?"
"Now I cannot say how," replied Filaret. "But I would have acted in truth." And the truth would be for Ukraine, because it became an independent state. And when Patriarch Alexy was being elected, Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union. So the Lord was preparing another cross for me."
Recall that in the late 80-ies of the last century, the then Metropolitan of Kiev Filaret was dead-set against an autocephalous movement and condemned schismatic movements. After the defeat at the election of the Primate of the ROC he made a U-turn concerning his ideological position.