Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
Since 2014 the Russian Federation has used its 325-year-old, and as Constantinople states, unlawful, dominance over the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to cause mayhem. After Crimea, the Ukrainians started lobbying Constantinople for “Autocephaly”, in plain English autonomy under which the Ukrainian Orthodox Church would be a peer to the Russian Orthodox Church, and have its own head, rather than be treated as a branch office of Russia’s church. The Russians, needless to say, played every which way they could to sabotage the Ukrainian effort, but it appears all they achieved was to not impress the remainder of the world of Orthodoxy – independence and autonomy have been central to the Orthodox Churches.
The reports from Ukraine, where a delegation from Constantinople delivered a message to coincide with the anniversary, suggest Russia’s game in the world of the ecclesiastical is rapidly unraveling.
This is yet another example of “Russian exceptionalism” – there is one set of rules for Russia and another for everybody else.
On the days of celebration of the 1030th anniversary of Christianization of Ukraine-Rus’, Petro Poroshenko met with delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate that arrived in Ukraine to participate in festivities on that occasion.
The Ukrainian Church is worthy to become equal with other independent and equal national churches, President Petro Poroshenko emphasizes. “The Orthodox community of Ukraine is one of the largest in the world and it cannot be an addition to anyone. It must become a star in the “constellation of independent and equal national Churches”, which, according to His All Holiness, is the Ecumenical Orthodox Church,” the Head of State stressed at the celebration of the 1030th anniversary of Christianization of Ukraine-Rus’. Petro Poroshenko reminded that the Ukrainian people joined the great Orthodox family in times of Vladimir the Great and has professed Christian values since then. “Over a thousand years ago, St. Vladimir made a fatal choice – he joined Christianity himself and baptized the country. Since then, our people have been consolidating around the spiritual ideals of justice, charity, love for the neighbor, goodness and truth,” he stated. At the same time, the baptism of Kyivan Rus contributed to the development of the state. The President noted: “Christian choice was simultaneously a European choice. And the defining part of the European idea is freedom, which, more than ten years ago, was emphasized by His All Holiness Bartholomew in his speech “The Role of Religion in the Evolution of Europe”. As soon as Ukraine’s independence was restored, its community and believers began “to build their own church with new energy”. “Already two months after the proclamation of independence, the Autocephalous Council of a still single UOC unanimously supported autocephaly … Including the votes of those bishops who are now stubbornly fighting against it, including at the order from Moscow,” the President underlined. “Before the eyes of the Patriarch, an independent Ukraine grew and strengthened. We restored our religious life after decades of atheistic persecution, fostered hope for an autocephalous church and built the necessary organizational structure for it,” the Head of State noted. Therefore, it is quite natural and clear that today secular and ecclesiastical authorities have appealed to Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to grant the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko emphasized.
At the celebration of the 1030th anniversary of Christianization of Ukraine-Rus’, representative of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Metropolitan of France Emmanuel emphasized that the Ecumenical Patriarch “will not leave his Ukrainian sons unprotected and abandoned”. “The Ecumenical Patriarch cannot remain blind and deaf to the appeals that have been repeated for more than a quarter of a century,” Metropolitan Emmanuel said. “Sons of the Ukrainian Church and its leaders have the right to their place among the Churches,” he added. “The Mother Church has already passed the ruling on April 20 this year. Namely – to begin the procedure for achieving the ultimate goal – to provide autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” representative of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew noted. He added that this became possible after the appeal of the Ukrainian authorities, the President of Ukraine, “which is the successor to the political structure of Kyivan Rus”. “We are sure that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is on your side. You will not be orphaned because the Mother Church will find a way to become involved in your progress, your success, your growth in the faith of Christ,” Metropolitan Emmanuel said. “We express our hope that our Lord will fill all your needs. May God bless you,” Metropolitan Emmanuel said and gave blessings to the Ukrainian people from the Ecumenical Patriarch. Metropolitan Emmanuel stressed that the Ecumenical Patriarchate “will not allow those who hate the truth to make their devilry here in Ukraine”.
The decision to grant the Tomos of Autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church should be approved by all the church canons, as stated by President Petro Poroshenko. “We are confident that now this decision must be made in strict accordance with the canons. Especially since His All Holiness is also known as a great specialist in the field of the canon law of the Eastern churches,” the Head of State said in a meeting with the delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which arrived in Kyiv to participate in the celebration of the 1030th anniversary of the baptism of Ukraine-Rus’. Petro Poroshenko noted that Ukraine was eagerly waiting for this visit and would like to greet the representatives of His All Holiness. “With the same impatience we, Your Eminence, are waiting for the Tomos. We are waiting for the decision of our Mother Church. We are waiting for the decision of the Synod,” the President said and once again expressed gratitude to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew “for the firmness shown by His All Holiness now towards Ukraine on behalf of the Mother Church”.
President: Millions of Ukrainians expect autocephaly of the Orthodox Church that will complete the consolidation of Ukraine’s independence and strengthen interconfessional peace — Official website of the President of Ukraine
President Petro Poroshenko stressed that millions of Ukrainians eagerly expect the earliest recognition of the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine – a large one in the number of believers, but equal to other autocephalous Orthodox churches. “Tomos of Autocephaly will complete the consolidation of independence of our state, strengthen religious freedom, interconfessional peace. It will strengthen the rights and freedoms of citizens… Especially those who are now out of communication with the universal Orthodoxy,” the Head of State stressed at the celebration of the 1030th anniversary of Christianization of Ukraine-Rus’. The Head of State reminded that since the first days of his presidency he had set the goal to seek the creation of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church and the recognition of this Church by the Ecumenical Patriarch. “Autocephaly is an issue of our independence. This is an issue of our national security. This is an issue of the entire world geopolitics. Army protects our land. Language protects our hearts. Faith protects our soul,” the President is convinced. The Head of State stressed that Ukraine had stopped the aggressor and preserved the state, built a combat-ready army and continued to strengthen the Ukrainian language as a component of power and success of the Ukrainian people. “I am convinced that it will become a liturgical language in the autocephalous church. We return the Ukrainian identity and equal place among the Orthodox churches in the world to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. And, by the way, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch emphasizes the protection of the identity of the Ukrainian people in his message to us,” the President said. The Head of State said: “Who can reasonably argue today that our Orthodox Church is ready for independent existence quantitatively and qualitatively?” Petro Poroshenko reminded that the Holy Writ says that we are not allowed to know the time and terms. “But I believe that the final decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate will be fair to Ukraine. Dear friends, the time of autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has definitely come,” the President emphasized.
One cannot stop the idea the time for which has come – President on granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
President Petro Poroshenko and his wife Maryna Poroshenko took part in the Cross Procession on the occasion of the 1030th anniversary of Christianization of Ukraine-Rus’.
The President stressed in particular:
The Ecumenical Patriarchate has said Moscow has no grounds for organizing celebrations of the anniversary of certain events that took place in Kyiv in the late 10th century. According to the reply of the Ecumenical Patriarch to Russia’s Patriarch Kirill, it will be in Kyiv where relevant celebrations will be held on the occasion of the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Kievan Rus.
Representative of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Metropolitan of France Emmanuel has said the Ecumenical Patriarch “will not leave his Ukrainian sons unprotected and abandoned.” Metropolitan Emmanuel stressed the Ecumenical Patriarchate “will not allow those who hate the truth to make their devilry here in Ukraine.”
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko asserts that the receipt of Tomos on autocephaly by Ukraine will complete the assertion of its independence. Such a statement the head of the Ukrainian state made during events on the celebration of the 1030th anniversary of the baptism of Kievan Rus – Ukraine. “Tomos on autocephaly will complete the assertion of independence of our state, strengthen religious freedom, interfaith peace, and the rights and freedoms of citizens, especially those who are now out of communion with the universal Orthodoxy,” Poroshenko said. The President stressed that autocephaly is a matter of Ukrainian independence, the issue of Ukrainian national security and the issue of the whole world geopolitics. Let us note that yesterday the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew confirmed the intention to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. On April 19 Verkhovna Rada with 268 votes of people’s deputies supported the appeal of the President of Ukraine to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to provide a tomos about the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Later it became known that the Ecumenical Patriarchate was beginning consultations with sister churches on the issue of granting autocephaly to the UOC. Note that since the early 90’s in Ukraine there are several jurisdictions that call themselves Orthodox local and autocephalous churches. The canonical status is held by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Bessarabian Metropolitanate of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate is canonically unrecognized. In addition, Ukraine also has an unrecognized Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC).
First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Serhiy Yaroviy says about 65,000 people are taking part in the religious procession for a local Orthodox church. Some 2,500 law enforcement officers are protecting law and order during the religious procession.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I says that granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian church is seen as the ultimate goal. Poroshenko met with delegates of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the days of the 1030th anniversary of Christianization of Ukraine-Rus.
At least 250,000 people took part in the Cross Procession in Kyiv downtown on Friday, July 27, as the Information Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reported. The procession started on Vladimir Hill, then the participants headed towards Pechersk Lavra through Hrushevskyi Street. An all-night vigil is to be carried out there. The participants prayed for all the victims of the Euromaidan near the memorial cross on Hrushevskyi Street.
Tens of thousands of followers of the Russian Orthodox church in Ukraine held a cross-bearing procession in Kyiv. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, which led the annual march on July 27, says it wants to promote Ukraine’s ties with Russia. The event was held under tight security following previous threats of violence from Ukrainian nationalist groups, who support the rival Kyiv-based Orthodox patriarchate. They see the procession as a provocation by Moscow. Another procession will be held on July 28 by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate, which says it wants to promote Ukrainian national unity. Both events mark the conversion of Kyivan Rus, the forerunner of modern Russia, to Christianity.
Thousands of people in Ukraine took part on July 27 in a Moscow-backed religious march through central Kyiv to mark the 1,030th anniversary of country’s adoption of Christianity.
On July 28, the ceremonial events on the occasion of the 1030th anniversary of the conversion of the Kyivan Rus-Ukraine to Christianity are held in Kyiv with the participation of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said the Ukrainian Church is worthy to become equal with other independent and equal national churches. As soon as Ukraine’s independence was restored, its community and believers began “to build their own church with new energy”.
Celebrations of 1030th anniversary of Baptism of Kievan Rus. UNIAN pictures
Thousands of Orthodox Christian believers marched and chanted through the streets of Moscow, Kyiv, and other cities, marking the 1,030th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity in the region.
Opposition Bloc members. UNIAN pictures
The Ministry of State Security of the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) banned the activities of the All-Ukrainian Union of Churches of …