Russia will say or do anything to hurt Ukraine.
Now the Russian Orthodox Church is uttering inane reasons to prevent the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from escaping Russian clutches.
“Russian religious leaders see it as an attack on Orthodox unity.” Source: https://thebrunswicknews.com/ap/international/cleric-no-going-back-on-ukraine-split-from-russia-church/article_e4df0d1a-73d8-52f0-aea1-c781d444b280.html
The head of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, which has authority over this decision, has already indicated the final decision is all but done. There is no loss of “unity”, it is widely seen as yet another means by which Russia can hurt Ukraine.
Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church reached Istanbul today, to talk with the Eastern Orthodox’s head, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. One can only wonder what is being presented behind closed doors. My assumption is that if the Ecumenical Patriarch does not fold, Patriarch Kirill will play hardball and use the Russian government’s power to back his words. Shades of 1517 and the start of the Protestant reformation mixed with a colored revolution, backed up with nuclear weapons.
Russia is already setting the stage for undermining or casting doubt on Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s decision.
Russia’s Tass news agency, meanwhile, quoted Patriarch Kirill after the meeting with Bartholomew that “the organization of the Orthodox churches is such that not one church can make a decision that contradicts the position of the other churches.”
The decision should be released within the next month. Russia, however, will contest a decision for autonomy for the Ukraine church until the end of time… or until Putin leaves office, whichever comes first.
A much more negative article is here: Bartholomew I tells Russia’s Patriarch Kirill about plans to grant autocephaly to Ukrainian church . According to the article, Patriarch Kirill and his entourage immediately departed at the end of their meeting, declining dinner. They clearly had umbrage.
Cleric: ‘No going back’ on Ukraine split from Russia Church
By AYSE WIETING | Associated Press
ISTANBUL – A senior official in the Orthodox Church says “there’s no going backwards” in granting Ukrainian clerics full ecclesiastic independence from the Russian Orthodox Church to which they have been tied to for hundreds of years.
However, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, who is part of a committee dealing with the Ukrainian question, told The Associated Press that the final step of the procedure has yet to be reached.
His comments came as Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I welcomed Patriarch Kirill of Moscow in Istanbul on Friday.
Ukraine’s president has launched a campaign to persuade Bartholomew, seen by many as the first among equals of Orthodox leaders, to accept Ukraine’s request.
Ukrainian politicians see a declaration, known as a “Tomos of Autocephaly,” as a key step in consolidating their country’s national identity.
Russian religious leaders see it as an attack on Orthodox unity and are fighting to stop it.
“Today, the Ecumenical Patriarch repeated in person, in this meeting of the two primates, that the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is reached and we are not going backwards,” Emmanuel said. “So we are following this decision, we are implementing the decision.”
He added: “We have not reached the end of the procedure. The Tomos, which is the decision that is issued, is at the last stage of this implementation. But we have still some work to do and this is what the Ecumenical Patriarchate is coordinating.”
Earlier this week, The Associated Press reported on a Russian digital espionage campaign targeting Bartholomew’s top aides in the midst of the religious tussle between Kiev and Moscow over the religious future of Ukraine.
The AP found that the same hackers charged with intervening in the 2016 U.S. presidential election also spent years trying to eavesdrop on Bartholomew’s entourage.
The granting of the “Tomos of Autocephaly” would be a momentous step, eroding the power and prestige of the Moscow Patriarchate, which has positioned itself as a leading player within the global Orthodox community.
Russia’s Tass news agency, meanwhile, quoted Patriarch Kirill after the meeting with Bartholomew that “the organization of the Orthodox churches is such that not one church can make a decision that contradicts the position of the other churches. Therefore we are simply programmed for cooperation.”