Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
It would appear Russia has indeed crashed and burned on this front, despite years of effort at immense expense. At the root of Russia’s folly is a failure to understand and respect the separation of church and state. When Europe was going through its protracted reformation, Ivan the Terrible was organizing his oprichnina and ransacking the churches of Novgorod.
Ukraine, unlike Russia, is a deeply religious nation, and probably the most religious in the Orthodox world, with church engagement by the public comparable to Poland, Ireland, Italy, Spain and other mainstays of the Catholic faith in Europe.
The comments by Archbishop Job Getcha of the Constantinople Patriarchate are priceless – how very Russian.
Archbishop Job Getcha of the Constantinople Patriarchate made a remark on the reports about “an attempt to poison the Patriarch Bartholomew” during the talks with the delegation of Russia’s Patriarch Kirill. “Stupid fake news. The servant giving drinks is a worker of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. We, at the Ecumenical Patriarchate, do not allow guests to do the service. Greek hospitality forbids!,” the Archbishop, a Canadian with Ukrainian roots, who was the official spokesman of the All-Orthodox Council in 2016, commented on Facebook, according to Yevstratii Zorya of the Chernihiv Diocese chief at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate. He now represents the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the World Council of Churches. At the same time, Yevstratii Zorya noted that the real attention in the video in question, released by the Ukrainian Local Orthodox Church Facebook community, should be paid to the moment where the Russian security guard points to Patriarch Kirill the glass he should take that has apparently been checked. “That is, the Muscovites really believe that their patriarch could be poisoned in the Ecumenical Patriarchate,” the cleric wrote. The detail, which well demonstrated the price of Moscow’s verbal assurance in ‘happy brotherly feelings’ the meeting has left. [Patriarch Kirill’s] 15 guards, too.” As UNIAN reported earlier, on September 2 meetings (Synaxis) were held of the Hierarchy of the Ecumenical Throne Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey, to consider the question whether the Church of Constantinople is authorized, without the consent of other churches, to grant autonomy, or autocephaly, to a church that has requested it. Following the meetings, the answer was positive: “Yes, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is authorized to grant autocephaly without any consent [from other churches].”
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…
Hierarchs on September 2 held meetings (Synaxis) of the Hierarchy of the Ecumenical Throne Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey, to consider the question whether the Church of Constantinople is authorized, without the consent of other churches, to grant autonomy, or autocephaly, to a church that has requested it. Following the meetings, the answer was positive: “Yes, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is authorized to grant autocephaly without any consent [from other churches],” the Ukrainian news outlet Hromadske said. Prior to that, the Ecumenical Patriarch recalled Moscow’s arbitrariness towards the Kyiv Metropolitanate, listing such examples in detail starting from the 15th century. “Moscow for many centuries has controlled the Kyiv Metropolitanate, the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, without the consent of Constantinople,” the Archbishop of Constantinople said. On September 1, the hierarchs who arrived in Istanbul marked the beginning of the ecclesiastical year (the Orthodox churches start a new year on September 1). The Synaxis in Istanbul started on September 1 and will last until September 3. Providing autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was on its agenda on September 2. With support from most of the hierarchs, there should be no procedural obstacles to granting Tomos to Kyiv. It is expected that after consultations with the bishops from around the world, the Patriarchate of Constantinople can finally determine the timing for providing Tomos, a charter that will declare a local, independent Orthodox church in Ukraine. Autocephaly is the status of a hierarchical Christian Church whose head bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop (used especially in Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Independent Catholic churches). Autocephaly opens the way for the creation of a united Orthodox church in Ukraine, which will not be subordinate to Moscow. After the Synaxis, there will be another meeting, the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarch, where the decision to provide Tomos and the entire procedure are to be approved. After that, Ukraine will see a merger of Ukrainian churches into one, local church as a legal entity. Experts estimate that it is a matter of several months. Also, the Synod should consider an appeal against the imposition of anathema by Moscow on Patriarch Filaret, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate. The split between the Moscow and Kyiv branches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church happened during the collapse of the Soviet Union, when Ukraine’s Primate Filaret broke with the Russian Orthodox Church. He argued that an independent Ukraine deserved a national church truly independent of Moscow. The Moscow Patriarchate whose parishes prevail in Ukraine has never recognized the Ukrainian Patriarchate.
“By the way, taking into account yesterday’s decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Lord is with us as well, because yesterday the decision was made about the right of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to provide all states and, in the first place, Ukraine, with the right to establish the Autocephalous Orthodox Ukrainian Church without Moscow’s opinion”. It was stated by President Petro Poroshenko during the solemn events on the occasion of the start of the new 2018/2019 school year in “Scientific Change” Lyceum. The Head of State noted that the process had been started three years ago and became public in April after the President’s appeal and support of this appeal by the Verkhovna Rada, regional councils, and also after the appeal of the hierarchs of the Orthodox churches to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch. The President believes an independent Orthodox Church is one of the important elements of an independent state.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says the Ecumenical Patriarchate has recognized itself competent to grant autocephaly [church’s ecclesiastical independence] without agreeing the issue with other churches, thus Ukraine has the right to establish its own Local Orthodox Church. “The Ecumenical Patriarchate has adopted a decision on the right of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to grant to any states the right to establish a Local Church without Moscow’s consent. And first of all, Ukraine is given the right to establish a Local Orthodox Ukrainian Church,” Poroshenko wrote on Twitter. As UNIAN reported earlier, at a meeting with leaders of parliamentary factions April 17, Petro Poroshenko announced that he and the hierarchs of the UOC of the Kyiv Patriarchate and Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church decided to officially address Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I with a request to grant autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, and called for the parliament to support the appeal. Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/society/10246536-ukraine-church-could-be-granted-autocephaly-without-moscow-s-consent-poroshenko.html
The Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Church, Bartholomew I of Constantinople, has decided to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, according to a Greek church site, giving a major victory to Kyiv and inflicting an even larger geopolitical defeat on the Moscow Patriarchate and the Kremlin. Archbishop Yevstraty Zorya, the press secretary of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, citing the Greek outlet Orthodoxia.info, says that Bartholomew informed Moscow Patriarch Kirill about his decision during the latter’s recent visit to Constantinople.
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.”
Among the external factors opposing the receipt by the Orthodox Ukrainians of Tomos from the Patriarch of Constantinople, it’s the Russian factor that dominates above others. It consists of religious and secular components (the division into which, however, is conditional in present-day Russia).In the international arena, Moscow continues to oppose the recognition of Ukrainian autocephaly, actively involving not only the clerics of the Russian Orthodox Church, but also its diplomatic corps. This is especially noticeable in countries with their own Orthodox autocephalous churches. It is about the attempts to convince the local religious and secular (primarily – political) establishment in the inexpediency and future threats of such developments. Various ways are used to find incentives for officials, including authoritative church hierarchies and to influence the process in order to prevent the recognition of Ukrainian Orthodox autocephaly, LB.ua reports. Lb.ua explains the narratives the Russian propaganda uses in countering Ukraine’s efforts and goes on to debunk them all.
Perhaps few in Ukraine in the summer of 2018 need an explanation of what is a Tomos. Today it is almost a meme, of which, however, no average Ukrainians were aware just a couple of years ago. This is a historic act granting Ukraine and its Orthodox believers a legitimate canonical right to break away from Moscow’s suffocating embrace.
Article by: Aleksandr Morozov, Russian journalist, political commentator The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has reached an important milestone. Not only is Constantinople’s promise to grant the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church decisive for Ukraine, but it is also important for Europe as a whole. When Russia annexed Crimea and invaded the Donbas in 2014, it was clear that it was only a matter of time before the issue of an independent Orthodox Church in Ukraine would once again be on the agenda. And so it is… In April, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople officially accepted the appeal to grant the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, a document that would allow a significant part of Ukrainian Orthodox faithful and churches to quit the Moscow Patriarchate and become one of the legitimate Local (Autocephalous) Churches. Previously, the Ecumenical Patriarchate was not very willing to make a clear statement on the future of an independent Orthodox Church in Ukraine. However, Patriarch Bartholomew has publicly confirmed that work on the Tomos is underway. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Orthodox parishes in Ukraine were divided into three groups. Initially, most of the parishes belonged to the Moscow Patriarchate; a few parishes joined the Kyiv Patriarchate led by Metropolitan Filaret, and the smallest group called itself the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church. Today, the number of faithful and parishes belonging to the Kyiv Patriarchate and supporters of autocephaly far outnumbers the number of pro-Moscow parishioners. Moscow has not recognized Metropolitan Filaret to this very day. We are currently caught up in an active phase of negotiations and controversy. Will Patriarch Bartholomew receive the support of the other leaders of Local Churches – there are 15 of them – in order to decide on the creation of an autocephalous church in Ukraine even if Moscow is against it? Such a decision seemed virtually impossible before. Moreover, even among the Orthodox parishes in Ukraine there never used to be a strong movement toward autocephaly. But, the historical situation has changed. Everyone understands this, both in Kyiv and in Moscow, as well as at the headquarters of the other eastern churches. Aleksandr Morozov, Russian journalist, political commentator Aleksandr Morozov, Russian journalist, political commentator