Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
The BBC interview with Archbishop Job is a fascinating read, as it explains the reasoning behind recent developments (translation below). The Archbishop points out that Russia’s rejection of the authority of Constantinople to provide individual churches with autonomy is also the rejection of the very same authority that allowed the Russian church to be autonomous, and suggests this could lead to Russia’s autonomy being revoked altogether, as Prof Goble points out.
Ultimately, if the Russian church continues down its current track, it could lose its authority to be an autonomous church, with authority to appoint bishops reverting to Constantinople. This would parallel the Russian state’s choice to go rogue, rejecting common values shared by other nations. The pessimistic conclusion is that Russia will go rogue in every way in which it can go rogue, as going rogue is the only way to avoid accountability for breaking agreed rules and conventions of nation state conduct.
There is a lot of media coverage of Pres Poroshenko’s visit. Also a nice backgrounder on the early nation building efforts of Constantinople’s emissaries in the ninth century, who spread both the gospel, but also literacy in then tribal societies across the Slavic speaking world.
|Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Could Be Stripped of Autocephaly and Belarus Could Gain that Status, Constantinople Says
Paul Goble Staunton, November 2 – If Moscow continues to interfere with the march of Ukraine’s Orthodox to autocephaly, it could lose not only its church in Ukraine – there is no Russian church there now legitimately, a representative of the Universal Patriarchate says – but even have its own autocephaly taken away and watch as Belarus gains autocephaly as well. In an interview to BBC’s Ukrainian service, Archbishop Iov of the Universal Patriarchate in Constantinople, says that the Moscow Patriarchate, having lost its position in Ukraine, could easily lose more if it continues to interfere and refuses to accept the decision on autocephaly for Ukraine that only Constantinople is entitled to make. If it does not stop and does not accept the inevitability of Ukrainian autocephaly, Iov continues, Constantinople will have to consider other steps, including even the possibility of stripping Moscow itself of the autocephaly Constantinople gave it in the first place (http://bbc.com/ukrainian/features-46069420 in Ukrainian;http://nv.ua/world/geopolitics/konstantinopol-rpts-dolzhna-vernutsja-k-edineniju-so-vselenskim-prestolom-inache-primem-opredelennye-reshenija-2504540.html in Russian; cf. http://actualcomment.ru/konstantinopol-ugrozhaet-rpts-otzyvom-avtokefalii-1811021627.html). “We hope that Russia will reflect upon this and return to unity with the Universal throne for the Universal throne does not want to break relations with it. But if this situation will continue for a long time, of course, the Universal throne will be forced to take definite decisions in order to guarantee the unity of the church,” Iov says. Taking autocephaly away from Moscow would be a “nuclear option” and it very unlikely; but Constantinople has the power to take that step. More immediately, Iov pointed out, it has the option of granting autocephaly not only to Ukraine but also to Orthodoxy in Belarus, something that would further limit Moscow’s influence especially now that it has lost Ukraine. Moscow is clearly losing this church battle, something that will have serious consequences for Patriarch Kirill in the first instance – he could even be forced from office – but also for his church and for the Russian state it serves. Constantinople isn’t intimidated, and Moscow religious and secular has to decide just how far it will go given that the stakes against it are becoming so large.
The recent decision of the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate overturned the jurisdiction of the Russian Church over the Ukrainian bishops, so now all the Orthodox bishops of Ukraine are considered servants of the Ecumenical Council, regardless of which of the three churches they belonged to, and should wait for the directives of Constantinople for their further actions, they consider Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. In the near future, the Ecumenical Patriarchate will convene the Unity Council, which will create a church called “Orthodox Church in Ukraine” – it will receive the tomos of autocephaly (the letter of independence) from Constantinople and become the only canonical church in the state.All Orthodox bishops who visit Ukraine will receive an invitation to participate in this council, regardless of which church they belonged to earlier.The Archbishop of Telmiskiy Iowa (Hecha), an archbishop of Telmisiy Iowa (Hecha), spoke about the position of Constantinople regarding the current situation of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine and its future organisation, an influential bishop of the Church of Constantinople, a representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the World Council of Churches, the doctor of theology, who has long and deeply engaged in Ukrainian issues. Despite the fact that Bishop Iowa does not dare to predict the exact date of publication of the “Ukrainian Tomas”, in his opinion, gaining independence with the Ukrainian church will not lead either to a split in the world Orthodoxy or to an outbreak of religious tension in Ukraine.He calls on his “brothers” from the Russian Church to return to unity with the Ecumenical Patriarchate and cease to threaten the split in Orthodoxy. Archbishop Job, an accused at the address of Constantinople in the split and “Eastern papisty”, which are now being sung from Moscow, is considered ungrounded and based on ignorance of the church canons. …. From the canonical point of view, this means that today in Ukraine, the UOC-MP no longer exists. All the bishops now in Ukraine, according to this decision, are de facto the bishops of the Ecumenical Council, and they now have to wait for the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s directives for their further functioning. Archbishop Job.
Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin has said that the withdrawal of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Russian Orthodoxy to the Ecumenical Church would be a positive for the world church community and for the Russian church. “The words of His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew addressed to us: “Feel at home here!” Not like at home, but at home. We are leaving the Russian Orthodoxy and return to the Ecumenical one. And this will have a positive future for us, for the world church community and even for the Russian Church,” Klimkin wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) Filaret has said he will appeal to the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, with a request to pass a law on a single local church in Ukraine, as well as to rename the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate into the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine. The official name of an independent church will be the “Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” but it also will be known as the “Kyiv Patriarchate,” Filaret said. Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) Filaret has said he will appeal to the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, with a request to pass a law on a single local church in Ukraine, as well as to rename the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate into the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine. “We will be striving to have a single Orthodox Church in Ukraine and to make sure that the Russian [Orthodox] Church is not hiding under the Ukrainian name while, in essence, it is Russian,” he said in an exclusive interview to Radio Liberty.
Ukraine is thankful to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for the decision to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. “I am very grateful to His All-Holiness on behalf of the Ukrainian people. I am very grateful to the Synod, to all the hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for an extremely important and wise decision to open the doors of the Church and the way to God for the Ukrainian nation,” Petro Poroshenko said after the meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew and signing the Agreement on the creation of an independent Ukrainian Church. The President reminded that the beginning of the final stage of the provision of the Tomos to Ukraine was his meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew in the spring of this year. “Immediately after Easter, on April 9, we met with His All-Holiness in this room and agreed that we are entering the final stage in the provision of autocephaly to Ukraine and the creation of an autocephalous Orthodox Church,” he stated. “A lot has been done. It was my appeal to His All-Holiness, which was supported by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, regional councils, a large number of Ukrainians,” the Head of State added. He also noted that an appeal to His All-Holiness regarding the decision to provide the Tomos was supported by all bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and some bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate. “They made a request for the adoption of the long-awaited decision on autocephaly by the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Ukrainians have been waiting for this for 1030 years,” the President said. The Ecumenical Patriarch expressed conviction that the decision on autocephaly would lead to the unity of all Orthodox in Ukraine, as they have been in separation for 30 years already. “The new autocephalous Church will unite all the Orthodox believers in Ukraine. And this new church will enter the family of Orthodox churches. And we will all work together for the good of our believers and for the glory of God’s name,” he said. Patriarch Bartholomew thanked President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and the Ukrainian delegation for the visit. He also thanked for the decision to transfer the St Andrew’s Church to the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the permanent representation of the Mother Church in the capital of Ukraine. “I pray to the Lord that in the near future I will visit your beautiful and hospitable country once again,” His All-Holiness noted. The Ecumenical Patriarch also conveyed blessings to the Ukrainian people through the President of Ukraine as the elected representative of the Ukrainian people.
UATV English Published on Nov 3, 2018 This step completes the process of receiving Tomos – a document granting independence. In a meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, President Petro Poroshenko said that today is a historic day.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew signed an agreement on November 3 in Istanbul, outlining cooperation between Kyiv and the Patriarchate of Constantinople that paves the way for the establishment of an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church, a plan that has angered Moscow.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew have signed an agreement on cooperation and interaction between Kyiv and the Patriarchate of Constantinople that paves the way for the establishment of an independent Ukrainian church, a plan which has angered Moscow.
Ukrainian president, Patriarch Bartholomew sign cooperation agreement. Political – LB.ua news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today
In many ways, Eastern Europe owes its cultural and religious shape to the two missionary brothers, Saint Cyril (827-869 AD) and Saint Methodius (826-884 AD).
|Constantinople: Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine no longer exists
Sviatoslav Khomenko, Michael DenisovBBC
· November 2, 2018
The recent decision of the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate overturned the jurisdiction of the Russian Church over the Ukrainian bishops, so now all the Orthodox bishops of Ukraine are considered servants of the Ecumenical Council, regardless of which of the three churches they belonged to, and should wait for the directives of Constantinople for their further actions, they consider Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
In the near future, the Ecumenical Patriarchate will convene the Unity Council, which will create a church called “Orthodox Church in Ukraine” – it will receive the tomos of autocephaly (the letter of independence) from Constantinople and become the only canonical church in the state.
All Orthodox bishops who visit Ukraine will receive an invitation to participate in this council, regardless of which church they belonged to earlier.
The Archbishop of Telmiskiy Iowa (Hecha), an archbishop of Telmisiy Iov [Job] (Hecha), spoke about the position of Constantinople regarding the current situation of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine and its future organisation, an influential bishop of the Church of Constantinople, a representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the World Council of Churches, the doctor of theology, who has long and deeply engaged in Ukrainian issues.
Despite the fact that Bishop Iowa does not dare to predict the exact date of publication of the “Ukrainian Tomas”, in his opinion, gaining independence with the Ukrainian church will not lead either to a split in the world Orthodoxy or to an outbreak of religious tension in Ukraine.
He calls on his “brothers” from the Russian Church to return to unity with the Ecumenical Patriarchate and cease to threaten the split in Orthodoxy. Archbishop Job, an accused at the address of Constantinople in the split and “Eastern papisty”, which are now being sung from Moscow, is considered ungrounded and based on ignorance of the church canons.
“For Constantinople, the Ukrainian question is not new, it did not arise the day before. Every president of Ukraine, in addition to Viktor Yanukovich, came to Phanar (to the Istanbul residence of the Patriarch of Constantinople) and asked about autocephaly,” says Archbishop Job, when we enter the temple of the Apostle Paul at Orthodox Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambes.
In this town under Geneva in the 60s of the last century, Constantinople set up its educational and ecumenical center.
Image captionIn the town of Chambézi near Geneva in the 60’s of the last century, Constantinople set up its educational and ecumenical center
It is here, says Bishop Iov, in this temple, the Moscow Patriarch Cyril in January 2016 solemnly promised to take part in the All-Orthodox Cathedral, which was scheduled for the summer of the same year. In the end, the Russian church did not send its delegation to the first cathedral for more than a thousand years. And the next time, the Moscow and Ecumenical Patriarchs met personally on the last day of summer 2018 in Istanbul, and the main topic of the conversation of the predecessors was autocephaly for the Ukrainian church.
Archbishop Iowa is one of the greatest experts in the Constantinople Patriarchate on the Ukrainian question. Ukrainian of origin, born in Canada, he has visited more than once in Kiev, conducted talks with political and church figures in Ukraine.
In the end, he personally attended Petro Poroshenko’s meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew in April of this year, after which the president of Ukraine publicly stated that autocephaly for Ukrainian Orthodoxy is “as near as never before.”
Now that the process of overcoming the split in the Ukrainian Orthodoxy, according to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, has come to the final straight, the organisation has questioned Bishop Job about exactly how Constantinople made a decision that could become a breakthrough for world Orthodoxy, and what to expect from this process further.
Full text of the interview ” Interview with Archbishop Job follow this link .
How it all started
Image captionAccording to Archbishop Job, the idea of granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian church of Constantinople has been underway for more than one year
Despite the fact that Constantinople has been studying the situation in Ukraine for decades, the Ecumenical Throne took an active part in the autocephaly issue in 2016, says Archbishop Iov.
Several factors contributed to this.
In June 2016, a few days before the opening of the Pan-Orthodox Cathedral in Crete, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted an appeal to Patriarch Bartholomew with a request for autocephaly.
“After the events of 2014, Ukraine will never be neither a political nor a church colony of Russia. As the state of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine shows, it has long been, according to all due criteria, prepared for the status of a local autocephalous church,” the document said.
“Every MP is a voice of the people, and when the Verkhovna Rada has appealed to the Ecumenical Patriarchate with a majority of votes to request autocephaly, this means that most of the Ukrainian people have asked for this,” says Archbishop Iov.
However, he continues, the most influence on the decision of Constantinople to intensify efforts on the Ukrainian direction is another factor.
Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage captionThe decisive factor in deciding on autocephaly has been the war and the continuing suffering of many people, noted in Constantinople
“There are many people in Ukraine who have suffered and suffer from the war in the Donbass. Many people are politically motivated, because of the aggression they feel in Ukraine from Russia, and because of the policy of the Russian Orthodox Church, they do not find a place in The church of the Moscow Patriarchate was written by people who said: we can no longer, our conscience does not allow us to visit these temples when we see what is happening in our state, “says Bishop Iov.
Formally, in Ukraine since the early 1990’s there are three Orthodox churches, two of which are not recognized as world Orthodox. It is about the church of the Kievan Patriarchate and the autocephalous church.
The only canonical church in Ukraine was the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, which had the status of self-governing within the framework of the Russian Orthodox Church.
By the end of the seventeenth century, the Kyivan Metropolitanate, which included the territories of modern Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Poland, was under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. However, in 1686, due to the political situation that developed at that time, Constantinople handed over this metropolitanate to the Russian Church.
Negotiations on the unification of Orthodox jurisdictions in Ukraine that have been taking place over the past decades, including with the participation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, have been fruitless.
The only canonical church in Ukraine is now the church of the Moscow Patriarchate
“Moscow’s position always consisted in the fact that scholars should return to Moscow’s jurisdiction, repenting. Unfortunately, this method has not been effective for thirty years,” says Archbishop Iov.
From the canonical point of view, this means that today in Ukraine, the UOC-MP no longer exists. All the bishops now in Ukraine, according to this decision, are de facto the bishops of the Ecumenical Council, and they now have to wait for the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s directives for their further functioning. Archbishop Job
In the end, he notes, at some point “it became clear that this format – the administration of the Russian Church of Ukrainian Orthodoxy – did not work, and we had to find another format that could not only save people but also unite them.”
And adds: the only such format that exists in the Orthodox Church for centuries, and which could have contributed to the Ukrainian situation is the model of autocephaly.
It was in April 2018, after a thorough study of the Ukrainian question, Constantinople decided on a principled decision to grant the Ukrainian Church autocephaly, says Archbishop Iov.
And immediately after the April meeting of Petro Poroshenko with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew from Kyiv to Constantinople, they received requests for the granting of autocephaly from the hierarchs of the unrecognized churches of Ukraine, several bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate Church, backed by similar appeals from the President and the Verkhovna Rada.
In whose hands is the decision?
Critics of the position of Constantinople, first of all, the Russian Church, reproached that the Ecumenical Patriarchate has no right to individually decide on the granting of autocephaly, arguing that this requires the consent of all the existing local churches.
However, Archbishop Job says: Ecumenical Councils, whose rulings are governed by world Orthodoxy, formed only five ancient patriarchs – Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, and even to them the autocephaly are accounted for by the Cyprus Church. Subsequently, the Roman department fell away from Orthodoxy, and its First throne became Constantinople.
All other canonical Orthodox churches in the world, including the Russian, were formed not by the decision of the Ecumenical Councils, but by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Image caption”We hope that the Orthodox Church of Russia will come to mind and will return to unity with the Ecumenical Throne,” says Archbishop Job
“Legally, Constantinople has this right – it is his privilege to proclaim autocephaly, and in the tomoses of the autocephaly of all the new churches it is said that they must recognize the primacy of Constantinople and apply to him on the advice whenever they have a question of world-level,” insists Bishop Iov “Here, on a world level, Constantinople and no one else is judge or arbiter, according to the canons, according to Orthodox ecclesiology.”
According to the representative of the Church of Constantinople, if today the Orthodox Church of Russia has doubts about this, it must renounce its own autocephaly: “Patriarchal status was given to him in the XVI century by the Ecumenical Patriarch Jeremiah II, and this document clearly states that the Moscow bishop is entitled to call himself despite the fact that he must recognize the Patriarch of Constantinople as his head. ”
The church has a mission that is above the policy and we can not trade the church because of some geopolitical interests “Archbishop Job
“Some canonists believe that since these new patriarchates, the new autocephaly were created by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, at a certain point, if the Ecumenical Patriarchate considers it necessary, he can also cancel this status,” says Bishop Iov.
Does this mean that, at a certain point, Constantinople may simply abolish the Russian Church, especially given its eruption of the Eucharistic unity with the Ecumenical Patriarchate through the Ukrainian question?
“We hope that the Orthodox Church of Russia will come to mind and return to unity with the Ecumenical Throne because the Ecumenical Council does not want to break with relations with it, but if this situation continues for a long time, of course, the Ecumenical Throne will be forced to make certain decisions to ensure unity church “, – the diplomatic correspondent of the archbishop.
According to him, the question of the procedure for the provision of autocephalous should not be considered at the All-Orthodox Cathedral in 2016, but there was no consensus on this issue between different churches, so it was decided not to include it in the agenda of the cathedral.
“This means that the practice that existed until this time continues, that is, the Ecumenical Patriarchate proclaims (new) autocephaly”, – summarizes Archbishop Job.
“Whoever does not agree with this, he cleaves himself to Orthodoxy,” he adds.
What is the role of other churches?
After Constantinople decided on a principled decision to provide the Ukrainian Church with autocephaly, he sent delegations to local churches to inform them that a new autocephalous church would soon appear in the Orthodox world.
The reactions of churches on this news were different, recognizes Archbishop Job.
As argued in Constantinople, since October 11, all Orthodox churches in Ukraine are without exception in the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
“They can be categorized into two categories: some churches said that the Ecumenical Patriarchate would decide and proclaim – and we are obliged to accept it. Others believed that since the Orthodox Church in Ukraine had been under the control of the Orthodox Church in Russia for three hundred years, then such a decision should be taken in coordination with the Orthodox Church in Russia, “says Archbishop Job.
If the Moscow church wants to create something that does not correspond to the spirit of the sacred canons of the Ecumenical and Local Councils, if it does, it itself removes itself from OrthodoxyArchbishop Job
Moreover, he said, some churches initially told the messengers of Constantinople that they would recognize any of their decisions on the Ukrainian question, and then suddenly changed their vision.
At the same time, he stressed that it was only the reaction of churches to the message of Constantinople about his intentions, no negotiations on this issue with other churches did not happen.
Archbishop Job says he knows about the circumvention of the local churches by representatives of the Russian Church, but he does not know what was being discussed at these meetings.
According to the organisation, during these visits, negotiations were held against the intentions of Constantinople to provide the Ukrainian church with autocephaly.
Is it afraid of the split of Orthodoxy?
However, in a recent interview with the Russian service of BBC head of External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alpheus) does not exclude that in the future the world may Orthodoxy formed two families of Orthodox churches.
“If the Moscow church wants to create something not in accordance with the spirit of the sacred canons of the Ecumenical and Local Councils, if it does, it relinquishes itself from Orthodoxy,” says Archbishop Job.
Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage captionEven if the flow of finance and pilgrims from Russia runs out, it does not mean that Mount Athos will face a financial crisis, convinced in Constantinople
He recalls that on the part of Moscow there were already grim predictions of schism “even more than in 1054” – this was in 2008 when the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was about to come to Kyiv to celebrate the 1020th anniversary of the baptism of Kievan Rus.
“But in the end, what happened? Not only did the Ecumenical Patriarch arrive in Kyiv, but the late Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow arrived, they co-served the divine liturgy, and then met face to face … There was no schism, and therefore I believe that what is being said is just trying to scare people, threaten people, but there is no reason to do this, “says Archbishop Job.
Nevertheless, the observers are called the potential ally of Moscow, the Antiochian Patriarchate: Syria is in its jurisdiction, which is currently dependent on Russia from an economic and political plane.
Of course, if pilgrims do not come from Russia, then there will be no such donations, but this does not mean that there will be a financial crisis in AthosArchbishop Job
“The Antiochian Church is an ancient patriarchate, it knows the canons of the church perfectly and understands perfectly that such an order is in the Orthodox Church … The Church has a mission that is above the policy and we can not trade the church through some geopolitical interests,” commented on such forecasts by the Bishop Job
He is also skeptical of the prospect of influencing the position of Constantinople through the monasteries of Athos.
According to the Russian organisation, “Afonity” – influential businessmen and politicians who regularly carry out pilgrimages to Athos – in recent years sacrificed the Holy Mountain about $ 200 million.
Archbishop Iov reminds that Athos belongs to the canonical territory of the Church of Constantinople, and the Ecumenical Patriarch acts as the ruling bishop of the Athos monasteries.
“It is true that pilgrims from Russia and Ukraine have brought great financial assistance in recent years (to Athos), but we must not forget that the monasteries of Athos are very rich in themselves, they have very large possessions on Mount Athos, in addition to They have a lot of lands, houses and real estate outside of Afon, so, of course, if pilgrims do not come from Russia, then there will be no such donations, but that does not mean that there will be a financial crisis in Mount Athos, “says Bishop Iowa.
The abolition of the anathema of Patriarch Filaret does not mean the legitimization of the split or the recognition of non-canonical churches, emphasized in Constantinople
One of the decisive decisions on the road to Ukrainian autocephaly was adopted by the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on October 11 this year. Constantinople decided to return the canonical status to the heads of unrecognized Ukrainian churches – the presiding UOC-KP Filaretov and the head of the UAOC Macarius.
“It does not talk about recognizing or justifying a particular person,” says Archbishop Job.
“Autocephaly, which will be given to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, should unite all Orthodox bishops and all Orthodox believers in Ukraine, but how can this be done if some of these bishops were still in split, schism, that is, they were non-canonical? was to give them a canonical status “, – he explains the logic of the decision of Constantinople.
The bishops of all Orthodox churches in Ukraine will be invited to the unifying church, regardless of their canonical character.
At the same time, Bishop Iov emphasizes: this decision does not refer to any legitimization of the split or the recognition of unrecognized churches.
“It does not mean that they were recognized as the forerunners of their churches, because this would be very illogical, it would mean that we recognized two parallel church structures in parallel with the third canonical structure, which would be the Moscow Patriarchate … These bishops were restored as bishops in the womb of the Ecumenical Church and now we are waiting for a further step, when all these bishops will unite in a new structure, the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, which will be given a tomos about autocephaly, “he explains.
According to the bishop of Job, the bishops of the Ecumenical Church of October 11th are all bishops who still belonged to unrecognized churches; no new interruptions are required for them. Nor do we need to re-baptize the people who received baptism in the Kyiv Patriarchate or the UAOC.
“According to the canons of the Ecumenical Councils, if a person was baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in schism or heresy, its baptism is recognized when this person returns to the womb of the church,” he explains.
What is the status of the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate now?
Archbishop Iov emphasizes: since October 11 this year, the bishops of the Ecumenical Church are not only bishops who belonged to the UOC-KP and UAOC, but also representatives of the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine.
One of the points of this decision, the Patriarchate of Constantinople, canceled the synodal act on the transfer of the Kievan Metropolitanate – that is, in fact, the territory of Ukraine – under the administration of the Russian Church.
“From the canonical point of view, today in Ukraine, the UOC-MP no longer exists,” – said the representative of Constantinople
“By abolishing the 1686 Act, the administration of the Moscow Church of the Kyivan Metropolitanate and all the dioceses in Ukraine was abolished,” said the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
“From the canonical point of view, this means that today in Ukraine, the UOC-MP no longer exists. All the bishops are now in Ukraine de facto, according to this decision, the synod is the bishops of the Ecumenical Throne, and they now have to wait for the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s directive on its further functioning and existence in the future, the provision of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, “explains Archbishop Iov.
In practice, this means that all hierarchs of Ukrainian churches, not important, belonged to the canonical church before or before the non-canonical, now in the eyes of Constantinople, have the same status – the hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne.
And, accordingly, they have equal rights to participate in the cathedral, which will be convened by the Ecumenical Patriarch through the exarchs who are his representatives in Ukraine.
At the same time, the Archbishop of Job refrains from answering the question of when the cathedral, which will form a new church, may be convened. According to him, the Ecumenical Patriarch will call this cathedral when he believes that “time has come”.
Can two churches in Ukraine co-exist?
So far, representatives of the official Kyiv and unrecognized churches have said that only the bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate Church will attend the united cathedral, which turned to Constantinople for a request to provide the Ukrainian church with autocephaly. And those priests and faithful who want to continue to be in unity with the Russian Church, will have this opportunity.
At the same time, Estonia is often referred to as an example for Ukraine, where, since the mid-1990s, there are two parallel jurisdictions that are subject, respectively, to Moscow and Constantinople.
Archbishop Iowa accepts such statements skeptically.
All differences between churches need to be resolved in the spirit of fraternal love, says Archbishop Job
“If some people now say that someone who does not want Ukrainian autocephaly can remain as a Russian exarchate or do not know what is anti-canonical, according to the canons of the church, there should be only one Orthodox Church in the territory of one state, and this autocephalous Orthodox Church must unite all, “he says.
He describes the situation in Estonia as a compromise found temporarily. In addition, he reminds us, the Estonian Church in the subordination of Constantinople is autonomous, not autocephalous, and therefore the approach to this situation is fundamentally different from that of the Ukrainian one.
“If we want to follow the church canons, there can be no repetition of Estonia in Ukraine,” he emphasizes.
And what happens in this case to the Orthodox hierarchs – first of all, the Moscow Patriarchate – who will not take part in the unifying cathedral and will remain outside the new church? They will be ejaculated from the church?
“It’s all a process,” explains Bishop Iowa, “there is such a Greek saying: time is the best doctor. It must be understood that the goal is to cure the split that existed in Ukraine during the last thirty years.” When you get sick and go to a doctor, he He can not cure you instantly, he will tell you a course of treatment that can last for a couple of days, a couple of weeks, a couple of months, a couple of years, depending on your illness.We are now in the process of treatment.The purpose is to unite the Ukrainian Orthodoxy. time it will take – I think, only God knows. ”
Organizational-legal issues of preparation of the Unity Cathedral will be carried out by patriarchal exarchs sent by Constantinople
According to the representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, the emergence in Ukraine of an autocephalous, completely independent of Moscow church will inevitably lead to an increase in tension in the local society and even to the explosion of bloody religious conflicts.
“The bloodshed continues in Ukraine, on the Donbass, for four years … What is worse can happen? To stop this all it is enough to solve one person in Moscow, because it is clear who wants land to grab … It is because of this conflict that Orthodox believers in Ukraine and the Ukrainian state requested autocephaly so that the Orthodox Church in Ukraine would be independent of the influence of another, hostile state “, – Archbishop Iov answers these complaints.
What is the name of the new church?
In Kyiv, a debate is continuing about the name of the church that has not yet been created. Representatives of the Kyiv Patriarchate believe that it should be called “Ukrainian Orthodox Church” – but the problem is that this is the official legal name of the church of the Moscow Patriarchate.
So, they are thinking in the Kyivan Patriarchate, their “colleagues” from the Moscow Patriarchate, after the formation of the new church, will have to change the name, for example, calling the metropolitan or exarchate of the Russian Church in Ukraine.
However, Archbishop Iov says that the new church will be called differently – “Orthodox Church in Ukraine”.
“Not” Ukrainian Orthodox Church “because the church is unique … It belongs to Christ, and not to any nation or state,” he says.
“In Greek, the names of the churches sound like: Orthodox Church in Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria. Slavic names – Bulgarian, Serbian or Russian Orthodox Church – are used incorrectly and indicate ethnophyletism, that is, religious nationalism,” explains Archbishop Iov.
The united church to be called “Orthodox Church in Ukraine”
According to the bishop, it also follows that the decision of Constantinople concerning the Ukrainian church can in principle also be applied to Belarus, the present territory of which was once equally related to the ancient Kyiv metropolis.
“At the moment, there was no appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, either from the Belarusian state or from the Belarusian church, therefore the question (about granting the Belarusian Church of autocephaly) is not considered. But if they turn away, then of course there is a possibility that this issue will be treated in the same way ( Ukrainian), “says Archbishop Job.
Will the relationship be long?
The plans to provide autocephaly to the Ukrainian church, proclaimed by Constantinople, have already led to a crisis in the relations between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Russian Church: at the Synod on October 15, the Russian Orthodox Church declared a rupture of eucharistic communication with Constantinople.
Image captionConstantinople still looks at the hierarchs of the Russian Church as brothers in faith and hopes that the current quarrel will not be long
Even more, as the Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) said in a recent interview with the Russian Airborne Service, if the Ukrainian church receives autocephaly, the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church will reunite and make the following decisions – which will obviously further deepen the split between Moscow and Constantinople.
Despite this, Archbishop Iov calls the bishops of the Russian Church his brothers, acknowledging that in Constantinople they were ready for Moscow’s sharp reaction to the expected provision of autocephaly to the Ukrainian church.
“But we can not live under the threat and remain indifferent to the salvation of millions of people only because they do not like it … This is not about the interests of Constantinople or the interests of Moscow, it is about the salvation and well-being of millions of people, Orthodox believers in Ukraine,” – he says.
History teaches us that all Orthodox churches, without exception, and above all the Orthodox Church in Russia, when the moment of threat comes, some problem, turn to Constantinople for support and adviceArchbishop Job
Moreover, Archbishop Iov states, resolving the Ukrainian question, the Ecumenical Patriarchate “does not get anything”.
“If the Ecumenical Patriarchate wanted to get something, he could simply revive his metropolitanate (in Kyiv) by the end of the seventeenth century, but Constantinople did not want it. Constantinople wants to give Ukraine an autocephaly so that Ukraine has its own church,” he says. .
Moreover, in his view, and Moscow, with the appearance on the Orthodox map of the world of the new autocephalous Ukrainian church, “does not lose anything”, because the system that existed at that time in the UOC-MP “was in fact a device of autocephaly”.
Moscow itself has repeatedly emphasized that the head of the Ukrainian church is elected in Kyiv, and that this church is independent in all legal, financial and personnel issues.
“Heresy of Papism”
Critics, mainly in Russia, often blame Patriarch Bartholomew for the heresy of papism
Now representatives of Moscow accuse Constantinople of exceeding power – the “heresy of Eastern Papism”. They argue that the historic “primacy of honor” of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is a ceremonial thing, which does not give it the right to interfere in another’s canonical territory and to make one-on-one decisions that affect the fate of millions.
The authors of such allegations do not know the church law and the canons of the church, the archbishop of Job is responsible for such reproaches and explains in detail the canonical grounds of each decision adopted by the Ecumenical Council on the Ukrainian question.
“If we accuse Constantinople of pseudopapism, then this does not correspond to the rules of the Ecumenical Councils, nor with the practice of where the churches received autocephaly,” he concludes.
Despite the recent decisions of the Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate, Constantinople, for its part, did not interrupt Eucharistic communication with the Russian Church.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate believes that the Orthodox Church will be able to find a solution to the situation
To the question of the circumstances in which such a rupture of relations would be possible, Archbishop Job says: “This must be something very strong in relation to the doctrine or the canonical structure of the church.”
Contemporary friction between Moscow and the Ecumenical Council on the Ukrainian issue, Constantinople, does not seem to consider such and calls to resolve contradictions in the spirit of fraternal love.
“I do not think it is necessary to forget that in our gospel, our Lord Jesus Christ does not call us hatred, does not call us to be rude with people or threaten them, to enter with people in war.” In the Gospel, the Lord calls us to love, forgiveness, mercy and understanding, and therefore Constantinople always makes decisions in accordance with the ecclesiastical canons, in the spirit of the gospel in order to provide salvation to people, “says Bishop Iov.
But how do Constantinople see ways to get out of the current uneasy situation between the two churches?
“History teaches us that all Orthodox churches, without exception, and most of all, the Orthodox Church in Russia, when the moment of threat, a problem comes, resort to Constantinople for support and advice,” he says.
“I think that no one at the moment in the Orthodox world wants the churches to isolate themselves from each other … So I’m an optimist, and I think that the Orthodox Church will find a way out of this situation,” says Archbishop Iov.