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While the Ecumenical Patriarch attempts to gently persuade the Russians to abandon their intransigent position, the Russians continue with their disinformation campaign, the latest product of which was curtly dismissed by the Kyiv Patriarchate as “fake news spin”.
Russian commentator Mikhalkov, attempting to smear Ukrainian clerics, cites a 1991 Duma report detailing Soviet era ROC clerics who were informants for the KGB, overlooking the fact that Russia’s incumbent patriarch Kirill was also named as a KGB collaborator.
ATHENS, Nov. 4 – RIA News. Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople called on the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) to recognize the right of Ukrainians to autocephaly. Because of the decision of Constantinople to begin granting autocephaly to the non-canonical church in Ukraine, which was called a split in the ROC, the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on October 15 announced that it had broken contact with the Constantinople Patriarchate throughout the canonical territory of the ROC, including Ukraine and Belarus.The authorities in Kiev and the non-canonical church structure in Ukraine expect to receive a tomos about autocephaly from Constantinople before the end of the year, but tomos can only be received by the priest of the “united” church; At the same time, the canonical UOC declared that it would not participate in such an event. “The problem of Ukraine was the reason that we faced the fraternal Church of Russia. It is difficult for her to understand that as the Ecumenical Patriarchate liberated so many people in the Balkans, it weakened itself, but recognized their right to internal self-government, church independence, autocephaly, and published tomos about local independent churches, and Moscow should recognize that the Ukrainian people, which it is in order not Orthodox received for several centuries in its jurisdiction, or more precisely in management, that this almost fifty millionth people has the right to church independence, to autocephaly, “said Bartholomew at a meeting with the Metropolitan of Neacrinia and Kalamaria Justin, who supported the actions of the patriarch. The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church called it canonically insignificant and saw a policy in the abolition of the act of 1686 by Constantinople about transferring the Kiev Metropolis to the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate. The head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, stated that Constantinople had lost the right to be called the coordinating center of Orthodoxy. At the same time, the ROC hopes that Constantinople will change the decision to autocephaly the Ukrainian Church, and before that it will be in a split.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I has said the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) should accept the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church. Bartholomew says nearly 50 million people have the right to their church’s independence. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I has said the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) should accept the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church. “It is difficult [for the ROC] to understand that, the same way the Ecumenical Patriarchate has made so many peoples in the Balkans free, thereby weakening itself, but having recognized their right to internal self-government, church independence, autocephaly, thus Moscow should recognize that the Ukrainian people who it took in the non-orthodox way for several centuries under its jurisdiction, or more precisely – management, that these nearly 50 million people have the right to church independence, to autocephaly,” Bartholomew said, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported with reference to the Greek newspaper Proto Thema. As UNIAN reported earlier, on October 11, following a meeting of the Synod, a decision was announced, stating that the Ecumenical Patriarchate proceeds to granting autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine. In addition, the legal binding of the Synod’s letter of 1686 was abolished, thus taking the Kyiv Metropolis from under Moscow’s canonical jurisdiction. Also, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) Filaret and head of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) Makariy were reinstated in their canonical status.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I says the Russian Orthodox Church should accept the independence of the Ukrainian Church. “It is difficult [for the ROC] to understand that, the same way the Ecumenical Patriarchate has made so many peoples in the Balkans free, thereby weakening itself, but having recognized their right to internal self-government, church independence, autocephaly, thus Moscow should recognize that the Ukrainian people who it took in the non-orthodox way for several centuries under its jurisdiction, or more precisely – management, that these nearly 50 million people have the right to church independence, to autocephaly,” the Greek newspaper Proto Thema quoted Bartholomew as saying, Censor.NET reports citing UNIAN. On April 17, 2018, President Poroshenko said Ukraine was closer than ever before to creating an autocephalous united local church. On Sept. 2, hierarchs held meetings (Synaxis) of the Hierarchy of the Ecumenical Throne Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) to confirm that the Church of Constantinople is authorized, without the consent of other churches, to grant autonomy, or autocephaly, to a church that has requested it. This paves the way for autocephality of Ukraine’s church. Further measures, such as the adoption of documents at the Synod, are expected to be taken in October.
The Russian Orthodox Church called the signing an agreement on cooperation between Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate “a political step that lies outside the canonical field.” This was stated by the chairman of the external church relations department, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, reports TASS. “The last steps and decisions of Patriarch Bartholomew, including the signing of this agreement, lie outside the canonical field, but exclusively in the political plane. Fulfilling an order from overseas players aimed at weakening and dismembering the united Russian church, Patriarch Bartholomew is in a hurry until political situation has changed and the current president is in power in Ukraine, “he said. According to him, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople opposed himself to canonical world Orthodoxy and “can no longer claim to be the ecumenical coordinator for other Orthodox churches.” “If the Patriarchate of Constantinople had previously acted as a coordinating center for them with the consent of the local churches, now such a center no longer exists: the Patriarchate of Constantinople voluntarily dismissed itself,” the metropolitan said.
There is no prohibition on the participation of Patriarch Filaret in the election of the head of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, according to archbishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, Yevstratiy Zorya, wrote on Facebook, commenting on the relevant information voiced by the Moscow Patriarchate. The corresponding reports are not true, the spokesman stresses. There is no prohibition on the participation of Patriarch Filaret in the election of the head of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, according to archbishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, Yevstratiy Zorya, wrote on Facebook, commenting on the relevant information voiced by the Moscow Patriarchate. According to Yevstratiy, Filaret for many years has been the main target of Moscow’s struggle against the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church. “Therefore, it’s not at all surprising that at the time when His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed a document in the Ecumenical Patriarchate that guaranteed and directly approximated the moment of receipt of autocephaly by the Ukrainian Church of a tomos, Moscow spins another fake news spin. Its obvious goal is to complicate the situation, sow division, hinder the process, which is now approaching a successful conclusion,” he said.
Paul Goble Staunton, November 4 – Specialists on religion in the Soviet Union have known for decades that many of the most senior hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church were KGB officers, but few Russians know much about this because the Kremlin hasn’t wanted to draw attention to it given that many of these KGB officers are still in their senior church positions. Now, however, as a result of the increasingly angry public discussion in Russia about the grant of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox, some Russian commentators are making reference to this history, most prominently film director Nikita Mikhalkov on Russia 24 two days ago (http://credo.press/220685/). In an effort to discredit Patriarch Filaret of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate who is odds on favorite to become the head of a single autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox church, the Russian film director said that Filaret in Soviet times was an agent of the KGB with the code name “Antonov.” That affiliation became known, Mikhalkov continued, in 1991 when a parliamentary commission which included Father Gleb Yakunin uncovered data in the KGB archives about the agents the KGB had among the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. At that time, Filaret was the exarch of Ukraine and even the provisional head of the Moscow Patriarchate. Among other KGB agents in the church were then-Patriarch Aleksii II (code name “Drozdov”), Kirill who is the patriarch now (code name “Mikhailov”), Metropolitan Yuvenaliy (code name “Adamant”), as well as many others. In 1992, the Moscow Patriarchate created a commission to look into these cases, but not surprisingly, the commission never began work.
The leader of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate says steps toward independence from Moscow must be carried out carefully to avoid giving the Kremlin a pretext for further Russian incursions into Ukrainian territory. The patriarch noted that the Russian government justified its 2014 seizure of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula by articulating a blanket assertion that Moscow has the right and the obligation of protecting and “defending the Russian-speaking population” anywhere in the world. The leader of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate says steps toward independence from Moscow must be carried out carefully to avoid giving the Kremlin a pretext for further Russian incursions into Ukrainian territory. Patriarch Filaret’s statement came after a synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople chaired by Patriarch Bartholomew I, who is considered the leader of the 300-million-strong worldwide Orthodox community, decreed on October 11 to “proceed to the granting of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine,” RFE/RL reports. The synod, however, made sure to warn against violence and attempted property takeovers. In an exclusive interview with RFE/RL, Filaret talked in detail about the process of establishing a fully independent Ukrainian church
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, laid flowers at a monument commemorating Russia’s National Unity Day on November 4. The monument on Moscow’s Red Square was built to honor the commanders of a volunteer army that fought off troops of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from Moscow in 1612. After the ceremony, Putin and Kirill met with leaders of Russia’s officially recognized religious communities.
The agreement on cooperation and interaction between Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate does not require ratification, director of the National Institute for Strategic Studies under the president of Ukraine, adviser to the president of Ukraine Rostyslav Pavlenko has said. “I think that it [the document] will be made public. It is, in fact, a framework agreement that defines the basis of the relationship, because the state is separated from the church, and the church from the state. It is about assistance in creating a church … The document does not require ratification,” Pavlenko said at a briefing in Kyiv on Monday. He also stressed that the agreement signed by President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, “in no way contradicts the laws of Ukraine.” The adviser to the president noted that the Ukrainian law “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations” obliges the state to assist religious organizations in the realization of their legitimate interests. “In particular, this is referred to in the agreement,” he said. As reported, Poroshenko and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew signed the agreement on cooperation and interaction between Ukraine and the Patriarchate of Constantinople following the meeting in Istanbul on November 3.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and the Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew signed the agreement on cooperation and collaboration between Ukraine and the Patriarch of Constantinople, Interfax-Ukraine reports. “The agreement that we signed today, completes this process… creates all conditions for the process of granting tomos to be implemented in strict compliance with orthodox canons,” Poroshenko wrote on Twitter. According to Patriarch Bartholomew, the agreement “will lead to unity of all orthodox people in Ukraine.” Earlier, the Russian Orthodox Church broke off full communion with the Patriarch of Constantinople after his intentions to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian church.
A recent expansion of the Orthodox Church has created a skills shortage of bell ringers that is being filled by machines.