Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Russia Loses the War of the Churches (51)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

Auto-da-fé: the burning of a heretic during the Spanish Inquisition. An effective punishment ensuring no recidivism. Considered inhumane in 2018. 

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The Russian propaganda campaign continues, increasingly shrill, as their game in Ukraine unravels. The problem they confront is maintaining cohesion of the ROC inside Ukraine as its ethno-phyletic heresy becomes increasingly widely acknowledged in public debate.

Very nice summary of Russia’s defeat in this game by Makarovsky – he does not mince his words, either, but does not point out that Russia’s fundamental transgression is the ethno-phyletic heresy in Orthodox canon. Happily for the ROC, heretics are no longer treated to an auto-da-fé.


Moscow-run Ukrainian church bans clergy from attending unification council – LB.ua news portal

The Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP) has declared that none of its clergy or laity is authorized to represent the church at the unification council scheduled for 15 December. According to its press service, this decision was taken at the Synod meeting in the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra on 7 December. The UOC MP said that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has no right to summon its archbishops to such meetings because they will also be attended by representatives of the “splinter groups”. Therefore, the episcopate, clergy, monastics and laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate are not blessed to participate in the so-called unification council, the Synod concluded.

Onufriy bans clergy of UOC-MP from participation in Unification Council | UNIAN

Onufriy, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, “did not bless” the clergy of the UOC-MP for participation in the Unification Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The Moscow Patriarchate stated that the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew “had no right” to convene church meetings in Ukraine. Onufriy, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, “did not bless” the clergy of the UOC-MP for participation in the Unification Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The Holy Synod of the UOC-MP made the decision at its meeting on December 7. The Moscow Patriarchate stated that the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew “had no right” to convene church meetings in Ukraine, while the unification council itself was allegedly illegal, “as representatives of schismatic groups would take part in it.” “In this regard, the episcopate, the clergy, monks, and the laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church [of the Moscow Patriarchate] shall receive no blessing to participate in the so-called unification council,” the Synod ruled. As UNIAN reported earlier, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on October 12, 2018, sent the Primate of the UOC MP, Onufriy, a letter, explaining the reasons for granting Ukraine Church autocephaly and calling on him to attend the unification council and reiterating his right to run for the top position in the new church.

Over 50 bishops to take part in Orthodox Church’s unification council – Patriarch Filaret | UNIAN

Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) Filaret has said over 50 bishops will take part in the unification council for the creation of an independent local Orthodox church in Ukraine, which is scheduled for December 15. Filaret said the UOC of the Kyiv Patriarchate would have the largest number of representatives at the unification council, namely 40 bishops would represent it. Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) Filaret has said over 50 bishops will take part in the unification council for the creation of an independent local Orthodox church in Ukraine, which is scheduled for December 15. Speaking in Chernihiv, he said the UOC of the Kyiv Patriarchate would have the largest number of representatives at the unification council, namely 40 bishops would represent it. The existing Ukrainian Autocephalous Church will be represented by 12 bishops, while the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate will send three or four representatives. Filaret says there is a furious struggle for non-unification and non-recognition of the Ukrainian church nowadays. “Moscow is doing all this, but through the local accomplices in Ukraine. It is spreading rumors that the patriarch will resign and will not run. This is not true. I will be patriarch to death, because the enthronement was in 1995. And no one will remove this grace,” he said. Filaret also highlighted the church unification agenda: the adoption of the charter of an independent local Orthodox church in Ukraine and the election of its head would be considered during the unification council. He expressed the hope the event would bring change for the better. “We will not accept the worst. And we will reject everything inappropriate if it is demanded from us,” Filaret said. As UNIAN reported earlier, a decision was announced after a meeting of the Holy Synod on October 11 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. On October 12, the UOC-KP urged the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) to prepare for a special unification council. On November 3, Poroshenko and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I signed an agreement on cooperation and interaction between Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. On November 19, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople said the Holy Council of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine would be held in December. On November 29, the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate drafted the Ukrainian Church’s constitutional charter in anticipation of the issuance of the Patriarchal and Synodal Tomos. On December 5, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the Orthodox churches in Ukraine would gather for a unification council on December 15.

Metropolitan Emmanuel of France to chair Unification Assembly of Ukrainian Orthodox church – 112.international

Metropolitan Emmanuel of France to chair Unification Assembly of Ukrainian Orthodox church on December 15 in Kyiv. Ukrainian journalist Kostas Onisenko reported that on his Facebook page. “ On December 15, the Unification Assembly of Ukrainian Orthodox church will be held in Kyiv, where the new head of the Ukrainian church shall be elected. He may not be a patriarch right from the beginning. The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople signed the invitations to all the heads of Orthodox churches on the territory of Ukraine for them to participate in the Assembly,” the journalist writes. He also states that the procedure of the election of the new head of the Ukrainian Orthodox church is specified in the document – the statutory chart, which was signed by the Ecumenical Council on November 29. According to Onisenko, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France to chair Unification Assembly of Ukrainian Orthodox church on December 15 in Kyiv.

Ukraine raids Orthodox churches with Russia ties

Ukrainian authorities on Monday raided three Orthodox churches aligned to Russia as political and religious tensions between the two countries grow.

Poroshenko humiliates Kremlin returning own church to Ukraine, – political scientist Makarovsky – 112.international

The return of the church to Ukraine is the geopolitical victory of Petro Poroshenko over Vladimir Putin, which will allow to get rid of the agents of the hostile special services inside the country as political scientist Volodymyr Makarovsky reported on Facebook. “The fact that the president succeeded to achieve the autocephaly for our church is the most important event for the country! I am sure that in the recent future our children will read about the Tomos for Ukraine in the history books,” Makarovsky said. According to him, the receiving of the Tomos by Ukraine is the geopolitical collapse of Putin beaten by Poroshenko. Thus, the official recognition of the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church is the loss of the possibility to influence the minds of the faithful Ukrainians by Moscow. “The receiving of the Tomos is the salvation of Ukraine from the “state security” yoke of Kremlin as there is no secret that many pseudo-priests of the Russian Orthodox Church were regular and non-staff KGB agents and now FSB. Historically, the ROC takes its history from the times of Stalin. Those priests who were not repressed became the part of the Soviet Special Services. Not accidentally, Stalin presented limo to Patriarch Alexy in 1949. It is the same with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate. So, Ukraine gets rid of the agents of the hostile special services by the autocephaly,” he is sure. Makarovsky emphasized that the receiving of the Tomos by Ukrainian Church is the restoration of the historic justice. Now, the Ukrainian nation is in the process of the large-scale acquisition of the lost state identity. “We wrest our history with fights and the time of the church has come a long time ago. As when Kyiv Prince Volodymyr baptized Rus’ the pagan idols stood in Moskovia. Now, Moscow unjustly tries to steal Volodymyr and erect the monuments to him. But it is our history and our right for independence, including the issues of religion. It is very important that each faithful Ukrainian know that Kyiv got the anointing first,” he concluded. On October 11, the Synodus lifted the anathema from Filaret, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyivan Patriarchate, and Makariy, Primate of Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. Filaret stated that the united Jubilee Bishops’ Council would take place soon to create a unified Ukrainian local church. In addition, the Ecumenical Patriarchate recognized Russia’s Orthodox Church annexation of Kyiv metropole in 1686.

Draft Tomos Gives Ukrainian Church Less Autonomy Than It Hopes To Obtain – OpEd – Eurasia Review

Ukrainian media have obtained a copy of a draft tomos that the Universal Patriarchate has prepared for delivery to a meeting of Ukrainian Orthodox Church now scheduled to take place on December 15. Because it was not officially released, it is likely that the document is still undergoing editing and may be significantly changed. Moreover, as few have pointed out, autocephaly is a process rather than a single action; and anything Constantinople grants is in fact the beginning of that process rather than the end of the game. Nonetheless, many in Ukraine and Russia are suggesting that at this point, Kyiv is getting less than it hoped for and that it will now be very much under Constantinople. The Apostrophe news agency provides a list of the provisions of the document (apostrophe.ua/article/politics/government/2018-12-04/tomos-ukraine-chto-reshil-konstantinopol/22520). They include:

Separation of church & state? Not in Ukraine, with Poroshenko’s push for ‘independent’ church — RT World News

Poroshenko’s drive for an independent Ukrainian Orthodox church breaches the secular nature of the country, experts say, while some believe it might be part of a foreign-inspired strategy, not just a pre-election stunt.

TASS: Society & Culture – Ukrainian church assembly to take place even in absence of ‘certain hierarchs’

Even if some bishops refuse to participate in the unifying assembly, it will still take place on December 15, the Constantinople patriarchate stressed

Unifying Synod in Ukraine to Cause Further Discord – Metropolitan – Sputnik International

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The unifying Synod of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine will only cause further discord among believers in the country, former Primate of the Orthodox Church in America metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen) told Sputnik on Friday.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Patriarch Kirill Increasingly Out of Step with Putinism Today, Soldatov Says

Paul Goble Staunton, December 7 – The rise of Metropolitan Tikhon in the eyes of the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church is as much about the fall of Patriarch Kirill as it is about the public relations skills of the Pskov churchman and his instrumental approach to religion, an approach he shares with Vladimir Putin, Aleksandr Soldatov says. “The ideology of Patriarch Kirill, inherited from his spiritual instructor Metropolitan Nikodim does not completely correspond with the ideology of late Putinism,” the Moscow commentator says. “On the one hand, Kirill is an advocate of a strong church in a strong state” but has lost Ukraine (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2018/12/06/78828-netihiy-tihon). “And on the other hand,” Soldatov continues, the patriarch is “all the same a Westerner who grew up in ecumenical congresses and has obvious respect for the Catholic tradition.” That is not something Putin now wants and it is very much at odds with the positions Tikhon has adopted about the need for Russian Orthodoxy to stand apart. Patriarch Kirill’s decision to “exile” Tikhon to Pskov has failed or perhaps even more backfired, the Moscow commentator says. Putin has visited him and supports both his church as a place of pilgrimage and his ideas on Russian national theme parks and the renaming of airports for Russian national heroes. But this is not the first time Kirill has made a mistake concerning Tikhon. A decade ago, Tikhon was among those who favored having the Russian church offer autocephaly to a Ukrainian church it would then be able to control. Kirill went for broke and now has completely lost. That has not gone unnoticed in the church or in the Kremlin. According to Soldatov, Tikhon’s real advantages over Kirill as far as Putin is concerned lie elsewhere. “One must not call Metropolitan Tikhon in the full sense ‘Putin’s spiritual advisor,’” he says. “The president isn’t so religious that he really needs such a figure. And Tikhon is not a preacher of such a kind of religiosity.” The metropolitan’s religiosity is to a large extent “instrumental: it serves higher political tasks” and thus the relationship between Tikhon and Putin is a business one. “Tikhon is very useful (and perhaps irreplaceable) for the formation of Putin’s ideology, for presenting a ‘positive’ model of propaganda.” One can’t call Tikhon “’red’ or ‘white,’ ‘anti-Soviet’ or ‘Sergian,’” Soldatov says. “Historically, if you will, he is more drawn to ‘the anti-Soviet world,’ but with age, his values have balanced out.” He can’t bear “any ‘decline of historical Russia’” and he views the country as constantly surrounded by enemies who must be defeated – just as Putin does. At the same time, the commentator suggests, Tikhon is not excessively romantic. “In church politics, he acts as a pragmatist, ready to enter into even the most unexpected alliances.” One of those appears to be with Archdeacon Andrey Kurayev, the outspoken figure who often attacks the Patriarchate. Many in the church say, Soldatov reports, that Kurayev, “having converted himself into a Russian Savonarola is ‘Tikhon’s project.’” That may be going too far; but it is a measure of the way in which Tikhon operates that people think so – and also a measure of how far he is prepared to go to transform the Moscow Patriarchate and to work with Putin to do so.

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