Ecumenical Orthodox Church · Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Russian Orthodox Church · Ukraine Orthodox Church

Russia Loses the War of the Churches (55)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

It appears Russia is flailing about in desperation to find something, anything, to get their way when it comes to the Russian Orthodox Church trying to regain subordination of the Ukraine Orthodox Church. There is a common nickname for that: the mommy-daddy game.  If one parent says no, perhaps the other parent will say yes. In this case, however, Russia is seeking assistance from the neighbors in a distant town who have no say in the matter. And, by the way, Russia is tinkling in the neighbor’s cornflakes at the same time. 

Another way of saying this, Russian actions say one thing, then Russia turns around and poisons their own well of hope for all eternity, it seems.  Russia seizes Crimea and Donbas. Ukraine has every right to seek independence for the UOC from the ROC and they applied to the correct authority, the EOC. The authority ruled against Russia and in favor of Ukraine, so the ROC withdraws from the EOC in a public huff. Russia then attacks Ukraine, literally, in both word and deed. Russia then attempts to use ROC remnants within Ukraine to launch terrorist actions and supporting propaganda. Now Russia pleads to the UN, the West’s church leaders, including the Pope, to protect ROC clergy from “full-scale persecutions” without a shred of evidence?  Perhaps Patriarchate Kirill is certifiably insane, that almost fully explains what is happening.  

Hold your breath? Scream?  Russia’s behavior is childlike and predictable, Russia always claims to be the victim when their own aggression is to blame. Classic blameshifting.

The list of folks Patriarch Kirill sent the letter to: 

Yep, crazy.

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While Ukraine prepares for its Unification Council this weekend, and is told it will receive its Tomos on Orthodox Christmas Eve, Russia plays another bizarre propaganda stunt with an appeal to the Pope (yes the Pope of the Catholic Church in Rome), the UN, Western political and church leaders, to protect the Russian church clergy in Ukraine from “full-scale persecutions.” Given that the subordination of the Russian church to the Russian state has been widely discussed in global religious magazines and other publications over the last year, the notion that any Western religious or political leaders might buy into Russia’s bizarre game is very optimistic on the part of Russia. Concurrently, the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Church publicly chastises the Russian Church leadership over its “unacceptable” and “extreme decision” to sever relations with Constantinople, and warns that the Russian church will soon “regret this”.

Multiple updates on developments in Ukraine, and three Western media articles on evolving events.

A summary of early Ukrainian and Russian history by Nesheva, including some church history, mostly appearing to be quite accurate. The cited DNA testing is however not, as in Western Russia Slavic genetic types outnumber Finnic types, and Norse types account for around 20% of “ethnic Russians” who are descendants of Ukrainian deportees, prisoners, and immigrants, especially in Siberia. Recently Russian ultranationalists started rejecting Russia’s Slavic heritage, claiming a Finnic heritage instead, as DNA testing shows much of the Indian subcontinent shares the R1a genetic type with Slavic peoples.

Finally, a selection of Russian propaganda…


Vartholomaios: Russian Orthodox Church decision to sever eucharistic communication ‘unacceptable’ | News | ekathimerini.com

Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios on Thursday criticized as “unacceptable” a decision by the Russian Orthodox Church to sever eucharistic communication with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. “We may have different opinions regarding the various problems that concern the Orthodox Church in its entirety; this is normal and democratic; but to suspend the eucharistic communication in order to exercise pressure and force others to agree with our views, is unacceptable,” Vartholomaios said. “I am certain that our sister church in Russia will soon regret this extreme decision,” he added. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church was recently granted independence from Moscow. The ruling prompted cheers from Kiev but anger in Moscow.

Bartholomew reportedly asks heads of UOC-KP, UAOC not to run for top post in new church | UNIAN

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his letters sent to the primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP), Filaret, and that of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC), Makariy, has asked them not to run for the post of head of the new local Ukrainian Church, that’s according to Makariy. “We have signed an appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch for the provision of tomos. I immediately announced that I would not stand up as a candidate. God sent me this good idea because, in October, I had received a letter signed by the Ecumenical Patriarch, and probably Patriarch Filaret [received it, too], so that we do not run for the post,” Makariy said in an interview with Radio Liberty. According to Makariy, he has not yet decided for whom he will vote at the upcoming unification council.

I have not decided whom to support as head of United Church, – Makariy – 112.international

The Head of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church Makariy said that he has not decided who he will be voting for at the Ecumenical Council on December 15 in Kyiv, as he said in an interview for Radio Liberty. “I have not decided yet who I will vote for… We signed an appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch on a provision of Tomos, I have announced immediately that I would not nominate myself,” Makariy said. Besides, he said that in October he received a letter with a signature of the Ecumenical Patriarch with a request not to run for Head of the Ukrainian local church.

Kyiv Patriarchate decides on candidate for head of local church in Ukraine – 14.12.2018 11:02 — Ukrinform News

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) has selected a candidate for the post of primate of the local Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the diocese, UOC-KP spokesman, Archbishop Yevstratiy (Zorya) has said. “We have a single proposal for the candidate to be offered to the Council,” BBC Ukrainian quoted him as saying. At the same time, he declined to name this person and added that the name would be known at the Unification Council in Kyiv on December 15. According to Zorya, voting at the Council will be secret, as previously proposed by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. According to a scheme proposed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, at first all participants in the cathedral will select three main contenders, and then only bishops will elect the primate from among them by secret ballot. On April 17, 2018, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he had sent an official appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch with the request to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Ukraine to receive the Orthodox Church independence on Christmas Eve | KyivPost

After many months of waiting and much speculation, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will receive independence from Moscow on Jan. 6 — Christmas Eve in Ukrainian Orthodox Christianity — according to Yevstratiy Zorya, archbishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate. On Dec. 15, the church will hold a Unification Council in Kyiv’s Saint Sophia Cathedral, where representatives of the country’s three Orthodox Churches — the Kyiv Patriarchate, the Moscow Patriarchate, and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church — will elect a new patriarch, Zorya said in a Dec. 13 statement to the media outside the Kyiv Patriarchate Chancellery.

Bartholomew To Grant Autocephaly Tomos To Kyiv On January 6, Says Church Spokesman

The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople will hand over a decree granting independence to the future head of the local Orthodox Church in Ukraine on January 6, according to a church spokesman.

Ukraine Church Says Bartholomew To Grant Autocephaly To Kyiv On January 6

The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople will hand over a decree granting independence to the future head of the local Orthodox Church in Ukraine on January 6, according to a church s…

UOC-KP: Tomos to be handed over to new Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s head on Jan 6 | UNIAN

Press secretary of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP), Archbishop Yevstratiy (Zorya) says Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I will hand a tomos of autocephaly over to the head of a new local Orthodox Church of Ukraine in Istanbul, Turkey, on January 6, 2019. The UOC-KP on December 13 held its bishops’ council to prepare for the unification council.

Parubiy thanks Metropolitan of Korea for supporting tomos for Ukraine – 14.12.2018 11:43 — Ukrinform News

Verkhovna Rada Chairman Andriy Parubiy has met with a member of the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Metropolitan Ambrosios (Zografos) of Korea.

Russian clerics pursue attempts to hinder Ukraine’s path toward independent church – OSINT group | UNIAN

With the approach of the Unification Council scheduled for Dec 15, th Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) clerics continue their attempts to prevent the creation of a new local Ukrainian Orthodox Church, independent from Russia. The ROC led by Patriarch Kirill (aka Gundyaev) is trying, now at the international level, to prevent Ukraine from getting a tomos on autocephaly. With the approach of the Unification Council scheduled for Dec 15, th Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) clerics continue their attempts to prevent the creation of a new local Ukrainian Orthodox Church, independent from Russia. Yesterday, the SBU said they had revealed plans of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), to set up bloody provocations against the background of the historical event, writes the Information Resistance (IR) OSINT group. Provocations were to be orchestrated by a cleric from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Metropolitan Pavel, the report noted. For its part, the ROC led by Patriarch Kirill (aka Gundyaev) is trying, now at the international level, to prevent Ukraine from getting a tomos on autocephaly, the IR wrote, recalling reports of Kirill’s old ties with the Russian KGB-turned-FSB. According to the ROC press service, Kirill sent letters to the United Nations, the Pope, as well as leaders of France and Germany, claiming “violation of rights of believers in Ukraine and pressure the official Kyiv exerts on the church.” “Recently, the intervention of the leaders of the secular Ukrainian state in church affairs has acquired the features of gross pressure on the bishops and clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC-MP), which suggests the start of full-scale persecution,” the statement reads. Gundyaev claims the “persecution” began after representatives of the UOC-MP had refused to participate in the unification council. He also complained the bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine were allegedly oppressed in their rights, while Kyiv sought to “deprive the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC-MP) of the legal rights to use the Kyiv-Pechersk and Pochaiv lavras.”

Patriarch Filaret awarded the order to the ex-deputy director of the CIA Devine for supporting the independence of Ukraine and the creation of the Local Ukrainian Orthodox Church

His Holiness Patriarch of Kiev and All Russia-Ukraine Filaret met with ex-deputy director of the CIA Jack Devine. During the meeting, Jack Devine expressed his sincere admiration for the level of support among Ukrainians for the idea of ​​getting Tomos about autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. He also noted the outstanding role of the Patriarch of Kiev Filaret in his nearly thirty-year historical struggle for the creation of the United Ukrainian Orthodox Church, independent of Russia, and thanked for defending the rights of Christians before the atheistic Soviet government. Patriarch Filaret, in turn, thanked Jack Devine for helping the United States with Ukraine in supporting Ukraine’s independence and the creation of the United Ukrainian Orthodox Church. On the proposal of the Chairman of the Council of the Ukraine – XXI Century Foundation Bogdan Gubsky and a member of the Council of the Foundation Pavel Yaroshenko, the Primate of the Kyiv Patriarchate awarded Jack Devine with the Order of St. Andrew the First Called.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Moscow Organizing Provocations in Ukraine to Disrupt Church Unification Council, SBU Says

Paul Goble Staunton, December 13 – The Russian special services and the DNR officials they control are organizing church marches in Kyiv, Odess, Kharkiv, Zaporozhe, Kherson and Mykolayev for Sunday, the day that the unification council of Ukrainian Orthodox Church will take place in an effort to disrupt it, Viktor Kononeko, the deputy head of Ukraine’s Security Service, the SBU. According to the SBU official, the Russian security services held a meeting in Donetsk on December 6 to plan this and possibly other measures to distract attention from and spark protests against the church meeting (gordonua.com/news/kiev/specsluzhby-rf-planirovali-provokacii-k-obedinitelnomu-soboru-v-okkupirovannom-donecke-sbu-578412.html).Kononenko said that he was speaking about only part of the information that the SBU has obtained, an indication that Moscow may be planning other kinds of provocations as well. He urged Ukrainian organizations not to organize marches on the same day and called on Ukrainians to be vigilant against falling for these Russian actions. Unfortunately, no one can exclude the possibility that Moscow may launch more serious military actions this weekend with the same purpose. One indicator of this danger is that the Russian media have stepped up their suggestions that Ukraine is planning an attack on Russian positions (kommersant.ru/doc/3828929?from=main_1). All too often, the most reliable early warning indicator of what Russia intends consists of its accusations that others are going to do what in fact Moscow plans to do itself.

Ukraine moves to create its own Orthodox church out of Russia’s orbit

One of Christianity’s biggest splits in centuries is expected to be formalized as Ukraine moves to create a new church independent from Russia’s influence.

Russian-Ukrainian church split ′rather dramatic′ | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 14.12.2018

The political row between Kyiv and Moscow has been brewing on a number of fronts — including the church. Against the Moscow Patriarchate’s will, Ukraine is now set to open its own national Orthodox church.

Ukraine-Russia tensions reach Greece’s holy Mount Athos | World news | The Guardian

Orthodox church’s decision to make Ukrainian branch independent of Russia causes schism and predictions of violence

Maria Nesheva et al | In 12th century the land is first mentioned as Ukraine. Russia does not exist

For the first time Ukraine was mentioned in the Hypatian Chronicle. Not Little Rus’ or something else, but Ukraine. Nobody heard about Moscow and Russia at that time. Learn more impressive historical facts. The Chronicle includes several components: Lavrentian Chronicle, the Tale of Bygone Years, Chernihiv, Kyiv, Galician–Volhynian Chronicles which described the events from 860’s to 1292’s. Sources of the chronicles are diverse: Palatine chroniclers, palatine letters, ambassadors’ reports, military tales, stories of bystanders, the Greek chronicles and so on. Ukraine is mentioned for the first time in the Tale of Igor’s Campaign against Polovtsy in 1185. Many sources identify Kyivan Rus with Ukraine. In some versions, such as Ermolaevsky list (1189-1213 years), Ukraine is called Krajina (country), in Kyiv chronicles – Galich Ukraina. Also, the name ‘Ukraine’ is mentioned in connection with the death of Pereyaslav Knyaz Volodymyr Glebovich, later in the description of events during Galician-Volyn Knyaz Danylo Romanovych regiment. Something like that.

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill appealed to religious and state leaders, leaders of international organizations with messages in connection with pressure from the Ukrainian authorities on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and state intervention in church life in Ukraine

In the messages to the Heads of the Local Orthodox Churches, Pope Roman Francis, the head of the Anglican Community to the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the Secretary General of the World Council of Churches O. Fuxse Tveit, and the UN Secretary General A. Guterres, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe T. Gremymhramhym , To the President of France E. Macron and the German Chancellor A. Merkel as heads of states of the Normandy Four, His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill drew and attention to the numerous cases of violations of the rights and freedoms of bishops, clergy and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. “Recently, the intervention of the leaders of the secular Ukrainian state in church affairs has acquired the character of gross pressure on the episcopate and clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which allows us to speak about the beginning of full-scale persecutions,” stated His Holiness. He noted that the refusal of the Ukrainian Orthodox episcopate to participate in the “unifying council” supported by the leadership of Ukraine, in which the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the country’s most numerous religious denomination, uniting thirteen thousand parishes, more than two hundred monasteries and millions of believers, should be replaced by some kind of new religious organization created by President of Ukraine P. Poroshenko together with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. According to messages sent to religious leaders, leaders of international organizations and heads of several states, “in order to force the episcopate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to participate in this event, state authorities and law enforcement agencies of Ukraine take a number of actions that flagrantly violate the constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens of Ukraine” . His Holiness Patriarch Kirill mentions that the bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are summoned to “conversations” and interrogations by the Security Service of Ukraine, detained under various pretexts, including when crossing the state border of Ukraine, and subjected to humiliating searches. In particular, on December 9 of this year. The Security Service of Ukraine has prohibited a citizen of Ukraine, Metropolitan Hilarion of Donetsk, from entering the territory of the country, citing “a special order from Kiev.”

TASS: Society & Culture – Russian Orthodox Church urges world leaders to defend religious rights in Ukraine

The purpose of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia’s appeal is to draw the attention of European leaders to major problems concerning the observance of human rights and freedoms in Ukraine

Constantinople was unwise to antagonize Moscow, leading Oxford-based Orthodox theologian says — RT World News

Patriarch Bartholomew was wrong to declare Ukraine is no longer subject to the Russian Orthodox Church as the conflict hurts the entire Orthodoxy, believes Metropolitan Kallistos, a leading bishop of the Constantinople patriarchy.

‘Thanks for independence’: Ukraine’s schismatic Patriarch bestows highest award on ex-CIA ops chief — RT World News

The head of the schismatic Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kiev Patriarchate expressed his gratitude to the ex-CIA associate director, acknowledging his support for the church’s break with Moscow. The head of the schismatic Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kiev Patriarchate expressed his gratitude to the ex-CIA associate director, acknowledging his support for the church’s break with Moscow. Patriarch Filaret presented former CIA Associate Director Jack Devine with the Order of St. Andrew, the church’s highest decoration, local media reported on Thursday. The cleric thanked Devine for the US’ support for Ukraine’s independence and “the creation of the unified autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”

Russian Orthodox church calls on UN for help in Ukraine | Fox News

The Russian Orthodox Church on Friday called on the United Nations, the leaders of Germany and France, the pope and other spiritual leaders to protect believers in Ukraine in the face of pressure on Moscow-affiliated clerics.

Russian Orthodox Church Asks UN, Western Leaders For Help In Ukraine

The Russian Orthodox Church has called on international leaders to “protect” its followers in Ukraine in the face of what it called official pressure on Moscow-appointed clerics.

Russian Orthodox church calls on Pope Francis, UN for help in Ukraine

The Russian Orthodox church on Friday called on the United Nations, the leaders of Germany and France, the pope and other spiritual leaders to protect believers in Ukraine in the face of pressure on Moscow-appointed clerics.

Russian Orthodox Leader Writes to Pope, Complains of Persecution in Ukraine

The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church has called on the pope, the UN Secretary-General and other world leaders to help protect Orthodox believers in Ukraine against pressure from local authorities on Moscow-appointed clerics. Ukraine and Russia are at odds over Kiev’s bid to set up an independent national Orthodox church and break centuries-old ties between the Ukrainian and Russian clergies. Last month, Ukraine’s state security service raided the residence of a senior Russian-backed Orthodox priest in Kiev. Ukrainian leaders have accused the Moscow-backed church, widely known as the Moscow Patriarchate, of promoting the Kremlin’s interests and spreading propaganda as relations between the countries plummet.

Patriarch Kirill complains to Pope Francis about pressure on Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate – 112.international

Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) Kirill of Moscow appealed with a message to Pope Francis on the pressure on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine and interference of the state in the church life as the ROC reported. Besides, the message is addressed to Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of All England Justin Welby, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches Olav Fykse Tveit, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger, President of France Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Recently, the interference of the leaders of the secular Ukrainian state in the church affairs has become the brutal pressure on the episcopate and clergymen of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which allows to talk about the beginning of the large-scale persecutions,” Patriarch Kirill stated. He claimed that “the bodies of the state power assume the number of actions, which flagrantly violate the constitutional rights” to force the episcopate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to participate in the unification assembly.

Propaganda “very strong” in Moscow Patriarchate – ex-priest | UNIAN

Former priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) Ihor Savva has said the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate has always been keen on propaganda. The Kyiv Patriarchate has been constantly called “schismatics,” thus creating a feeling that it is forbidden to even look in their direction, not to say visit them or communicate, the priest told Ukrayinska Pravda. “I’ve recently began to get to know the Kyiv Patriarchate, and it turned out there were exactly the same people there, the same believers, priests, as well as in the UOC-MP,” he said. You know, this has always been like that. For me personally and for people who came with me to our church, it all seemed not as some political or civil confrontation, but rather as a struggle for truth. From the very beginning, they’ve been programming us that there was only one true church, and that is the one in Russia,” he said. “Only over time, have I and other priests begun to figure out that this confrontation is artificial and that it has nothing to do with any spiritual matters,” said the priest. When asked whether pro-Russian propaganda in the UOC-MP expanded after the Maidan and the beginning of war, the priest said: “There was such a peculiar type of language – it’s hard for me to describe it… I was growing up in the times of the Soviet Union, and I remember this state of mind when the world around you seems to consist of two parts – in your mind, you think one thing, but you’re forced to show other people something else. Or it’s like being one type of man while you’re at home and another person while in public. It’s a kind of schizophrenia,” Savva said. “Something like that had been happening in the [Moscow Patriarchate] church and became even worse in 2014. A special language has been developed for the sermons, the nature of conversations between the bishop and the priests has changed. He [the bishop] would speak so skillfully that no one could argue, but everyone understood what he was talking about. This is hypocrisy perfected to art,” he said.

 

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