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Ukrainians are counting down to the 6th January, when their ecclesiastical ties to Russia are finally cut after 333 years. More on how the ROC failed in Ukraine.
An interesting debate in Russia on ROC wealth, while one of the most famous relics associated with the “Third Rome” trope may be a fake, in the sense that its actual origins and history may be quite different to the official story from the Kremlin since the 14th century. This begs the obvious question – what is not a fake in Russia?
There will be many parishioners of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) in Ukraine, so the ROC will continue to exist, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine Epiphanius has said in an interview with the Ukrainian service of Deutsche Welle. “We understand that the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine will continue to exist and there will be many who will want to stay there, but we have nothing against them. Everyone should choose his or her own religious center voluntarily,” he said. Epiphanius stressed that a bishop with a diocese or a priest with a community should decide on their position. If they decide at a general meeting that they want to voluntarily join the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine, they will be accepted into the structure of the single Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Metropolitan Epiphanius, head of the newly established Orthodox Church of Ukraine, said that the doors of a single local church are open to all Orthodox Christians. The unification council on the creation of a single local Orthodox church in Ukraine was held at Sofiyska Square in Kyiv on December 15. Metropolitan Epiphanius was elected the primate of the new church. He is expected to get a tomos of autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in Istanbul on January 6.
The newly created, independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine says it has understanding that the Russian Orthodox Church will continue existing in Ukraine in future. The leader of the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine says that his church’s doors remain open to all Orthodox Christians. The newly created, independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine says it has understanding that the Russian Orthodox Church will continue existing in Ukraine in future. “We understand that the Russian Orthodox Church will continue existing in Ukraine and there will be many who want to stay with it, and we have nothing against it. Everyone must choose their religious center voluntarily,” leader of the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epifaniy (Epiphanius) told Deutsche Welle’s Ukrainian Service in an interview. Read alsoMetropolitan Epifaniy: May new year give us hope for victorious end of war “A bishop with his diocese or a priest with his community must decide. If they decide at a general meeting that they want to voluntarily join the new church – they turn to us accordingly and we accept them into our single church structure,” Epifaniy said. The leader of the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine says that the new church’s doors remain open to all Orthodox Christians. He also says he is sure that Ukraine will see a strong, independent church in a year.
03 January 2019 The process of Ukraine’s own church becoming independent from Moscow is irreversible – the fact Russia is just unable to grasp. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine is in the final stretch of receiving from Constantinople a long-sought tomos of autocephaly, leaving the ROC and its satellites furious with these developments. The Russian…
The Orthodox Church of Ukraine is in the final stretch of receiving from Constantinople a long-sought tomos of autocephaly, leaving the ROC and its satellites furious with these developments. The process of Ukraine’s own church becoming independent from Moscow is irreversible – the fact Russia is just unable to grasp. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine is in the final stretch of receiving from Constantinople a long-sought tomos of autocephaly, leaving the ROC and its satellites furious with these developments. The Russian Orthodox Church and its Ukrainian subsidiary formerly known as the Moscow Patriarchate have been insistently claiming that Ukrainian authorities are forcing their clerics and laity to switch to the new church. Moreover, they voice sinister warnings that physical violence and an actual war could flare up in the process of creating and forming the newly established Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the Information Resistance OSINT group reports. It should be noted that such statements have nothing to do with reality, since there are numerous facts indicating the opposite, i.e. MP exerting pressure on its priests and parishioners to prevent their transition into the newly established OCU. Besides, the rhetoric of top Russian officials regarding the tomos for Ukraine shows their extremely aggressiveness and belligerence. Speaker of the Federation Council, Valentina Matvienko, went as far as branding the creation of a unified local church in Ukraine a “crime,” repeating the thesis that this “could lead to war.” Calling white what’s black and vice versa is a long-time favorite practice of Russian leaders, which not only borders with frank cynicism and hypocrisy but also goes in conflict with common sense.
ATHENS, Greece (RNS) – In a few days, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, the foremost leader in the Eastern Christian church, is scheduled to recognize the newly founded Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Bartholomew plans to give the tomos, or the formal decree of autocephaly, to primate Metropolitan Epiphanius in an elaborate ceremony in Istanbul that coincides with one of the most important celebrations for Orthodoxy, the Epiphany. But not everyone in the Orthodox world will be celebrating with them. Bartholomew’s decision to create an independent Orthodox church in Ukraine has created a rift between Moscow and Istanbul. Now other churches are lining up on the divide, with clerics issuing anathemas and excommunications while other opponents beat priests, hurl Molotov cocktails and conduct cyberattacks. “Its traditional allies have already sided with Moscow,” said Ilias Kouskouvelis, a professor of international relations at the University of Macedonia in northern Greece. “Allies like Serbia, Bulgaria and, naturally, the Patriarchate of Antioch, due to its proximity with Syria and Russia’s relationship with the Assad regime. Those who haven’t spoken up, like the Greek church, are siding with the Ecumenical Patriarch.”
“Pope for Ukraine” is a Vatican initiative that aims to collaborate with non-Catholic entities to respond to the emergency humanitarian situation amid conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Paul Goble Staunton, January 3 – Metropolitan Tikhon (Shevkunov) of Pskov says that the Russian Orthodox Church must ensure that priests, serving and retired, receive adequate pay and not be forced to rely on handouts, an appeal that may shake the foundations of that church even more than Ukrainian autocephaly. Under Patriarch Kirill, the church hierarchy has grown enormous wealthy, with some bishops wearing Gucci shoes and the patriarch himself travelling in style in expensive cars and yachts. But at the same time, many priests are near starvation because of low incomes and retired priests are often driven to rely on handouts of food to survive. Tikhon, widely known as Vladimir Putin’s favorite churchman because of the metropolitan’s conservative and anti-ecumenical views, has thus launched a populist attack on the hierarchy led by Kirill with the kind of demand that the church leadership will find difficult to respond to given the church’s nods to and Russian interest in seeing justice prevail. The church must be so organized, the metropolitan says, that priests and retired religious receive adequate pay and to do that will require effective bookkeeping. No priest should be starving although many are, something that gives him a sense of “horror,” Tikhon told his bishops at a recent meeting. Because of the holidays, Tikhon’s remarks have not circulated widely yet. Indeed, they have been the subject of reporting only by a narrow swath of Orthodox publications not controlled by Kirill. (For an example, see ahilla.ru/mitropolit-tihon-shevkunov-otmenil-konvertiki-i-reshil-problemu-golodayushhego-duhovenstva/). But when the long winter holiday is over, it is likely that Tikhon’s words will spread, especially as criticism of Kirill is certain to intensify once the Universal Patriarch formally grants the tomos of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine three days from now. And if they do, they may come to be seen as the opening salvo of a campaign to force Kirill out. In terms of canon law, no one can be compelled to resign as patriarch, but the interests of the Kremlin and the anger of many about Kirill’s failings with respect to Ukraine and other issues almost certainly means that in this case as so many others in Russia, the text of the law is not what will determine outcomes. And consequently, by launching an appeal that will attract many believers and even more priests, Tikhon (and presumably Putin behind him) is putting pressure on Orthodox bishops and other hierarchs to reconsider their loyalty to the current patriarch who not only has not defended the position of the church effectively but has not shared the wealth he has amassed for himself.
Paul Goble Staunton, January 3 – The cap of the Monomakh, a symbol for many Russians of Muscovy’s links to Constantinople and thus fundamental to the idea of Moscow as the third Rome, did not come from the second Rome as most Russians imagine but from Khan Uzbek of the Golden Horde, according to Mansur Mirovalyev. The Uzbek historian’s argument, presented in a 2800-word scholarly article, acknowledges the other theory of the cap’s origin but says there are far better reasons to think that it came from Uzbek and thus its invocation as a prop for the notion of Moscow as the third Rome is unjustified (http://fergana.agency/articles/103851/). And drawing on the works of other historians, including Russian ones, Mirovalyev suggests that it was Uzbek Khan who determined that Moscow would first become primus inter pares among Russian principalities and then the dominant one, a view that many Russians are certain to view as at a minimum lese majeste or even as an insult to their national dignity. The Uzbek historian notes that he is far from alone in his position on the provenance of the cap of the Monomakh. Irina Bobrovnitskaya, who curates the crown, argues that Moscow Prince Ivan Kalita received the cap from Uzbek Khan, and Moscow historian Nikolay Borisov considers it to be a woman’s tyubeteika which belonged to the wife of Moscow Prince Yury. Uzbek “ruled the Golden Horde in its golden age,” the Tashkent historian says, and during his reign, “the Moscow princes began to aspire to primacy over the remaining Russian principalities, above all as allies of the Horde which gave them the right to collect tribute from the others. Consequently, Mirovalyev says, “if it weren’t for Uzbek, then the Russian state in its present-day form, as a continuation of the Grand Principality of Muscovy simply would not exist.” It might even have happened that Islam would have become the predominant religion of that state or that it might have accepted Christianity on its own. Picking Moscow as its favorite, the Uzbek historian says, the regime of Uzbek chose a weak competitor in order to promote its plans of dividing and ruling this part of its own empire. And he notes that the ethnic diversity of the region is so great that “even the word ‘Moscow’ most likely is Finno-Ugric in origin.” But as has often happened in other empires, border cities and states, often emerge as the dominant players with the help of outsiders. And that is what happened in the case of Muscovy. But its help came not from Constantinople as most Russians now imagine but rather from the Golden Horde, something they are reluctant to admit.