The decision of the Patriarch of Constantinople about the lifting of anathemas and the establishment of stavropigio in Kiev can turn into a reciprocal anathema. Experts point out that the election idea Tomos obviously leads to a confrontation and its members will not be recognized by world Orthodoxy.
“To avoid attribution of the temples”
The Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople issued a document that lifted the excommunication of the Church with heads of the Kyiv Patriarchate and the UAOC – Filaret Denisenko and Macarius of Miletich. The Synod proclaimed Ukraine his “stavropegic”, which is the authority of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The document urges “to avoid the appropriation of churches, monasteries and other property, and to refrain from any other acts of violence and revenge.”
The political scientist Ruslan Bortnik said that the attempt of Constantinople to absolve themselves of any responsibility for possible further confrontation. He was being ironic: the Kyivan Patriarchate and the UAOC “went for a Tomos and was captured”. It was expected that Constantinople will issue a Tomos (decree of the Patriarch) on the provision of complete independence – autocephaly.
“De facto it looks like the creation of the Exarchate: throw a cookie in the form of “lifting of the anathema”, while depriving both the “patriarchs” Sana, and their Church autonomy, and bleed in the struggle for the throne indefinitely,” wrote he in Facebook.
The next step after receiving the document from Constantinople announcing the unification Council, which will elect the head of the new Church structure, which will receive from the hands of the Patriarch of Constantinople promised Tomos.
The most likely candidate is the head of the Kyiv Patriarchate Filaret. It has a clear majority in the future Council, and could lead a new Church if the vote will take place. Press Secretary of the Kyiv Patriarchate Archbishop yevstratiy Zorya has said: “We, the hierarchs of the Kyivan Patriarchate will nominate and support the candidature of Patriarch Filaret”.
The Council advertised the participation of 41 bishops of the Kyiv Patriarchate, 12 bishops of the UAOC and the 10 bishops of the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate. The participation of the latter is doubtful, because the unification Council should be assembled to receive the Tomos, that is, to the canonical recognition of the new Church. And if any Bishop in joining the Cathedral, he could deny service.
Of the ten bishops of the UOC, the owls of President Poroshenko, was supported by his appeal to the Patriarch of Constantinople on the granting of autocephaly, known only to a few names. Cherkasy is a Metropolitan Sofroniy Dmytruk, and, probably, vicar of the Kyiv Metropolitan Alexander drabinko. The media called Metropolitan Simeon of Vinnytsia Dastatkova. But the information is not officially confirmed.
In the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate criticized the decision of the Synod of Constantinople for the establishment of “stavropigio” and the removal of the anathema with Filaret. Chairman of the Synodal information and educational Department of UOC-MP, Archbishop Clement Supper said that this decision is unlawful, and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew himself should be subjected to anathema.
“This solution is completely non-canonical, because this territory does not belong to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, how he can remove anathema? I think that for such actions of Patriarch Bartholomew must impose anathema”- to quote the Archbishop of media.
It should be recalled that the former Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church Filaret Denisenko was excommunicated by the Council of bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1997. And before he was five years old was defrocked. In 1992 the bishops ‘ Council decided: “to be removed Metropolitan Filaret (Denisenko) from being defrocked, depriving it of all degrees of the priesthood, and all the rights associated with being in the clergy”.
“There might be one Church”
In the Russian Orthodox Church (Autonomous which is part of the UOC) believe that the Patriarchate of Constantinople crosses the red line and called the Synod decision “a legalization of the schism”.
“Constantinople their actions crosses the red line and dramatically breaks the unity of the world Orthodoxy”, – said the press Secretary of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill, the priest Alexander Volkov. In addition, he noted that the Russian Orthodox Church may sever ties with Constantinople.
The official position of the ROC will be announced in the near future, the meeting of the Synod scheduled for October 15. Possible Eucharistic communion with Constantinople would mean the rejection of the Tomos of autocephaly, the Patriarch Bartholomew is going to give a new Church structure that will be created parallel to the canonical Moscow Patriarchate.
It is believed that such autocephaly is recognized not all 15 local Orthodox churches is to contact mutual bans of Moscow and Constantinople, many local churches will not. Indeed, in the case of recognition of Ukrainian autocephaly will be followed by a Eucharistic communion with Moscow.
Although the creation of this structure has not yet proceeded, in the Kiev Patriarchy consider that after receiving Thomas about 6 thousand parishes of the UOC immediately go into a new Autocephalous Church.
According to the Department of religious Affairs of the Ministry of culture at the beginning of 2018, the UOC has more than 12 thousand active parishes, and in the Kyiv Patriarchate them 4.8 thousand about a thousand listed in the UAOC, which intends to merge with the Kyiv Patriarchate.
Eustratius Zorya predicts that in the future the next few years, “two-thirds” of the parishes of the UOC will move into a new structure, and in the long term, according to him, the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine do not remain. Say, perhaps, in Kiev will remain one Church to be representative of the Patriarch of Moscow to Patriarch of Kyiv.
The Ministry of culture in charge of relations between the state and the Church has already been recalled that the UOC-Moscow Patriarchate is the tenant and not the owner of their main shrines – Kiev-Pechersk and Pochaev Lavra.
“If it is clear that during the transfer of the monastery in the lease there was a violation, it may be grounds for renegotiation of the contract. This issue is in the competence of the Cabinet of Ministers”, – said the Director of the Department for religions and nationalities of Ministry of culture Andriy yurash.
It should be noted that on 22 September the website of the UOC-MP published information according to which the Ministry holds an inventory of the property of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. And on 25 September in Kiev-Pechersk Lavra met the Holy Synod of the UOC. In the journals of the session of the Synod (journal No. 18) States that it is preparing “legal liquidation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, by means of raider attacks through the name change, illegal interference in the control and seizure of property (shrines, temples and monasteries)”.
Political analyst Andriy Zolotaryov notes that the history of obtaining Thomas started at the initiative of the President, “which is this idea of trying to enter second term”. “This is a risk that Ukraine may go to another level of the religious conflict that could turn into religious war. Getting Thomas may be the trigger of these events,” he said.
Ruslan Bortnik said: “the Most probable aggravation can walk immediately after the unification of the Cathedral. After Christmas and closer to the election. Confrontation will be permanent, because the community in such a situation begins to crack”.