Communication break between the Moscow and Constantinople Patriarchates is an extremely emotionally heavy sitatsii, causing violent explosions of outrage among sympathizers of both parties to the conflict, therefore, I would like to examine it, trying to separate the facts (what happens) from the estimates (who is guilty).
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Ukrainian “autocephaly” is a political project
So, what happens? Who appealed to Patriarch Filaret with a request to grant Autocephaly? The secular authorities of Ukraine – the President, Parliament, a number of politicians, including the part are not even formally Orthodox, and belong to different religious communities or directly declare themselves “atheists of the Kyiv Patriarchate”. The open and strong support for this project Express the secular authorities of another state of the United States, as evidenced by senior American officials Samuel Brownback, Joe Biden and the state Department as a whole.
The Patriarch Bartholomew argues that ”at the request of the government of Ukraine”. Thus, it is no secret that new religious community is builded on the initiative of the secular authorities. There are different ways to treat this fact can be considered a way of Church organization is normal, right, good, reflecting the high principles that we must follow. You can evaluate it rather negatively. But the fact remains.
For what purpose is created this autocephaly? About it is natural to ask the organizers. Here is what the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko: “From the first days of my presidency I set a goal to create a single national Orthodox Church and the recognition of this Church by the Ecumenical Patriarch. Autocephaly is the question of independence. It is a question of our national security. This is a question the entire world geopolitics. The army protects our land. The language protects our heart. Faith protects our soul.”
Again, you can refer to Poroshenko as a politician and to the objectives it sets itself. Fact, independent of our estimates is that, in his own words, ustroena them autocephaly is a matter of “geopolitics” and not the good of the Church, the preaching of the gospel or the salvation of souls.
In what ways is the project of autocephaly to the existing Ukrainian Orthodox Church in communion with the Moscow Patriarchate? The Church itself with any requests for autocephaly was not addressed in the project is not involved. It is assumed that some of its bishops alone want to join a new community – their number is estimated at 10, according to other sources 15.
The project, according to its organizers, that is secular authorities, is fundamentally hostile to the Church, headed by Metropolitan Onufry. For example, President Poroshenko says Ukrainian Orthodox, which is in canonical communion with the Moscow Patriarchate, as “the tentacles of the aggressor state” that should “loose”, and his further speech did not give the slightest opportunity to interpret his words otherwise. Recently, he again stressed that considering the UOC (MP) as a “fifth column”: “Ukrainian independence without the presence of the local Autocephalous Church, when the Church is a fifth column of the neighboring state, is not full independence, is a remnant of the colonial status”. He also said that the temples where they pray for the Patriarch, cannot be called Ukrainian.
A similar attitude is expressed by other senior officials. For example, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin said that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in communion with the Moscow Patriarchate, “not in Ukraine” and the adviser to the interior Minister Zoryan Shkiryak, and all expressed with great expression: “Gundyaev and priests-KGB agents of the Russian Orthodox Church reached a new definitive bottom… Go [out], vampires in Moscow. Out of our Holy, righteous washed in the blood of our glorious ancestors and modern warriors-heroes of the Ukrainian land”.
To these facts, again, can be treated differently. You can see them as an inspiring example of how a modern, European, democratic, secular state should build Church-state relations. It is a question of your personal political preferences. But the fact of the hostility of the state to the largest religious community on its territory is hardly possible to deny.
That is Constantinople, not Moscow Patriarchate, requires power over the whole Church
What is the attitude of Patriarch Bartholomew I to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, headed by Metropolitan Onufry? More recently, he was recognized as Metropolitan.Onuphrius is the only canonical head of the Church in Ukraine. Now he acts like Metropolitan Onufry – neither as a man nor as a canonical Bishop with certain rights, simply does not exist.
He sends exarchs, takes the rebuke with Raskolnikov and take other actions on Church management, not only not consulting with Metropolitan Onufry, but also against his clearly stated will. What made him so drastically change his attitude to someone who until recently was his beloved brother and servant? It would be understandable if Metropolitan Onufry would have fallen into heresy or some sins and crimes that would undermine its canonical status. But the head of the UOC nobody accuses.
Patriarch Bartholomew simply, without any reasons on the part of Metropolitan Onufriy, ceased to acknowledge him – and with him those Orthodox bishops who remain faithful to him. Canons and historical precedents, obviously, have not changed over the years, there was no change in the behavior of Metropolitan Onufriy – what has changed is the behavior and attitudes of Patriarch Bartholomew. And they have changed it is when the Lord Onufry and his flock are faced with a hostile pressure from the state authorities.
This variability can be assessed differently. Perhaps someone thinks this behavior is a perfect manifestation of pastoral care, Christian love, fidelity to the canons of human decency. Others deem that I would not like to deal with people coming this way. But the fact of such behavior Patriarch Bartholomew is obvious to all.
Who is the initiator of the current Church conflict? We can have different likes and dislikes, but existed for a long time the status quo was destroyed by the actions of specific parties, and we, at the level of facts, know what it is. Of course, it can be assumed that the status quo is unjust and untenable, call it “three hundred years of the ecclesiastical yoke” or some words, and consider its destruction a beautiful thing. It is a question of estimates. If to speak about the facts, that the current dispensation in the Church three hundred years the situation was openly and clearly destroyed that the actions of Constantinople. Praise him for it or to blame – the question of your assessments. What the Church world is destroyed it Panaram – fact. The Moscow Patriarchate – whether he likes you or not – is reacting and not initiating party to the conflict.
What are the claims of the parties in this Church dispute? Some commentators wearily declare that both sides are equally bad and power-hungry bishops share power over the poor souls. Well, good or bad is a matter of estimates at the level of facts we can only consider the parties ‘ positions. Can you talk about their symmetry, or at least the likeness? No. The Patriarch of Constantinople claim to the status of primus sine paribus, the “first without equals”, first Hierarch of the Universal Church, which is free to dispose within it, just as he is doing now in Ukraine. Patriarch of Moscow anything similar is not intended, but only assuming all the patriarchs are equal, rejects the claims of Constantinople.
Consider whether the claims of Constantinople to be reasonable or not – but it was he, not the Moscow Patriarchate requires power over the whole Church.
These are facts that we should consider nezavisimo from our preferences and evaluations. In light of these facts the decision of the Moscow Patriarchate – do you approve of it or not – is completely expected, and it was impossible not to foresee at the outset.
To say, as do some commentators, that “Moscow had gone into schism”, it would be an inadequate description of the situation. If you require a group of people of obedience and submission, supplying himself the Lord over them, they do not want to communicate with you on these terms, the situation is more likely connected with your requirements, what with their lack of communication is infuriating.
The observed facts are hardly encouraged to optimistic conclusions – the Patriarchate of Constantinople, at the encouragement of his secular allies will continue to press its claims, Moscow will continue to not take any more.
One can say with certainty – God is the sovereign of world and Church history, and in the end will lead it to the goals that defines It. And it is doubtless a fact, as if it is not treated.