The removal of the anathema with Filaret and the process of autocephaly: the Greeks are bluffing

About the effect of the withdrawal of the anathema with Filaret thinks doctor of legal Sciences, specialist in Canon law and byzantinistic Alexey Velichko.

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– The Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople announced on the eve of the withdrawal of the anathema with Filaret and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, essentially legalizing the split and continuing the process of granting of the Tomos Ukraine. It should be understood that Constantinople took Moscow the Metropolitan of Kiev, to give her autocephaly?

– We are witnessing a conflict between two positions and, to be Frank, none of them perfect. Constantinople just now declared the illegitimacy of the Cathedral in 1686, according to which the Kievan Metropolia went to the Moscow Patriarchate. All this time – 300 years – Constantinople their rights not stated.

The position of the Russian Orthodox Church is based on the fact that the Cathedral took place and a stable legal tradition. Therefore, the Kievan Metropolitanate belongs to the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. And because the actions of Patriarch Bartholomew estimated us negatively. But to be objective, the thesis of the researchers that the Cathedral in 1686 were not without violations, are fair and reasonable.

Constantinople and Moscow based on their position and move each of its course. To anything good it will not. The situation faces a real schism in the Eastern Church. Please note, the site’s has been published the proclamation of Polish, Bulgarian and Antiochian churches that they supposedly support Moscow and our position. In fact, the appeal contains a request to the address of Patriarch Bartholomew to convene a pan-Orthodox meeting to solve one single question: “How order one or the other Church may be granted the status of autocephaly?”. And the letters themselves, and the nature of the request of other local Churches, presupposes in fact the recognition for the Patriarch of Constantinople Ecumenical status, which he received in the VI century.

I hope our rigorism subside. The idea expressed by other local Churches – to convene a pan-Orthodox conference, to discuss the procedure to output a specific community of the Local Church, the status of autocephaly, I do seem to be good and reasonable. Obviously, in this case, the decision will be made immediately, will hardly be the final features soon to be recommendations to all the local churches. But it may be a step.

Really want Constantinople to grant autocephaly to Ukraine, I don’t know and wouldn’t make such strong statements. In my personal opinion, on the part of Constantinople there is an element of bluff.

– What do you mean, calling the actions of Constantinople bluff?

– A bluff in the sense that in addition to the decisions of Constantinople the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Church autocephaly, you must have the desire of the Ukrainian Church autocephaly of this to. I’m not talking about the bishops of the Ukrainian Church, which, as you know, divided. Part of the episcopate supported the autocephaly (the Ukrainian names of these bishops are known) the other part, headed by Metropolitan Onufry acts to remain in the bosom of the Moscow Patriarchate.

But if we think about all the Orthodox community, guardians of piety, as it was called ordinary lay Christians, the Holy fathers, how they live better, can only solve themselves. Better for ordinary lay people to live in conditions of joining the Moscow Patriarchate or as a separate Church community? The obvious answer to this question is no. While we are witnessing in Ukraine, the absence of pronounced movement for the autocephaly of the or against it.

There is a group of bishops, there Filaret, is the Kiev government that the idea financial, but the Ukrainian movement for the autocephaly could not be obtained. The population is wary of the autocephaly of Constantinople knows about it. No one wants to announce the decision, which shall be fulfilled by the Church. Imagine Tomos was given, and the Church of the Russian Orthodox Church did not. For example, the parishes and the diocese will decide that staying in the bosom of the Moscow Patriarchate. For Constantinople it will be a fiasco.

Do you think that the recognition of canonicity of Filaret, the lifting of the anathema can do it Metropolitan or he will remain “Patriarch”?

Patriarch he can not become because the Ukrainian Church is not a Patriarchate. He proclaimed himself a Patriarch, after the Russian Orthodox Church has removed him from among the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church. And the fact that the Constantinople Patriarch Filaret withdrew from anathema, imposed on him by the Russian Synod, this was done for reasons that we discussed above.

From the point of view of Constantinople, the Kievan Metropolitanate is part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and this means that the Synod is entitled not only to anathematize, but to remove the anathema from their members. The Greeks are very consistent in their actions, even if it’s a delusion – they are consistent and the errors too.

In the opinion of the Synod of the ROC, the removal of the anathema with Philaret – a gross violation of the rights of the Moscow Patriarchate, because in our opinion the Kievan Metropolitanate included in our squad since the end of XVIII century. Again, this is some kind of an eternal debate about anything. Both sides can cite a lot of evidence of self-righteousness. But let’s be honest, no position is not supported by most local Churches of the Eastern Church.

Who voted for the position of Constantinople? In my opinion, no. And who voted against the position of the Patriarch Bartholomew? Also no. Even this fact emphasizes that the event 1686 has no unambiguous interpretation. A controversial issue can be resolved only through peaceful demonstration, but not to hard and the public confrontation between Moscow and Constantinople.

– Does yesterday’s decision of Constantinople some consequences for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church?

– If one wants these consequences to take.

– As you think, whether to obey the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-request to commemorate the Patriarch of Constantinople instead of Moscow?

– So this is the most essential question of the present day. What position will the entire Orthodox world of Ukraine, starting from the laymen to the metropolitans? It is impossible to predict, so it is very difficult question. Significantly, the solution will depend on the activity of the political authorities of Ukraine itself. If supporters maintain ties with the Moscow Patriarchate, the authorities will begin to limit property rights, subsidies that are still provided to dioceses and parishes by state authorities, if they start to take the property from the parishes (and it still is in state ownership of Ukraine), I’m afraid, these measures shifted the scales in our favor.

Recorded Darya Rowena

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