Tuesday, July 19, 2016

EP moves ahead on Ukrainian autocephaly considerations

What one has to remember is that for Constantinople, autocephaly is completely determined by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The EP decides who is autocephalous. Not Russia, not the Pentarchy, not the body seeking autocephaly itself. So, while a move to establish autocephaly in Ukraine without Russia or some "coalition of the willing" consensus from other Churches is possible from a Constantinopolitan perspective, it would turn the current crack formed by the Crete Council into a vast chasm.

(Pravoslavie.ru) - The Patriarchate of Constantinople has reacted to the appeal of the Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) deputies on granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, reports Interfax-Religion.

The Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople has not turned down this appeal but, instead, has charged a special synodal commission with examining it, reports the Romfea Greek Church news agency.

As was earlier reported, the Verkhovna Rada recently called upon Patriarch Bartholomew I to issue a Tomos granting autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in the Ukraine and to recognize the 1686 act, in accordance with which the Metropolitan See of Kiev was transferred to the Patriarchate of Moscow “in defiance of canons”, as invalid. However, the Patriarchate of Constantinople did not respond to that appeal.

Commenting on this initiative, the Russian Federation’s Foreign Ministry Ombudsman for Human Rights Konstantin Dolgov has said that it is a transgression of the Ukrainian law and that the Venice Commission should provide an opinion on this matter. The ombudsman has also pointed to the fact that the Verkhovna Rada is promoting a number of bills that “are aimed at the ultimate legalization of taking over church buildings of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate by raiders.”

There are three active Orthodox religious organizations in the Ukraine: the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP), the “Kyiv Patriarchate”, and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, and the latter two are not recognized in the Orthodox world.

Earlier Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko more than once expressed the idea of establishing one local (autocephalous) Orthodox Church in the country. One of the goals of this initiative is to separate UOC MP from the Patriarchate of Moscow.


  1. Lord, have mercy! I possibly wouldn't have converted to Orthodoxy had it not been for a loving Russian teacher in Kiev who explained the difference between the UOC MP and the schismatic UOC KP, and, understanding just how little I understood, began guiding me toward the True (Canonical) Church.

    It is deeply saddening to see the blatant politicization of our Church and the pressure put on good-hearted, faithful Ukrainians to fall into schism for the sake of their patriotism. By all means, love your country, but don't sacrifice the True Faith! God help us!

  2. Now if I was an ecumenist/modernist/progressive minded person looking to further degrade and divide the faithful, where would I start?

    It's quite disheartening, but it seems like the writing of schism is on the wall. I honestly just wonder how much more damage people like Patriarch Bartholomew will do before the gloves come off.

    There's already a petition going around Mt. Athos to renounce the declarations of the council and stop commemorating P.B. While I can't help but wish the governing body of Mt. Athos would officially follow that line; I suspect in spite of all the blatant heresies* and ecumenist doctrine coming out of Constantinople, they still won't do anything just yet.

    I'm thankful i'm not in charge and I don't have to make such a call, but while i'm sure they are refraining for fear of a schism, I can't help but wonder at what point we have to consider biting the bullet for the sake of stopping even greater damage.

    * ("The Patriarch of Constantinople is first /without/ equal" "We cannot have a truly ecumenical council, because without our (Catholic and Protestant) brothers from the West, we are not complete" sorry, getting tired of batting around the bush, this council had one positive effect, it has brought a lot of people's beliefs out into the open, good and bad)

  3. The Heresiarch, Bartholomew, is determined to fracture the Holy Orthodox Church into as many pieces as possible. First the robber council....now this. He needs to be stopped before further damage is done. Anathema!!!

  4. Constantinople offered an opportunity to broach the topic of autocephaly at the recent council. The sister churches scrapped it from the agenda because it was too divisive. What's a primus inter pares to do?

    This is not about Constantinople or ecumenism. It's about war-torn and bloodied Ukraine, where there is already a good number of faithful Orthodox Christians and clergy - of the canonical variety - who have lost faith in the Moscow Patriarchate.

    Ukrainian autocephaly might be a terrible idea - only God knows. But the Ukrainian people are done being played like a pawn in the game. Moscow is in denial that they can safeguard the hearts, minds, and canonical loyalty of the church in Ukraine without assistance from the other churches. Keeping Ukraine in a religiously-justified ideological death-grip is recipe for disaster.

  5. The UAOC (not Ukie Congress though) sends similar requests twice a year. And yet Phanar has not made a move. That means as for now I would restrain your schadenfreude just a little bit until something happens.

    Nice provocation.

  6. I am not trying to fan the flames, but I think that a better and more righteous move would be to consider reviewing the autocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church. No offence intended toward the Serbian Orthodox Church.