August 31 will be held in Istanbul to meet Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill and his Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, which will discuss the granting of independence to Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Photo: Sergei Polezhaka / Reuters
The dispute between Constantinople and Moscow about whose canonical territory is Ukraine, is carried out for several centuries. In 1686 the Patriarch of Constantinople Dionysius gave the Kyiv metropolis in the management of Russian Church. However, in the beginning of the XX century, Constantinople began to talk about the fact that the Russian Orthodox Church misread the decision and that the Ecumenical Patriarch preserved the right to consider Ukraine as its canonical territory, the return of the Metropolitan of Kiev and give up her independence. This statement was made, in particular, in July this year.
In Moscow refer to the 900 pages of documents from different centuries, to refute the position of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In the Russian Church believe that his superiority, formality, and autocephaly (the status of the local Church, involving its independence. — RBC) should be conferred is not the sole decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and by consent of all the local churches.
The most likely scenario, Constantinople will return the status of the Kyiv metropolis in the Patriarchate, and then give her autocephaly, says archdeacon Andrei Kuraev. To predict what will happen next is difficult: “Kyiv, the Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate is against such a transition, but we must remember that the Ukrainian legislation the owner of the temple building considers the community (in Russia the same temple building managed by the diocese). That is to vote on the transfer of a parish are the parishioners, and not the bishops,” says Kuraev. He also reminds that there is precedent for the coexistence of the two Patriarchates of Constantinople and Moscow in one country, Estonia.
The main thing about the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church — in the review of RBC.
1. What the patriarchs meet in Istanbul
Kirill and Bartholomew do not see each other often: their last meeting was held two years ago in the Swiss Chambesy meeting of the primates of the Autocephalous Orthodox churches. They met in March 2014 at the same event in Istanbul. According to official reports, only since 2009 has held five meetings.
According to the announcement of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, will discuss issues of “mutual interest”. Kirill’s visit to Istanbul will strengthen personal ties between the two patriarchs, they will discuss common problems of relations and the consequences of these relations, the Ukrainian question, said RBC religion Roman Lunkin. According to experts, the visit of Cyril is a step of good will, he “entered his Church’s pride in order to save Ukraine.” Cyril opposed the granting of autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and Bartholomew, according to Ukrainian politicians and sources Bi-bi-si, has already taken a decision on granting the Ukrainian Church autonomy.
2. Why Ukrainian autocephaly
The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko from the first days of his tenure announced its intention to achieve independence of the Ukrainian Church from Russian. “Autocephaly is not the only problem of Ukrainian Orthodox. It is a question of our independence. It is a question of our national security. Therefore, have a fierce resistance the city of Moscow and its fifth column in Ukraine”, — said Poroshenko in June 2018. He was supported by former President Leonid Kravchuk, Leonid Kuchma, Viktor Yushchenko. For Poroshenko to resolve the Church dispute was one of the few ways to increase the popularity ahead of presidential elections in 2019, said Alexei Makarkin from the political techniques Center. In his speech at the parade in honor of independence Day of Ukraine August 24 the President returned to this theme: “We are determined to put an end to the unnatural and non-canonical stay most of our Orthodox community, depending on the Russian Church”.
According to a survey conducted by Fund “Democratic initiatives” name Ilka Kucheriva and Razumkov Centre in June, the establishment of the Autocephalous local Orthodox Church in Ukraine supports 31% of the citizens speak against 20%. Among the supporters of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) the idea of creating a local Church is supported by only 23% oppose to 40%. And only 11% of Ukrainians believe that the establishment of the local Church refers to the priority issues of life of the country.
However, the UOC-MP continued to believe that their Church is in Ukraine, the most numerous, and such polls are conducted “in order to protect themselves from possible accusations from the international institutions in the discrimination of the largest religious organizations of Ukraine”.
3. Three churches
Ukraine has three Orthodox churches, but only one is canonical — the UOC-MP. Its Primate is Metropolitan Onufry. The Church does not support the movement for autocephaly. Since 1990 the UOC-MP is a self — governing Church. In Moscow declare that she has the right to seek Autocephalous status.
According to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko a petition for autocephaly was signed by two Churches — the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC KP) and Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. The first was founded in 1992 by immigrants from the UOC. Its Primate, Metropolitan Filaret in 2008 was betrayed ROC anathema.
A parish of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate consider themselves to be 28.7% of the surveyed citizens of the Republic, of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is 12.8%. A parish of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church called itself 0,3% of respondents, 23.4 per cent said they “just Orthodox”, and 1.9% were undecided. This is evidenced by research conducted by the Razumkov Center in the spring of 2018.
4. Who can grant autocephaly
When it comes to the granting of autocephaly, the parties refer to different procedures. The Ukrainian side present the case so that the Tomos (a decree) may issue the Patriarch of Constantinople, after consultation (but did not specify with whom).
Representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church object to — the decision on the granting of autocephaly should be a United decision of all the local churches (15) and granted, it can only be an already existing canonical Church, which the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, said Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.
“In Ukraine there is only one local Church, recognized by the world Orthodoxy, is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. It no one asked for autocephaly, it is already independent in its management,” — said Metropolitan Hilarion.
5. What autocephaly is going to cost the ROC
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is the largest Church in Ukraine. According to the Ministry of culture of Ukraine for the beginning of 2017, the UOC-MP had at his disposal throughout the country 11 392 places of worship, as well as 12 328 communities of believers. In the conduct of the UOC-MP are also three Lavra, Kiev-Pechersk, Pochayiv-Dormition and assumption Svyatogorsk. Run by the Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate — 3784 temple and 5114 communities. The Russian Orthodox Church together with parishes abroad 36 878 temples and other premises, where the divine Liturgy.
The third largest of the communities and churches in Ukraine — the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church: she 1195 868 communities and churches.
The parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate will have to decide to join the UOC-KP or not, said “Voice of Ukraine” at the end of June Patriarch Filaret: “Those who do not join will not be able to be called the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, but only by the Church or Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine.”
6. Why the Orthodox Church does not agree with the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church
The main complaints are two: the first — all is done according to the canons, the second is a politically motivated action, and the Church should be separated from the state. “The material aspect plays an important role, the main thing is the political and spiritual and cultural role, without Ukraine, the Russian Orthodox Church is, roughly speaking, the Church of Muscovy of the Mongol-Tatar yoke, it is not a large-scale education”, — says Roman Lunkin.
ROC believes that if the autocephaly is still to be proclaimed, will be a split. The provision of non-canonical Orthodox churches in Ukraine autocephaly will like the Great Church schism of 1054, in which Christianity split into Orthodoxy and Catholicism, said in an interview with TASS the Chairman of the Department for external Church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk in July.
The schism of 1054, also known as the Great schism, divided the Church into Roman Catholic in the West (Rome) and Orthodox in the East (Constantinople), the mutual anathemas were removed only in 1965.
7. Was there a precedent for the independence of the Orthodox churches
The latter Church received autocephaly from the Patriarch of Constantinople, became in 1924 the Polish Orthodox Church. It is on this precedent refers now the Patriarchate of Constantinople, explaining their right to grant the Tomos of autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church. In Moscow the decision of 1924, I think it’s wrong that the Ecumenical Patriarch had no right. As in the case of the Polish Church, and is now in autocephaly insisted the secular authorities, not Church hierarchy, resulting in “RIA Novosti” the opinion of the Church historian Vladislav parsley.
Autocephaly was recognized by other local churches, but not the Moscow Patriarchate, which broke communion with the Polish Metropolitan Dionysius and the episcopate of Poland. After the Second world war and the establishment of the Communist regime in the country, the Polish Church has invalidated its autocephaly and appealed to Moscow Patriarch Alexy I with repentance. The Patriarch and the Synod restored with the Polish Orthodox Church canonical prayer and liturgical communion and gave her the right to full self-management.
8. Is there a difference for parishioners
At the time of the new autocephaly Orthodox Church of Constantinople, as a rule, is not transferred to the newly formed churches of the right to self-chrism (preparation and consecration of special aromatic oils used in the sacraments of the Church. — RBC), stipulating in tamasah the need to miró from Constantinople. Unlike Constantinople, the Russian Orthodox Church granted autocephaly to the right-of-mirovareniye.
The main problem of independence, according to Kuraev, is whether Kiev to ensure the rights of those who disagree with the autocephaly of the citizens. “This theme is missing in the negotiations of the secular and ecclesiastical authorities of the Russian with Ukrainian”, — he said. “People have a traditional inertia of thinking. They may on the question of the Crimea or the Donbass adhere to the Kiev point of view, but do not recognize the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church. This is a question for them, not politicians, and religious beliefs. The question is, what do they do with them Kyiv authorities,” he says.
Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople will make a decision without looking at other local churches, in the case of “very vociferous” other churches the process could be inhibited, reported in the July Bi-bi-si.
Very tentatively worldwide Orthodoxy is divided into two parties, tending to Constantinople and Moscow, Greek and Russian. First — the Constantinople, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Cyprus, Greece, Albania, the second — Moscow, Antioch, Georgia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Poland and the Czech Republic-Slovakia. The Orthodox Church is in Romania, but she remains neutral.