Raskolam.net presents a new project to the readers’ attention – “News digest by Raskolam.net”. Read our digest of the most important church news weekly.
This week, a whole series of news was devoted to the meeting of the ex-President of Ukraine and Patriarch Bartholomew at the Phanar. In addition to the exchange of courtesies, a number of protocol statements related to this topic were made. Among other things, the head of the Phanar said that the Ukrainian land became Christian thanks to the efforts of the Phanar, and the Archbishop of the UOC in the United States, Daniel (Zelinsky), praised Poroshenko, noting that Ukrainians for centuries dreamed of what they did with Poroshenko’s church. However, the main attention in all these moments is taken by the fact that recently Poroshenko has not been visiting Istanbul for the first time and holds meetings there at the highest church level. This detail indicates that the former head of state is preparing for the elections, and the church theme may become one of the main topics in his election campaign. The Greeks, in turn, do not write off Petro Alekseevich to the end, realizing that the Ukrainian political front is very unstable, and they, by and large, no matter with whom to talk about their actions in Ukraine, after all, under Zelensky and under Poroshenko, they are in plus. Moreover, Poroshenko owes Bartholomew in the form of unfulfilled promises to transfer a number of religious buildings on the territory of Ukraine to the so-called “Mother Church” stavropegia. In this context, colleagues from the Pravblog TG channel spoke very correctly, stressing that the invitation of Patriarch Bartholomew to Kiev is a free PR for Poroshenko.
The news from the cycle “their morals” does not end there. Immediately after the attack on the procession of the UOC in the Chernihiv region, the representative of the local diocese of the OCU Yevstratiy Zorya told how Metropolitan Kliment (Metropolitan of Nezhinsky and Priluksky UOC) interfered with him. According to Zorya, Metropolitan Clement interferes with him by resisting the seizure of churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The representative of the OCU attributes his failures to some “barons”, whose support they enlisted in the UOC. Mr. Zorya, most likely, considers provocations against the UOC “a gesture of Christian mercy.”
The next in this company is the representative of the OCU “Archbishop” of Kharkov and Izyum Afanasy Shkurupiy, who just recently complained about the discrimination on the part of his colleague. This vivid character, commenting on the video of the attack on the procession of the UOC in Nizhyn, called the flock of the canonical UOC “cattle” and said that the processions should be dispersed. Most likely, Shkurpiy did not hear about the gospel principle – “what you sow, you reap”.
At the same time, the echoes of the OCU raider actions in 2019-2020 do not subside. Thus, in Volhynia, the OCU clerics led the way to the house of the priest of the UOC. The purpose of this action in the OCU calls the demand for the eviction of the priest of the UOC from the parish house, in which the latter, after the seizure of the church in the village, is forced to perform Divine services for the remaining faithful of the canonical UOC.
Next on the list is the Kherson “priest” of the OCU Bogdan Kostyuk, who publishes pro-Hitler posts and congratulations to Hitler on social networks. Alas, the OCU has difficulties with personnel policy, because just recently, another representative of this structure agreed on social networks to the point that he was suspended from “service” for two months.
On the other hand, what can one want from representatives of the OCU, if the speakers of their “Mother Church” go so far as to literally curse most of the Orthodox Churches for supporting the UOC.
Undoubtedly, the most important event of this year will be the Council of Bishops of the Russian Church, which will be held in the second half of this year. It should be noted that in this regard, the statements of the official representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church are being heard louder and louder. Thus, in response to the actions of the head of the Phanar in Ukraine, the chairman of the DECR of the ROC, Metropolitan Illarion (Alfeyev), expressed the opinion that Patriarch Bartholomew imagines himself to be the arbiter of the fate of Orthodoxy. In addition, commenting on the desire of Patriarch Bartholomew to lead the entire world Orthodoxy, Metropolitan Hilarion said that the Phanar’s attempt to introduce papal power in the Orthodox Church led to a schism. Let’s hope that the forthcoming Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church, among other things, will be able to offer weighty arguments for the rest of the Local Churches that do not agree with the current policy of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
As we said earlier, Patriarch Theophilos remains in the position of an arbitrator on the issue of recognizing the Ukrainian schism, or rather, on the topic of the division of world Orthodoxy. It is worth noting that on June 21, the Day of the Holy Spirit, the Patriarch of Jerusalem led the divine service at the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalime. On the same day, after the festive Liturgy, the head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission, Archimandrite Alexander (Elisov), noted the peacemaking role of the head of the Jerusalem Patriarchate in settling the church division in Ukrainian Orthodoxy.
In this regard, we cannot but agree with our colleagues from the Chrisma Center channel, who suggested that the continuation of the Amman format is very likely.
His Beatitude Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Onufry celebrates the Day of Remembrance of his heavenly patron Saint Onuphrius the Great. In this regard, the Primate of the UOC was congratulated by the Heads of Serbian, Russian, Georgian, Polish, Czech lands and Slovakia, Russian Orthodox Abroad, Belarusian and representatives of other Local Churches. Such attention to the Primate of the UOC is more than eloquent, and dot the i’s in speculations about who will recognize the OCU in the near future. Characteristically, this list includes the Primate of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Thus, our concerns about the GOC – at least – for now, can be considered unfounded.
We fully support the thesis of the deputy head of the DECR of the UOC, Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich, that “such attention to our Beatitude from the Local Churches means not only respect, but also a direct indication of which Church in Ukraine is the real one.”
I didn’t just find myself … Most likely, I got myself into a mess. After all, even taking into account the fact that this rating was held by the absolutely loyal to the OCU and Soros-oriented publication Novoye Vremya, the head of the Ukrainian schismatics was prepared for only 43rd place out of 100 possible. For comparison, in 2020, a similar social poll conducted by the Focus publication ranked 2nd place to the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy. By the way – the publication “Focus” can not be called loyal to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Draw your own conclusions.
Great news, with which we would like to end the results of the past and eventful week. We consider a truly effective way to bring the entire UOC into one – namely, the traditional Religious Procession on the eve of the commemoration day of the Holy Prince Volodymyr, Equal to the Apostles. God willing, this year even more people will gather for the Baptism of Russia than in previous years. This is also important from a strategic point of view, especially on the eve of the visit of Patriarch Bartholomew to Ukraine and the attempts with which the OCU will try to surround this event. We are sure that this time, too, the entire Orthodox world will be able to make sure of the truth of the UOC and the lies of the OCU.