The non-canonical direction

The non-canonical direction

The Russian Orthodox Church denounced the appointment of the exarchs of Constantinople to Kiev.


The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church expressed protest against the actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, who on Friday appointed two of its Exarch (representative) in Kiev to prepare for autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The Moscow Patriarchate described the actions of the Ecumenical Patriarch as a violation of the canons of the Church and interference in the internal life of the ROC. Representatives of the UOC (Moscow Patriarchate) also condemned the step Constantinople. Respondents ‘ b ‘ experts believe a high risk of break of communion between Constantinople and Moscow, but emphasize that the details of the granting of autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox are not yet clear, “contact the mutual separation of the Moscow and Constantinople are not interesting”.

“The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church expresses its strong protest and deep indignation in connection with the September 7, 2018 communiqué of the General Secretariat of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which reported the appointment of two bishops of this Church — Archbishop Daniel Pamphylian (USA) and Bishop Ilarion of Edmonton (Canada) — “Exarch” of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Kiev”, — reads the statement of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, published on the website of the Moscow Patriarchate. On the appointment of the Exarch reported the official website of the delegation of the Patriarchate of Constantinople at the world Council of churches: “Both Exarch was appointed in preparation for the granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.” Before that, the Council of bishops (the Synaxis), Patriarch Bartholomew said that “taking the initiative to overcome the Ukrainian split, because Russia responsible for the current painful situation in Ukraine can not solve the problem.”

We will remind, on April 19, the Verkhovna Rada supported the initiative of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko to appeal to the Patriarch of Constantinople with a request to give the Ukrainian Orthodox Church autocephaly — independence.

Now in Ukraine there are three Orthodox churches. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), headed by Metropolitan Onuphrius is the only one recognized in the Orthodox world, the Church in Ukraine. Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) led by Patriarch Filaret, a breakaway from the Russian Orthodox Church in 1992, in Moscow is called schismatic, and its Primate in 1997, the Russian Orthodox Church anathematized. The Ukrainian Autocephalous Church (UAOC) was founded in 1917, it is the head of the Metropolitan Macarius. In addition to these Orthodox churches in Ukraine, a Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which is subordinate to the Pope.

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“The decision (on the appointment of the exarchs.— “B”) made without the consent of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill and Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine Onuphrius and is a gross violation of Church canons, bishops proscribe the same local Church to interfere in the internal life and Affairs of another local Church (2nd rule of the second Ecumenical Council; the 20-th rule trullan Cathedral; the 13th rule of the Council of Antioch; 3-e, 11-e and 12-e rules sardisco Cathedral), the statement of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.— It is completely contrary remained to this day unchanged position of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the person of Patriarch Bartholomew, who has repeatedly stated that he recognizes his Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry the head of the only canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine.” The hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church pointed out that “the decision of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to take into consideration the question of granting autocephaly “of the Orthodox believers of Ukraine” adopted against the will of the episcopate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which unanimously voted for preservation of its existing status.” “In order to justify its interference in the Affairs of another local Church of Constantinople, the Patriarch of the false interpretation of historical facts and references alleged in his exceptional powers, which he in fact does not have and never had” — said in a communiqué of the Synod. The Moscow Patriarchate believes that such “actions lead to stalled relations between the Russian and Constantinople churches are a real threat to the unity of the world Orthodoxy”. The Synod holds “full responsibility” for “anticanonically act” “personally to Patriarch Bartholomew and those in the Church of Constantinople that support them”: “the Response of the Moscow Patriarchate will follow in the near future”. What actions would follow, the ROC is not specified.

“The appointment of the Exarch in Kyiv to create independent from the Moscow Church structure means that political interests were more important for Bartholomew than the interests of the Church and believers, — says head of the Centre for the study of the problems of religion and society Institute of Europe RAS Roman Lunkin.— Hard to believe that Bartholomew wants schism in the world Orthodoxy, but the logic of Russian-Ukrainian crisis and confrontation between Russia and the West has led to political division among the churches.” According to Mr. Lunkin, “the most unpleasant response may be a break of communion with Constantinople, if Bartholomew bless and legitimitize split”. “In this case, the ROC can form their dioceses on the canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Turkey, the expert believes.— The decision to recognize autocephaly not only embroil Moscow and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, but also sow discord among the other Orthodox churches, and split between the other Patriarchates, depending on their relationship to the acts of Bartholomew. In many national churches, such as Serbian, there are “separatists” who want to obtain autocephaly. This way Constantinople for the collapse of part of the Patriarchates will be opened”.

In the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) also described the purpose of the exarchs to Kiev as a violation of canonical territory and laid the possible negative impact on the Patriarchate of Constantinople. UOC noted that the appointment of the exarchs took place without the consent of the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine Onuphrius as a single canonical Bishop of Kiev. In an interview with “Kommersant” in the UOC suggested that in Kiev, the Exarch will be engaged in the discussion on the establishment of the Autocephalous Church. “In the schismatic UOC-Kyivan Patriarchate say that Tomos (about autocephaly.— “B”) will be issued to them. Many of the clergy of the UOC suggest that Tomos will get it. In fact, Ukraine will be created a new Autocephalous Church hierarchy which will be initially appointed in Constantinople, and then the Ukrainian Orthodox Christians and their pastors will choose what Church to join. It may be Orthodox of the Moscow Patriarchate, and Orthodox of the Kyiv Patriarchate, it is possible that it will be added to the Greek Catholics. This supposedly gives believers the right more choices, but in the end it of provoking a new schism. And this dissatisfaction can manifest itself not only in Kiev and Moscow, but also in Rome,” — said the interlocutor of Kommersant.

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The UOC-KP to the appointment of the exarchs react more cautiously. The yevstratiy Zorya, Archbishop of Chernihiv and Nizhyn of the UOC-KP, said that while details are not clear, and Ukrainian Orthodox early to rejoice in the prospect of the Tomos.

“Today begin to speak publicly about what should be our Church, it is our conscious choice. Do not make premature assessments”, — said “Kommersant” the head of the Institute of Sophia, the wisdom of Archpriest George Kovalenko.

Kiev analyst Andrey Kislov notes that one of the appointed Exarch of Constantinople hails from Lviv, the second — from Ternopil: Mr. Kislov believes that their attitude to Moscow and to the Moscow Patriarchate is absolutely predictable. “But it is now clear that the autocephaly recognized, not all 15 local Orthodox churches, and to contact the mutual separation of the Moscow and Constantinople generally not interesting”, — said the expert.

Pavel Korobov, Yanina Sokolovskaya, Kyiv