Two of the Metropolitan of the UOC defrocked and deprived of anathema
Ukraine officially created a new Orthodox Church. In January 2019, it expects to receive from the Patriarchate of Constantinople Tomos — legal confirmation of the independence from the canonical Russian Orthodox Church. This event marks a major split in the Orthodox world over the past 500 years and could have dire consequences for the Orthodox world, and for already critical of bad relations between Russia and Ukraine.
December 15, the so-called Unification Council, held in Kiev, proclaimed the creation of an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church — Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Its Primate is elected 39-year-old Metropolitan Epiphany (Dumenko), a protege 89-year-old Primate of the schismatic Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate, Metropolitan Filaret (Denisenko). With a high probability to lead this Church until the de facto is he Metropolitan Filaret, located in the split and direct confrontation with the Russian Orthodox Church since the early 90-ies, when he, taking advantage of the collapse of the Soviet Union, created the non-canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kiev Patriarchate.
In the new Church it has no relation to the statutes of any of the Orthodox churches of the strange status of “honorary Patriarch.”
From the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate — as told to the laity, “structural units” of the Russian Orthodox Church — the Cathedral came only two bishops from almost 80: for a long time advocated for the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church , Metropolitan of Pereyaslav Alexander (drabinko) and Metropolitan of Vinnytsia, Simeon (Shostatsky). It wanted to see the Primate of new “independent from Moscow,” the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Another obvious supporter of autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan of Cherkasy Sofronii (Dmitruk) reported that they did not come to the Cathedral due to illness.
Thus the real position of the majority of the hierarchs of the UOC-MP on the establishment of the new Church is unknown — they have not participated in the Cathedral, but not said an official waiver.
But it is understandable and clearly expressed the position of the ROC and the UOC MP against the members of the Council. On December 15, the UOC MP said that the metropolitans Simeon and Alexander excluded from “canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.” “Gathered individuals, most of which has no legal ordination, and the number of non-canonical clergy of one elected as a non-canonical Primate” has assessed the results of the Unifying Council of the Russian Orthodox Church. As soon as the Patriarchate of Constantinople in September of 2018 was given the green light to the formation of “independent” Ukrainian Orthodox Council of bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church officially ended the Church’s relations with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and forbade his parishioners to pray in its temples around the world.
About the new Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epiphanios is known that he is well educated, but very dependent. However, he repeatedly expressed in that spirit that the Ukrainian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is an “agent of the Kremlin” in Ukraine.
To call him a figure able to unite representatives of all Orthodox churches around him, is hardly possible.
Besides, Petro Poroshenko openly and in full uses the schism in the pre-election political purposes. He’s not just participated in the closed the Unification Church (the laity-the congregation of the Church are not prohibited from participating in such councils, if they are not bishops). Poroshenko, speaking after the Council, with the pathetic political speech, clearly not conducive to either religious or secular reconciliation. “What is the Church? This is the Church without Putin! What is the Church? This Church Kirill (Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. — “Газета.Ru”)! What is the Church? It is a Church without praying for the Russian government and Russian army!” — said in his speech after the Council, the President of Ukraine.
And said: “This is the day of the final receipt of our Ukrainian independence from Russia. And Ukraine will not be drinking in the words of Taras Shevchenko, “the Cup of Moscow of Moscow poison.
Accusatory words — and not only by Poroshenko — is especially sad that religion is supposed to be apolitical: the way to God existing parishioners of the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate did not start from the Kremlin, and from the heart. So what will be now their feelings are not clear. And the political establishment — and uninteresting.
These words are not exactly conducive to the peace process of the formation of the new Ukrainian “independent Church.” Hard times obviously expect and the ROC. In its present form it was formed in 1943, in the midst of the great Patriotic war, and was the product of political agreement, the remnants of the defeated Bolsheviks pre-revolutionary “Russian Orthodox Church” officially atheistic in its ideology by the Soviet authorities. The break with the Patriarchate of Constantinople (despite the fact that he Patriarchate of Constantinople did not accept the “mirror measures”, does not consider himself guilty of schism with the Russian Orthodox Church does not prohibit its believers to pray in the temples of the Russian Orthodox Church) and the serious threat of a complete loss of positions in Ukraine can not but lead to changes in the Moscow Patriarchate.
In Russia the Church is closely connected with the secular power around to support her, even when secular politics were contrary to Church interests.
The only case of a soft conflict, the ROC government began the history of the recognition of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the then Patriarch Alexy has refused to recognize the ecclesiastical independence of these territories, and the Russian Orthodox Church still considers them part of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
The letter of the Patriarch to the Pope and the UN on the eve of the Unification Cathedral in Kiev about the oppression of the Orthodox in Ukraine was more a gesture of despair.
Catholics are the internal problems of Orthodoxy rather on hand. And the UN General Assembly in the best case can take the majority of votes (and that is unlikely, given the attitude of the world to the Russian version of the reasons for the war in Ukraine) or of the non-binding resolution “ohami and sighs”.