Canadian Ukrainians greet the upcoming autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine

Canadian Ukrainians greet the upcoming autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine
Kiev Pechersk Lavra of Moscow Patriarchate (James Hills/Pixabay)

The decision has been made in Constantinople

On October 11, 2018, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress welcomed the announcement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to proceed with the provision of independence to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

According to the note posted by the Ukrainian Congress on their official website, a Russian claim to control the Church in Ukraine was a “vestige of hundreds of years of foreign tyranny,” denying “the basic right of a sovereign nation for their own faith, traditions and identity.” Thus, the decision of the Holy and Sacred Synod to grant the ecclesiastical status of autocephaly to Ukraine is regarded as a correction of this “historic injustice.” A similar opinion was formulated by the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko who expressed his gratitude to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. In his statement to the nation regarding the decision of the Holy Synod, Petro Poroshenko mentioned that it went beyond the religious matter, reaffirming the independence and the statehood of the country. On October 14, 2018, participating in the mass events on the Day of the Defender of Ukraine, the Ukrainian President put the autocephaly of the Ukrainian church in line with Ukraine’s “aspiration for joining the European Union and NATO, the Association Agreement, visa-free regime with the European Union, withdrawal from the CIS, rejection of the deceptive Treaty on Friendship with Russia.” At the same time, he guaranteed the right of the Russian Orthodox Church to stay in Ukraine as well as the right of believers to choose between Moscow Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Church. Meanwhile, Petro Poroshenko posed an open question to the Ukrainian people, i.e. “can temples, which pray for the patriarch praying for the Russian army, be called Ukrainian?”

The Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, having consulted with the Patriarchal Exarchs to Ukraine, Bishop Ilarion of Edmonton and the Western Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada and Archbishop Daniel of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A., both appointed by the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew earlier in September, renewed its previous decision on the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Some specific arrangements were made at this point, with the revoke of the legal binding of the Metropolitan of Kyiv to the Patriarch of Moscow issued in the 1686 Synodal Letter being the predominant one. The Stavropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Kyiv was also reestablished, and Patriarch Filaret of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate, Metropolitan Makariy of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and others banned by the Russian Orthodox Church in the 1990s for their attempts to create a separate Autocephalous Church in Ukraine were canonically reinstated to their hierarchical or priestly rank. The final step to receive an actual Tomos of autocephaly would be to gather an assembly of a unified Ukrainian Orthodox Church. As stated by the Patriarch Filaret during his press briefing, that would be the task for the upcoming future. He mentioned that this unified church would be formed by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and some parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine. In turn, on October 15, 2018, the Russian Orthodox Church proclaimed anti-canonic all the activities of the Ecumenical Patriarchate regarding the autocephaly in Ukraine. As a result, Russia’s Patriarchate declared a total severance of the existing relations with Constantinople.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Vadim

    “At the same time, he guaranteed the right of the Russian Orthodox Church to stay in Ukraine as well as the right of believers to choose between Moscow Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Church.” – Is this ever was a problem. Solving non-existing problems in the presence of huge real ones. What a joke!

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