As we know, immediately after the announcement of Fanar’s decision (the Istanbul quarter where the residence of the Patriarch of Constantinople is located) regarding the “lifting” of the anathema from the schismatic communities and the introduction of the Stauropeancy of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, the current situation and possible steps of Moscow were discussed in Ukraine for the protection of Orthodox Christians. And, probably, then it was decided to impose sanctions. And, most likely, this is just the beginning.
However, even without Russian pressure, the situation does not develop at all in the way that Kiev and Phanar wanted. Actually, this whole undertaking initially carried in itself colossal contradictions: Patriarch Bartholomew initiated this destructive process only at Poroshenko’s request, which is absolutely nonsense, since the Ukrainian Orthodox Church or some of its dioceses did not appeal to it. He hoped to compensate for this “awkwardness” by drawing in representatives of the UOC-MP in negotiations with the “exarchs” appointed by him or by holding a “unifying council” or at least gaining recognition of Constantinople Stavropigia (assigned to Orthodox monasteries, laurels and brotherhoods, as well as to cathedrals and religious schools, making them independent of the local diocesan authority and subordinate directly to the patriarch, in this case Constantinople) from at least some part of the UOC-MP.
But none of these options has worked yet. The Bartholomew "exarchs" in the UOC MP were not even allowed on the threshold, and the Ukrainian Orthodox broke off communication with the Communist Party, and any meetings with the emissaries of Fanar are now even impossible in theory.
With “Stavropegia” the matter did not go too far either. The only achievement in this direction was that Metropolitan Alexander (Drobinko), an odious character with a huge trail of immoral and just criminal stories, declared himself a cleric of the Church of Constantinople, probably believing that in this way he would set an example to a flock and shepherds who immediately rush under the omofor Bartholomew. However, given the reputation of Drobinko, it is unlikely that he could be an example for someone. Apparently, realizing his “false start”, he “turned on the back”, declaring that he had not gone anywhere, that he was not understood so, he was not going anywhere, and these were just “theoretical discussions”.
Also today, there is a low probability of participation in the “unification council” of the representative delegation of the UOC-MP or at least the group that could be presented as such in the “unifying council” planned by Bartholomew and the splitting factions. Even the already mentioned Drobinko, and he is still cautious, cautiously declares that he has not yet made a decision on his participation in the proposed gathering. That is, he had clear doubts as to who would take it.
The results of the meeting of the clergy of the Odessa Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (MP), which took place on October 22 on October 2018 in the Holy Assumption Odessa Monastery, were very revealing.
During the forum, all those present were asked to answer the question: “Do you support the preservation of the existing status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the position of its head, the most blessed Metropolitan Onufriy of Kiev and All Ukraine?” The 413 clerics of the Odessa diocese who were present at the meeting answered 406 from the question “Yes”, 3 clerics answered “No”, and 4 abstained.
This result of the vote of priests speaks about the unconditional support of unity with the Moscow Patriarchate, the Odessa diocese.
The situation is similar in other Orthodox dioceses. And the numerical alignment is not in favor of the “auto-celebrities”.
Only in three regions of Western Ukraine, the schismatic "Kyiv Patriarchate" and the "UAOC" have a numerical advantage. In all other regions, the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate is the undoubted leader in the number of parishes.
"Politnavigator" with reference to the blog of the Ukrainian political scientist Mikhail Pranda publishes a table showing the ratio of Orthodox and schismatics in the regions of Ukraine.
“There are about 5 thousands of monks and 207 monasteries in the UOC. In the "Kyiv Patriarchate" a little more than 200 monks and 62 monastery. For example, in the Ternopil region, there are three monasteries and five monks in KP, ”explains Pavl.
However, the “unifying council” could have been held without the participation of representatives of the UOC-MP, however, there is another obstacle for it - the position of the UOC-KP leader Filaret Denisenko. Who agrees to participate in the “council” only if it is conducted according to its rules, under its leadership, and elects it to be the “head” of the “church” being created. He said bluntly: I was, is and will be the patriarch. His talks with the leader of another splitting group, the “Metropolitan” of the UAOC, Makariy Maletich, reached an impasse due to this approach of Denisenko.
Recall that in the 2008 year, an attempt to "break through" the autocephaly fell through because of this position of Filaret. It is unlikely that he will change his position. Especially when you consider that in the split, Denisenko turned out to be because of his commitment to the principle “it is better to be first in the village than the second in Rome.”
Recall that in 1990, after the death of Patriarch Pimen (Izvekov), Metropolitan of Kiev and Galician Filaret (Denisenko) was not only one of the contenders for election as a new patriarch. He was already elected patriarchal locum tenens and from 4 in May to 6 in June 1990 actually served as patriarch and led the work of convening the Local Council. But Filaret did not become the patriarch. In the summer of 1991, he also received the newly elected Patriarch Alexy II in Kiev and called for a struggle with autocephalous schismatics. As early as the spring of 1992, he participated in the Bishops' Council and urged the bishops to give the Ukrainian church canonical independence, although since 1990 the Ukrainian church administration had the widest autonomy in all internal church affairs.
Philaret was not enough even wide autonomy. Without becoming a patriarch of Moscow, he strove for patriarchism even within Ukraine, in which the then President Leonid Kravchuk and the nationalist radicals from the Verkhovna Rada supported the Metropolitan of Kiev.
Denisenko’s decisive steps were also spurred on by the promulgation in the media of very unpleasant information about his “second” life. The journalists accused the metropolitan of Kiev of cruel treatment of the clergy (the bishop Jonathan, one of the Ukrainian bishops, the monks hid from Filaret almost in the basement - they feared for the life of the bishop), in violation of monastic vows, resulting in a long life ward. Filaret children (!).
Filaret was accused of numerous financial abuses, misappropriation of church money, and bribery. The situation for him was critical.
However, the most unforeseen and sad for Filaret happened at the Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church in March 1992. Most of the Ukrainian bishops on the issue of the independence of the Ukrainian church did not support him, but the Russian bishops. The general voice of the Ukrainian high priests was this: our flock will not understand us and reject if, returning from the Council, we will inform it that now we are not part of the Russian Orthodox Church, but an independent jurisdiction.
The case turned out for Filaret to be universally reprimanded and demanding to retire and to ensure the holding of elections of the new primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Deciding not to enter into confrontation with the council, Metropolitan Filaret said that in order to achieve church peace in Ukraine, he was ready to do everything that was demanded of him.
For the most part, the bishops decided to believe him and offered to give a god-oath to the oath that he would retire after electing his successor, although some called upon Patriarch Alexy II: “Do not believe Philaret, he will still deceive!”
And Filaret deceived. Returning to Kiev, he 7 on April 1992, on the feast of the Annunciation, in the Vladimir Cathedral declared that the Cathedral in Moscow was Golgotha for him, where he was crucified, and he endured all this for the sake of the independence of the Ukrainian church.
The shaken Patriarch Alexy II addressed Philaret with a telegram-request: is it true that we know about your words?
Philaret answered (and this was his last answer to the Moscow patriarch) in the sense that it was not his, the Moscow patriarch, the deed, everything that happens in Ukraine in church affairs, belongs to the exclusive jurisdiction of Philaret himself, and no one else. It was a split.
About his intention to continue to remain “the patriarch” no matter what he says, he continues to decorate himself with new regalia.
So, he added to the "title" of the Kiev-Pechersk and Pochaev Lavra. Now Filaret is named as follows: "His Holiness and Beatitude (name), Archbishop and Metropolitan of Kiev - Mother of the Russian Cities, Galitsky, Patriarch of All Russia-Ukraine, Holy Dormition Kiev-Pechersk and Pochayevsky Laurel Sacred Archimandrite."
There is no doubt that the elderly, but still quite vigorous and energetic, Denisenko will not yield to anything. But his “election” is unacceptable because of his odiousness.
It is noteworthy that Ukrainian observers do not exclude the possibility of a tough confrontation between various splitting groups. There is nothing surprising in this - their “bishops” are quick at hand and are not inferior in decisiveness to “authorities” from 90's, they have at their disposal not only militants capable of “pressing out” temples, but also real “liquidators” capable of “executing” who will need
Recall that in May of this year, the "Kyiv Patriarchate" reported on an attempt to kill Denisenko, undertaken by the "bishop" of the same schismatic group, Sevastyan Wozniak.
By the way, some Kiev experts say bluntly that the ideal way out of the stalemate in which the “auto cease-workers” found themselves would be the death of Filaret. Which, however, is not going to die, and is surrounded not only by professional doctors, but also by experienced bodyguards.
From myself we add that the best sacred sacrifice than Denisenko is not to be found. And the corresponding preparation in the Ukrainian media has begun. In particular, the Ukrainian publication Observer publishes a message from Foreign Intelligence Lieutenant General Vasily Bogdan, who warns that "in connection with Ukraine getting autocephalous and preparing for the unification of churches, the Kremlin can go for the physical elimination of the" Patriarch of Kiev "Filaret." According to him, a similar danger also threatens the priests of the UOC-MP, who agreed to unite.
“On the religious issue, we can expect that not only canonical measures can be taken by the Moscow Patriarchate purely in a religious field. The physical elimination of those religious Ukrainian guides, on whom the holding of a unifying council and the creation of a single local Orthodox church in Ukraine, which Tomos will receive, depends on, ”Bohdan said, stressing that the key figures with whom the“ GRU can do ”are “Patriarch” Filaret and “Metropolitan UAOC” Macarius.
That is, maybe not even one, but two sacred sacrifices at once. Moreover, Poroshenko seeks to ensure that the Unified Local Orthodox Ukrainian Church (EPPTU) created by official Kiev is headed by the current bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) - Metropolitan of Vinnitsa Simeon (Shostatsky).
This, in particular, was reported by journalist Stanislav Rechinsky, adviser to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov, a former press secretary of the head of the UOC-MP, Metropolitan of Kiev Vladimir (Sabodan).
“Everything is in the family, everything is in the family. And the church too. It is me that Poroshenko is lobbying in the United States and in front of the Ecumenical Patriarch the appointment of the head of the united local church, not Philaret. And his pocket Vinnitsa Metropolitan of UOC-MP Simeon. He tried to lobby for him even after the death of Metropolitan Vladimir, ”writes Rechinsky on Facebook.
We also note that Filaret has already been declared an “agent of Moscow”.
“Patriarch Filaret is a key figure in the Moscow game. Patriarch Kirill took a deep breath and put the head of the UOC-KP on the incompetence. And if everything breaks down this time, given the degree of electrification of the public, disappointment can turn into apathy, which will postpone the resuscitation of the “autocephaly” project for years. Especially if it is not needed by the proposed new Ukrainian authorities, ”laments the Ukrainian weekly Zerkalo Ne week.
A way out of this situation, the authors of the material see the creation of the Constantinople “exarchate” in Ukraine.
“The situation on the chessboard is fundamentally changed by the appearance of Constantinople Stavropigii - the actual accession of Ukraine to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Even if the Unification Council fails, for everyone it is possible to maintain unity with the Church of Constantinople, operating in Ukraine: to join it in an individual parish order. Judging by what is said in the final document of the Synod on Phanar, Kiev is only the first stage, then Stavropigia can appear all over Ukraine. Such a plan is called even more preferable for Constantinople, ”reports the publication.
However, this will only lead to the fact that, in addition to the UOC-MP and the aforementioned splitting groups, in Ukraine there will also arise an “exarchate” of the Communist Party of the Republic of Europe with an extremely few flock. Which, of course, will in no way lead to unity, but, on the contrary, will add confusion.
It seems that Bartholomew himself is already being mastered with the role of the Ukrainian "primate". So, according to the message of the Consul General of Ukraine in Istanbul Alexander Aman, the Patriarch of Constantinople met with the children of the ATO militants who died in the Donbas.
“Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew met with Ukrainian children, whose parents died in the Donbas, defending our land. Fatherly warm and pleasant meeting. And of course, every child received a gift from His Holiness, ”the diplomat wrote.
Of course, it is a pity for orphaned children, but hardly such an act of Bartholomew, who puts him on one of the sides of the conflict (in which the Orthodox fight with each other) as an army chaplain, corresponds to his pretensions to "universality".
However, the position of Bartholomew himself is very difficult. The wait-and-see position of most local churches does not mean support for his decision. The statement of the Holy Athos of the Holy Mount Athos in general is a disaster for Phanar. Recall that October 19 announced that Athos is administratively not subordinate to the Patriarch of Constantinople, since he is not the ruling bishop of Athos autonomy (the self-governing part of Greece, which is administered by twenty Athos monasteries, namely, the council of the igumens, and in between the cathedrals - official representatives of the dominant monasteries). And that is why “the decision of the Moscow Patriarchate (about breaking the canonical communion with Phanar) can in no way relate to Athos and the representatives of the Russian Church living there.”
And one more mistake, threatening with grave consequences, Bartholomew made, saying that “black propaganda” is being waged against him, since “our brothers Slavs cannot tolerate the primacy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and our nation (Greek) in Orthodoxy”.
This chauvinistic statement will undoubtedly be appreciated not only by the Slavic, but also by all non-Greek churches, which will hardly taste to the new “dogma” about the “primacy of the Greek nation in Orthodoxy”.
Be that as it may, it can be stated that the “auto-workers” faced a whole “package” of problems and difficulties, both objective and subjective. Their first assault on the Orthodox stronghold of Ukraine failed. They have to go to a systematic and proper siege. For what first of all it is necessary to restore order in their ranks and determine who will command. This, in turn, can provoke a serious fight in the ranks of the besiegers.
The attempt of the Kiev regime to “unite the nation” leads to the emergence of new and rapidly expanding cracks that divide and associate yesterday's like-minded people.