May 29, 2022
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The UOC has signed its own death warrant, but the patriarch can save the faithful

Patriarch Kirill has every opportunity to receive under his omophorion those who have not renounced the Russian Church in Ukraine

On May 27, 2022, the Council of Bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate announced an administrative break with the Moscow Patriarchate. In fact, the autocephaly of the UOC was arbitrarily declared, although this Greek concept was formulated in a sly Ukrainian way: independence.

Judging by polls on Orthodox websites in Ukraine, the vast majority of believers do not support the decision of the council, which was convened so hastily (in a couple of – no, not even days – but hours!) That one can call it secret. Secret from the same believers. And the Patriarch of Moscow has every opportunity to support the faithful who do not agree to go into another Ukrainian schism.

The UOC has every chance of gaining the status of a schism, since it has violated a number of canonical conditions for granting independence (which the UOC itself has stubbornly listed for twenty years as arguments for the impossibility of gaining autocephaly). The main thing is that autocephaly is not proclaimed arbitrarily. It is provided by the so-called. kyriarchal (“mother”) church, if such a local Orthodox church exists. For the UOC, this is the Moscow Patriarchate.

At the same time, the mother church grants independence only to its “blooming branch”. Is it possible to call the situation in which the UOC in Ukraine is today flourishing? This is a question for its hierarchs, who, in the same Decree of the Bishops’ Council of May 17, rightly complain about all sorts of, to put it mildly, oppression.

The most important condition is that autocephaly cannot be proclaimed to the detriment of the principle of catholicity and unity of the Church. However, not only does the Council of Bishops substantiate the need for independence by disagreeing with its still patriarch (what kind of catholicity is there!), but it itself lays down the inevitable split of the UOC exactly along the front line (which, by the way, tends to move to the north and west of the canonical territory UOC).

Let us leave aside for now the other, mostly technical, conditions of autocephaly. And although they are not approved by the canons, the above is quite enough to strongly doubt the canonicity of the UOC after May 27, 2022.

However, the wording of the decision (“The Council adopted the appropriate additions and amendments to the Statute on the Administration of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, testifying to the complete independence and independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church”) leaves room for hope that the nature of these changes will not be as revolutionary as it sounds in the resolution. And these changes, in turn, must be approved by the “local” council of the UOC. And its convocation can be delayed until the hour when “either the padishah dies or the donkey dies,” due to the fact that the participants in the council are on opposite sides of the insurmountable line of contact. We only note that the speakers of the UOC-MP have called this structure “absolutely independent and independent” for all 30 years of its existence, using the ambiguity of the provisions of the letter of the late Patriarch of Moscow Alexy, issued to the then Metropolitan of Kyiv Filaret.

Even more hazy –The Council had reflections on the renewal of the worldview in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church“. That is, we are not talking about the timing of the beginning of independent cooking of the holy world (one of the main signs of autocephaly). “Maybe someday, maybe never.”

Nevertheless, all this, along with the “loyal” definitions of the cathedral about “Russian military aggression” indicates that the UOC renounces the position of the last and only institution on the territory of present-day Ukraine, which civilizationally connects Little Russia (“where did the Russian Land come from”), the Mother of Russian cities (where back in the Middle Ages the combination “Russian world”) with the entire Russian world. Well, a holy place is never empty. Now such an institution is the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Archpastor Onufry (Berezovsky) takes care of the children of Archpastor Sergius Shoigu.

However, Patriarch Kirill still has every opportunity to accept under his omophorion those who have not renounced the Russian Church in Ukraine. To do this, you just need to announce that all communities, monasteries and dioceses that disagree with the anti-canonical unauthorized decision of the new schismatics can come under the direct (stauropegial) control of their canonical Great Lord and father, the Moscow Patriarch. This, in the event of the declaration of full independence of the UOC, was called for even on the eve of the “orange Maidan” by the far-sighted elder Zosima (Sokur).

Thus, on May 27, 2022, the UOC signed its own death warrant, speeding up the denouement.

The death of “Ukrainian Orthodoxy” was not a foregone conclusion on February 24, when the UOC, in the eternal struggle between Light and darkness, took the side of darkness. Simply put, it has become, along with the puppet state of Ukraine, an instrument of “universal civilization” against the Orthodox Katechon (it’s not for nothing that the Council of President Zelensky has already been called “a huge tectonic event, mega- and meta-historical”).

And it was not in the Euromaidan 2013 that the countdown began for the UOC, when the then Metropolitan of Kyiv Volodymyr led his flock to Sodom, blessing the association of Ukraine with the EU. The death of the UOC was a foregone conclusion when, when it became Ukrainian, not in place, but in essence. When she undertook to serve the initially anti-Orthodox state ideology. The father and founder of the UOC, Filaret Denisenko, laid these foundations, and the fathers of the Kharkiv Cathedral (whose 30th anniversary fell exactly on May 27, 2022) confirmed their loyalty to the creed chosen by their recent primate. On May 27, 1992, the cathedral reported to President Kravchuk: “We not only unanimously approve and support the striving of the Ukrainian Orthodox flock for complete independence, that is, canonical autocephaly“.

It couldn’t be otherwise. Orthodoxy cannot be Ukrainian, but the UOC chose this very thing – the brainchild of Roman Catholics, Uniates and theomachists a hundred years ago.

Now an internal split in the UOC is unavoidable – a division between the Orthodox of Ukraine (or the former Ukraine) and the “Orthodox” Ukrainians. It is clear that the free expression of will on the subject of patriarchal stavropegy is now possible only in the territories liberated from Ukrainianism. And something tells us that the Orthodox Taurida, Donbass, the Black Sea region and other parts of Novorossiya “returning to their native harbor”, as well as Slobozhanshchina, will very soon take the opportunity to get rid of the prefix “Ukrainian” in the most important thing for them. They will also ask at the meetings of their communities and dioceses how exactly their ruling bishops voted at the council on May 27. The fate of Isidore, the primate of the Russian Church expelled from Moscow, a participant in the shameful Council of Florence in 1439, can today be repeated by many hierarchs of New Russia.

However, sources report that the voices of the bishops who opposed the break with the patriarch were ignored, and this once again casts doubt on the legitimacy of the council’s decisions.

“The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is in a very difficult situation and is under pressure from all sides: from the authorities, schismatics, nationalist-minded representatives of a certain part of the public, from the media,” the official representative of the Russian Orthodox Church Volodymyr Legoyda tried to explain the behavior of the UOC hierarchies. Hence the question: could the decisions of the Bishops’ Council of the UOC and the assembly of believers, which, in fact, “initiated” these decisions, be different in such a situation? The simplest answer is: could it not have been possible not to convene this meeting at all, motivating this by the insufficient security of its participants, representing the “territories occupied by the aggressor”? And by and large, didn’t the UOC itself, with its long-term indulgence of state Russophobia, drive itself into a position where it could no longer act otherwise. Wouldn’t the Head of the Church have spared one of its parts from such a choice, had she been faithful to him in everything and to the end?

P.FROM. Or perhaps the wise Onuphry and the prudent Anthony decided in this way to radically hasten the inevitable demise of this becoming superfluous organization? Sacrificing himself for desecration, but preserving for the future of the Russian Church its own laurels, shrines and the health of the faithful? However, will they save for Heaven the souls of those who trusted them now?

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