UKRAINE AUTOCEPHALY; WORLD ORTHODOXY SCHISM?

DIscussion and News concerning Orthodox Churches in communion with those who have fallen into the heresies of Ecumenism, Renovationism, Sergianism, and Modernism, or those Traditional Orthodox Churches who are now involved with Name-Worshiping, or vagante jurisdictions. All Forum Rules apply. No polemics. No heated discussions. No name-calling.

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d9popov
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UKRAINE AUTOCEPHALY; WORLD ORTHODOXY SCHISM?

Postby d9popov » Tue 11 September 2018 2:27 am

Days ago, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople announced that it it preparing to declare an autocephalous church in Ukraine. There are three major factions today that could play a role in this future autocephalous church: (1) the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, currently under Patriarch Filaret Denysenko of Kyiv; (2) the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (which is the smallest of the three); and (3) the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, currently under Metropolitan Onufry Berezovsky of Kyiv.

The third group has so far stayed affiliated with the Moscow Patriarchate, but if Constantinople and the Ukrainian government intervene in a strong way, a significant portion of the third group could join a newly autocephalous church, if not at the beginning, then possibly in the first couple of years after autocephaly. Most likely there will be political squabbles over church property. There could possibly be violence, as there has been in Eastern Ukraine.

The Moscow Patriarchate has threatened that if Constantinople goes ahead, then there may be a schism "like 1054." There were similar warnings when Moscow excommunicated Constantinople for a short time over Constantinople's intervention in Estonia, but Moscow re-established communion after both Constantinople and Moscow agreed to have churches in Estonia.

Currently in Ukraine, religious leaders who denounce one another also engage in ecumenical and political negotiations with each other. There are numerous pictures online with Patriarch Filaret, Metropolian Onufry, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv-Galicia (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church), and, occasionally, a Muslim cleric to boot, along with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Poroshenko wants a "tomos of Ukrainian autocephaly" before elections in 2019 and he is pushing Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew very hard for it, as soon as possible. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow met with Bartholomew and pushed hard against autocephaly. Bartholomew seems to be going forward, although it is reported that he worries that his "legacy" will be a world-historical schism between Constantinople and Moscow. More likely right now, Moscow will buckle and reestablish communion with Constantinople, even if Moscow cuts communion for a while (a la the temporary excommunication over Estonia).

Russian intelligence agents have attempted to hack Constantinople's email accounts (and others').

The whole process is highly political/secular and cut-throat, but also ecumenistic, with Orthodox principles thrown to the side by all groups involved.

Both Moscow and Washington have interfered improperly in Kyiv politics. The Ukrainian people (and its voters) seem to be moving away from Orthodox values. That is the most heart-breaking development. A formerly-Orthodox people with a great history is going to establish an autocephalous church that is NOT BASED ON TRADITIONAL ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY, but on postmodern secular-nationalism and moral relativism.

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Justice
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Re: UKRAINE AUTOCEPHALY; WORLD ORTHODOXY SCHISM?

Postby Justice » Tue 11 September 2018 3:21 am

The situation in Ukraine has slowly gotten worse over the years. The Kyivan Patriarchate under Patriarchs Mstyslav and Volodymyr was a short, but a great few years for the True Orthodox Church.
Also, the issue of Ukrainian Sovereignty from Russia needs to stop influencing the minds of clergy, both World and True Orthodox. It simply doesn't belong in the church.

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Re: UKRAINE AUTOCEPHALY; WORLD ORTHODOXY SCHISM?

Postby someguy » Tue 11 September 2018 12:08 pm

I have met several people from that part of the world and its heart breaking to see how much of the true orthodox doctrine remains in most, given there are always excuses and some difficult times though whenever possible one should think and reflect on how much effort/pain/sacrifice that so many lay people went through in history especially our savior, his disciples, the martyrs and holy fathers.

I recall one of my early trips to the foundation of many orthodox pillars of asceticism in greece and after reading many texts and so forth prior to arriving, I finally arrive and see the mainstream society just like anywhere else after I had set myself up for an unrealistic expectation.

What is that joke about hierachs in that part of the world? How many are state agents... also I will spare the commentary about which state/s

d9popov
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Re: UKRAINE AUTOCEPHALY; WORLD ORTHODOXY SCHISM?

Postby d9popov » Tue 11 September 2018 10:07 pm

Justice wrote:The situation in Ukraine has slowly gotten worse over the years. The Kyivan Patriarchate under Patriarchs Mstyslav and Volodymyr was a short, but a great few years for the True Orthodox Church.
Also, the issue of Ukrainian Sovereignty from Russia needs to stop influencing the minds of clergy, both World and True Orthodox. It simply doesn't belong in the church.


Metropolitan Mstyslav Skrypnyk was not a traditional bishop, but an ecumenist. I know his history fairly well going back to the 1940s or earlier. He was a Ukrainian patriot, but never an anti-ecumenist like Saint Philaret or the Genuine Orthodox in Greece. The recent history released by the American Metropolia of Metropolitan John LoBue claims that Mystyslav was in communion with Archbishop Auxentios. Not true. There were bishops (Serbs and West Europeans) who abandoned Auxentios and True Orthodoxy in order to be in communion with Mystislav, but that was a betrayal of any identity as True Orthodox and a move toward heretical-ecumenist World Orthodoxy. (I can give the exact chronology in another posting.)

Concerning autocephaly, there is an apostolic canon that states that each nation/place should recognize a "first" (protos) among its bishops. However, the modern distinction between autocephalous and autonomous is not in the canons. So, Constantinople and Moscow are arguing about something that is not in the canons.

The Serbian Patriarch Irinej wrote a strong letter opposing Bartholomew's actions in Ukraine and supporting the MP. Irinej's real motive is that he does not want Bartholomew to support autocephaly for North Macedonia, and especially not for Montenegro. Macedonia was independent in the past under the Ohrid Archbishopric, but the area also has churches built by the Serbian Nemanjich dynasty, which the Serbian Patriarchate considers "theirs." In Montenegro, historically, most Montenegrin Orthodox have also called themselves Serbs in a broad sense. This includes the past historical heroes of the current Montenegrin Independentists/Separatists/Autocephalists. Such historical heroes include Bishop Petar II Petrovich Njegosh (the poet know simply as Njegosh) and King Nikola Petrovich Njegosh (also a poet), who both headed an independent Montenegrin state, but who saw themselves as part of a greater Serbdom in a religious and spiritual sense. Today's self-proclaimed Autocephalous Church of Montenegro is something of a joke, religiously, since it is so secularized. It excluded universally recognized Orthodox saints from it church calendar, such as Saint Sava of Serbia, for secular-political reasons. Historically, all of the Montenegrin saints and bishops (especially Saint Basil of Ostrog and Saint Peter I Petrovich Njegosh of Centinje-Montenegro) were absolutely devoted to the memory of Saint Sava of Serbia (who may have been born in Montenegro). So, there are some precedents for Montenegro being within the Church of Serbia, and some precedents for it being independent; but today's autocephalists are very anti-traditionalist.

The case is similar with Ukraine. There are some precedents for it being under Constantinople and some for it being under Moscow; but the current Ukrainian autocephalists have many anti-traditionalist tendencies. The dilemma in Ukraine is that, whereas the current independent Ukraine is now fully distinct from Russia, except for some Russian-militarily-occupied areas in the East, the idea and reality of Ukrainian autocephaly has historically been tied to nationalization-localization, westernization, modernization, and secularization---not traditional Orthodoxy. In one sense Ukrainian autocephaly makes sense, but in the current reality it will clearly contribute to the secularization of the Ukrainian people, which is fast underway, maybe even more so than under communism. What we really need is an autonomous or autocephalous synod of True Orthodox bishops in Ukraine who minister equally and without discrimination to Ukrainian-speaking and Russian-speaking Orthodox faithful on the territory of Ukraine.

Going back to the topic of the potential for a historic schism: The MP has used some threatening and extreme language in several official statements over the last few days. The MP may not follow through, as it failed to follow through over Estonia, but the threats to divide World Orthodoxy are now official threats, and the Western media are taking them seriously. Examples of official MP threats include:

[first block quotation]
In the event that Constantinople carries through its cunning plan of granting the autocephaly, it will mean that a group of schismatics will receive it. The canonical Church will not accept this autocephaly. The Russian Church will not recognize this autocephaly, of course. We will have no other choice but to break the communion with Constantinople. It means that the Patriarch of Constantinople will no longer have the right to call himself, as he is doing now, “the leader of the 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide.” At least half of the Orthodox Christians will not recognize him at all. By his actions he will, in fact, split the world Orthodoxy. .... By acting on its own, without the consent of the Local Churches, destroying the canonical order that has been established for centuries, the Patriarchate of Constantinople places itself outside of what we call the canonical field, that is, outside of the legal framework of Universal Orthodoxy. http://orthochristian.com/115613.html


[second block quotation]
Thus the Patriarchate of Constantinople is now openly on the warpath. And it is a war not only against the Russian Church, not only against the Ukrainian Orthodox people; it is a war actually against the unity of the whole world Orthodoxy.

Because if this, I would say mean and perfidious, project is carried out, most of the Orthodox faithful in Ukraine will reject this autocephaly. The Russian Orthodox Church will not accept this decision. We will have to break off communion with Constantinople, and then Constantinople will no longer have the rights to claim leadership in the Orthodox world. Now the Patriarchate of Constantinople pose as a sort of leader of the 300 million-strong Orthodox population of the globe and the Patriarch of Constantinople is perceived as almost the Orthodox pope. But at least a half of this 300 million-strong population will no longer recognize him even as the first in the family of Orthodox Churches.

I think that Patriarch Bartholomew will bear personal responsibility for this action before the judgement of God and the judgement of history. https://mospat.ru/en/2018/09/08/news163543/

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Re: UKRAINE AUTOCEPHALY; WORLD ORTHODOXY SCHISM?

Postby Justice » Wed 12 September 2018 5:30 pm

d9popov wrote:
Justice wrote:The situation in Ukraine has slowly gotten worse over the years. The Kyivan Patriarchate under Patriarchs Mstyslav and Volodymyr was a short, but a great few years for the True Orthodox Church.
Also, the issue of Ukrainian Sovereignty from Russia needs to stop influencing the minds of clergy, both World and True Orthodox. It simply doesn't belong in the church.


Metropolitan Mstyslav Skrypnyk was not a traditional bishop, but an ecumenist. I know his history fairly well going back to the 1940s or earlier. He was a Ukrainian patriot, but never an anti-ecumenist like Saint Philaret or the Genuine Orthodox in Greece. The recent history released by the American Metropolia of Metropolitan John LoBue claims that Mystyslav was in communion with Archbishop Auxentios. Not true. There were bishops (Serbs and West Europeans) who abandoned Auxentios and True Orthodoxy in order to be in communion with Mystislav, but that was a betrayal of any identity as True Orthodox and a move toward heretical-ecumenist World Orthodoxy. (I can give the exact chronology in another posting.)


I would like to see sources regarding this matter.

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Re: UKRAINE AUTOCEPHALY; WORLD ORTHODOXY SCHISM?

Postby d9popov » Wed 12 September 2018 9:09 pm

There are numerous sources, but I do not have any in front of me right now.

Patriarch Mstyslav (Stepan Skrypnyk) was a Ukrainian nationalist his entire life and was a nephew of the Ukrainian nationalist Symon Petliura. Stepan/Mstyslav Skrypnyk was a Ukrainian patriot: anti-Russian imperialist, anti-Polish imperialist, anti-Communist, and anti-Nazi. He was consecrated under Nazi occupation, but the Nazis never trusted him and he was imprisoned by them. He was a passionate Ukrainian separatist and autocephalist. His passion was an independent Ukrainian Church in diaspora and in Ukraine; and eventually an independent Ukrainian nation state. He lived and breathed Ukrainianism. That was his passion and his life. Some Ukrainian faithful in America thought he also had an authoritarian streak, but he was untouchable as leader of his Ukrainian-American church, while he lived.

For many decades he wanted recognition from ecumenist Constantinople, and he negotiated with Patriarch Demetrius in person, but Mstyslav would not accept subordination to get recognition. As soon as he reposed, his people immediately subordinated themselves to Constantinople in order to get that recognition.

Around 1989 or so he was in communion (or at least friendly) with the Free Serbs and the Portuguese old calendarists. But this was around the time that both of those two groups (Free Serbs and Portuguese) were abandoning Archbishop Auxentius and traditional Orthodoxy as a whole and integrating into ecumenist "World Orthodoxy."

He was more pro-Constantinople than pro-GOC (any group) and I have not found any time that he was in communion with a group that called itself GOC. Former-GOC people like Evloghios of Milan and Lazar Puhalo may have latched on to Mstyslav's church in Ukraine, but it never had an anti-ecumenist identity. By going Ukrainian Patriarchal, Evloghios and Lazar were abandoning the GOC (absolutely all GOCs).

Mstyslav lived and breathed Ukrainian nationalism and independence and this drove everything he did, including who he chose to be in Eucharistic communion with. I have not seen any evidence that he agreed with any GOC group on traditionalism at any time in his long political and ecclesiastical career. He loved his Ukrainian people, but he was not an Orthodox traditionalist. May God have mercy on his soul.

I have nothing against the man, I also love the Ukrainian people, but he just did not see the world like a true Orthodox traditionalist. I will look for some of the documentation that you are asking for (it exists and I have already seen it, in print and online).
Last edited by Maria on Thu 13 September 2018 4:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: adding paragraphs to make it easier to read

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Re: UKRAINE AUTOCEPHALY; WORLD ORTHODOXY SCHISM?

Postby Maria » Thu 13 September 2018 4:46 am

That is a great response, d9popov.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.


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