Ukraine: ‘We threw off the shackles’ – Poroshenko on church autocephaly decree
The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in Minsk decided to completely break off communication with the Ecumenical Patriarchate
The question of tomos and autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church goes far beyond the confines of church life – it is a question of Ukrainian national security and statehood. This was stated by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on October 14, speaking at prayer events in the center of the Ukrainian capital..
He noted that all this is the basis for the development of the Ukrainian own path, the state of Ukraine and the Ukrainian nation, according to the press service of the leader of the republic..
“Nobody will stop the Ukrainian people. And we will not ask permission from anyone, because Ukraine and its people, who are fighting for freedom, for the future, must decide. Autocephaly is a significant event from the same row as our desire to join the European Union and NATO, the Association Agreement, a visa-free regime with the European Union, withdrawal from the CIS, rejection of the false Treaty of Friendship with Russia, “the President said Petro Poroshenko.
The head of the Ukrainian state stressed that autocephaly is part of the statist pro-European and pro-Ukrainian strategy, which the authorities have been consistently implementing in the past four and a half years, and it will be continued in the future..
“This is a question of the entire world geopolitics. And if this is not so, then explain to me why the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarch was discussed the day before yesterday at the Security Council of the Russian Federation chaired by Putin? Is it because in life, as in that Russian fairy tale: Koschey knows exactly where that needle is, in which egg, in which chest and under which oak tree, “added the leader of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.
“Moscow’s reaction to the actions of Kiev and Phanar indicates that we are on the right track,” he says..
President Petro Poroshenko stressed that “no one will be” invited “by force to the Orthodox Church consecrated by the Tomos”.
“I emphasize once again that this is a matter of free choice for every believer. I guarantee that the authorities will respect the choice of those who decide to stay in the church structure that maintains unity with the Russian Orthodox Church. This is their choice and we need to respect it, ”the President of Ukraine said..
Several national public holidays are celebrated in Ukraine on October 14. In 2014, the Verkhovna Rada supported the initiative of President Petro Poroshenko and decided on one of the main changes in the Ukrainian calendar..
“Then we introduced the Day of the Defender of Ukraine. Last week, one of the leading sociological companies published the results of a public opinion poll on the attitude of citizens to the new holiday – 64% support its introduction, “President Petro Poroshenko said on October 14, speaking in the center of Kiev..
Traditionally, on the same day, Christians of the Eastern rite celebrate the religious holiday of the Intercession of the Mother of God, and Ukrainian nationalists celebrate the date of the founding of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. In 2018, in the capital of the republic, on the occasion of the 76th anniversary of the founding of the UPA, thousands of people with national and party flags marched through the central streets of the capital and completed the procession on European Square, Radio Liberty reports..
Following the results of the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, President Petro Poroshenko posted a poster on his Facebook page with the inscription that “October 11 is a historic day for our country.”.
“For a long 332 years, Ukraine and the Ukrainian Church have been waiting for autocephaly. The Ukrainians prayed for this. And now this decision has been made! ” – stressed the leader of the country.
About the synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in Minsk
As Radio Liberty has just reported on its website, the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has declared it impossible for further Eucharistic communion with Constantinople. This was stated by the head of the Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, following a meeting of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in Minsk. At a meeting of the Holy Synod, a decision was made to completely break off communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, – said the Metropolitan.
Earlier, the ROC repeatedly stated that the response to Constantinople to the decision to recognize the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church would be adequate and tough. If in Istanbul, despite all the protests of the Orthodox world, a positive decision on autocephaly is made, the Russian Orthodox Church will be forced to completely break off communion with this patriarchate, representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate said..
The statement of the synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in Minsk on October 15 notes that the synod of the Church of Constantinople (it seems that from now on in Moscow they intend to call the Ecumenical Patriarchate) made its decisions unilaterally, “ignoring the calls of the UOC and the entirety of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as local fraternal Orthodox churches , their primates and bishops for a pan-Orthodox discussion of the issue “.
Events in Ukraine and global processes
Director of the Center for Public Information Technologies “Forum” Valery Dymov notes that Ukraine today is in the center of “real, fundamental and large-scale changes” that affect not only the relationship of official Kiev with Moscow.
“These changes affect not only Ukraine’s relations with Russia, not only the issues of Orthodoxy and the territories of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, but the fundamental nature of changes around the world, despite the skepticism of some who say that Ukraine is disappearing from the radar. These changes are based on the formation of Ukraine’s subjectivity and influence on the world agenda, ”Valeriy Dymov told the Voice of America correspondent..
The events taking place in the country, he said, also reflect the revival of Ukrainian statehood..
“The issues of the Ukrainian church have always been on the agenda for and before Petro Poroshenko. Despite the fact that Poroshenko says that the receipt of autocephaly for the Ukrainian church is in the same row with the movement to the European Union and NATO, this event is out of the ordinary. It is higher in scale and unites both atheists and those who profess Islam – Crimean Tatars, for example, parishioners of not only the Kiev Patriarchate and the UAOC, but also many bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate. Today, the hopes of millions of citizens who have wanted to have their own church for three hundred years are being realized, ”notes Valery Dymov.
The political scientist notes that Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church have never considered Ukraine as a separate independent and sovereign state..
“For Russia, the Church and Orthodoxy are one of the fundamental“ stones ”at the foundation of Russian statehood. She used religion as a political instrument of her imperial aggressive policy, ”says Valery Dymov.
He believes that the Ukrainian state should be separated from the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church. And today’s events about the receipt of autocephaly are a series of historical processes for which there is a demand in the Ukrainian society, Valeriy Dymov believes..
Tomos and the civilizational choice of Ukraine
International political scientist Anton Kuchukhidze notes that there is still no final decision on granting tomos for the Ukrainian church, and a number of statements by the Ukrainian authorities on this issue should be viewed through the prism of political decisions.
“Tying Tomos to the EU and NATO, for example, is unrealistic today, because official Budapest is blocking any European integration movement of Ukraine. But the authorities are guided by the electoral moods of citizens before the elections in 2019, and in this their desires coincide. As for the civilizational choice of the poorest country in Europe, judging by the IMF report, that says it all. The Fund’s indicators are the answer to all questions regarding reforms in the country, which have been underway for four and a half years. Has life in Ukraine improved or has Ukraine really made a breakthrough in the national economy or in the international arena over the past four years? We can definitely say no, “Anton Kuchukhidze says to the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America..
Anton Kuchukhidze believes that not all political leaders of the country share the opinion that the Ukrainian church needs tomos and autocephaly.
“Statements to this effect are PR around the issue of autocephaly. If the reconsideration of relations takes place within the framework of church law, few people will oppose these decisions and oppose them, ”says Anton Kuchukhidze.
He also believes that the solution of the church issue within Ukraine has little to do with the realities in international politics, in particular, with the choice of the Euro-Atlantic course by the country, or the desire to join the European Union..