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Originally Posted by The young fogey
(If one canonical church recognizes you ... you're in the club.)

I guess I had forgotten about this comment. I wonder if this is necessarily true (even without the part that I ellipsis'ed over). whistle (I would have put a raise-eyebrow or scratch-chin, but we have neither in this system.)

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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
I don't think of it as an "Orthodox mess"

Maybe we could make everyone happy by saying "messy Orthodoxy". cool wink

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I thought I read earlier in this thread that the EP used to be in communion with the KP, but of course that might not have been so. (Maybe it was that the Ukrainian Orthodox in the US, who are EP, used to recognize the KP.)

Right, I thought if one official Orthodox church recognizes you, you're Orthodox. The situation of the Bulgarian Orthodox when they declared independence from Constantinople, rather than Constantinople granting them autocephaly, the way it's supposed to work. Constantinople declared them schismatic, much as the MP has done to the KP, but the Russians remained in communion with their close Slavic cousins in the Balkans so no problem.

During ROCOR's fanatical phase, from the '60s through the '00s, when it took in a bunch of anti-ecumenical Greeks, ROCOR remained in Orthodoxy by a thread, being recognized by the Serbs. Otherwise it would have been the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Orthodoxy. But all those years, their priests couldn't concelebrate with other American Orthodox so it was as if they weren't Orthodox.

As far as I know, no canonical church recognizes the KP so they're in the uncomfortable position of being officially outside Orthodoxy, but they're obviously still in the family, not fakers.

I'd forgotten how bitter the jurisdictional wars in American Orthodoxy have been, namely the factions of Russian Orthodox in America during Soviet times. When ROCOR first had a real presence here, right after the war (displaced persons), the Metropolia parishes were told the newcomers were schismatics outside Orthodoxy so have nothing to do with them. (Then in the ’70s some ROCOR parishes picked up old Metropolia parishioners when the Metropolia-turned-OCA dioceses dumped Slavonic and the Julian calendar.) There was the Soviet church, the MP at the time, which a few Metropolia parishes joined, causing more acrimony and court cases. Parishes were congregationalist, unknown in European Orthodoxy and in Catholicism, jurisdiction-shopping and hopping. (Effectively, fire your bishop and hire another one; some parishes treated priests like that as the congregations jumped ships.) There's a Metropolia/OCA parish here, rare as it was founded by actual Russians (not Ruthenian ex-Catholics), that's legally still 'St Nicholas Independent Russian Orthodox Church'.

But unlike in the Ukraine, American messy Orthodoxy isn't a theological problem and not a big deal to American Orthodox because almost all of the players are in communion with at least one canonical Orthodox church so they're in communion with each other. That's why only the MP recognizing OCA autocephaly isn't a problem. (Exceptions: outliers such as the Old Calendarist Greek jurisdictions and the Byelorussian Orthodox Church in America; not in the club but in the family.)

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Thanks for the great explanation. The inherent "messiness" of the Orthodox model is a stark contrast to the Roman model. Yet reality is often at odds with plans or models. Ask any remodeling contractor.

We Orthodox argue that all bishops are equal, but we deceive others by not admitting that some are "more equal than others." (Heck, just whose administrative model do you think Moscow or the EP adopted?) Likewise, it often seems that the Holy Father is more akin to the great Oz than the maniacal tyrant anti-Catholic polemicists portray or the omnipotent ruler of Hollywood's Vatican.

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Dear Fogey and DMD,

One problem in approaching the canonicity of the UOC-KP is how "canonicity" can and is being used to simply shut down the Ukrainian Orthodox movement for its own Patriarchate, independent of Moscow.

That is socio-political hegemony, plain and simple. To leave that issue out of the ecclesiological equation is wrong. It is a disturbing problem within Orthodoxy, especially Russian Orthodoxy that has been used as a colonializing arm of Great Russian imperialism. This is for Orthodoxy to sort out in the future.

Sergei's use of "the Ukraine" is a linguistic expression of that hegemony (although I'm not saying it is intentional on his part, I just don't know if it is). "The Ukraine" is the Great Russian usage to describe what it considers to be a Little Russian province, rather than an independent country, which is what Ukraine is today. I'll leave it at that.

With respect to the recognition of Orthodox patriarchates, Russia, Serbia and Bulgaria each proclaimed their own patriarchates and maintained the titles until such time (in some cases, several hundred years) before world Orthodoxy gave canonical recognition to it.

The UOC-MP is also faced with what can turn out to be a messy situation. It unites both Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox Christians under His Beatitude Metropolitan Vladimir (Sabodan) who has managed to keep both sides in a kind of equilibrium.

Those Ukrainian Orthodox who are in the UOC-MP remain there because they want to be part of world Orthodoxy and believe that their goals of church autonomy etc. can be achieved in time. Moscow does not appear anxious to move toward those directions any time soon however.

But as long as Metropolitan Vladimir is the Primate, everyone in the UOC-MP is happy - for now. He has to deal with strong forces within his jurisdiction that are for greater Russification, beginning with a change to the title of the church back to simply "Russkaya Pravoslavna Tserkva." There are openly Russophile Hierarchs in the UOC-MP and there is a real fear among the UOC-MP leadership that with the death of Metropolitan Vladimir (who now suffers from the same condition that afflicted Pope John Paul II), the church will experience a schism which could go in favour of the UOC-KP.

Time will tell. But there is no stopping the UOC-KP in terms of growth and influence. And every time the Moscow Patriarch visits Kyiv, he annoys more and more Ukrainian Orthodox who see Metropolitan Vladimir as the immediate head of their Church without looking over him to Moscow.

The divisions in Ukraine are rather simple then - those in favour of a Ukrainian Church (which includes those in the UOC-MP) and those in favour of the continuing domination of the ROC in Ukraine. Given the historical issues involved, the situation won't go away any time soon nor are "canonical" considerations sufficient to put them away.

Also, mention was made of the nationalism in western Ukraine. This idea is also part of Great Russian hegemony. From that perspective, for Ukrainians to want their own Church (just as Russians, Bulgarians, Serbians, Greeks etc. have) means that they must be "nationalists" or else otherwise be inspired by nationalist political movements.

While there are such movements (and Russia is not stranger to its own nationalist movements), most Ukrainians are not Banderites etc. They have their own cultural/national self-awareness within their own independent country and want their own autocephalous Church, independent of Moscow. There are Ukrainians who are of that same view even though they speak only Russian - I've met many such myself.

Social and political issues are part and parcel of religious/ecclesiological considerations.

The way "canonicity" is applied in this situation is what is the true source of the "messiness" involved.

I don't expect agreement on this issue. I'm content to support our Ukrainian Orthodox people, of whatever jurisdiction, EP, MP or KP, in their legitimate aspirations.

Alex

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You're welcome and thanks. Sure, C'ople, because of its history, and Moscow, because Russia's the world's most powerful Orthodox country, think they're Pope-like. You're right that the Pope isn't the menacing figure in Catholic life that Catholic liberals and non-Catholics make him out to be. Traditionalists are actually papal minimalists. The liberals want the Pope to use authority he doesn't have, in order to give them what they want.

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Originally Posted by The young fogey
Right, I thought if one official Orthodox church recognizes you, you're Orthodox. The situation of the Bulgarian Orthodox when they declared independence from Constantinople, rather than Constantinople granting them autocephaly, the way it's supposed to work. Constantinople declared them schismatic, much as the MP has done to the KP, but the Russians remained in communion with their close Slavic cousins in the Balkans so no problem.

That -- I mean the original action of the Bulgarian Orthodox declaring independence, not the later events -- sounds to me to be similar, not as much to the KP's endeavors to be [recognized as] a canonical Orthodox church, but more to the UGCC declaring itself to be a patriarchate.

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P.S. Funny that, with 11 pages about Fr. Taft, nobody has mentioned his proposal (10 years ago?) that the UGCC should put "Return to Sender" on any mail addressed to "Major Archbishop ..."

whistle smile

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In English it's 'the Ukraine', and I'm pro-Russian without apology, so that meaning of 'the Ukraine' is part of what I mean, but of course as an American looking at how a Christian, nationalist Russia (yes, a badass gangster state I wouldn't necessarily want to live in) can help conservative American values (a check against liberal American and liberal European power and political correctness).

I think in the older cases of national churches declaring independence, it was like Bulgaria in the 1800s. World Orthodoxy didn't go out of communion with them.

Regarding Russian-speaking Ukrainians (namely, most Ukrainians) being nationalists, that could well be. Like how Dutch-speaking Flanders in Belgium doesn’t want to be part of the Netherlands. Several countries speaking the same language isn’t unusual historically in Europe.

Russian: Русская Православная Церковь.
Ukrainian: Російська Православна Церква.

As you can see, like Spanish and Portuguese, very mutually intelligible. With my smattering of Russian I've talked to Ukrainian speakers.

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Originally Posted by The young fogey
I thought I read earlier in this thread that...
(Maybe it was that the Ukrainian Orthodox in the US, who are EP, used to recognize the KP.)

I don't know if that was said on this thread, but I recall seeing, on the KP website, a lament about many parishes in the US leaving them and going to the EP, about 20 years ago.

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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
The UOC-MP is also faced with what can turn out to be a messy situation. It unites both Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox Christians under His Beatitude Metropolitan Vladimir (Sabodan) who has managed to keep both sides in a kind of equilibrium.

Those Ukrainian Orthodox who are in the UOC-MP remain there because they want to be part of world Orthodoxy and believe that their goals of church autonomy etc. can be achieved in time. Moscow does not appear anxious to move toward those directions any time soon however.

But as long as Metropolitan Vladimir is the Primate, everyone in the UOC-MP is happy - for now. He has to deal with strong forces within his jurisdiction that are for greater Russification, beginning with a change to the title of the church back to simply "Russkaya Pravoslavna Tserkva." There are openly Russophile Hierarchs in the UOC-MP and there is a real fear among the UOC-MP leadership that with the death of Metropolitan Vladimir (who now suffers from the same condition that afflicted Pope John Paul II), the church will experience a schism which could go in favour of the UOC-KP.

Wouldn't want to be in his shoes. (Hey, I never said I was cut out to be heroic. blush) It would feel like having bites taken out you from two sides. eek frown

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Dear Sergei,

Well, we will agree to disagree. "The Ukraine" is not "English" for Ukrayina. I also speak English and did my doctorate in the sociology of Ukrainian cultural identity in English as well. Here is an article on this by Prof. Andrew Gregorovich:

www.torugg.org/ukraine_or_the_ukraine.html

I've no problem with you being pro-Russian. Being pro-imperialist Russian is another thing. But I'm all for the conservative, even Old Believer style, Russian spirituality.

It's all a matter of courtesy and I'm not saying you are intentionally being discourteous in your use of "the Ukraine."

The government of Ukraine and its embassies do not use "The Ukraine" and will speak up when it is used by others who should know better. I'm doing the same here.

And again, I question your use of "nationalist" for those Ukrainians or Russians who are simply "cultural pride" or who have a basic national identity.

To be a nationalist is to espouse a particular political ideology based on one's view of a nation-state. There are, at last count, 17 different types of nationalism and some versions don't really need to refer to culture at all.

Alex

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Dear Peter,

You Rock! biggrin

That's exactly it in a nutshell. See, I told you you were wasted at CAF . . . grin

Alex

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Well, when Bl. Pope John Paul the Great was in Ukraine, he was present at a Divine Liturgy where there was an explicit commemoration of "Patriarch Lubomyr . . ." and the Pope said nothing.

Don't you Latins have a rule that says "silence gives consent?" (Qui tacet consentire)

So the UGCC patriarchate now has papal approval, if only tacit . . grin

Love you Latins!

Alex

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Dear Sergey,

Please forgive my earlier post on "the Ukraine" business.

I should just learn to keep my mouth shut.

Alex

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