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UKRAINE: WE REMEMBER

EDITORIAL: Kyiv Post, Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, November 21, 2007 [kyivpost.com]

At 4 p.m. this Saturday, Ukrainians will honor the memories of millions of victims of three Soviet-engineered terror-famines, the most devastating of which began 75 years ago with the Great Famine of 1932-33.

The government is urging Ukrainians to light a candle in honor of the victims of Soviet repressions and place it on their windowsills as a sign of solidarity. Memorial services will be held nationwide and around the world.

Ukraine's political and religious elites have largely recognized the Holodomor as genocide. Even the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Moscow Patriarchate, Volodymyr Sabodan, did not mince words when he wrote in an encyclical last year that "this genocide was an attempt to destroy the very soul of the people, to spiritually enslave the people."

He used words like "hell, diabolic, anti-Christ" to describe Soviet rule. Thus, all four major Ukrainian Christian prelates agree that the Holodomor was genocide - a rare instance of ecumenical consensus among church leaders.

All three of Ukraine's presidents since independence agree that the Holodomor was genocide. President Leonid Kravchuk drove the final nail into the coffin of the Kremlin-sponsored "bad weather and harvest" disinformation campaign regarding the Holodomor in his autobiography. Kravchuk, who as a Communist ideologue was responsible for denying the Holodomor in the 1980s, proved that rainfall levels were normal in 1932-33.

President Leonid Kuchma was the first to ask the world to recognize the Holodomor as genocide in 2003. The declassification of State Security Service archives began in the last years of Kuchma's rule, a process that is continuing by leaps and bounds under President Viktor Yushchenko today.

Since 2003, Ukraine's parliament has twice voted on condemning the Holodomor as genocide. Both times the votes passed with slim majorities with the support of the Socialist Party, which was hesitant, but whose ties to the countryside made it impossible to deny the truth.

The Communists aside, the only hold-out on the genocide issue is the Party of Regions, led by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. If Ukraine's efforts to secure international recognition are to be successful, then this political force must add its voice to the condemnation. We hope to see this party's leaders standing with the president and other national leaders on St. Michael's Square Saturday to honor the victims.

As for Moscow's recognition of the genocide, while Ukraine has made significant progress in dealing with its Soviet past, Russian leaders are still in a state of denial, or defensive paranoia. No one is blaming Russia's current leadership or the Russian people for the Holodomor.

Rather, it is the Kremlin's former rapacious leaders who are to blame. Yet, the Kremlin's current leadership has stubbornly opposed recognizing the genocide, labeling it as fear-mongering with Kyiv roots.

Last week's attack on a Holodomor exhibit in Moscow and the Russian Foreign Ministry's subsequent accusations that political forces are "speculating" on the famine, are signs that the Kremlin still prefers to look at its record through rose-colored glasses. In fact, the Kremlin's record is blood-colored, and the sooner Russian society recognizes that fact, the better.

The Kremlin's claim that Ukraine is somehow trying to monopolize the Soviet terror-famine is essentially recognizing that Ukraine has done a far better job in shedding light on the darkest episodes of Soviet rule.

Instead of criticizing Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin should open up Russian Federation archives on the terror years.

There is no denying that the Soviets forced famines in other regions of Eurasia in the 1930s, including areas of modern-day Russia and Kazakhstan. But the campaign within the closed borders of Ukraine was ruthless in its efficiency and organization and targeted the rural population that was
primarily Ukrainian.

The histories of all Soviet forced famines need to be addressed the same way the Holodomor has been handled in Ukraine. From Russia, Kuban to Kazakhstan, the bitter truth deserves to be known.

Ultimately, promoting awareness of the crimes of Communism is in the national interests of Ukraine and Russia. Given Russia's current denial, Yushchenko has rightfully appealed to other countries to recognize the famine as genocide, one that Kremlin spin doctors and powerbrokers can't deny.

We call upon the world's leaders to recognize the genocidal nature of the famine and, in doing so, help break the information blockade isolating the Russian people.

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Romane,
Thank you for posting this. I am glad to read that Metr. Volodymyr Sabodan has also spoken out against the Holodomor.
A hopeful sign at last for the future.
God Bless.

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You're welcome. I wonder if the Metropolitan was at the Sofia commemoration today.

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It turns out that Metr. Sabodan was not present at the commemorative service that was held at St. Sofia on Saturday. The (Ukrainian) text of the President's invitation as well as Metr. Sabodan's reply is posted on the UOC-MP's website: http://orthodox.org.ua/uk/novini/2007/11/24/2253.html [orthodox.org.ua]. The Metropolitan explains that his synod decided in 2006 that it would not be possible for him as leader of the UOC[-MP] to participate in services together with clergy from other churches and religions.

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church's leader was also absent from the service as he was at the Vatican attending a meeting of the college of cardinals. The UGCC did issue a press release (in Ukrainian) [ugcc.org.ua] which mentions the participation at the service of represenatives from the following denominations: UOC-KP, UAOC, RC, Armenian Apostolic and UGCC.

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Kyr Bohdan (Dzyurakh) was likely the UGCC representative as he is the auxiliary located in Kyiv at the patriarchal chancery and often attends such events as the UGCC representative.

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I just read the UGCC Ukrainian press release - Kyr Bohdan was the official representative of the UGCC.

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A prayer service in the building where Patriarch Josyf Slipyj was interogated.


http://www.ugcc.org.ua/eng/press-releases/article;6064/

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Sadly, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate received it's orders from Putin (via their Moscow Patriarch) not to participate in any events commemorating the Holodomor. Here is the lates joint press release from three large churches in Ukraine:

The address of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations
on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Holodomor (forced famine) in Ukraine

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Compatriots!

Seventy-five years separate us from the greatest tragedy in the history of Ukraine and the whole human race � the Holodomor (forced famine) of 1932-33. The amount of victims of this tragedy, who number in the millions, makes an impression. And much more affecting is the cruel and inhumane manner of their elimination � an artificial famine, planned and executed by the Bolshevik regime of the former Soviet Union.



For a long time the truth about this crime was hidden. The orders of the Party forced historians to be silent. But no one can force the memory of the nation to stay silent. No one will be able to eliminate the silent witnesses of the terrible crime � the graves of our brothers and sisters, victims of the Holodomor. There are such graves in almost all the villages and cities of Ukraine that were under the Soviet Union. Those graves demand each of us to lift up his own voice to defend the truth.



This is the terrible truth: according to the order of the state-party authority of the Soviet Union over a few months in 1932- 33 in Ukraine more of our compatriots were murdered by famine than died during World War II. We remember and honor the latter victims. In the same way we should honor the memory of those who died in the Holodomor.



In every city and village of Ukraine a memorial tablet which will remind the living about the tragedy of the Holodomor should appear. It is necessary for scholars to study precisely and publicize all evidence and documents which enlighten this event. The structures of the state authority and local administrations should do all the possible so that the Holodomor, its reasons and consequences, becomes well-known both in Ukraine and also abroad.



The evil should be called evil, the crime a crime. There can be no justification for those who condemned millions of people to a terrible death by hunger, for those who took away the last food, for those who with weapons in their hands did not give people any possibility to save themselves, forcing them back to starving villages. The truth about the terrible genocide of the Ukrainian people has to be proclaimed loudly, because the nation which does not remember its past is condemned to wander in search of a future.



This truth must unite the Ukrainian people. For only joining around truth helps the nation to survive in the most terrible stages of its own historical path. It is not necessary to seek revenge, because the criminals lie in the earth, like their victims. And right now, for them God is the only just judge, who pays everyone truly according to his deeds. We call for the recognition of the terrible truth about the Holodomor, because when the past has been understood, when a proper evaluation has been made, we can understand better our own way in the future.



The memory of the common tragedy of the Holodomor in 1932-33 unites us, regardless of nationality, religion, and political convictions. Calling the victims of the genocide to memory, we should give them proper honor. We should raise our own prayers, light the candle of memory. We ask God that our Ukrainian land and our people never again in its history know such tragedy. And let each one do everything necessary for this. The word of truth about the Holodomor and the memory of its victims will help us in this.



We ask God's blessing for each of you!



The address was signed by:

Filaret � the Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate, the Patriarch of Kyiv and all Rus'-Ukraine; Volodymyr � the Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine; Lubomyr (Husar) � Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, Cardinal; Markijan Trofimjak � Assistant Head of the Conference of Roman Catholic Bishops of Ukraine, Bishop.

I.F.

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Quote
Sadly, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate received it's orders from Putin (via their Moscow Patriarch) not to participate in any events commemorating the Holodomor. Here is the lates joint press release from three large churches in Ukraine:
But what about the panakhyda celebrated in Moscow on Saturday in the Patriarchal Cathedral for victims of the Holodomor?

I thought the issue in Kyiv was that Metr. Vladimir (MP) did not want to celebrate with Metr. Filaret (KP) as mentioned in his letter cited in the first post in this thread.

On a more positive note read this:
Quote
Donetsk Will Build First Church Dedicated to 1932-33 Holodomor Victims
29.11.2007, [17:44] // news //

Donetsk � According to the eparchial department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate (UOC-KP), a church building will be constructed in the memory of Holodomor victims with the blessing of Archbishop Yurii (Yurchyk) of Donetsk and Mariupol. Continuous prayer at the church will be the most important act of repentance in memory of the millions of innocent people who died during the Holodomor of 1932-33 and an example to generations to come not to allow a similar tragedy to happen again.
RISU�s Ukrainian-language webpage posted the story on 28 November 2007.

http://www.risu.org.ua/eng/news/article;19374/

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Orest,

I think you missed the point. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyivan Patriarchate), the UAOC, the Roman Catholic Church, and UGCC Archbishop were present at the Moleben for those who died 75 years ago in the Holodomor. Patriarch Lubomyr (Husar) who was in Rome made a point of having a public moleben to commemorate the event. Even the Premier Yanukovich (no big fan of Ukrainian statehood) was present as were all major political figures.

http://www.cerkva.info/2007/11/24/golodomor.html

Remembering this act of genocide against the Ukrainian people should bring all it's citizens together, however brief a time. There SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ANY REASON for any Ukrainian Church leader or senior political party leader not to participate (except the Communists of course).

The only reason that the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Moscow Patriarchate - did not attend is because the Moscow Patriarch told him not to attend and do what all good Russians do - ask the Ukrainians to "synchronize their history with that of Russia". In other words, deny it happened, deny responsibility, claim that there were bad crops, claim that everyone suffered,.......

There could be no excuse for his absence. In fact, this could have served as an ideal moment in history to show maturity and intelligence.

I.F.

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The HOLODOMOR
President Yushchenko of Ukraine
Wall Street Journal, New York
November 26, 2007

Seventy-five years ago the Ukrainian people fell victim to a crime of unimaginable horror. Usually referred to in the West as the Great Famine or the Terror Famine, it is known to Ukrainians as the Holodomor. It was a state-organized program of mass starvation that in 1932-33 killed an estimated seven million to 10 million Ukrainians, including up to a third of the nation's children. With grotesque understatement the Soviet authorities dismissed this event as a "bad harvest." Their intention was to exonerate themselves of responsibility and suppress knowledge of both the human causes and human consequences of this tragedy. That is reason enough for us to pause and remember.

During the long decades of Soviet rule it was dangerous for Ukrainians to discuss their greatest national trauma. To talk of the Holodomor was a crime against the state, while the memoirs of eyewitnesses and the accounts of historians like Robert Conquest and the late James Mace were banned as anti-Soviet propaganda. Yet each Ukrainian family knew from bitter personal memory the enormity of what had happened. They also knew that it had been inflicted on them deliberately to punish Ukraine and destroy the basis of its nationhood. It is to honor the victims and serve the cause of historical truth that independent Ukraine is today working to promote greater understanding and recognition of the Holodomor, both at home and abroad.

"Genocide is a highly charged term, and there are those who still dispute its applicability in the case of Ukraine. It is therefore worth looking at how the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention legally defines the issue. It describes genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group" including "deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part." The Holodomor falls squarely within the terms of this definition. Significantly, that was also the opinion of Raphael Lemkin, the legal scholar who conceived the Genocide Convention.

There is now a wealth of historical material detailing the specific features of Stalin's forced collectivization and terror famine policies against Ukraine. Other parts of the Soviet Union suffered terribly as well. But in the minds of the Soviet leadership there was a dual purpose in persecuting and starving the Ukrainian peasantry. It was part of a campaign to crush Ukraine's national identity and its desire for self-determination. As Stalin put it a few years earlier: "There is no powerful national movement without the peasant army...in essence, the national question is a peasant question." In seeking to reverse the policy of "Ukrainianization" that promoted limited cultural and political autonomy during the 1920s, Stalin decided to target the peasantry, representing as it did 80% of the population. His solution to the national question in Ukraine was mass murder through starvation."

"Stalin's cruel methods included the allocation of astronomic grain requisition quotas that were impossible to meet and which left nothing for the local population to eat. When the quotas were missed, armed units were sent in. Toward the end of 1932, entire villages and regions were turned into a system of isolated starvation ghettos called "black boards." Throughout this period, the Soviet Union continued to export grain to the West and even used grain to produce alcohol. By early 1933, the Soviet leadership decided to radically reinforce the blockade of Ukrainian villages. Eventually, the whole territory of Ukraine was surrounded by armed forces, turning the entire country into a vast death camp.

The specifically national motive behind Stalin's treatment of Ukraine was also evident in the terror campaign that targeted the institutions and individuals that sustained the cultural and public life of the Ukrainian nation. Waves of purges engulfed academic institutions, literary journals, publishing houses and theaters. Victims included the Ukrainian Academy of Science, the editorial board of the Soviet Ukrainian Encyclopedia, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and ultimately the Ukrainian Communist Party. This was a systematic campaign against the Ukrainian nation, its history, culture, language and way of life.

The Holodomor was an act of genocide designed to suppress the Ukrainian nation. The fact that it failed and Ukraine today exists as a proud and independent nation does nothing to lessen the gravity of this crime. Nor does it acquit us of the moral responsibility to acknowledge what was done. On the 75th anniversary, we owe it to the victims of the Holodomor and other genocides to be truthful in facing up to the past."


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Originally Posted by Jean Francois
Remembering this act of genocide against the Ukrainian people should bring all it's citizens together, however brief a time. There SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ANY REASON for any Ukrainian Church leader or senior political party leader not to participate (except the Communists of course).

The only reason that the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Moscow Patriarchate - did not attend is because the Moscow Patriarch told him not to attend and do what all good Russians do - ask the Ukrainians to "synchronize their history with that of Russia". In other words, deny it happened, deny responsibility, claim that there were bad crops, claim that everyone suffered,.......

There could be no excuse for his absence. In fact, this could have served as an ideal moment in history to show maturity and intelligence.

I.F.


What part of "not concelebrating with schismatics" do you not understand. The Orthodox Church does not recognize Mr Denisenko, or his schism, as being either a bishop or as even an Orthodox Christian, as he has been defrocked, excommunicated and anathematized. Thus, accordingly, the Orthodox hierarchy will NOT concelebrate with him or his minions.

"Do not err, my brethren: if anyone follow a schismatic, he will not inherit the Kingdom of God. If any man walk about with strange doctrine, he cannot lie down with the passion. Take care, then, to use one Eucharist, so that whatever you do, you do according to God: for there is one Flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup in the union of His Blood; one altar, as there is one bishop with the presbytery and my fellow servants, the deacons." St. Ignatius Of Antioch, Epistle to the Philadelphians, 3:2-4:1, 110 A.D. "

God's law trumps politics every time, my friend.

Alexandr

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Well, it would appear that the Union of Orthodox Citizens in Ukraine, a pro-Russian Empire organization in Ukraine is upset with the fact that that Premier Yanukovych showed more compassion and maturity than did the Ukrainian Metropolitan.

I.F.

UOC-MP Orthodox Call upon Ex-Premier Yanukovych not to Participate in Events Considered Anathema
03.12.2007, [14:03] // Church-state relations //

Kyiv � The civic organization �Union of Orthodox Citizens of Ukraine� (UOCU) severely criticized executive Premier Viktor Yanukovych for participating in the memorial service for victims of Holodomor (man-made famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine), led by Patriarch Filaret (Denysenko) of Kyiv and All Rus�-Ukraine, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate (UOC-KP), at St. Sophia�s Church in Kyiv on 24 November 2007. According to nr2.ru, the UOCU expressed in a statement that, �Such actions are considered to be renunciation of the Church.� At the same time, the press service of the UOC-MP says that Yanukovych �fell victim to Filaret�s provocation.�

The statement of the UOCU goes on to state: �According to the canons, participation in such a show is considered to be a renunciation of the Church, according to Apostolic Rule 45. . . . Millions of Orthodox citizens had such high hopes for Viktor Yanukovych. . . .Who needs such a �broad coalition� which only betrays the Church?�

In particular, the report of the UOC-MP press service adds: �Orthodox public figures and politicians should avoid participating in events considered anathema which may cause concern to Orthodox citizens.�

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What part of "not concelebrating with schismatics" do you not understand.

I am a little confused here. The Moscow Patriarchate is a member of the World Council of Churches and participates in ecumenical "prayer" services" but not in the celebration of the Divine Eucharist. I believe Orthodox priests paricipate in various government or official ecumenical prayer services in North America. I know this happens in Canada.

Therefore, since the service in Kyiv for the victims of the Holodomor was an ecumenical service attended by representatives of the various faith groups, please tell me how this is different from the Moscow Patriarchate participating in the World Council of Churches prayer services? The various Protestand churches of the WCC are considered heterodox by the MP. And no where does the MP or other Orthodox jurisdictions in the WCC call participating in these ecumenical prayer services
"concelebrating" as in the quote cited above.

A denial of the Holodomor is not the issue because as has been stated in another post, Metr. Vladimir Sabodan (MP) has spoken out very strongly against the Holodomor. Also, there was a panakhyda for victims of the Holodomor in the patriarchal cathedral in Moscow. Thus, it seems that the Moscow Patriarchate accepts the validity of the suffering and death of milllions of Ukrainians in the man-made famine in Ukraine.

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I can only speak for the Russian Church, both Abroad and in the Motherland, when I state that the ROC does NOT concelebrate with heterodox. Standing and listening when a heterodox prays, offering a blessing to those outside the faith, participating in ecumenical dialogue, yes, that occurs. But concelebration? Never. Not only Divine Liturgy, but a Moleben or Pannakhida as well. When +Alexei was in Notre Dame, He was in mantia, standing at the side. Did he enter the Altar? No. When you have a mixed funeral service in Canada, with both Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox in the family, do the Catholic and Orthodox celebrate the Parastas together? No, first one will come in, then the other after the first has finished.

But what stands out in this case, is the presence of Mr Denisenko, who is not even Orthodox in the eyes of the Church.

You are correct, that the issue here is not about the Genocide. It is about not recognizing schismatics as valid.

Schisms is the name applied to those who on account of ecclesiastical causes and remediable questions have developed a quarrel amongst themselves. Parasynagogues is the name applied to gatherings held by insubordinate presbyters or bishops, and those held by uneducated laities. As, for instance, when one has been arraigned for a misdemeanor held aloof from liturgy and refused to submit to the Canons, but laid claim to the presidency and liturgy for himself, and some other persons departed with him, leaving the catholic Church--that is a parasynagogue.

St. Basil's first canon


Alexandr



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