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UNION OF KHARKIV-POLTAVA EPARCHY OF UAOC AND UGCC IS IMMINENT - PATRIARCH SVIATOSLAV ADDRESSES AUTOCEPHALOUS CLERGY

18 December 2015
http://risu.org.ua/en/index/all_news/confessional/interchurch_relations/61967/
[Linked Image]

At the initiative of Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk), Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, on December 17, the Patriarchy of the UGCC hosted the meeting with clergymen of the Kharkiv-Poltava Eparchy of the UAOC.

Patriarch Sviatoslav was accompanied by Chairman of the Ecumenical Commission of the UGCC Fr. Ihor Shaban. The Kharkiv-Poltava Eparchy was represented by Archbishop Ihor (Isichenko), archpriest Yuriy Boyko, archpriest Vitalii Zubak (Kharkiv), Fr. Ivan Leschyk (Mykolaiv), Fr. Ihor Lytvyn (Poltava), Fr. Dmitry Romankiv (Svatove), Fr. Leonid Slyvkanych (Oleshky), Fr. Volodymyr Chervonnykov (Kano), Fr Oleg Usov (Hlushkivka village, Kharkiv region), Fr Pavlo Kushch (Murafa village, Kharkiv region), Hieromonk Savvaty Solomyanyuk (Kyiv), Fr Theodore Sypeykin (Kano).

He told about the progress of debate on proposals of the UGCC to be submitted to the Kharkiv-Poltava Eparchy of the UAOC in response to the initiative of the Unification Council in 2015. The Patriarch underscored the need for absolute transparency of the unification processes, extensive involvement of priesthood and laity of both churches. The UGCC head urged the clergymen to assess his proposals and share their ideas on the unification process. In addition, the patriarch stressed that the very prospect of unification is irreversible, indisputable and had received unanimous support in the Church, the website of the Kharkiv-Poltava Eparchy of UAOC reports.

Each participant of the meeting had the opportunity to express their views and ask Patriarch Sviatoslav their questions. Archbishop Ihor noted that the unification process, being aimed at the development of the separated parts into a single Kyivan Church, is intended to protect and preserve the spiritual heritage of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church as part of the common Christian heritage of Ukraine.

The UGCC head welcomed the guests on a future day of remembrance of St. Nicholas of Myra in Lycia and handed them books that reflect ecclesiological concept of the modern Church. Archbishop Ihor thanked on behalf of those in attendance for the gifts and presented to the Head of the UGCC a publication, prepared on the initiative and with an active participation of the Kharkiv-Poltava Eparchy. The participants agreed on the main stages of work on the unification and agreed to maintain permanent contact.

The meeting ended with a joint prayer in the chapel of the Patriarchy

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Sorry I missed this as I was wondering about developments here.

The UGCC primate is adamant that the UAOC will remain as it is while being in full communion with the UGCC.

What that will mean exactly is anyone's guess at present. It will definitely be a ground-breaking event!

For Ukrainian Catholics, the emphasis on the "Kyivan Church" could be a way for many of us to come out of our "parochial" enclave to embrace a tradition and heritage which, ideally, embraces something beyond "uniatism."

Alex

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In another RISU story, changes are happening in some Orthodox parishes.

http://risu.org.ua/en/index/all_news/confessional/orthodox_relations/61860/

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Another parish leaves Moscow Patriarchate in Volyn region
7 December 2015, 11:05


In Hrybovytsya village of Volyn region located between Ivanychi and Novovolynsk, the community of the Holy Protection Church decided to leave the Moscow Patriarchate and move to the Kyiv Patriarchate.

This is reported by Volynsky novyny.

On December 6 in the morning, the priest of the Kyiv Patriarchate held a service for the first time in the church of the village Hrybovytsya, Ivanychi district of Volyn region.

This event was preceded by a stormy meeting that took place in the village on November 29. Over a hundred of residents of Hrybovtsy decided to replace the locks in the church - and transfer it to the jurisdiction of the Kyiv Patriarchate.

Rector of the Holy Protection Church archpriest Igor Margita did not attend the meeting but talked with people outside his home. According to the report, 107 people were present at the meeting.

According to a village meeting, on November 29 it was decided to transfer the religious buildings to the Kyiv Patriarchate. Village chairman Pavlo Stepanets tore seals, replaced the church door locks and sealed them again. Officers of the district administration, the Department of Culture, promised to visit the church next week to make an inventory of church property, which has cultural and historical value.

UOC (MP) Archpriest Igor Margita, who disagrees with the decision of the village council, called police. MIA officers recorded explanations of representatives of both sides to the conflict and promised to investigate.

As it was previously reported, the MP religious communities in the villages of Uhryniv and Pechyhvosty had decided to move to the Kyiv Patriarchate. Additionally, in the village of Strilche, Gorokhiv deanery, local parish has recently moved to the Kyiv Patriarchate.

Patriarch Filaret commented on developments.

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Patriarch Filaret spoke about his vision of the model of unity of the Ukrainian Orthodox in an interview for the newspaper “Day”.

On the question of: “What you see obstacles in the inability to implement this model of unity of Ukrainian Orthodoxy?”

Patriarch Filaret said: "There is one and most important obstacle - Moscow's influence on the Ukrainian Church, as there is dependence that prevents clergy fully supporting their people in the fight against the aggressor. The war really shows who is who, because unfortunately there are priests and bishops of the Orthodox Church, calling Putin to come and save Ukraine. Ordinary believers see this “fifth column” and do not want to belong to it, so the parishes transfer from the UOC to the UOC-KP. This is the process of unification, but it is a bottom-up process. In large cities, these transitions proceed smoothly, but in small villages, where there is only parish, a real struggle evolves. Of course, this process can be accelerated provided that the Kyiv Patriarchate is recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarch as an autocephalous Church. This in turn will enable not only the faithful but the clergy to make transitions.”


http://risu.org.ua/en/index/all_news/orthodox/uoc_kp/62003/


May you all have a joyous and blessed Holy Season.

John

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Dear John,

Yes, a happy Nativity of the New Calendar to you as well!

The UAOC eparchy that is coming into union with the UGCC is doing so precisely because it does NOT want to ultimately be a part of the same kind of "state church" in the form of an Orthodox jurisdiction in Ukraine that is comparable to the state Church in Russia.

With respect to Orthodox parishes moving here and there - that is a real problem there.

There are also KP parishes that move to the MP, UAOC parishes that move to the KP but also, this year, six KP parishes that moved to the UAOC. . .

At least the Moscow Patriarchate has a focus on unity that the Orthodox jurisdictions in Ukraine may only dream about.

Alex

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Update.

After seven years, it has finally been accomplished:

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Archbishop Isichenko came into full communion with the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church earlier this year; parishes of the diocese he once led are now part of the Ukrainian Catholic Exarchate of Kharkiv and the Archeparchy of Kyiv. With the status of an emeritus archbishop, Isichenko will now lead a branch of the Ukrainian Catholic University.

In Ukraine, a bishop comes into the Church. [pillarcatholic.com]

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Perhaps the "Uniates" are a bridge after all. The UGCC was for me personally. Thanks for that update; the news from Ukraine is starting to get a little brighter!

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Yes, I know a Ukrainian Canadian lawyer who set up his practice in Kyiv and joined that Orthodox jurisdiction. He is now in the Ukrainian armed forces.

It was interesting that the UGCC leadership balked at receiving them outright due to the delicate issues between EC's and Orthodox. But they were quite serious and Patriarch Svyatoslav had no choice but to look for ways to unite them to the UGCC.

At first, he thought of a model where they would keep their title etc. but would be in full Eucharistic Communion with the UGCC. Whenever he visited their parishes, the people already regarded him as their Primate . . .

There are doctoral dissertations being considered to study the complex church situation in Ukraine today. One such aspirant confided that what annoys the Russians the most is the varied religious landscape in Ukraine and wherever they go, they impose the UOC-MP as the only possible church. They persecute others including the Evangelical churches whose pastors often find themselves under arrest and worse at their hands.

The Ukrainian Jewish community has valiantly come to help in the struggle against the Russian invaders and their Chief Rabbi has even issued a video of him singing a song for Ukraine (for which he has been decorated by the Kyivan government). There are Ukrainian Muslims and Muslims from other nations who join in that same struggle. A Ukrainian Imam has been involved in speaking to Russian army Muslims taken prisoner to explain to them that what they are doing cannot possibly qualify as a jihad etc.

The Roman Catholics of Ukraine, Ukrainian and others, have taken vows to remain at their monasteries and posts to help the thousands of victims of Putin's satanic war even to the point of martyrdom. Their religious Superiors have granted them permission in that regard . . . In Poland, where monasteries have opened their doors to Ukrainian refugees, the people have taken up the Rosary, yes, the Rosary with great enthusiasm and even though they are largely Orthodox.

The head of the Polish Orthodox Church has warned that having all those millions of Orthodox Ukrainians in such close contact with RC's could herald a new "Union of Brest!"

He said that like it was a bad thing . .

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I hate to be a skeptic, but is it possible this conversion was brought about ultimately by the secular politics of the war and national unity against Russia?

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Christ is in our midst!!

The first post indicates that this move has been in the works since 2015. I don't think the war had much to do with it.

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The war has had a tremendous impact on church life in Ukraine though. The Orthodox Church in Ukraine has had hundreds of former parishes of the MP join it. A former UOC-MP priest who joined the OCU described how the MP would bus in priests and laity from other parishes to give the appearance that they were "parishioners" at his parish to prevent it being taken away from the MP after a majority vote of the actual parishioners indicated they want nothing to do with the patriarch of Moscow or the Russian Orthodox Church which blesses the soldiers who do unspeakable crimes against them with icons . . .

It would appear that all this is not only about Ukraine but is the beginning of the end of the regime in Russia which has not changed, only morphed into the same imperial and communist system it has been since 1917. Only this time it is using the Orthodox Church toward its own ends.

One Russian Orthodox priest who believed in Russky Mir and was quite anti-Ukrainian went to visit the militaristic Russian cathedral. He came out saying "That is not a Christian church - it is a pagan temple!|

For saying that publicly, he was defrocked by the patriarch himself. Many years to that brave Priest!

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In other words, we will only know about the full impact of this war on church life after it is over

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Christ is in our midst!!

Has anyone seen the recent article which has Patriarch Kirill stating that any soldier who dies fighting in Ukraine has all his sins taken away? As if that would make the soldier a martyr for the Faith.

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I have seen that article and I have read about the new cathedral honoring the patriotic wars of Russia's past.

This is the kind of stuff that grows in a nation that mixes religion and nationalism. It is not new in history and it will not disappear, it just rears it's ugly head from era to era. Hitler and his henchmen wanted to morally legitimize their fascism with a belief in the heroic gods of Norse-Germanic mythology. Hitler hated Christianity as a superstition of the weak. In Russky Mir, christianity is elevated from weakness to the heroism of nationalism.

The scary part is....this can happen to any nation, any people. All it takes is a charismatic leader and a religion anxious for power. Before you know it, civil laws become moral laws, and if you disagree, you are against "making the nation great again."


***(This is not to take anything away from the sacrifices endured by the Russian people during WW II. Their memory will be eternal)

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Yes, I've read that about the patriarch too. I didn't know the Moscow Patriarchate was now into giving "indulgences" for sins committed?

Isn't that a Latinization?

I would only wish to disagree with my brother Hutsul's use of the term "mixing religion with nationalism." In Russia's case, it isn't mixing at all - the Moscow patriarchate is an adjunct to the Putin regime. And Putinism isn't about nationalism but about IMPERIALISM and revanchism - trying to regain a lost empire.

Orthodox Churches will be and are "national" Churches (as are Catholic particular Churches in Europe and also Protestant churches).

In the case of Orthodoxy, the Church embodied the national culture of its people and defended them against foreign invaders such as in Greece and other nations under the Ottoman Yoke by way of example.

Nothing wrong with that at all! In Russia's case, the idea of the Russian World has developed or Russky Mir which is an imperialist dogma which is doubtless heretical, but would have to be defined as such by a Council.

And the MP has worked lock-step with Putin as we know.

It is only in North America where "non-ethnic" people are joining the Orthodox churches seeing the ethnic factor as a fading phenomenon. But it is ultimately a question of the patriarchate with which the given Orthodox parish is under that determines any "political content" that may or may not be apparent to the unsuspecting non-ethnic "doxer."

There was one revered member here who had as his moniker saying to the effect that "one day all our ethnic traits will disappear."

I always found that amusing since what would take over from those "ethnic traits" will be the North American mainstream which is in itself an identity with its own "ethnic traits."

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OC,
Your observations and clarifications are thoughtfully accepted. Thanks for filling in some gray areas of my understanding of this. I intuitively sense it is a misdirection of both church and state. I also feel that ideological fusions of church and state may empower a culture in one way, but usually lead to intolerance.

Forgive me for appearing a bit elementary here, but below is an excerpt from a Wikopedia article about Russkiy Mir and response to it.

"..........Russkiy Mir is an ideology promoted by many in the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church.[21] Patriarch Kiril of Moscow also shares this ideology; for the Russian Orthodox Church, the Russkiy Mir is also "a spiritual concept, a reminder that through the baptism of Rus', God consecrated these people to the task of building a Holy Rus."[22]

Reception

Around 500 Eastern Orthodox scholars signed Declaration on the 'Russian World' Teaching on 13 March 2022, calling it an "ideology", "a heresy" and "a form of religious fundamentalism" that is "totalitarian in character".[23] They condemned six "pseudo theological facets". Those condemnations concern: replacing the Kingdom of God with an earthly kingdom; deification of the state through a theocracy and caesaropapism which deprives the Church of its freedom to stand against injustice; divinization of a culture; Manichaen demonization of the West and elevation of Eastern culture; refusal to speak the truth and non-acknowledgement of "murderous intent and culpability" of one party.[24]........."

Again, Wikopedia doesn't represent the most scholarly of explanations, but it is generally helpful.

I hope we haven't hijacked the original thread topic too much. My apologies if we did.

Last edited by Hutsul; 09/29/22 02:13 AM.
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