As a result of the Moscow patriarch's refusal to condemn Putin's war on Ukraine, I understand that fifteen eparchies of the ukrainian Orthodox Church that used to commemorate the Moscow Patriarchate, are no longer doing so. His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch of New Rome will receive them ... Here is the story.
Hi, Alex!

Orthodox News on Twitter [twitter.com]has tweeted that the number of UOC-MP eparchies not commemorating Patriarch Kirill is now at 19.

It has also reported that the Pochayiv Lavra has stopped commemorating him as well.
Posted By: theophan Re: Ukrainian Orthodox Church (formerly) MP - 03/22/22 03:58 PM
griego catolico,

I see from your link that the EP's OCU has developed rules for receiving the MP affiliated parishes and dioceses into their structure. Should be interesting going forward. Also see that Patriarch Kirill has snubbed a Ukrainian bishop on his name day because his diocese has stopped commemorating him at the Liturgy.

I wonder if the Ukrainian Orthodox will be reconciled into one Church with this war being supported by the MP. The sticking point may be, however, the canonical status of bishops and clergy already in that structure. Time will tell.
Dear Friends,

Since the Pope is truly the most respected Church leader in Ukraine, a majority Orthodox country, why shouldn't the entire Ukrainian people be united within the Ukrainian Catholic Church?

When I suggested this as a possibility, an Orthodox priest whom I have known as a friend from before his ordination became very angry with me and gave me a lecture on courtesy saying that what I saidis a "provocation"and that if I cannot say something "nice",I should remain quiet. He also said the consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God (this Friday by His Holiness the Pope) is an "aberration." I told him that what is a real aberration is the Moscow Patriarch supporting Putin's war crimes against the people of Ukraine. Orthodox priests have told me that their bishops have said the patriarch of Moscow is self-excommunicated as a result - much like what occurred with patriarch Sergius of Moscow re: Sergianism.

What do you think?

Good to hear from you and thank you for your reply!

It is now being reported that ROCOR is allowing its parishes to cease commemorating Patriarch Kirill if they wish: link. [orthodoxyindialogue.com]

As for your Orthodox priest friend saying it is an "aberration" for the Pope to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God, I would have replied back that what truly is an aberration is Patriarch Kirill's gift of a copy of the Augustovskaya icon to the Russian military for their "victory" in Ukraine. Would the Mother of God approve Her icon being given as permission to slaughter civilians, including children?! Link. [orthodoxtimes.com]

Kirill has lost it in my book.
Dear Griego Amigo!

It is lovely to converse with you again!

I did tell my (former) friend words to that effect - I did not know about the icon . . . Very sad and blasphemous.

Also, I am informed there have been two attempts on Patriarch Svyatoslav's life this week so far.

And the Polish Catholic priests and nuns who are in Ukraine - God bless the Polish Church and People - have applied to their Superiors in Poland to ask for permission to remain in Ukraine, even at the risk of martyrdom. Permission has been granted in all cases.

My former friend got exercised when I suggested that all of Ukraine may join the Catholic Church (he termed it a "provocation" on my part). The fact is that Pope Francis is the most popular religious figure in Ukraine among ALL Ukrainians today. In a month since this war began (sorry, Special Military Operation - to decimate Ukrainians), so many UOC eparchies have stopped commemorating the patriarch of Moscow (who some say is self-excomunicated). A delegation of UOC clerics have approached His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch to ask for his blessing to commemorate him - and this has been granted. They may either join with the Orthodox Church in Ukraine or simply begin commemorating him - no additional paperwork required!
Posted By: theophan Re: Ukrainian Orthodox Church (formerly) MP - 03/23/22 07:25 PM
Christ is in our midst!!


So good to hear from you again after a long period of time.

Will the UOC under Metropolitan Onufrey (sp?) apply to the EP for its chrism going forward?
Posted By: dochawk Re: Ukrainian Orthodox Church (formerly) MP - 03/24/22 11:33 PM
It was my understanding that parishes in EO commemorated only the bishop, who in turn commemorated the metropolitan, etc.

Apparently I was wrong about this.

So at what point are the other hierarchs commemorated?
Hello Bob -long time no speak!

The UOC-MP is basically falling apart with some eparchies ceasing to commemorate the MP while others have approached the EP for his blessing to commemorate him. Metropolitan Onufry is, truth be told, entirely Kiril's creature. He is from Bukovina (Onuphry Berezowsky) but was raised in Russia throughout his life - a true Janissary, as they say. He is blindly loyal to Kiril and when he receives letters from the EP, he has said he just throws them into the waste paper basket. When Putin attacked Ukraine, with Kiril's blessing, Met. Onufry sent out a missive calling on the presidents of BOTH nations as if they were having a minor disagreement like a pair of unruly bad boys . . . Now he has a video where he affirms "My brothers and sisters, Russia has attacked ukraine and I call on Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin etc..." He has lost control of his church, appears isolated and alone. Many Ukrainian priests are speaking out against Kiril saying that they thought he was their 'father' but, as one said, "you are worse than a step-father! I refuse to commemorate you or have anything further to do with you!" The priests and bishops will doubtless turn to Onufry as to their "second father" and we shall have to see what Onufry does. If he agrees to bless them not to commemorate Kiril, he will be deemed to be excommunicated by the MP. If he doesn't, he may have to return to Russia before he is ousted by his own people who are suffering, dying and feel betrayed by their "neighbour" and the patriarchate they were formerly so very loyal to. Onufry won't change his allegiance to Kiril. He is so unlike his predecessor, Metropolitan Volodymyr of blessed memory who was widely respected by all churches in Ukraine, including the UGCC. Onufry is, after all, the MP's hand-picked successor to Met. Volodymyr.

Orthodoxy is in a terrible crisis right now brought about by Kiril who is a robed religious rubber stamp for Putin and his blasphemous war crimes.

Posted By: Roman Re: Ukrainian Orthodox Church (formerly) MP - 03/25/22 04:39 PM
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Orthodoxy is in a terrible crisis right now [...]

Orthodoxy wasn't in great shape before Russia's full blown invasion.
At least now, no excuses for not seeing who has the white hats and who has the black...

I can't quite understand why the hierarchy of the Polish OC hasn't been run out of the country by now.
Posted By: theophan Re: Ukrainian Orthodox Church (formerly) MP - 03/25/22 07:22 PM
Christ is in our midst!!


The very sad thing is that it is ordinary believers like your parish and you, my parish and me that suffer when those up the ladder fail to stand out against evil. It's the people whose apartment building is shattered and becomes unlivable in winter who suffer. It's the simple believer who wonders if all this attending the DL and listening to sermons is all a bunch of bunk because their bishop fails to take a strong stand. It's even worse when the bishops, themselves, take opposing stands on matters and events.

I am praying for all the people of Ukraine, especially those who have lost loved ones and those who have decided that fleeing their homeland is the only solution.

May the men who wear miters remember the Lord's warning about "causing one of these little ones to fall."
Posted By: byzanTN Re: Ukrainian Orthodox Church (formerly) MP - 03/25/22 09:06 PM
Where did all these folks get the idea the western Catholic Church is in such great shape? It is beset with problems left and right.
Dear Dochawk,

In the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, the EP is commemorated once during the Ektenia of Peace and again at the Great Entrance.

When ROCOR joined with the MP, they began commemorating the MP at every Ektenia, like the Ukrainian Catholics.

The ROCOR was so adamantly against the Moscow patriarchate re: Sergianism.

Kirill makes Sergius look like a saint . . .
Posted By: theophan Re: Ukrainian Orthodox Church (formerly) MP - 03/26/22 01:01 AM
Christ is in our midst!!


I think you missed part of what I left veiled--maybe too much so. The Catholic Church in the United States suffers a similar thing. Our bishops cannot seem to take a stand against politicians and other public figures who call themselves Catholic, publicly espouse positions at odds with Church teaching, and publicly dare to receive the Eucharist. Do you remember when we were promised a "teaching document" to bring clarity to the issue and it never materialized because they could not come together enough to get it done?

We're in similar boat, but nowhere near the intensity of our brethren in Ukraine.
Dearest Charles,

The West has its problems, yes. I've yet to see the Pope or any Western prelate bless mass murderers with religious icons or otherwise support genocidal warfare as the "Moscow Patriarch" continues to do.

Have you?
Dear Bob,

Unfortunately, what the Moscow "patriarch" did goes well beyond what you indicated. That individual and his clerical cronies have blessed and encouraged this war, working in tandem with Putin. Giving an icon to encourage the Russian commander?! the "patriarch" gave a sermon to Russian soldiers in the Cathedral of the Resurrection in which he told them "No defeats!" His surname puts the "G" in "KGB." And his promotion of "the Russian world" or "Russky Mir" (I understand that is a heretical concept within Orthodoxy) is something that enables the lies under which Putin (who is really an old-style communist who uses the Church to legitimate his policies) moves forward with his genocidal actions. Now his "men" attack so many civilians. Why don't they pick on soldiers with weapons like they have? Because they are suffering heavy losses and are now taking it out on defenceless civilians, women and children. Are these real men?! Are they "Orthodox Christians?" What are they? I heard an interview on the radio this morning with a fellow in the Ukrainian territorial defense forces whom I knew when I was at the legislature here. He worked in Kyiv and is now fighting the Russians. He called the Russian army a "band of terrorists" and he added that "We are going to fertilize our fields with their bodies..." I was shocked when I heard him say that - you just don't really know a person until a war breaks out . . .
Posted By: byzanTN Re: Ukrainian Orthodox Church (formerly) MP - 03/26/22 02:47 AM
I think a universal issue is thinking that moving from one church to another will solve your problems. It wont. You will just find another set of problems to deal with. You may even find the same ones.
Dear Charles,

In this case, I don't know if we can say people are going from one Church to another. From one JURISDICTION to another - yes. The faith is the same, but the primates are different. I personally don't see any substantive differences between the Catholic, Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches (along with Anglo-Catholics). In the case of the UOC-MP, those eparchies that are rejecting the Moscow "primate" (I use the term in another sense . . .), are just seeking to break communion with him for having rejected the Gospel of Christ i.e. for his self-excommunication and betrayal along with the Russian World (heresy) that has served to enable Putin in his murderous war crimes.

Problems in the church will always exist, persist and transform into more complex ones in due time. But in this case it is simply a matter of trying to get away from something they thought was the Church and, for them, has turned out not to be the Church at all - but something other than.
Another point that needs to be made here is that JUST because an eparchy of the UOC-MP stopped commemorating the patriarch of Moscow (of sorry memory) doesn't mean they still aren't in the UOC-MP or don't identify with it. They STILL do commemorate Metropolitan Onufrij - who himself commemorates the MP. At the same time, there are over a hundred parishes and more formerly of the UOC-MP that have formally joined the OCU and also those that have begun commemorating the Ecumenical Patriarch, with his blessing, as we know, without having formally joined the OCU as yet.
i've read interviews of a number of former UOC-MP priests in the midst of the genocidal war that "Orthodox Russia" has unleashed on Ukraine. They have stopped commemorating the patriarch of Moscow because they feel, as one said, "He has nothing to do with the Gospel of Christ - quite the opposite, in fact."

They don't understand why the Moscow patriarch not only refuses to condemn Vladimir Putin's war crimes, but actually blesses them and the "Orthodox Christian soldiers" who carry out their cruel orders (as he did with an icon a few weeks ago).

They have also raised the achilles heel of Orthodoxy, as they say, where the union of church and state, as obtained in the Byzantine Empire, leads to the church blessing even the most heinous of crimes of an emperor (like that of Basil who ordered the blinding of 15,000 captured Bulgarians and there are iconic images of that "Christian emperor").

If this is so,then world Orthodoxy truly does have much to ponder in the months ahead as it, as is to be hoped, comes to reflect on how this tragedy of the Russian Orthodox patriarch blessing mass murder of civilians, rape of women and theft has come to pass. It is a major blight on Orthodoxy in general.

Sad and deeply depressing.
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
. I personally don't see any substantive differences between the Catholic, Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches (along with Anglo-Catholics).
I agree! That' what I think ,too...
The UOC-MP has just declared independence from Moscow.
Multos Annos! Monia Vuosia!!
Posted By: Roman Re: Ukrainian Orthodox Church (formerly) MP - 05/30/22 02:02 PM
Originally Posted by Just a Pilgrim
The UOC-MP has just declared independence from Moscow.

I don't believe that statement is correct.

The statement that I saw here [risu.ua] seems as concerned with disputing the canonicity of the OCU as with distancing itself from the Moscow Partiarch.
Posted By: theophan Re: Ukrainian Orthodox Church (formerly) MP - 05/30/22 03:35 PM
Christ is in our midst!!


There seem to be different reports about the decisions of the UOC-MP Council of Bishops, depending on the source. I believe this one is from the MP. Other sources seem to take a different slant. The issue of chrism-making, however, is important. A Church that makes its own chrism is independent; one that receives it from another seems to be dependent.
The issue of making its own Chrism was simply "raised." There is no indication that the UOC continues as anything but a part of the Moscow patriarchate. This was clearly a political move to try and stop the continuous loss of parishes to the OCU. Met. Onuphry and his synod simply said they "disagree" with patriarch Kirill (Gundayev) over his blessing for the genocidal war of Russia against Ukrainians.

But recently one of his Metropolitans in the Bucovina area had this to say by way of "thanking" patriarch Kirill:

"Your Holiness. I just wanted to formally thank you for your blessing. I thank you for blessing the destruction of our churches and monasteries, for blessing the murder of our priests and monastics, the murder of our children not to mention their parents. I thank you for blessing the destruction of our cities too. You, Sir, will have to answer for this before God. And don't try to make any excuses for yourself or your behaviour. You will answer for all this, for the smallest tear of a mother who lost her child and for the smallest grave in which a mother has buried her baby."

www.risu.ua [risu.ua] has an interactive map of Ukraine showing the movement of parishes of the UOC-MP (for some reason, they insist on calling themselves "Ukrainian . . .") to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

They also have the article about that Metropolitan plus a video of him speaking in Russian (so Kirill could understand).
Posted By: Hutsul Re: Ukrainian Orthodox Church (formerly) MP - 06/07/22 11:09 PM
I, like others I am sure, am trying to make sense out of the statements of the recent council of the UCO Church. The preceding comments in this thread were very helpful and insightful. My own observations raise more questions than understandings. The wordings of the Council are encased in careful rhetoric.

There are several obvious and some "between the lines" sentiments that show through:
1. A general disappointment with The Mocow Patriarchate. 2. A judgemental stance against the actions of Patriarch Kyrill. 3. The veiled threat of seeking independance from Moscow. 4. A desire to identify as Ukrainian and not Russian. 5. An attempt to make a distinction, or reconciliation, between national loyalty and Orthodox unity. 6. The looming possibility of major change.

The one, clear and direct statement seems to be a no -confidence vote against the Patriarch.....an outright judgement against his policies. Considering the above comments
( from Orthodox Catholic) about the Bucovina criticisms, I was wondering.....Is there any indication of opposition among Patriarch Kyrills own ranks in Moscow? Additionally, are there examples of opposition to the MP from ROCOR?

Finally, we are led to believe that Putin does not tolerate criticism, let alone opposition. I was also wondering, Patriarch Kyrill can't possibly be a happy man considering the way the world, and elements of his own religion are condemning his actions. How does he handle insubordination?

Putin doesn't mystify me as much as Pat. Kyrill..... Even an ordinary person would feel embarrassment or mental anguish about the Bucovina type comments, lets alone a spiritual leader. But, who really knows the inside of a person.
Dear Hutsul,

Patriarch Kiril (Gundayev) has been reconstructing Russian Orthodoxy along a militaristic paradigm. He openly gave his blessing to the Russian terrorist army to go on its merry genocidal way. He has told the Russian military "No defeats!"

What kind of a churchman says those kinds of things? He and putin will bring Russia down and for what? What about those thousands of Russian soldiers who have died already? What did they die for? And the millions of Ukrainian citizens who have been displaced, the thousands who have been killed, raped (women, children AND men - and this from an 'army' out to fight the West that wants to "impose gay paraes" on Russia . . .) and tortured!

These are satanic attacks and patriarch Kiril blesses them?? Refer to the words of that Metropolitan above . . .

The Orthodox Church of Ukraine under the omophorion of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has received over 600 parishes of the UOC-MP in three months - in total, over 1,000.

And, no, the UOC-MP has NOT declared its separation from Moscow. It will only do so IF Moscow agrees to it!
Posted By: Hutsul Re: Ukrainian Orthodox Church (formerly) MP - 06/09/22 05:35 PM
"Orthodox Catholic" said:
"The Orthodox Church of Ukraine under the omophorion of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has received over 600 parishes of the UOC-MP in three months - in total, over 1,000."

I am happy for these parishes. Two years ago, I watched this segment of 60 Minuets concerning the Ecumentical Patriarch Bartholomew. Forgive me for posting a link that many members may have already visited, but here it is:

here is a spiritual leader deserving of my admiration and respect.
Many years to His All-Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople! May his flock in Ukraine continue to increase!!

The UOC-MP is really only trying to hang on to its parishes in a situation that it is quickly losing.

Metropolitan Onuphrij has not repudiated his allegiance to the MP and a recent statement by a ROC Metropolitan affirmed that any such changes, in order for them to be canonical, may only come from the MP himself.

There are UOC-MP priests who have moved to the Ecumenical Patriarch by joining the Orthodox Church in Ukraine while others either try to hang onto their parishes (by attempting to blockade their parishioners who have announced their union with the OCU) by either refusing to open the church to them or else using parishioners (or parishioners from other areas who are brought in) to block entrance into the churches.

When UOC priests tell the majority and in many cases ALL of their parishioners who have joined the OCU that they are no longer with the MP, they are met with disbelief and are accused of chicanery etc.

Recently, the OCU has asked to have an abandoned church on the grounds of the Kyiv-Caves (Pechersk) Lavra given to it so it could begin services with its own monastics there. The MP is fighting this tooth and nail.

Metropolitan Onuphrij appears to have lost favour with the MP which is taking matters into its own hands by removing the Crimean Orthodox parishes from under his care and into the MP's direct camp. At least two other UOC-MP Eparchies have repudiated their allegiance to . . . Metropolitan Onuphrij and now say they are directly under the MP. UOC-MP parishes continue to move away from both the MP and Met. Onuphrij - 14 in the last week alone.

Interestingly, when confronted with the prospect of moving from the MP to the EP, some UOC-MP priests have said "We don't intend to change our faith."

Now, would someone please explain to me how leaving the Moscow Patriarchate (which is directly complicit in supporting Putin's Special Military Terrorist Operation in Ukraine) for the Ecumenical Patriarchate constitutes "changing one's faith?"

Do the MP and EP represent two separate Orthodox "faiths?"

By way of footnote, Metropolitan Onuphrij was once in the parliament of Ukraine along with representatives of all other religions in Ukraine during which time military medals were awarded to Ukrainian soldiers for courage and valor.

All those representatives, including Muslims and Buddhists, rose to their feet in respect except one person - Metropolitan Onuphrij. When asked by the press later why he didn't show respect to those soldiers, he replied "Because I don't show respect to killers...."

That was the beginning of the end for him. Currently, there are entire regional governments in Ukraine who are petitioning President Zelensky and his government to ban the UOC-MP in their immediate regions as "fifth column entities"

It is bad for the MP. And things are only getting worse for it. But it was the choice its patriarch made when he decided to be in Putin's pocket as his spiritual rubber stamp.
Posted By: Hutsul Re: Ukrainian Orthodox Church (formerly) MP - 07/04/22 08:27 PM
"Now, would someone please explain to me how leaving the Moscow Patriarchate (which is directly complicit in supporting Putin's Special Military Terrorist Operation in Ukraine) for the Ecumenical Patriarchate constitutes "changing one's faith?"

Orthodox Catholic,
Here is my humble attempt at an explanation:

The Ecumenical Patriarchate represents Orthodox "Universality:"
(the quality of involving or being shared by all people or things in the world)

The MP represents an Orthodoxy married to "Nationalism":
(identification with one's own nation and support for its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations.)

The " faith" that the MP refers to is "Caesaropapism"
(Caesaropapism is the idea of combining the social and political power of secular government with religious power)......this idea has pretty much disappeared in the Western World.

By the way, I believe all great advances of civilization occured in periods of Universality, and all great set-backs in civilization occured in periods of extreme Nationalism............................. My humble opinion.
Dear Hutsul,

My grandfather would have been 130 tomorrow on the old calendar feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, was a Boyko and they are, as you know, next door in the Carpathians to the Hutsuls! I have several pastoral letters to the Hutsuls written by the Venerable Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky in the Hutsul dialect which is quite different and interesting.

And my grandfather was ordained a priest by Sheptytsky and lived on farmland that belonged to the Sheptytsky estate.

Fr. John was one of 25 children (great grandfather Leo had two wives, both of whom had the same Christian name of "Magdalena"). But he was born with a deformity, bowl-legged and couldn't walk for the first seven years of his life.

An uncle visited Rome in those years and took some holy water from the spring of St Paul where he was beheaded. My great grandfather poured that water into a basin and, before the entire village, said that if his son John could walk by some miracle, he would consecrate him to the priesthood when he was of age.

He then dipped his young son into the water three times and put him on his feet. John then began to walk and the deformity was gone. The Veneratble Metropolitan Andrey actually sent an official report to Rome to notify the authorities there of this.

My grandfather actually wanted to become a lawyer, but his father told him that he had to become a priest. John did become a married priest with six children and served for seventy years.

I still have his Church Slavonic Horologion and also the jeweled pectoral cross he received from a Russian Orthodox bishop for building a church in the village he served. He never put it on, even when I tried to put it on him he simply said, "Just place it where it was before please._ It reminded him of his having become Orthodox when the Soviets came. I never saw how that was a "sin." When he died, I went to the funeral home and then my uncles shuffled a brown paper bag to me saying, "Your grandfather wanted you to have this . . ." It was the pectoral cross which I still have hanging up with my icons here as I write this.

Eternal memory to Father John!
Posted By: Hutsul Re: Ukrainian Orthodox Church (formerly) MP - 07/07/22 08:59 PM
Orthodox Catholic,

Yes, Memory Eternal to your priest Grandfather! And praise to God for the miracle!

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story. You are very fortunate to have these experiences as part of your family heritage and to have a connection to Venerable Andrew Sheptytsky.

I look forward to reading your posts on this forum. They are filled with current events, historical facts and scholarly interpretations - tempered with open- mindedness and respect. Most interestingly though, you manage to bring your comments to earth with your personal reflections. You tell of the miracle in such an earthy, folksy way.

Your memories about your Grandfather's cross are especially moving. It is obvious that this cross is far more than a keepsake to you. Respecting an object as a symbol, or metaphor, for larger ideas , is at the heart of icon veneration.

If you are interested, I could share some personal info. via a private message. Let me know through a PM. Either way, thanks.
My dearest Hutsul Brother in Christ!

Please do PM me when you have a moment - I was unable to PM you for some reason.

Posted By: Hutsul Re: Ukrainian Orthodox Church (formerly) MP - 07/12/22 02:15 PM
Dear Orthodox Catholic,

I just realized that, being a "Junior Member", I do not have enough posts for the privilege of private messaging. I totally understand, and my apologies to the Forum for straying off topic.I am still learning the ropes.......this may be helpful to others.

"OC"........ here is a link that you might find interesting:

Posted By: theophan Re: Ukrainian Orthodox Church (formerly) MP - 07/13/22 09:26 PM
Christ is in our midst!!


Your pm privileges have been activated.

Posted By: Hutsul Re: Ukrainian Orthodox Church (formerly) MP - 07/13/22 09:49 PM
Indeed He is!

Bob, thank you......
In my two trips to Ukraine, I stayed at the Lavra, the holiest place in Ukraine, as well as numerous monasteries in the East and South (including Crimea). This was prior to Euromaidan and was actually my third but I was not allowed to cross into Ukraine from Romania near Putna due to visa issues.

First if all, the non-Greek Orthodox Churches recognize His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry as the primate of Ukrainian Orthodoxy. The EP is not a Pope in any way, shape or form and interference in the Local Churches is something that they absolutely do not want. The Synodal vote of the UOC declared independence is largely recognized with Met. Onuphry only commemorating Pat. Kirill as the head of another Autocephalous Orthodox Church. Only the EP, Alexandria, Cyprus and Greece recognize the OCU as established by the EP. Here in the USA, this act caused a rupture in the Assembly of Canonical Bishops with the MP jurisdictions (Patriarchal Parishes and the ROCOR) breaking Communion with the EP jurisdictions: the Greek Archdiocese, the UOC of the USA in Bound Brook and the Carpatho-Rusyns in Johnstown. How strict this is pastorally; I do not know. The OCA took a neutral Eucharistic Communion stance while continuing to recognize Met. Onuphry. This is pretty much the same with the rest of the American ethnic jurisdictions.

The point here is that idea of the EP doing something as big as it did in Ukraine is pretty much a Catholic way of thinking. Do I hope and pray that things will all work and with a total end of the bloodshed in Ukraine, of course. Let us all pray that in Christ it may be so.

Just my ... Three Cents.
There is an entire level of geopolitics in the situation involving the UOC-MP, which is an arm of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine, that is often either neglected or ignored in any discussion relating to the current situation in Ukraine with respect to Orthodoxy.

This goes back a few hundred years and it does involve Orthodox canonical law, to be sure.

The geopolitics have to do with how Church and State have cooperated with one another, especiallly within the Russian empire. This situation continues to exist today in Russia where the MP is little more than a department of the Russian government which gives a spiritual rubber stamp to what the state under Putin does to further its own, rather anti-Christian, goals and objectives.

The issue of authority within Orthodoxy is a convoluted one. It appears, at the outset, to define itself in terms of what the Catholic Church is not and that is always a bad way to do canonical law, just like it is a bad thing for Orthodoxy to define itself in terms of an antithesis to Catholicism.

This has lead to a kind of idealized, non-entity in terms of a nostalgia for a time when the Byzantine Emperor called together Ecumenical Councils as the ultimate authority for deciding matters of faith and discipline to a praxis involving, for example, the Moscow Patriarchate acting even more "papal" than the Vatican across a number of respects.

In the case of Ukrainian Orthodoxy, it was not simply the EP that reviewed the canonical history of Kyiv's Apostolic tradition being usurped by the Tsarist empire and came to the conclusion that Kyiv was and still is what it always has been with the right to ecclesial autocephaly. The people of Ukraine have evolved as such and as a Church to the point that they themselves wanted autocephaly and separation from the vice-grip of colonial Orthodox Russia.

For Ukrainians especially, the current war with its atrocities committed against them by "Orthodox Russia" has been an eye opener, once and for all. For them, there is nothing "Orthodox Christian" about Putin or his forces. He and they are rather "servants of Satan" as the Russian services to its New Martyrs and Confessors would have it and over a thousand formerly MP parishes have moved over to the OCU in the last six months with more to come.

Church and State are intertwined. I see that you use the oft-repeated "ethnic jurisdictions." In fact, that is an American construct which is, in fact, a false one. Even the OCA is little more than the "Russian Orthodox Church" in English transllation, something that became more than evident to me in conversations with OCA priests in the last ten years.

There is a moral crisis, moreover, within Orthodoxy today that my Orthodox friends simply hope will go away by itself. It won't, unfortunately. Orthodoxy in certain contexts has allowed itself to be the rubber stamp it has become.

For saying what I have said here, I know I will be chided by EC members voicing complaints by Orthodox members, essentially to tell me as an EC I have no right to say these things. But if so, rather than engage in open debate the choice will be made to shut it down, the issues here will not go away by themselves. The Church of Christ deserves better than that. It is not simply a beautiful series of services, colourful vestments and singing with gorgeous icons. There is more that is expected from us all by our Lord.
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