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US delegation to Russia met with lies from Democrats

Reaction to GOP delegation split along party lines and Russophobes as GOP delegation’s trip to Russia concludes

Seraphim Hanisch

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As reported on the Duran, an American Congressional delegation comprised of seven Republican US Senators and Congressmen traveled to Russia from June 30 to July 5th. During this time the delegation met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Sergey Kislyak.

The two sides expressed hope for a thawing of relations between the US and Russia, which have been in a very poor state since 2014.

As the delegation heads home, the Washington Post reported that their activity was met with derision by Democrat Party members and “Kremlin watchers”, whose statements were anything but positive… and anything but true.

The Post reports:

Republican lawmakers who went to Russia seeking a thaw in relations received an icy reception from Democrats and Kremlin watchers for spending the Fourth of July in a country that interfered in the U.S. presidential election and continues to deny it.

“Cannot believe GOP, once the party that stood strong against Soviets & only a decade ago sought to democratize the Middle East, is now surrendering so foolishly to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the Kremlin’s kleptocracy — only two years after Russia interfered in U.S. election,” tweeted Clint Watts, an information warfare specialist at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and frequent featured expert before congressional panels examining Russian influence operations.

“Russians wooing with a shopworn song — repugnant as nails on a blackboard,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote in a Twitter post in response to the delegation’s trip. “They are enemies and adversaries, attacking us.”

Of course, this rhetoric is the continuing narrative of RussiaGate, which has becoming increasingly evident as merely the tactic deployed by Democrats who were enraged that their candidate failed to win the 2016 election. Further, the Democrat criticizers tried to use the Republicans’ historic strength as their foundation for accusation, while conveniently avoiding their own historic alignment with the Communists of the Soviet times. This is historically known and often commented upon, as here by Rush Limbaugh in this piece dated 21 February 2017:

Accuracy in Media (AIM) raised concerns about the influence of Russian propaganda on the U.S. political process more than four years ago, when Russia Today (RT) television was trying to disrupt the Republican presidential primary. Going further back into history, the Moscow-funded Communist Party USA (CPUSA) was openly advocating the defeat of Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1984.

A good place to start this inquiry is a quarter-page ad that appeared in The New York Times on August 19, 1984, entitled, “The Bottom Line: NO to Reaganism.” It was an anti-Reagan diatribe under the byline of the then-CPUSA vice presidential candidate, longtime pro-Russian communist Angela Davis. She said, “…if Reagan is not defeated in November we may well be on the way to war—and even a nuclear holocaust.”

Though running on the CPUSA ticket, she praised the Democrats for nominating Geraldine Ferraro as the first female vice-presidential candidate of a major party, and said that Jesse Jackson’s campaign for president had moved the Democrats “in a more progressive direction.”

This is the same Angela Davis who appeared as a co-chair and spoke at the anti-Trump Women’s March on Washington on January 21 [2017].

The CPUSA ad in The New York Times was an obvious signal that the Kremlin didn’t want Reagan re-elected as U.S. president. But The New York Times took the money for the ad and moved on, rather than use the ad as an opportunity to expose Moscow’s involvement in the anti-Reagan campaign.

Despite this opposition, Reagan won a stunning re-election victory, carrying 49 of the 50 states over the Democratic candidate, former Vice President Walter Mondale.

Earlier that year, the CPUSA paper, the Daily World, had run a banner headline, “Fight to Sharpen Dems’ Platform,” on how progressives were working to improve the “peace” and “rights” planks of the Democratic national platform. By August, the Daily World was highlighting how unity at the Democratic Party convention had shifted the odds toward a defeat of Reagan in November. The story quoted Gus Hall, general secretary and presidential candidate of the CPUSA, as saying that “it is necessary to pay special attention to the issues and forms that will unite and bring together the supporters of Mondale and the supporters of Jackson.”

Earlier, Davis had given an interview to the CPUSA paper, denouncing “the ideological myth of the Soviet menace” and the anti-communist policies of President Reagan. She described the CPUSA as “a part of the united people’s front that will be able to defeat the Reagan Administration.”

By September of 1984 the Russians were openly expressing their sympathies, marked by Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko meeting with Walter Mondale. The meeting was designed to highlight a Soviet propaganda theme that Reagan was responsible for a breakdown in arms-control negotiations.

The Advanced International Studies Institute, associated with the University of Miami, analyzed Soviet propaganda themes, demonstrating that the Soviets were “calculating how to most effectively damage President Reagan’s reelection efforts.”

In July 1984, the Heritage Foundation released a detailed analysis of how Soviet propagandists were aiming at Reagan’s ouster. A study by Manfred R. Hamm declared, “Moscow’s disinformation campaign has been aimed at convincing American, European, and world opinion that U.S. military and political policies are the root cause of international conflict and instability.”

Reagan was opposed because the Soviets/Russians perceived him to be an ideological conservative committed to restoring America’s economic and military strength. At the time, the Democrats and the Russians backed the so-called “nuclear freeze campaign” to undercut Reagan’s military build-up.

By any objective measure, Trump’s campaign proposals to rebuild America’s economic and military strength are more of a threat to Moscow than anything Democratic President Hillary Clinton had proposed. Yet it’s Trump who stands accused in the media and by the Democrats of being an agent of Russian influence.

Indeed, Republican Senator Richard Burr (NC), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has joined with Democratic Senator Mark Warner (VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, in announcing an “inquiry into Russian intelligence activities” regarding U.S. elections.

For Mr. Limbaugh, even today often the word “Russian” and the world “Soviet” are considered one and the same thing. However, even so it is easy to see that the Soviet leadership of the day is what Mr. Limbaugh is calling out. Also, despite the radio talk show host’s views about modern-day Russia, he still considers the notion of RussiaGate as “preposterous.”

Rush Limbaugh says he doesn’t buy the notion that Russia influenced the election of President Donald Trump.

It is preposterous to believe the Russians had any influence on the election, the conservative radio talk-show host said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Limbaugh argued that Trump’s groundswell of support came directly from voters who feared for the country if Democrat Hillary Clinton were elected.

“People that voted for Donald Trump really believed they would lose the country if Hillary won,” Limbaugh said.

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Vince DhimosJohn VuAM HantsStephan Williamseuclides de oliveira pino neto Recent comment authors
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Vince Dhimos
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Vince Dhimos

Russia interfered in US elections? That is chutzpa for ya. For anyone who forgot the 90s in Russia: http://www.newsilkstrategies.com/news–analysis/us-meddled-to-get-yeltsin-elected-and-is-still-at-meddling-in-russian-elections

John Vu
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John Vu

Didn’t you know the Capitol is the den of Satan and those “Capitollers” have more tongues than the devil himself?

AM Hants
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AM Hants

They so need to grow up. Not a good vote catcher, obsessed with one person, plus story, with the mid-terms coming up.

Stephan Williams
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Stephan Williams

From the article:

“In July 1984, the Heritage Foundation released a detailed analysis of how Soviet propagandists were aiming at Reagan’s ouster. A study by Manfred R. Hamm declared, “Moscow’s disinformation campaign has been aimed at convincing American, European, and world opinion that U.S. military and political policies are the root cause of international conflict and instability.” “

OhmyGawd!

It appears that as far back as July 1984 the Soviets were cognoscente of who was “the root cause of international conflict and instability.”

“Telling the truth is the best propaganda”. So claimed Joseph Goebbels, the master of propaganda.

euclides de oliveira pino neto
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euclides de oliveira pino neto

USA sempre foi o empecilho para a paz mundial… sua intenção de criar um Governo Mundial é conhecida desde o século 19… promoveu a I e II Guerra Mundial, financiou a Revolução Bolchevique e a Guerra Japão-Russia de 1905… projeto dos sionistas khazarian sempre foi destruir a Russia e tomar conta das reservas de petróleo e gás…

AM Hants
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AM Hants

This article over on Fort Russ, focuses on those in Ukraine that were involved in ‘Russia Gate’, now trying to spin their involvement in The Maidan. Expecting to be involved in the ‘Helsinki Summit’. Yulia ‘Gas Princess’ Tymoshenko – her Presidential tag line was ‘nuke the Russians’. She also loiters outside cloakrooms, at US religious summits, waiting for US Presidents to finish washing their hands, before she pounces. Heavily involved in working with Soros, and a major player in both ‘Orange Revolutions’, so she has now meant to have switched from Democrats to Republicans, rather than owned by the Pro-Israel… Read more »

Ole C G Olesen
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Ole C G Olesen

In MY opinion the Article describes a totally unreported development .. the JEWISH LOSS OF POWER in the SOVJET UNION ..as THE DECISIVE POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT in the Late 19th Century . When that fact somewhat belated was realized in the Western Left Libtard & 5th Column Community .. they changed from being Sovjet ( Russia ) PROMOTERS into being Russia BASHERS so well documented for ex in the Case of Angela Davis . This change was preceded and accompanied with a MASSIVE FLIGHT of JEWS from the SOVJET UNION and EAST EUROPE , escaping their HORRENDOUS CRIMES against the Russian… Read more »

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OPEC Plus: Putin’s move to control energy market with Saudi partnership (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 150.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss OPEC Plus and the growing partnership between Russia and Saudi Arabia, which aims to reshape the energy market, and cement Russia’s leadership role in global oil and gas supply.

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Russia and Saudi Arabia’s ‘long-term relationship’ WILL survive

The Express UK reports that Russia and Saudi Arabia’s ‘long-term relationship’ will not only survive, but grow, regardless of geopolitical turmoil and internal Saudi scandal…as the energy interests between both nations bind them together.

Ties between Saudi Arabia and Vladimir Putin’s Russia have a “long-term relationship” which is strategically beneficial to both of them, and which underlines their position as the world’s most influential oil producers, alongside the United States, an industry expert has said.

Following concerns about too much oil flooding the market, Saudi Arabia on Sunday performed an abrupt u-turn by deciding to reduce production by half a million barrels a day from December.

This put the Middle Eastern country at odds with Russia, which said it was no clear whether the market would be oversupplied next year, with market analysts predicting the country’s oil producing companies likely to BOOST proaction by 300,000 barrels per day.

But IHS Markit vice chairman Daniel Yergin said the decision was unlikely to jeopardise the relationship between the two allies.

The Saudis have faced significant international criticism in the wake of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Speaking to CNBC, Mr Yergin made it clear that Moscow and Riyadh would continue to be closely aligned irrespective of external factors.

He explained: “I think it’s intended to be a long-term relationship and it started off about oil prices but you see it taking on other dimensions, for instance, Saudi investment in Russian LNG (liquefied natural gas) and Russian investment in Saudi Arabia.

“I think this is a strategic relationship because it’s useful to both countries.”

Saudi Arabia and Russia are close, especially as a result of their pact in late 2016, along with other OPEC and non-OPEC producers, to curb output by 1.8 million barrels per day in order to prevent prices dropping too far – but oil markets have changed since then, largely as a result.

The US criticised OPEC, which Saudi Arabia is the nominal leader of, after prices rose.

Markets have fluctuated in recent weeks as a result of fears over a possible drop in supply, as a result of US sanctions on Iran, and an oversupply, as a result of increased production by Saudi Arabia, Russia and the US, which have seen prices fall by about 20 percent since early October.

Saudi Arabia has pumped 10.7 million barrels per day in October, while the figure for Russiaand the US was 11.4 million barrels in each case.

Mr Yergin said: “It’s the big three, it’s Saudi Arabia, Russia and the US, this is a different configuration in the oil market than the traditional OPEC-non-OPEC one and so the world is having to adjust.”

BP Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley told CNBC: “The OPEC-plus agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC producers including Russia and coalition is a lot stronger than people speculate.

“I think Russia doesn’t have the ability to turn on and off big fields which can happen in the Middle East.

“But I fully expect there to be coordination to try to keep the oil price within a certain fairway.”

Markets rallied by two percent on Monday off the back of the , which it justified by citing uncertain global oil growth and associated oil demand next year.

It also suggested  granted on US sanctions imposed on Iran which have been granted to several countries including China and Japan was a reason not to fear a decline in supply.

Also talking to CNBC, Russia’s Oil Minister Alexander Novak indicated a difference of opinion between Russia and the Saudis, saying it was too soon to cut production, highlighting a lot of volatility in the oil market.

He added: “If such a decision is necessary for the market and all the countries are in agreement, I think that Russia will undoubtedly play a part in this.

“But it’s early to talk about this now, we need to look at this question very carefully.”

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Nigel Farage lashes out at Angela Merkel, as Chancellor attends EU Parliament debate (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 17.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at Nigel Farage’s blistering speech, aimed squarely at Angela Merkel, calling out the German Chancellor’s disastrous migrant policy, wish to build an EU army, and Brussels’ Cold War rhetoric with Russia to the East and now the United States to the West.

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The Ukrainian President Signs a Pact With Constantinople – Against the Ukrainian Church

There is still a chance to prevent the schism from occurring.

Dmitry Babich

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Authored by Dmitry Babich via Strategic Culture:


Increasingly tragic and violent events are taking their toll on the plight of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Ukraine . After several fights over control of the church’s property, prohibitions and blacklists are starting to spread, affecting respected church figures coming from Russia to Ukraine. The latest news is that the head of the Moscow Theological Academy, Archbishop Amvrosyi Yermakov, was deported from Ukraine back to Russia. Amvrosyi’s name popped up on the black list of Russian citizens who are not deemed “eligible to visit” Ukraine. Obviously, this happened right before his plane landed in Zhulyany, Kiev’s international airport. After a brief arrest, Amvrosyi was put on a plane and sent back to Moscow. This is not the first such humiliation of the Orthodox Church and its priests that has taken place since the new pro-Western regime came to power in Kiev in 2014. Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church has been declared persona non grata throughout Ukraine since 2014. That decision was made by humiliatingly low-level officials. A department within the Ukrainian ministry of culture published a ruling stating that Kirill’s visit to Ukraine’s capital of Kiev “would not be desirable.”

Since the ancestors of modern Russians, Belarusians, and Ukrainians were first baptized in 988 in Kiev, the Patriarchs of the Russian Church have never had problems visiting Kiev, the birthplace of their church. Not even under the Bolsheviks did such prohibitions exist. So, for Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church to be denied permission to visit Kiev can only be compared to a possible prohibition against the pope visiting Rome. Since 2014, there have also been several criminal cases filed against the priests of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC MP) because they have called the hostilities in eastern Ukraine a “civil war” and have discouraged the faithful from supporting that war. This has been interpreted by the Ukrainian state authorities as a call for soldiers to desert the army.

Why Poroshenko’s meeting with Bartholomew is ominous

Despite the fact that the UOC MP has become used to all sorts of trouble since 2014, things have been looking even worse for the canonical church lately, as 2018 draws to a close. In early November 2018, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko broke the wall of separation between church and state in the most overt manner possible — he signed “an agreement on cooperation and joint action” between Ukraine and the so called Constantinople Patriarchate, the oldest institution of Orthodox Christianity, which is now based in Turkish Istanbul.

Rostislav Pavlenko, an aide to Poroshenko, wrote on his Facebook page that the agreement (not yet published) is premised on the creation of a new “autocephalous” Orthodox Church of Ukraine — a development that the official, existing Orthodox Churches in Russia and Ukraine view with foreboding as a “schism” that they have done all they can to prevent. Why? Because Poroshenko’s regime, which came to power via a violent coup in Kiev in 2014 on a wave of public anti-Russian sentiment, may try to force the canonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine to merge with other, non-canonical institutions and to surrender to them church buildings, including the famous monasteries in Kiev and Pochai, as well as other property.

President Poroshenko was visibly happy to sign the document — the contents of which have not yet been made public — on cooperation between the Ukrainian state and the Constantinople Patriarchate, in the office of Bartholomew, the head of the Constantinople Patriarchate. Poroshenko smiled and laughed, obviously rejoicing over the fact that the Constantinople Patriarchate is already embroiled in a scandalous rift with the Russian Orthodox Church and its Ukrainian sister church over several of Bartholomew’s recent moves. Bartholomew’s decision to “lift” the excommunication from two of Ukraine’s most prominent schismatic “priests,” in addition to Bartholomew’s declaration that the new church of Ukraine will be under Constantinople’s direct command — these moves were just not acceptable for the canonical Orthodox believers in Russia and Ukraine. Kirill, the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), as well as Onufriy, the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine, are protesting loudly, viewing this situation as a breach of two basic principles. First of all, the Ukrainian state has interfered in the church’s affairs, asking Constantinople to give the Ukrainian church “autocephaly,” which that church never requested. Second, Constantinople itself has interfered in the affairs of two autonomous national churches, the Russian and the Ukrainian. In the eyes of Ukrainian and Russian clergy, Bartholomew is behaving like the Roman pope and not as a true Orthodox leader who respects the autonomy and self-rule of the separate, national Orthodox Churches.

The Russian President sympathizes with the believers’ pain

Two days before Poroshenko made his trip to Istanbul, Russian president Vladimir Putin broke with his usual reserve when commenting on faith issues to bitterly complain about the pain which believers in Russia and Ukraine have experienced from the recent divisions within the triangle of Orthodoxy’s three historic capitals — Constantinople, Kiev, and Moscow.

“Politicking in such a sensitive area as religion has always had grave consequences, first and foremost for the people who engaged in this politicking,” Putin said, addressing the World Congress of Russian Compatriots, an international organization that unites millions of ethnic and cultural Russians from various countries, including Ukraine. Himself a practicing Orthodox believer, Putin lauded Islam and Judaism, while at the same time complaining about the plight of Orthodox believers in Ukraine, where people of Orthodox heritage make up more than 80% of the population and where the church has traditionally acted as a powerful “spiritual link” with Russia.

Despite his complaints about “politicking,” Putin was careful not to go into the details of why exactly the state of affairs in Ukraine is so painful for Orthodox believers. That situation was explained by Patriarch Kirill. After many months of tense silence and an unsuccessful visit to Barthlomew’s office in Istanbul on August 31, Kirill has been literally crying for help in the last few weeks, saying he was “ready to go anywhere and talk to anyone” in order to prevent the destruction of the canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

Politics with a “mystical dimension”

Kirill said the attack against the Orthodox Church in Ukraine “had not only a political, but also a mystical dimension.” Speaking in more earthly terms, there is a danger that the 1,000-year-old historical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) — which now owns 11,392 church buildings, 12,328 parishes, and two world-famous monasteries in Ukraine — will be dissolved. The roots of the UOC MP go back to the pre-Soviet Russian Empire and even further back to the era of Kievan Rus, the proto-state of the Eastern Slavs in the tenth-twelfth centuries AD, when the people who would later become Russians, Ukrainians, and Byelorussians were adopting Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire. It is by far the biggest church in Ukraine, as Mikhail Denisenko’s non-canonical “alternative” church has only 3,700 parishes that include church buildings (fewer than a third of what is owned by the UOC-MP, despite the fact that Denisenko enjoys official support from the Ukrainian state).

What many Russian and Ukrainian believers fear is that the Istanbul-based Patriarch Bartholomew will eventually grant Kiev what is being called autocephaly. In that event, the UOC-MP may be forced to merge with two other, non-canonical churches in Ukraine that have no apostolic liaison. The apostolic succession of the UOC-MP consists in the historical fact that its first bishops were ordained by medieval bishops from Constantinople, who had in turn been ordained by Christ’s disciples from ancient Israel. Apostolic succession is crucial for the Orthodox Church, where only bishops can ordain new priests and where the church’s connection to the first Christians is reflected in many ways, including in the clergy’s attire.

Metropolitan Hilarion (his secular name is Grigory Alfeyev), the Russian church’s chief spokesman on questions of schism and unity, accused the patriarch of contributing to the schism by officially “lifting” the excommunication from Ukraine’s most prominent schismatic church leader — the defrocked former bishop Mikhail Denisenko. That clergyman stands to gain most from the “autocephaly” promised to Poroshenko by Patriarch Bartholomew. A hierarchical Orthodox Church is considered to have autocephalous status, as its highest bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has stated that for Ukraine to be granted autocephaly from Istanbul, this would mean a complete “reformatting” of the country’s religious status quo and the severing of all links to Orthodox Russia and its “demons.”. Most likely, the new “united” church won’t be headed by the UOC MP’s Metropolitan, but by Mikhail Denisenko, who was excommunicated by both the UOC MP and the Russian church back in 1997 and with whom real Orthodox priests can only serve against their will and against the church’s internal rules.

Constantinople’s first dangerous moves

On October 11, 2018, the Constantinople Patriarchate made its first step towards granting autocephaly by repealing its own decision of 1686 that gave the Moscow Patriarch primacy over the Kiev-based Metropolitan. This 17th-century decision reflected the political reality of the merger between the states of Russia and Ukraine and established some order in the matters of church administration. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Moscow gave the Ukrainian church complete independence in financial and administrative matters, but the two churches retained their cherished “spiritual unity.” “Constantinople’s decision is aimed at destroying that unity,” the ROC’s Patriarch Kirill explained. “We can’t accept it. That is why our Holy Synod made the decision to end eucharistic communication with the Constantinople Patriarchate.”

How Moscow “excommunicated” Bartholomew

The end of eucharistic communication means that the priests of the two patriarchates (based in Moscow and Istanbul) won’t be able to hold church services together. It will be maintained as long as the threat of autocephaly continues. The Western mainstream media, however, interpreted this decision by the Russian church as a unilateral aggressive act. The NYT and the British tabloid press wrote that it simply reveals Putin’s “desperation” at not being able to keep Ukraine’s religious life under control.

However, Patriarch Bartholomew seems undeterred by the protests from the Russian faithful and the majority of Ukraine’s believers. Bartholomew said in a recent statement that Russia should just follow the example of Constantinople, which once granted autocephaly to the churches of the Balkan nations. Bartholomew’s ambassadors in Kiev do not shy away from communicating with the self-declared “Patriarch” Filaret (Mikhail Denisenko’s adopted religious name from back when he was the UOC MP’s Metropolitan prior to his excommunication in 1997). For true Orthodox believers, any communication with Denisenko has been forbidden since 1992, the year when he founded his own so-called Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP). Unfortunately, Denisenko enjoys the full support of Ukrainian President Poroshenko, and recently the US State Department began encouraging Denisenko, by giving its full support to Ukraine’s autocephaly.

The lifting of Denisenko’s excommunication by Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul both upset and embittered the Orthodox believers in both Ukraine and Moscow, since Denisenko was excommunicated by a joint decision of the Russian church and the UOC MP in 1997, after a five-year wait for his return to the fold of the mother church. So, by undoing that decision, Constantinople has interfered in the canonical territory of both the Ukrainian and the Russian churches.

The UOC-MP protested, accusing not only Patriarch Bartholomew, but also the Ukrainian state of interfering in the church’s affairs. “We are being forced to get involved in politics. The politicians do not want Christ to run our church; they want to do it themselves,” said Metropolitan Onufriy (Onuphrius), the head of the UOC-MP, in an interview with PravMir, an Orthodox website. “Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate has been independent. Our church did not ask for autocephaly, because we already have independence. We have our own Synod (church council) and our own church court. Decisions are made by a congress of bishops and priests from all over Ukraine. We have financial and administrative independence, so autocephaly for us will be a limitation, not an expansion of our rights.”

Poroshenko’s premature jubilation

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Poroshenko did not conceal his jubilation about Constantinople’s moves. “This is a victory of good over evil, light over darkness,” Poroshenko said when the news about the lifting of Denisenko’s excomnmunication came from Istanbul in early October.

Poroshenko said he wanted a “united Orthodox Church” for his country, and he openly pressured Patriarch Bartholomew to provide autocephaly to Kiev during his visits to Istanbul in the spring of 2018 and in November of the same year. Meanwhile, Denisenko said that the provision of autocephaly would mean the immediate dispossession of the UOC MP. “This Russian church (UOC MP) will have to cede control of its church buildings and famous monasteries to the new Ukrainian church, which will be ours,” Denisenko was quoted by Ukrainian media as saying. “These monasteries have been owned by the state since Soviet times, and the state gave them to the Russian church for temporary use. Now the state will appoint our communities of believers as the new guardians of this heritage.” Denisenko also made a visit to the US, where he met Undersecretary of State Wess Mitchell, obtaining from him America’s active support for the creation of a “unified” Ukrainian church.

There is still a chance to prevent the schism from occurring. Poroshenko’s presidential aide, Rostislav Pavlenko, made it clear on Tuesday that the actual “tomos” (a letter from the Constantinople Patriarchate allowing the creation of an autocephalous church) will be delivered only IN RESPONSE to a request from a “unifying convention” that represents all of Ukraine’s Orthodox believers in at least some sort of formal manner. This new convention will have to declare the creation of a new church and elect this church’s official head. Only then will Constantinople be able to give that person the cherished “tomos.”

Since the UOC-MP has made it very clear that it won’t participate in any such convention, the chances of the smooth transition and easy victory over the “Muscovite believers” that Poroshenko wants so badly are quite slim. There are big scandals, big fights, and big disappointments ahead.

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