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Ukrainian Leader says Half of Ukraine is Mentally Retarded

Svoboda party member Farion says Russian speaking Ukrainians are retards

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A leader of the Ukrainian Svoboda Party Irina Farion declared that Russian-speakers in Ukraine are mentally retarded, and the biggest problem for Ukraine. The monumental stupidy of her claim, is that it insults not only roughly half of Ukrainians who speak Russian, but it also insults her fellow Ukrainian nationalists, including President Petro Poroshenko himself.

This map shows a trend, generally accurate, but  such maps should be tools of perception, not precision

Her speech is not worth anyone’s attention for any purpose other than to document the insanity plaguing Ukraine, but I would like to demonstrate how her words are not only racist, but demonstrate a profound ignorance of the Ukrainian reality, bordering on a desire to genocidally change it. Four years ago to this day, fascists of a similar mindset as her, killed hundreds of people in Odessa. Some were burned alive, some were strangled including a pregnant woman, as documented in this article – be warned, the photos are very graphic. Make no mistake, this is indicative of a fascist crisis in the heart of Europe.

As a result, I will briefly summarize her statement, however, a full translation into English can be found here at this website documenting the tragic events in Ukraine. I will be relying on the Ukrainian version of her ridiculous speech, rather than the Russian version. This is not so much to capture her original words most accurately, as Russian and Ukrainian are close enough languages that there is almost no such thing as lost in translation, between these two eastern Slavic languages. Rather, it would be amusing to make the point that speaking a certain language – in this case, Ukrainian – does not dictate political views.

Her speech begins by asking why Ukrainians live in Ukraine but speak the “occupiers language”, and she begins to blame the war in Ukraine on Russian-speaking citizens. It is very telling that she is NOT speaking exclusively about Ethnic Russians in Ukraine, but any Ukrainians who speak Russian. As we will later explain, this is a large percentage of the country.

She says the War in Ukraine is happening where there is the Russian Church, which is factually untrue. The “Russian Church”, officially called the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) is the only canonical (internationally recognized) Orthodox Church in Ukraine. It is located everywhere – not just in East Ukraine but even in the West, and controls the most important religious sites, even if the churches are often seized by radicals.

Pochaiv Lavra, a fortress of Russian Orthodoxy in Western Ukraine

The leader of the Ukrainian Church, His Beatitude Onufry of Kiev is a strong Ukrainian speaker from Western Ukraine, yet he is the Primate of the “Russian Church”. Metropolitan Onufry is one of the strongest voices advocating for an end to violence in Ukraine, and is born in one of the most Ukrainianized regions of the country. This alone demonstrates her idea of Russian Church, Russian speakers – enemies of Ukraine – is false.

She also blames Russian culture (of which Ukrainian can be considered a part of), and most telling, she says the war in Ukraine is wherever there are “російськомовні громадяни” meaning Russian-speaking citizens.

Some may infer she means citizens of the Russian Federation, but she then clearly states in her warped view: Російськомовні українці – найбільша проблема України “Russian-speaking Ukrainians – the greatest problem of Ukraine” – the word українці can only properly refer to “Ethnic Ukrainians”.

As a result, it is clear that she considers any Ukrainian who speaks Russian to be in her words, mental retards, and traitors. This is not surprising, considering that her party, Svoboda, is basically the Neo-Nazi light party.

Svoboda Party Leader Oleg Tyahniboh

The purpose of this article, however, is to explain how she is essentially targetting half the country.

How much of Ukraine is Russian or Russian-speaking?

I began this article by saying half of Ukraine speaks Russian, and at this point, in order to prove that, we have to deal with a major problem facing Ukraine – reliable statistics. Someone could easily produce a map of Ukraine with statistics showing 30% are Russian speakers, and I could likewise produce one saying at least 80% (like this Gallup poll). Why the difference? Well aside from the fact that some people have been known to openly lie, as this article reveals, the lines between Russians and Ukrainians have never exactly been clear.

Languages of Ukraine

The reality is – any Ukrainian can switch languages, and sadly, some can even switch identities, as easily as other people change their clothes. Switching back and forth between Ukrainian and Russian, even midsentence, is effortless, common, and very fun if you speak both…and to some friends and family who don’t…annoying. It’s called Surzhik, and we will later explore this. Generally speaking, there are four languages/dialects spoken in Ukraine, and a language is essentially a dialect with an army and navy. They are listed as spoken from West to East

  1. Western Ukrainian: while not technically different than literary Ukrainian, the accent and terminology are heavily Polish. Here are two examples of Western Ukrainian style speech, the latter being what some consider a separate language – Carpatho-Russian. Foreign western tourists have noted that Western Ukraine is the only part of Ukraine where Ukrainian language is by far dominant, but found the people still speak Russian if asked by a non-Ukrainian speaker.
  2. Standard Literary Ukrainian: common, especially in central and northern Ukraine, used most prevalently in print, and by politicians and universities. For an example of the differences between Literary Ukrainian and the Western dialect in song, here are two versions of the classic Polish song Hej Sokoly in Ukrainian. The first is in literary standard Ukrainian, and the second is in Western Ukrainian dialect – note the use of the word Hen’ to mean “there” in place of Tam, the word used in both standard Ukrainian and Russian.
  3. Surzhik: A mix of Russian and Ukrainian, ranging from throwing Russian words into Ukrainian sentences, to completely ignoring the norms of grammar for both languages. Arguably the most common language spoken in the typical Ukrainian countryside, especially East-Central, and South, associated with rural villagers and industrial workers. This letter from the great Russian-speaking Ukrainian writer Gogol is written in what some could consider 19th-century Surzhik. Surzhik can also be heard in Cossack songs, a good example being “Yihav Kozak za Dunai” where the Russian style word Lusche (better) is used in place of standard Ukrainian Krasche. Several versions of Halya Molodaya (Young Halya) interchange the word Lusche with Krasche. The glorious Cossack song Harni Kozak Harni also says “Nasha Slava Kozatskaya ne na paperi pisana” (Our Cossack Glory is Not Written in Paper) – the feminine ending of the adjective Kozatskaya is Russian. Ukrainian would have ended without the “ya” at the end i.e. Nasha Slava KozatskaAnother modern example of Surzhik is this video by a Ukrainian youtuber, though she is slightly exaggerating her expressions for humorous effect.
  4. Standard Russian: Russian as spoken in Russia, possibly with a Ukrainian accent, stereotypically on the G (which become like an English H). Mostly spoken in East Ukraine, and also in major cities such as Kiev and Odessa.

Those are the four types of speech you will hear in Ukraine. The areas where these languages are spoken correspond logically with the historical evolution of Ukraine. That being said, as a general rule, all Ukrainians can speak Russian as well as Ukrainian.

While Ukrainian controversially dominates as the only official language, government papers, university work, and signs are written in Ukrainian, some form of Russian remains the lingua franka, as well as the native language of many Ukrainians. Russian particularly dominates in television and media, where the government is actively taking steps to promote Ukrainian, due to Russian being far more common on TV – the main source of Ukrainian news.

Russian is so dominant in Ukrainian TV, that the comedy show Varyaty advertises as being “the first Ukrainian-language humor show”. If one takes a look at their website, they can see their city schedule is all western Ukrainian. This is why Ukrainian attempts to prevent Russian from becoming an “official language” is ridiculous and unpopular – as it’s still a main language of everyday life.

Ukraine’s top court rules Russian language ‘unconstitutional’

This is why the Ukrainian politician who called Russian-speakers mentally retarded, is simply out of touch with reality. She herself is almost certainly a Russian-speaker, if defined as someone who understands fluent Russian, even if she chooses to speak exclusively Ukrainian. Most of Ukraine is Russian speaking.

This includes even Russian-hating Nazis, one of whom sings anti-Russian songs…in Russian. By calling Russian speakers retards, she is calling a good chunk of the country, including her President Poroshenko retarted. Despite his anti-Russian nationalism, he famously forgot how to say “wallet” in Ukrainian (he remembered in Russian), and had to ask for help.

Poroshenko’s language mix up is a hilarious microcosm of the Ukrainian language situation, and perhaps the only thing he ever did that made him remotely relatable. Although he always tries to speak in very proper literary Ukrainian, it is obvious that he is perhaps stronger in Russian. When his own children congratulate him on his birthday, his son speaks Russian, unlike his Ukrainian speaking sister. This mix of languages even within one family is totally normal for Ukrainians. That is not even considered mixing languages within the same sentence.

Surzhik – Russian-Ukrainian mix

Due to its non-standardized colloquial nature, there are no statistics as to what population of the country speaks in Surzhik, but anyone who knows Ukraine can say it’s not a small minority. Surzhik can take many forms, but most commonly, it involves throwing Russian or Russified words into mostly Ukrainian sentences.

Think in Ukrainian – write in Russian – the only rule of Surzhik

The prevalence of Surzhik, as well as the influence on Ukrainian speech, essentially means that Ukraine is a state of organic diglossia – a place where two languages are spoken side by side. There are often two possible words or phrases for the same thing in Ukrainian, one more Russian influenced, and one pure Ukrainian, and as a result, Ukrainian speech can appear closer or more distant to Russian depending on the speaker. Here are some examples:

To say in Ukrainian “I speak Ukrainian” one can say: Я розмовляю українською мовою (Ya rozmovlyayu Ukrayiins’kuyu movoyu)

In Russian, the same phrase is: Я говорю по-украински (Ya gavaryu po Ukrainsky)

As a result, on the surface, they seem very different.

But one can just as easily say in Ukrainian: Я говорю по-українськи (Ya hovoryu po po Ukrayinssky).

The latter sounds very close to Russian, and is perfectly understandable, and it can be mixed up in several varieties. This video is made by anti-Kremlin Ukrainians, advocating for speaking Ukrainian, and while they used the instrumental case українською мовою, the word говорю is more Russian compared to розмовляю. That still makes it Ukrainian, and does not make the speakers Pro-Russian. There are plenty more examples of Surzhik in Ukraine:

Yak Dela (similar to Russian Kak Dela) as opposed to Ukrainian Yak Spravi. Do tsih pir (close to Russian Do tsikh por) instead of Dosi. Teper, like the Russian form instead of Zaraz.

As a result, seeing as most of Ukraine is truly and natively bilingual, it is clear that language alone is not the basis of what is causing the difference between Russians and Ukrainians. We have even seen examples of Russian-hating Ukrainians speaking Russian – even literary Russian as opposed to Surzhik, which is common in Kiev.

Whether a person is Russian or Ukrainian, or both, is largely based on their political views, region, religion, culture, language choice, and identity, rather than on clear ethnic or genetic grounds. If one changed their political party, for example, they could easily change from Russian to Ukrainian or Ukrainian to Russian.

That being said, the differences between literary Russian and Literary Ukrainian – not the mixed dialects but the pure “languages” are not so severe. Some say that Russian and Ukrainian have 60% of their words in common, so while they aren’t 100% mutually intelligible, they seem closer than Spanish and Italian for example.

The people are too similar to be completely different, sharing a common history, faith, and ethnogenesis (national origin), but of course, if they were 100% the same, we would not be talking about this at all.

In order to understand why this is, and then explain why the світогляд (worldview) of this politician is warped and totally insane with regards to the reality of Ukraine, we must understand from whence the Russian and Ukrainian lands and people had their origin. In order to understand what is happening in Ukraine, and what caused the language divide, understanding the history is a must.

To give a brief history, Russia and Ukraine are the children of the same state, Kievan Rus’ from their birth until 1240 when Rus’ was divided by invasions. Rus’ was the first East Slavic state, from which Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus’ take their origin from, and it existed on the territory of what is now those three countries. Ukrainian nationalists claim they are the true people of Rus’, whereas Russians have no connection to Rus’.

By 1360, all of Belarus, and much (but not all) of the territory of what is now Ukraine (mostly north central, and especially western), was ruled by Poland and Lithuania until Bogan’s Khmelnitsky’s uprising in 1654.

Polish occupied territories before 1654 included parts of Russia

Khmelnitsky succeeded in uniting most of Ukraine with Russia, when they had been apart for around 300 years, however in that time some differences emerged. The Western part of Ukraine, west of the River Dnipro, but especially west of the river Buh would still be ruled by Poland and later Austro-Hungary for longer.

Poles and later Austro-Hungarians would encourage these differences, and push Catholic-Uniate religion on the people, and eventually, they imposed the idea of Ukrainianization upon what is now Ukraine, causing the people to think of themselves as different than Russians. At the same time, Coosccaks, would help Russia capture the south and east of what is now Ukraine from the Turks and Tatars. This land including Odessa and Donbass, was called New Russia because it was not before a core part of Rus’.

The people of new Russia were not subject to Ukrainizaition to the same level as others, and remains more russian speaking.

While other Ukrainians who underwent Ukrainizaition, still considered themselves the children of Rus’, they felt Russia was not Rus. You could say simplistically, Ukrainian nationalists want to be Rusian but not Russian, though it is obvious from a study of history, that Rus’ and Russia are natural evolutions, and the differences in Ukraine were caused by foreign empires occupying and brainwashing the people.

When talking about Ukraine, its imperative to accept the reality that we are essentially talking about (at least) two different countries merged into one. In simplistic terms, you can divide Ukraine into East and West by the River Dnipro, and say the East is (generally speaking) Russified and Orthodox, and the West is (very generally speaking) Catholic-Uniate and Ukrainianized. Almost any map of modern Ukraine will show a major divide in Ukraine based on this simplistic module.

Note: this is a map of Modern Ukraine, the borders do NOT reflect historical borders. This map and other maps are also older than 2014, and so Crimea is shown as part of Ukraine. After 2014, the people of Crimea exercised their democratic right to self-determination and choose to join the Russian Federation.

As a result, the difference between a Ukrainian and a Russian can be seen as being more philosophical, political, and religious, than purely ethnic. The differences largely emerged from Modern Ukraine being a conglomeration of various historical territories. The ethnogenesis of Ukrainian people, along with Russians and Belarussians is worthy of its own scholarly and national studies.

It is the political division in modern Ukraine, which has caused hatred to poison the blood between normal Ukrainians and Russians. This hatred exists even towards other Ukrainians, as we witnessed with the example of that deranged politican who hates Russian-language speakers. It is clear from an examination of history that Russians and Ukrainians are a brotherly people with a common origin.

It is clear from the monumental works of legendary authors like Russian-speaking Ukrainian Nikolai Gogol, and the wisdom of Saints like Lavrentry of Chernigov (who by modern standards is a Ukrainian, but who considered himself Russian), that the divide between the peoples is artificial. Saint Lavrenty went as far as to say it was imposed by non-Orthodox foreign powers and Uniates to destroy Orthodox Rus’. It is clear even from a secular point of view, that this violence and division which has killed tens of thousands in Donbass, and brought ruin to Ukraine serves neither the Russian nor Ukrainian people.

The hatred in Ukraine is not the product of native East Slavs, but has been perniciously fostered by foreign powers for centuries, who fear the unity of the old lands of Rus’. The only solution is to lay aside the hatred and remember common roots far more ancient. This reaffirms the ancient words “Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, together we are Holy Rus.”

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BREAKING: Explosion in Crimea, Russia kills many, injuring dozens, terrorism suspected

According to preliminary information, the incident was caused by a gas explosion at a college facility in Kerch, Crimea.

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“We are clarifying the information at the moment. Preliminary figures are 50 injured and 10 dead. Eight ambulance crews are working at the site and air medical services are involved,” the press-service for the Crimean Ministry of Health stated.

Medics announced that at least 50 people were injured in the explosion in Kerch and 25 have already been taken to local hospital with moderate wounds, according to Sputnik.

Local news outlets reported that earlier in the day, students at the college heard a blast and windows of the building were shattered.

Putin Orders that Assistance Be Provided to Victims of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The president has instructed the Ministry of Health and the rescue services to take emergency measures to assist victims of this explosion, if necessary, to ensure the urgent transportation of seriously wounded patients to leading medical institutions of Russia, whether in Moscow or other cities,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov said.

The president also expressed his condolences to all those affected by the tragic incident.

Manhunt Underway in Kerch as FSB Specialists Investigate Site of Explosion – National Anti-Terrorist Committee

The site of the blast that rocked a city college in Kerch is being examined by FSB bomb disposal experts and law enforcement agencies are searching for clues that might lead to the arrest of the perpetrators, the National Anti Terrorism Committee said in a statement.

“Acting on orders from the head of the NAC’s local headquarters, FSB, Interior Ministry, Russian Guards and Emergency Ministry units have arrived at the site. The territory around the college has been cordoned off and the people inside the building evacuated… Mine-disposal experts are working at the site and law enforcement specialists are investigating,” the statement said.

Terrorist Act Considered as Possible Cause of Blast in Kerch – Kremlin Spokesman

“The tragic news that comes from Kerch. Explosion. The president was informed … The data on those killed and the number of injured is constantly updated,” Peskov told reporters.

“[The version of a terrorist attack] is being considered,” he said.

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Russian Orthodox Church officially breaks ties with Constantinople

Biggest separation in almost 1,000 years as world’s largest Orthodox Church cuts communion with Constantinople over legitimizing schismatics.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The schism between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate became official today, October 15, 2018, as the Russian Holy Synod reviewed the recent granting of communion to two schismatic groups in Ukraine, pursuant to Constantinople’s intent to grant autocephaly (full self-rule, or independence) to the agglomeration of these groups.

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RT reported that the Synod ruled that any further clerical relations with Constantinople are impossible, given the current conditions. Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev told journalists today about the breach in relations:

“A decision about the full break of relations with the Constantinople Patriarchate has been taken at a Synod meeting” that is currently been held in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, Hilarion said, as cited by TASS.

The move comes days after the Synod of the Constantinople Patriarchate decided to eventually grant the so-called autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, thus making the clerical organization, which earlier enjoyed a broad autonomy within the Moscow Patriarchate, fully independent.

The Moscow Patriarchate also said that it would not abide by any decisions taken by Constantinople and related to the status of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. “All these decisions are unlawful and canonically void,” Hilarion said, adding that “the Russian Orthodox Church does not recognize these decisions and will not follow them.”

At the same time, the Russian Church expressed its hope that “a common sense will prevail” and Constantinople will change its decision. However, it still accused the Ecumenical Patriarch of initiating the “schism.”

The marks the most significant split in the Orthodox Church since the Great Schism of 1054, in which Rome excommunicated Constantinople, a breach between the Roman Catholics and Orthodox which has persisted ever since then, becoming hardened and embittered after the Roman Catholic armies sacked Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade in 1204.

Many other local Orthodox Churches expressed support for the Moscow Patriarchate’s position prior to today’s announcement, but the break in relations between these two churches does not have any known affect on local churches who hold communion with both Moscow and the Ecumenical Patriarchate at this time.

The website Orthochristian.com ran the entire statement of the Holy Synod regarding this situation. We offer a brief summary of statements here, taken from that source and patriarcha.ru, adding emphasis.

With deepest pain, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church received the message of the Patriarchate of Constantinople published on October 11, 2018 about the decisions adopted by the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople: on the confirmation of the intention to “grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church”; on the opening of the “stavropegion” of the Patriarch of Constantinople in Kiev; on the “restoration in the hierarchal or priestly rank” of the leaders of the Ukrainian schism and their followers and the “return of their faithful to Church communion”; and on the “cancellation of the action” of the conciliar charter of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1686 concerning the transfer of the Kiev Metropolia to the Moscow Patriarchate

The Synod of the Church of Constantinople made these decisions unilaterally, ignoring the calls of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and the entirety of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as the fraternal Local Orthodox Churches, and their primates and bishops for pan-Orthodox discussion of the issue.

Entering into communion with those who have departed into schism, let alone those who have been excommunicated from the Church, is tantamount to departing into schism and is severely condemned by the canons of the holy Church: “If any one of the bishops, presbyters, or deacons, or any of the clergy shall be found communicating with excommunicated persons, let him also be excommunicated, as one who brings confusion on the order of the Church” (Canon 2 of the Council of Antioch; Canon 10, 11 of the Holy Apostles).

The decision of the Patriarchate of Constantinople on the “restoration” of the canonical status and the reception into communion of the former Metropolitan Philaret Denisenko, excommunicated from the Church, ignores a number of successive decisions of the Bishops’ Councils of the Russian Orthodox Church, the legitimacy of which are beyond doubt.

By the decision of the Bishops’ Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Kharkov of May 27, 1992, Metropolitan Philaret (Denisenko) was removed from the Kiev Cathedra and was banned from the clergy for not fulfilling the oath made by him before the cross and the Gospel at the previous Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church.

By its ruling of June 11,1992, the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church, confirmed the decision of the Kharkov Council and expelled Philaret Denisenko from his rank, depriving him of every degree of the priesthood on the following charges: “Cruel and arrogant attitude to the subordinate clergy, dictatorialness, and intimidation (Tit. 1:7-8; Canon 27 of the Holy Apostles); introducing temptation among the faithful by his behavior and personal life (Matthew 18:7; Canon 3 of the First Ecumenical Council, Canon 5 of the Sixth Ecumenical Council); oath-breaking (Canon 25 of the Holy Apostles); public slander and blasphemy against the Bishops’ Council (Canon 6 of the Second Ecumenical Council); the celebration of clerical functions, including ordinations, in a state of suspension (Canon 28 of the Holy Apostles); the perpetration of a schism in the Church (Canon 15 of the First-Second Council).” All ordinations performed by Philaret in a suspended state since May 27, 1992, and the punishments imposed by him, were declared invalid.

Despite repeated calls for repentance, after the deprivation of his hierarchal rank Philaret Denisenko continued his schismatic activity, including within the bounds of other Local Churches. By the ruling of the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church of 1997, he was given over to anathema.

The aforesaid decisions were recognized by all the Local Orthodox Churches, including the Church of Constantinople.

… Now, after more than two decades, the Patriarchate of Constantinople has changed its position for political reasons.

… St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain, in his Pedalion, which is an authoritative source of ecclesiastical-canonical law of the Church of Constantinople, interprets Canon 9 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, rejecting the false opinion on the right of Constantinople to consider appeals from other Churches: “The Primate of Constantinople does not have the right to act in the dioceses and provinces of other Patriarchs, and this rule did not give him the right to take appeals on any matter in the Ecumenical Church… “ Listing a whole range of arguments in favor of this interpretation, referring to the practice of the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils, St. Nikodemos concludes: “At present … the Primate of Constantinople is the first, the only, and the last judge over the metropolitans subordinate to him—but not over those who are subject to the rest of the Patriarchs. For, as we said, the last and universal judge of all the Patriarchs is the Ecumenical Council and no one else.” It follows from the above that the Synod of the Church of Constantinople does not have canonical rights to withdraw judicial decisions rendered by the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church.

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Patriarch Bartholomew lifts anathemas on schismatics in Ukraine (VIDEO)

Most of the Orthodox world is in strong opposition to this move by Patriarch Bartholomew, whose motivations seem not to be of Christ.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The biggest news in the Eastern Orthodox world in recent times occurred on Thursday, October 11, 2018. The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, lifted the anathemas against two schismatic Ukrainian Churches and their leaders, paving the way to the creation of a fully independent Ukrainian national Orthodox Church.

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This announcement was given in English and is shown here in video with the textual transcript following:

“Presided by His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Holy and Sacred Synod convened for its regular session from October 9 to 11, 2018 in order to examine and discuss items on its agenda. The Holy Synod discussed in particular and at length, the ecclesiastical mater of Ukraine in the presence of His Excellency Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon and His Grace Bishp Ilarion of Edmonon, Patriarchal Exarchs to Ukraine, and following extensive deliberations decreed (emphasis added):

First, to renew the decision already made, that the Ecumenical Patriarchate proceed to the granting of autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine;

Second, to re-establish at this moment the stavropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Kiev—one of its many starvorpegion in Ukraine that existed there always;

Third, to accept and review the petitions of appeal of Philaret Denisenko and Makary Maletich and their followers who found themselves in schism not for dogmatic reasons, in accordance with the canonical prerogatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to receive such petitions by hierarchs and other clergy of all the autocephalous Churches. Thus, the above mentioned have been canonically reinstated to their hierarchical or priestly rank, and their faithful have been restored to communion with the Church;

Fourth, to revoke the legal binding of the Synodal letter of the year 1686, issued for the circumstances of that time, which granted the right through economia to the Patriarch of Moscow to ordain the Metropolitan of Kiev elected by the clergy-laity assembly of his eparchy, who would commemorate the Ecumenical Patriarch as the first hierarch at any celebration, proclaiming and affirming his canonical dependence to the Mother Church of Constantinople;

Fifth, to appeal to all sides involved that they avoid appropriation of churches, monasteries, and other properties as well as every other act of violence and retaliation so that he peace and love of Christ may prevail.”

There are a few things that must be said about what this declaration is not before we get to the matter of what the points of actually are. The point of reference is the strict letter of the text above itself.

  • This is not a granting of autocephaly (full independent self-rule status) like the fourteen universally canonical Orthodox jurisdictions in the world. However, it is a huge step towards this status.
  • As far as Constantinople is concerned, Filaret Denisenko, the leader and “Patriarch” of the “Kyiv Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church” and Makary, the “Metropolitan” of the “Ukrainian Orthodox Autocephalous Church”, and all their faithful are now restored to communion. The statement says that this applies to “The Church” which may be trying to state that these two men (and all the faithful that they lead), are now in communion with the entirety of canonical Orthodoxy, but more likely, this may be a carefully worded statement to say they now are in communion with Constantinople alone.
  • There is an official call for the cessation of the violence directed against the Moscow Patriarchate parishes and communities, who are the only canonically recognized Orthodox Church in Ukraine, and who are also the largest by far in that country. The Kyiv Patriarchate and Uniate (Roman oriented) Greek Catholics in Ukraine have gone on record for seizing MP church properties, often by force, with neo-Nazi sympathizers and other radical Ukrainian nationalists. So this official call to cease the violence is now a matter of public record.

However, the reaction has been far less civil than the clergy wished for.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko: “Expressing his view of the Moscow Patriarchate, Poroshenko added, “This is a great victory of the God-loving Ukrainian people over the Moscow demons, the victory of Good over Evil, the victory of Light over Darkness.”’

Perhaps this is the reason Metropolitan Onuphry of Ukraine (exarch under the Moscow Patriarchate) has been labeled an enemy of Ukraine and is now receiving death threats. Very civil.

Poroshenko’s statement is all the more bizarre, considering that it has been Ukrainian ultra-nationalists that have been violently attacking Moscow – related parishes in Ukraine. This has been corroborated by news sources eager to pin the blame on Russia, such as the U.K. Guardian.

The Union of Orthodox Journalists, based in Kiev and supportive of the Moscow Patriarchate, has been under intense cyber attack since October 11th, when the EP’s announcement was issued.

Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) Chancellor, Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary: “What happened at the Synod in Istanbul yesterday shocked the entire Orthodox world. It seems the Patriarchate of Constantinople is consciously embarking on a path of schism in world Orthodoxy. Patriarch Bartholomew ignored the calls of the Local Churches to convene a meeting of the primates to work out a common and conciliar solution to the Ukrainian Church issue and unilaterally made very serious but erroneous decisions. I hope the Orthodox world will give this action an objective evaluation… Having received the schismatics into communion, Patriarch Bartholomew did not make them canonical, but has himself embarked on the path of schism. The schismatics remain schismatics. They did not receive any autocephaly or tomos. It seems they have lost even that independence, although non-canonical, that they had and which they always emphasized.”

Metropolitan Rostislav of the Czech Lands and Slovakia:“The Orthodox world recognizes the only canonical primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church—His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine. This fact was repeatedly mentioned and confirmed by the primate of the Great Church of Christ His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on behalf of all present at the Synaxis of the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches that was held in Chambésy (Switzerland) from January 21 to 27, 2016. Therefore, any attempt to legalize the Ukrainian schismatics by the state authorities should be strongly condemned by all the primates of the Local Orthodox Churches.

Patriarch Irinej of Serbia wrote two letters to the Ecumenical Patriarch, advocating that the provision of a new autocephaly is possible only with the consent of all local Orthodox Churches. According to Sedmitza.ru (Translation by Pravoslavie.ru),

“In these letters, it was very clearly stated that the granting of autocephaly cannot be the prerogative the Patriarchate of Constantinople alone, that new autocephalies must be created only with the consent of all the Local Orthodox Churches, as the Holy Synod of Antioch also said in its recent statement.”

Pat. Irinej also warned the Patriarchate of Constantinople against making such major decisions unilaterally, because “it will not bring harmony and peace to the Ukrainian land, but, on the contrary, will cause new divisions and new schisms.”

The Holy Synod of Antioch, the oldest Orthodox Church, and actually the very first place where the disciples of Christ were even called “Christians” weighed in on the issue as well and they had several things to say:

“The fathers examined the general Orthodox situation. They stressed that the Church of Antioch expresses her deep worries about the attempts to change the boundaries of the Orthodox Churches through a new reading of history. She considers that resorting to a unilateral reading of history does not serve Orthodox unity. It rather contributes to the fueling of the dissensions and quarrels within the one Church. Thus, the Church of Antioch refuses the principle of establishing parallel jurisdictions within the canonical boundaries of the Patriarchates and the autocephalous Churches as a way to solve conflicts, or as a de facto situation in the Orthodox world.

To summarize, this move by Constantinople is not being warmly received by many, many people. Most of the local Churches are on record giving their reaction to this process. In brief, here is the list most of the Local Churches and a one or two word summary of their reactions.

Patriarchate of Georgia: Unilateral action is wrong; Constantinople and Moscow must cooperate and find a solution together.

Patriarchate of Jerusalem: recognizes Ukraine as a canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church alone, as do all other local Churches

Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa: The Church does not bow to politicians. Moscow-led church is the only canonical Church in Ukraine.

Archbishop of Cyprus: Decries the Ukrainian situation but offered to mediate a discussion between Moscow and Constantinople

Bulgarian Patriarchate: Interference of the State in Church affairs leads to serious and negative consequences for both.

Polish Orthodox Church: Metropolitan Sawa called for a council of Orthodox ruling hierarchs to discuss this situation.

Estonian Orthodox Church: Condemns Constantinople’s actions in Ukraine.

Greek Archdiocese of America: Supports Constantinople’s actions in Ukraine.

The Orthodox Church of Greece (Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus quoted): “Schismatics, as we know, are not the Church, and communion with them is forbidden by the Divine and holy canons and the Apostolic and Ecumenical Councils. Why then this persistence of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in recognizing schismatics as an autocephalous Church? To provoke schisms and divisions in the one universal and Apostolic Church of Christ?”

Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR): Ceased commemoration of Constantinople, ceased concelebration with Constantinople.

This issue has also rocked the secular geopolitical world.

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