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Kiev ‘Patriarch’ prepares to seize Moscow properties in Ukraine

The attack on the Eastern Orthodox Church, brought about by the US State Department and its proxies in Constantinople and Ukraine, is continuing. On October 20, 2018, the illegitimate “Kyiv (Kiev) Patriarchate”, led by Filaret Denisenko who is calling himself “Patriarch Filaret”, had a synodal meeting in which it changed the commemoration title of the leader of the church to include the Kyiv Caves and Pochaev Lavras.

This is a problem because Metropolitan Onuphry of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church which is canonically accepted and acts as a very autonomous church under the Moscow Patriarchate has these places under his pastoral care.

This move takes place only one week after Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople unilaterally (and illegally) lifted the excommunications, depositions (removal from priestly ranks as punishment) and anathemas against Filaret and Makary that were imposed on them by the hierarchy of the Moscow Patriarchate.

These two censures are very serious matters in the Orthodox Church. Excommunication means that the person or church so considered cannot receive Holy Communion or any of the other Mysteries (called Sacraments in the West) in a neighboring local Orthodox Church. Anathema is even more serious, for this happens when a cleric disregards his excommunication and deposition (removal from the priesthood), and acts as a priest or a bishop anyway.

Filaret Denisenko received all these censures in 1992, and Patriarch Bartholomew accepted this decision at the time, as stated in a letter he sent to Moscow shortly after the censures. However, three years later, Patriarch Bartholomew received a group of Ukrainian autocephalist bishops called the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA, who had been in communion with Filaret’s group. While this move may have been motivated by the factor of Bartholomew’s almost total isolation within Istanbul, Turkey, it is nonetheless non-canonical.

This year’s moves have far exceeded previous ones, though, and now the possibility for a real clash that could cost lives is raised. With Filaret’s “church” – really an agglomeration of Ukrainian ultranationalists and Neo-Nazis in the mix, plus millions of no doubt innocent Ukrainian faithful who are deluded about the problems of their church, challenging an existing arrangement regarding Ukraine and Russia’s two most holy sites, the results are not likely to be good at all.

Here is the report about today’s developments, reprinted in part from

Meeting today in Kiev, the Synod of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” (KP) has officially changed the title of its primate, “Patriarch” Philaret, to include the Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras under his jurisdiction.

The primate’s new official title, as given on the site of the KP, is “His Holiness and Beatitude (name), Archbishop and Metropolitan of Kiev—Mother of the cities of Rus’, and Galicia, Patriarch of All Rus’-Ukraine, Svyaschenno-Archimandrite of the Holy Dormition Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras.”

…Thus, the KP Synod is declaring that “Patriarch” Philaret has jurisdiction over the Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras, although they are canonically under the omophorion of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, the primate of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Philaret and his followers and nationalistic radicals have continually proclaimed that they will take the Lavras for themselves.

This claim to the ancient and venerable monasteries comes after the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate announced that it had removed the anathema placed upon Philaret by the Russian Orthodox Church and had restored him to his hierarchical office. Philaret was a metropolitan of the canonical Church, becoming patriarch in his schismatic organization.

Representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate have clarified that they consider Philaret to be the “former Metropolitan of Kiev,” but he and his organization continue to consider him an active patriarch, with jurisdiction in Ukraine.

Constantinople’s statement also appealed to all in Ukraine to “avoid appropriation of churches, monasteries, and other properties,” which the Synod of the KP ignored in today’s decision.

The KP primate’s abbreviated title will be, “His Holiness (name), Patriarch of Kiev and All Rus’-Ukraine,” and the acceptable form for relations with other Local Churches is “His Beatitude Archbishop (name), Metropolitan of Kiev and All Rus’-Ukraine.”

The Russian Orthodox Church broke eucharistic communion and all relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate over this matter earlier this week. Of the fourteen local Orthodox Churches recognized the world over, twelve have expressed the viewpoint that Constantinople’s move was in violation of the canons of the Holy Orthodox Church. Only one local Church supported Constantinople wholeheartedly, and all jurisdictions except Constantinople have appealed for an interOrthodox Synod to address and solve the Ukrainian matter in a legitimate manner.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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Walter Du Blanica
October 21, 2018

Filaret got booted out of the church because he fathered a child ( at least the woman was an adult) out of wedlock. Bartholomew is in Istanbul under Turkish rule. The Russian Orthodox Church is in Moscow . Bart is not relevant to Slavic Orthodoxy.

Walter Du Blanica
Reply to  Walter Du Blanica
October 21, 2018

Filaret was in my New Jersey home twice years ago. My late wife Dorothy Hnatkow served him dinner. Rest in peace Dorothy our daughter is married to a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church , Moscow Patriarch .

Fr Michael Ruskin
Fr Michael Ruskin
Reply to  Seraphim Hanisch
October 22, 2018

Exactly, we do not want to slander anyone. There are numerous geo-political considerations that can be used to justify or explain what is happening in places like Ukraine. The Duran is excellent in this regard, particularly, the interviews Alex Christoforou holds with editor in chief Alexander Mercouris, Peter Lavelle and other high calibre commentators. Notwithstanding this, Christians are also to be motivated by another consideration. “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth… Read more »

Ray Joseph Cormier
October 21, 2018

Religious Wars over control of Territory, seizing the Property of the other, is Anathema to the Love of the Universal Christ.
The Earth is The Lord’s and the fullness of it. This is the behavior of Pagans, not the Faithful.

The accumulated History of Human Experience tells us, Religious Wars lead to Death and Destruction, the unleashing of the Sword of God against a ‘sinful=corrupted’ Humanity.
It’s the denial of the Universal Christ, Resurrected, to save the People of this World, not perceiving what the Spirit is doing in their Materialism, blindly rushing down the Path of Destruction.

Fr Michael Ruskin
Fr Michael Ruskin
Reply to  Ray Joseph Cormier
October 22, 2018

A good observation, Ray.
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

Vince Dhimos
October 21, 2018

Erdogan has always disagreed with Russia over Crimea and Ukraine. Could he be behind this?

Ray Joseph Cormier
Reply to  Vince Dhimos
October 21, 2018

Erdogan must be walking a tightrope, trying to balance the brutal and vicious Saudi behavior toward a Journalist/Critic, and his own regime Jailing Journalists, and shutting down Media Outlets that criticize him?

Reply to  Vince Dhimos
October 22, 2018

Doubtful. This seems largely a Ukrainian issue and their niave defience of history. Add to that western trickery of exploiting local conflict and I suspect Filaret is a man tied. As for Bart I suspect a more western influence with Eddy taking a more passive stance as it may suit his ego to do so in this case.

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