A high-level delegation of Metropolitans/Bishops from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has met in Constantinople, at the Phanar, to discuss the Ukrainian crisis, specifically, the major issues of the Church in Ukraine, with the Patriarch of Constantinople.
Currently, there are three churches which claim to be Orthodox in Ukraine, however only one of them is canonical, meaning it is recognized as legitimate by the universal and organic consensus of the Orthodox Church, as The Duran has already reported. This is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, currently, lead by Metropolitan of Kiev Onufry.
The other two non-canonical sects are the so-called “Kiev Patriarchate” and the “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church”, neither of which are recognized by the international community of Orthodox Churches.
The canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, is a part of the Moscow Patriarchate, and Metropolitan Onufry is, in fact, the second highest bishop in the entire Russian Church, after Patriarch Kirill of Moscow himself.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church commemorates Patriarch Kirill in all services, and receives the Holy Myrhh from Moscow which is made by bishops according to ancient and secret recipe, however the Ukrainian Church operates with rather broad autonomy.
Truly, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has a very advantageous position within the Russian Church, and the ways in which they are stronger together are indescribable, however, the non-canonical churches attempt to destroy the church and murder her children. This was described perfectly by Patriarch Irenej of Serbia:
“The martyric Ukrainian Church—where the holy Prince Vladimir baptized the people of Holy Rus’—is now being defiled by the schismatics’ blasphemy, violence, and bloodshed,” His Holiness emphasized while accepting an award from the International Public Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox People, orthochristian.com reports.
It was because of this type of extremism used against her, the Ukrainian Church sent a delegation to the Phenar, to meet with the Patriarch of Constantinople, and to pray together and discuss solutions to the situation. There was a great concern that the radical sects were trying to gain legitimacy, and take over the property of the canonical Church, which they often do by force.
Now, we have received confirmation from Metropolitan Antony of Borispol and Brovary, the Chancellor of the Ukrainian Church, and one of her highest ranking bishops, that:
“His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew himself repeatedly said that in Ukraine there is one canonical Church headed by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry.
He dispelled many of the rumors that have been circulating these days, about what he wants to do in Ukraine as we were assured, “
Numerous sources, secular, and official Church news networks have reported that Patriarch Bartholomew has communicated to Metropolitan Antony there is no way to legalize the schism in Ukraine. There is only one Ukrainian Church, as the Union of Orthodox Journalists reports:
“It was repeatedly said about the impossibility of legalizing the schism, the question should be raised about the cure,” said Metropolitan Anthony. “Figuratively speaking, sometimes medicines do not help, and now we are in search of something that will help unite our brothers who have long been outside the church fence; and we see that the desire of the Patriarch of Constantinople – the Church in which we were baptized – is to help in this matter.”
According to the Chancellor of the UOC, Patriarch Bartholomew stressed that he does not want to interfere in the situation, but at the same time he wants to help solve the complex “Ukrainian issue”. “We must do everything to ensure that our brothers and compatriots who are in schism will return to the bosom of the Orthodox Church,” concluded Bishop Anthony.
“Actually, it was stated several times today that legalizing the schism is out of the question. We are currently looking for those medicines, which will help unite and integrate our brothers who have been behind the church fence for a long time,” he told the 112 Ukraine TV channel.
According to Metropolitan Antony, Patriarch Bartholomew “is reluctant to interfere in the situation.” “However, as a responsible person, as the first among the equal patriarchs of the entire Orthodox Christian world, he wants to help resolve this complex issue.” He added that the problem would be handled on the basis of the canonical rules. The patriarch paid particular attention to statements made by some high-ranking officials that the Tomos had allegedly been signed. “It was even said that those who say that the Tomos has been written are working against the Church of Constantinople,” the metropolitan stressed.
Hearing word from the highest sources, that Patriarch Bartholomew has said this allows for all the faithful of the entire Russian church worldwide, including the Ukrainian Church, to rest a little easier. It must be said, that Patriarch Bartholomew is not the “pope” of Orthodoxy; Orthodoxy has no single bishop above all others, but his voice is very influential with soft power.
Patriarch Bartholomew has now made it clear that he supports the canonical Church, does not wish to interfere, but would be happy to assist the canonical Church in attempting reconciliation at their request.
For some time, there has been a great concern raised by many, that Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople was sympathetic to the idea of creating a single national church in Ukraine, which could make the Non-Canonical Churches canonical by joining them to it. In this model, they would theoretically become legitimized, simply by becoming a part of his church and by his decree, however this move would be highly controversial.
This is exactly what the forces which have illegally taken power in Kiev want, as President Poroshenko has repeatedly called for this.
It must be said, that President Poroshenko has a lot in common with members of the nationalist, non-canonical churches, especially self-proclaimed “Patriarch” Filaret. They both happen to believe that all those who don’t support their Neo-Nazi vision, including children, deserve to die.
Jesse Dominick has reported on this subject very keenly:
As orthochristian.com reports, the self-proclaimed “Patriarch” Philaret Denisenko of the “Kiev Patriarchate,” the darling of all Ukrainian nationalists, publicly preached in November 2016 that Donbass residents affected by the ongoing conflict there are to blame for their afflictions, due to their “sin of federalization,” and deserve to die:
Dominick is, of course, referring to that horrifying moment, when the so-called religious leader Filaret said:
We should not think that the population of Donbass is innocent in these sufferings. It is guilty! And it must expiate its guilt by torment and blood.
Not only are Filaret’s calls for Donbass people to “drown in their own blood” as “penitence” disgusting, and a sign of severe mental disorder, if not demonic possession, but they are also similar to President Poroshenko, who said “they” will win the war in Ukraine, when:
Our Children will go to school – theirs (Eastern Ukrainians) will be hiding in bomb shelters
For those people who are not religious, and therefore do not care about our Orthodox Faith, I remind you this is not merely an issue for religious people. The non-canonical churches are filled with dangerous psychopaths who believe Ukrainian children deserve to drown in blood.
The best part is – Filaret is no Western Ukrainian holdout, with ties to an old lineage of independent Ukrainian bishops, during the Soviet Era, and the early 90s, he was a normal Russian bishop, born in Donbass, who was upset he was not elected Metropolitan of Kiev, and so he formed a nationalist church. He is an opportunist.
Metropolitan Onufry is practically a living Saint, he is the definition of what we call, and he is ironically born in Western Ukraine.
The difference between the deranged Filaret, and the exceptionally blessed and beloved Vladica Onufry, is so evident if you’ve ever heard them speak, or even seen their eyes. This difference was perfectly summed up in this English language translation of a great article on the official news agency of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The article was called “Light and darkness, Metropolitan Onufry and Filaret”.
Indeed, this is not the only day and night difference that can be observed in the Ukrainian Church, as there is also the matter of the population. Now that Neo-Nazis have taken over power in Ukraine, it must be said that the canonical church does not have even close to the same number of believers as the radical groups…
The Canonical Church is totally different…
The Canonical Church outnumbers them by far.
Don’t believe me, here is a simple video that shows just how far the canonical church towers over the Neo-Nazi sects – the canonical Church has the support of the people. The video below, shows the All-Ukrainian Cross Procession to Saint Vladimir’s Hill on the Feast of the Baptism of Holy Rus’. For the first three minutes, you will see over one hundred thousand faithful members of the canonical Church. After three minutes, the video lets you compare this to the tiny horde of nationalists who had around 2000 people.
Such massive processions are normal events in Ukraine and Russia, as evidenced by the videos below (which only show the canonical Church). The Church easily attracts tens of thousands of people for these long and difficult pilgrimages on foot hundreds of kilometers. This shows that the people can tell good from evil.
It is worth noting, that many Orthodox people believe the events in Ukraine were prophesied by Saint Lavrenty of Chernigov (Ukraine) who reposed (died) in 1950. Saint Lavrenty predicted the schism and fighting in Ukraine, but also said God would use it to drive evil out of the church, and unite the Russian lands and Church. Here are some of Saint Lavrenty’s words, spoken in our times, which eerily match up with events in Ukraine.
He spoke of a great persecution in his homeland, in the Ukraine, after “a little freedom comes”. Seeing as Saint Lavrenty lived in both the Imperial and the Soviet period, many people believe this little freedom meant the end of Communism, which would coincide with events that occurred. After the Soviet Union fell, this schism began in Ukraine.
“St. Lawrence’s Prophetic Words About Heresies and Schisms in the Ukrainian Church”4
“When a little freedom appears, when the churches and monasteries are being opened and restored, then all false teaching will come out, and the demons and secret atheists (Catholics, Uniates, Ukrainian self-ordained, and others) and will fiercely take up arms against the Orthodox Russian Church, its unity and its conciliar nature.5
A godless authority will support these heretics, and therefore they will take churches away from the Orthodox and slaughter the faithful.
The whole world will be amazed at his lawlessness and will be frightened.
But all these slanders of the evil one and false teachings will disappear in Russia, and there will be One Orthodox Russian Church.”
Elder Lawrence’s Words about Rus’, about the Concept of “Russian,” about Heresies and Schisms, and about Faithfulness to the Mother-Church7
St. Lawrence spoke emphatically and strictly, with warning, that the word for our native land and people is Rus’ and Russian.8 “And it’s absolutely necessary to know, remember, and not forget that it was the Baptism of Rus’ (Russia), and not the baptism of Ukraine. Kiev is a second Jerusalem and the mother of Russian cities. Kievan Rus’ was together with Great Russia. Kiev without Great Russia and separate from Russia is completely unthinkable.
Saint Lavrenty felt strongly that the name Ukraine was forced on the people, in order to make them forget their connection to Kievan Rus’, saying foreign powers did this “so that we would be torn away from Holy and Orthodox Rus’ forever.” You can read the entire prophecies from Saint Lavrenty here, at Orthochristian.
The international Orthodox community understands the plot of neo-Nazis to create a single national Church in Ukraine, which in their design, would be a nationalist club to bless and legitimize their politics, as Uniate (Eastern Catholic) clergy blessed the Nazi soldiers of the Uniate Bandera, who allied with Hitler in WW2.
The long-suffering Ukrainian lands are part of the Ancient Lands of Rus’ or Holy Russia. In the words of Saint Lavrenty of Chernigov.
“As it is impossible to divide the Most Holy Trinity, Father and Son and Holy Spirit, for it is One God, so also it is impossible to divide Russia, the Ukraine and Belorussia, for these together are Holy Rus’. Know, remember, and do not forget.”
Those words will forever remain true. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church will bring Sobornost’ (unity) to the lands of Kievan Rus’. Nothing, not even death can destroy the Church, for she already conquered death.
The Orthodox Church is built on the blood of the martyrs. I sometimes wonder if the Church’s enemies realize she survived the Mongols, the Ottomans, Napoleon, the Bolsheviks, and Hitler, and she survives to this day in Syria. This persecution in Ukraine will also pass, but the Church is eternal, she will outlast.
Attempts to destroy Russia in the last few centuries have given her millions of martyrs praying before the throne of God, interceding on Russia’s behalf.
Holy Rus’ is still alive, no matter how much she suffers, she survives. Whenever evil forces believe they will bring down darkness upon Holy Rus’, they must remember that the works and words of her Saints have resounded harmoniously throughout the Russians lands.
They are like little embers from an old fire, like echoes from the bygone years, dancing across the Ukrainian steppes. This is the heritage of Holy Rus’, a light shining in the darkness, bought ages ago to Crimea and Kiev by luminaries from Constantinople, Anatolia, and Syria – deliverers of the Orthodox Faith.
The Baptism of Rus occurred in Kiev – what makes these Nazis think the Church is afraid of them – after all, she already survived Hitler. The Neo-Nazis are just a pale imitation. They will find it is fascism which will fade like dew before the Bright Sun – a play on the words of the Ukrainian national anthem, the term “Bright Sun” being a term for Saint Vladimir of Kiev.
If you ever need a reminder what is the difference between the heretics and the Canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, just save this picture. Those who dwell in darkness can’t understand light, but once you’ve seen light, you’ll never forget what it looks like.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.