One of the latest “hot” topics in the Ukrainian media was the theme of a possible split in the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (PCU). Some reason to talk about it, of course. But in General, such fears have been exaggerated. As they say, of a big cloud, small rain.
In his view, what is happening now in the DNC is the problem of the formation of the religious structure. If you recall, we note that this process was not easy. Because when you create ptsu joined several groups with their own interests. In addition, a large value was the position of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which provided for ptsu Tomos on autocephaly.
One of the key figures in this process was the Patriarch – the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate (UOC-KP). To his credit – is a skilled Church administrator. And, undoubtedly, his greatest achievement is the creation of the UOC-KP, which became the basis for ptsu.
“It is no secret that Patriarch Filaret claimed to lead the DNC, become its head. However, this was not happy with the representatives of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) and some hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church subordinated to the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) that were ready to come to the unity Council. The same can be said about the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Though not easy, but a compromise was reached. Filaret left the honorary title of Patriarch, he became a member of the Synod of the PCU. Finally, the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine, Primate of the DNC, elected Metropolitan of Pereyaslav and the UOC-KP Belotserkovsky, the rector of the Kyiv Orthodox theological Academy of the Epiphany (Dumenko). He was seen as the vicar of the Patriarch Philaret. Accordingly, the latter lobbied for his election to the Primate of the DNC,” – said the head of Kralik.
According to him, Filaret did all to “leave to remain”. In principle, nothing is strange there. A man accustomed to power, to part with her hard. Turning to the biography of this figure, we see that he, even when in critical situations, was able to maintain his power in the Church.
“Now, however, was not as was thought. Protege Filaret of Epiphany was quite independent of that Patriarch. This provoked a conflict situation. Now Filaret decided to start the game. The time seemed well chosen. After all, Petro Poroshenko, who has done a lot for the establishment of the PCU, lost the presidential election. The position of this Church, it would seem, is not quite certain. So why not try to restore the UOC-KP, which is not formally liquidated and documents which Filaret store? After all, the Primate of this Church structure, which de facto does not exist, Filaret remains on. If this had been done, he would have regained his power,” writes the rector of Ostroh Academy.
Of course, he adds, for this it was necessary to convene the Council of bishops. Filaret on the forms of the UOC-KP sent out the invitations to the bishops of the PCU to arrive at Kiev at the Vladimir Cathedral, the traditional prayer celebration in honor of the Martyr Macarius. At favorable succession of events Filaret could continue to go on carrying out of the Cathedral. The said festival would be a “test of strength”.
There was a fear that a part of the bishops who will support Filaret and will arrive to him. For example, spread a belief that it can make an influential Metropolitan of Lutsk and Volyn of Michael. The latter had obviously has support among some bishops ptsu. No wonder he applied for the post of Primate of this Church. Although it is doubtful that the Metropolitan Mikhail would become an ally of Filaret. The latter was done a lot, to Metropolitan of Lutsk and Volyn was elected head of the DNC.
On the eve of the meeting, which was supposed to be the Patriarch, some bishops and priests ptsu spoke out against the “restoration of the UOC-KP” and expressed support for the Metropolitan Epiphanios. Some didn’t. But even they did not support Filaret. After all, they had to pass a difficult path to a canonical autocephaly. And now suddenly to lose everything, to return “to normal”…
“Therefore, the prayer celebration in honor of the Martyr Macarius, in the Vladimir Cathedral came only (!) four hierarchs of the ptsu. Mostly it was a group of former parishes of the UOC-KP in Russia – Metropolitan Belgorod and Oboyan Ioasaf, his vicar Peter and Bishop Adrian. To talk about their serious influence in the ptsu is not necessary. Generally strange looks that Filaret supported the bishops from Russia, which obviously are under strict control of the Russian special services. We will not speculate about the “hand of Moscow”. But in its own way revealing that Filaret suddenly “loved” the Russian mass-media began to speak of him – if not positively, then at least neutral. That’s never happened before,” writes Peter, Kralik.
However, he said, in a prayer celebration in honor of the Martyr Macarius was Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea Clement, who suffered from persecution by the Russian authorities. However, Clement said that he came to Filaret as great respect for him. When this kind of was reluctant to support the actions of the Patriarch regarding changes in the Church.
“Thus, the attempt to “restore the UOC-KP,” and in fact a split in the DNC, failed. Of course, the situation is not very pleasant. But at the same time… hopeful. The good news is that the vast majority of bishops did not go to split. They demonstrated that for them, the PCU and Tomos, which granted this Church, is a great value. At the same time, this situation demonstrated that ptsu is not a “Filaret’s Church” and its head Epiphanius is quite independent figure. So perhaps the adherents of the UOC (MP), which dominated and dominate Antifilarials mood will gradually move to DNC,” – noted in the article.
“Attempt “recovery of the UOC-KP” blow to the credibility of Filaret. Does he understand this? Because a lot of his former supporters changed their attitude to him. However, Filaret is not going anywhere. And, whether you like it or not, he has a certain circle of admirers. In the end, in his authority work and past achievements. To destroy just so Filaret will not succeed. Despite its venerable age, that’s a toughie. He fell, but then rose and sought her in the sphere of ecclesiastical authority. Is not it better in the current situation the leadership of the DNC to find Filaret mutual understanding and compromise? After all recent events associated with the formation of the PCU show that such a compromise is possible….Although not seamless,” concludes Peter, Kralik.