|Date||15 October 2018–|
|Also known as||Orthodox Church schism of 2018|
|Cause||Decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to:|
1. grant autocephaly to Ukraine in the future
2. reestablish a stauropegion in Kiev
3. revoke the legal binding of the letter of 1686 which led to the Russian Orthodox Church establishing jurisdiction over the Ukrainian Church
4. lift the excommunications which affected clergy and faithful of two unrecognized Ukrainian Orthodox churches (the UAOC and the UOC-KP)
|Participants||Main: Ecumenical Patriarchate |
Russian Orthodox Church
Minor: Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate
Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church
Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)
|Outcome||1. The Russian Orthodox Church severed full communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 15 October 2018|
2. Creation on 15 December 2018 after a unification council conveyed by the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine
3. Creation on 28 December 2018 by the Russian Orthodox Church of two exarchates: the PEWE and the PESEA
4. Autocephaly granted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine on 5 January 2019
|Part of a series on the|
|Eastern Orthodox Church|
The Moscow–Constantinople schism,also known as the Orthodox Church schism of 2018, is a schism which began on 15 October 2018 when the Russian Orthodox Church unilaterally severed full communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. This was done in response to a decision of the synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 11 October 2018 which confirmed the intention of moving towards granting autocephaly (independence) to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, to reestablish a stauropegion (church body ruled directly by the Ecumenical Patriarch) in Kiev, to revoke the legal binding of the letter of 1686 which led to the Russian Orthodox Church establishing jurisdiction over the Ukrainian Church, and to lift the excommunications which affected clergy and faithful of two unrecognized Ukrainian Orthodox churches. Those two churches, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP), were competing with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) (UOC-MP) and were considered "schismatics" (illegally segregated groups) by the Patriarchate of Moscow, as well as by the other Orthodox churches.
The Russian Orthodox Church, alternatively legally known as the Moscow Patriarchate, is one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Christian churches. The Primate of the ROC is the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus'. The ROC, as well as the primate thereof, officially ranks fifth in the Orthodox order of precedence, immediately below the four ancient patriarchates of the Greek Orthodox Church, those of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. Since 15 October 2018, the ROC is not in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, having unilaterally severed ties in reaction to the establishment of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which was finalised by the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 5 January 2019.
Full communion is a communion or relationship of full understanding among different Christian denominations that share certain essential principles of Christian theology. Views vary among denominations on exactly what constitutes full communion, but typically when two or more denominations are in full communion it enables services and celebrations, such as the Eucharist, to be shared among congregants or clergy of any of them with the full approval of each.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is one of the fifteen autocephalous churches that together compose the Eastern Orthodox Church. It is headed by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, currently Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople.
In its synod on 14 September 2018, the Moscow Patriarchate had broken off participation in any episcopal assemblies, theological discussions, multilateral commissions, and any other structures that are chaired or co-chaired by representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.In its statement of 15 October, the Russian Orthodox Church barred all members of the Moscow Patriarchate from taking part in communion, baptism, and marriage at any church controlled by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The bond uniting Christians as individuals and groups with each other and with Jesus is described as communion.
Baptism is a Christian rite of admission and adoption, almost invariably with the use of water, into Christianity. The synoptic gospels recount that John the Baptist baptised Jesus. Baptism is considered a sacrament in most churches, and as an ordinance in others. Baptism is also called christening, although some reserve the word "christening" for the baptism of infants. It has also given its name to the Baptist churches and denominations.
Marriage is the legally or formally recognized intimate and complementing union of two people as spousal partners in a personal relationship.
The schism forms part of a wider political conflict involving Russia's 2014 annexation of the Crimea and its military intervention in Ukraine, as well as Ukraine's desire to join the European Union and NATO.This schism is reminiscent of the Moscow–Constantinople schism of 1996 over canonical jurisdiction over Estonia, which was however resolved after less than three months.
The Crimean Peninsula was annexed by the Russian Federation in February–March 2014 and since then has been administered as two Russian federal subjects—the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol. The annexation from Ukraine followed a Russian military intervention in Crimea that took place in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution and was part of wider unrest across southern and eastern Ukraine.
In February 2014, Russia made several military incursions into Ukrainian territory. After Euromaidan protests and the fall of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, Russian soldiers without insignias took control of strategic positions and infrastructure within the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. Russia then annexed Crimea after an unlawful referendum in which Crimeans voted to join the Russian Federation, according to Russian official results. In April, demonstrations by pro-Russian groups in the Donbass area of Ukraine escalated into an armed conflict between the Ukrainian government and the Russia-backed separatist forces of the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics. In August, Russian military vehicles crossed the border in several locations of Donetsk Oblast. The incursion by the Russian military was seen as responsible for the defeat of Ukrainian forces in early September.
The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. It has an area of 4,475,757 km2 (1,728,099 sq mi) and an estimated population of about 513 million. The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency.
After the baptism of Rus'these lands were under the control of the Metropolitan of Kiev. Among the 24 metropolitans who held the throne before the Mongol invasion, only two were of local origin and the rest were Greek. Usually, they were appointed by Constantinople and were not chosen by the bishops of their dioceses, as it should be done according to the canon. After the Mongol invasion, the southern part of Rus' was heavily devastated and the disintegration of Kievan Rus' accelerated. Metropolitan Kirill III, who occupied the throne for 30 years, spent almost all of his time in the lands of Vladimir-Suzdal Rus' and visited Kiev only twice, although earlier he had come from Galicia and had been nominated for the post of Metropolitan by the prince Daniel of Galicia. After the new Mongol raid in 1299, Metropolitan Maksim finally moved to Vladimir in the north, and did not even leave a bishop behind. In 1303 a new cathedra was created for south-west Rus' in Galicia and the new Metropolitan was consecrated by Constantinople, but its existence ended in 1355 after the Galicia–Volhynia Wars. In 1325, Metropolitan Peter moved to Moscow, thus greatly contributing to the rise of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, which gradually conquered other Russian principalities in the northeast of the former Kievan Rus'. Another part of Kievan Rus' gradually came under the rule of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland, which entered into rivalry with Moscow. In particular, the Grand Dukes of Lithuania sought from Constantinople a separate Metropolitan for the Orthodox who lived in their lands. Although the Metropolitan in Moscow continued to retain the title of "Metropolitan of Kiev and All Rus'", he could not rule the Orthodox outside the borders of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Constantinople twice agreed to create a separate Metropolitan for Lithuania, but these decisions were not permanent, Constantinople being inclined to maintain a single church government on the lands of the former Kievan Rus'.
As part of the Mongol invasion of Europe, the Mongol Empire invaded Kievan Rus' in the 13th century, destroying numerous cities, including Ryazan, Kolomna, Moscow, Vladimir and Kiev.
The word diocese is derived from the Greek term dioikesis (διοίκησις) meaning "administration". Today, when used in an ecclesiastical sense, it refers to the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop.
Ruthenia is an exonym, originally used in Medieval Latin as one of several designations for East Slavic regions, and most commonly as a designation for the lands of Rus'. During the early modern period, the term also acquired several specific meanings.
In 1439, Constantinople entered into union with the Roman Catholic Church. In Moscow, this decision was rejected outright, and Metropolitan Isidor, consecrated by Constantinople, was accused in heresy, imprisoned, and later expelled.In 1448, the council of north-eastern Russian clergy in Moscow, at the behest of prince Vasily II of Moscow, elected Jonah the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Rus' without the consent of the Patriarch of Constantinople. In 1469 Patriarch Dionysius I stated that Constantinople would not recognize any metropolitan ordained without its blessing. Meanwhile, the metropolis of Kiev (de facto in Novogrudok) stayed under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Moscow's de facto independence from Constantinople remained unrecognized until 1589 when Patriarch of Constantinople Jeremiah II approved the creation of a new, fifth Orthodox Patriarchate in Moscow. This decision was finally confirmed by the four older Patriarchs in 1593.
The Seventeenth Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church was convoked as the Council of Basel by Pope Martin V shortly before his death in February 1431 and took place in the context of the Hussite wars in Bohemia and the rise of the Ottoman Empire. At stake was the greater conflict between the Conciliar movement and the principle of papal supremacy.
Isidore of Kiev, also known as Isidore of Thessalonica was a Byzantine Greek Metropolitan of Kiev, cardinal, humanist, and theologian. He was one of the chief Eastern defenders of reunion at the time of the Council of Florence.
Heresy in Christianity denotes the formal denial or doubt of a core doctrine of the Christian faith as defined by one or more of the Christian churches.
The Patriarch of Moscow became the head of "all Russia and Northern countries",and Chernihiv (now in Ukraine) was one of his dioceses. However, he had no power among the Orthodox bishops of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, who remained under the rule of Constantinople. At the same time, the Orthodox hierarchs of those lands were inclined to the Union with Rome, despite the resistance of their parishes, who formed the Orthodox brotherhoods (or fraternities) to keep their identity. On the way from Moscow, Jeremiah II visited the lands of present-day Ukraine and committed an unprecedented act, granting Stauropegia (direct subordination to Patriarch) to many Orthodox brotherhoods. This provoked the anger of the local bishops and soon the Union of Brest was proclaimed, which was supported by the majority of the Orthodox bishops of the Commonwealth, including Metropolitan Michail Rogoza. Officially, the Orthodox (but not the Uniate, subordinated to Rome) Metropolis of Kiev in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was eliminated and re-established only in 1620, in subsequent co-existence with Uniate Metropolis. That led to sharp conflict and numerous revolts culminating in the Khmelnytsky uprising.
Chernihiv also known as Chernigov is a historic city in northern Ukraine, which serves as the administrative center of the Chernihiv Oblast (province), as well as of the surrounding Chernihiv Raion (district) within the oblast. Administratively, it is incorporated as a city of oblast significance. Population: 294,727 (2015 est.)
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth – formally, the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and, after 1791, the Commonwealth of Poland – was a dual state, a bi-confederation of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch, who was both King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. It was one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th– to 17th-century Europe. At its largest territorial extent, in the early 17th century, the Commonwealth covered almost 400,000 square miles (1,000,000 km2) and sustained a multi-ethnic population of 11 million.
The Union of Brest, or Union of Brześć, was the 1595-96 decision of the Ruthenian Orthodox Church eparchies (dioceses) in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to break relations with the Eastern Orthodox Church and to enter into communion with, and place itself under the authority of the Pope of Rome. The Eparchy of Mukachevo that was located in the Kingdom of Hungary was left out of the process.
In 1654, Russia entered the war with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; it quickly occupied, for a while, the lands of present Belarus, and gained some power over the Hetmanate pursuant to the Pereyaslav Agreement (1654). The official title of Patriarch Nikon of Moscow was "Patriarch of Moscow and all Greater, Lesser, and White Russia". However, the Metropolitan of Kiev Sylvester Kossov had managed to defend his independence from the Moscow Patriarchate. The Moscow government, which needed the support of the Orthodox clergy, postponed the resolution of this issue.
In 1686, Ecumenical Patriarch Dionysius IV approved the new Metropolitan of Kiev, Gedeon Chetvertinsky, who would be ordained by the Moscow Patriarchate and thus transferred, albeit with certain qualifications, a part of the Kiev ecclesiastical province to the jurisdiction of Patriarchate of Moscow (the Russian Orthodox Church).
In the 1924 Tomos (decree) of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which granted independence to the Polish Orthodox Church, the previous transfer of the Kyivan Church to the jurisdiction of Moscow (in 1685–1686) was declared uncanonical.In addition, the decree pointed out that the conditions of the synodal "Act" of 1686 – which specified that the Russian Orthodox Church was only to consecrate the Metropolitan of Kiev – were never adhered to by the Patriarchate of Moscow.
The historical rivalry between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church intensified after the Cold War. Indeed, after the Cold War, Moscow and Istanbul both emerged as "two centers of Orthodox power".
The Patriarchate of Constantinople claims that:
1. The [Ecumenical] Patriarch had the right to establish a court of final appeal for any case from anywhere in the Orthodox world.
2. The [Ecumenical] Patriarch had the exclusive right to summon the other Patriarchs and heads of Autocephalous Churches to a joint meeting of all of them.
3. The [Ecumenical] Patriarch has jurisdiction, ecclesiastical authority over Orthodox Christians who are outside the territory of the local Orthodox Churches, the so-called diaspora.
4. No new "Autocephalous" Church can come into being without the consent of the Patriarch of Constantinople; this consent should express the consensus of the local Orthodox Churches.
Russkiy Mir (literally "Russian world") is an ideology promoted by many in the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church. "This ideology, concocted as a reaction to the loss of Russian control over Ukraine and Belarus after the fall of the Soviet Union, seeks to assert a spiritual and cultural unity of the peoples descended from the Kievan Rus, presumably under Russian leadership."Patriarch Kiril of Moscow also shares this ideology; for the Russian Orthodox Church, the Russkiy Mir is also "a spiritual concept, a reminder that through the baptism of Rus , God consecrated these people to the task of building a Holy Rus ."
The Moscow–Constantinople schism of 1996 began on 23 February 1996, when the Russian Orthodox Church severed full communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople,and ended on 16 May 1996 when the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate reached an agreement establishing parallel jurisdictions. The excommunication was in response to the Ecumenical Patriarchate's decision on 20 February 1996 to reestablish an autonomous Orthodox church in Estonia under the Ecumenical Patriarchate's canonical jurisdiction.
The 1996 schism has similarities with the schism of October 2018: both schisms were caused by a dispute between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate concerning the canonical jurisdiction over a territory in Eastern Europe over which the Russian Orthodox Church claimed to have the exclusive canonical jurisdiction, such territory being a part of the former Soviet Union, which upon its collapse had become an independent state (Ukraine in 2018, Estonia in 1996). The break of communion in 1996 was made by Moscow unilaterally, as in 2018.
On 14 September 2018, in response to the appointment of two exarchs (deputies of the Ecumenical Patriarch) in Ukraine (Daniel (Zelinsky) and Hilarion (Rudnyk)), and in response to the Ecumenical Patriarchate's plans to grant autocephalous status to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, the synod of Russian Orthodox Church held an extraordinary session to take "retaliatory measures" and decided:
1. To suspend the liturgical prayerful commemoration of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.
2. To suspend concelebration with hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
3. To suspend the participation of the Russian Orthodox Church in all Episcopal Assemblies, theological dialogues, multilateral commissions and other structures chaired or co-chaired by representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
4. To adopt a statement of the Holy Synod concerning the uncanonical actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine.
A statement was released the same day explaining the situation and the sanctions taken to protest against the Ecumenical Patriarch's behavior.On the same day, Metropolitan Hilarion clarified the situation in an interview, stating that this decision is not a rupture of Eucharistic communion and does not concern the laity, but nonetheless added:
But we refuse to concelebrate with hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Constantinople since every time they mention the name of their Patriarch during the liturgy while we have suspended it. [...]
We do not think, of course, that all this will finally shut the door for dialogue, but our today's decision is a signal to the Patriarchate of Constantinople that if the actions of this kind continue, we will have to break the Eucharistic communion entirely. [...]
[A]fter the breaking-off of the Eucharistic communion, at least a half of this 300-million-strong population will no longer recognize him as even the first among equals.
On 23 September 2018 Patriarch Bartholomew, during a mass he was celebrating in the Saint Fokas Orthodox Church declared that he "had sent a message that Ukraine would receive autocephaly as soon as possible, since it is entitled to it"
On 30 September 2018, in an interview to Izvestia Daily published on the official website of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion commented: "The Russian Church does not need to fear isolation. If Constantinople continues its anti-canonical actions, it will place itself outside the canonical space, outside the understanding of church order that distinguishes the Orthodox Church."
On 2 October, Patriarch Kirill of the ROC sent a letter to all the autocephalous Orthodox churches to ask them to hold a "Pan-Orthodox discussion" concerning the question of Ukraine's autocephaly.
On 5 October, the Metropolitan Pavel, head of the Belarusian Orthodox Church (exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church), announced the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on 15 October in Minsk. He said that "The situation with the Orthodox Church in Ukraine will be on the agenda of the meeting".This meeting had been announced previously on 7 January 2018 and was at the time "most likely to take place in mid October."
On 9 October, Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church warned that "if the project for Ukrainian autocephaly is carried through, it will mean a tragic and possibly irretrievable schism of the whole Orthodoxy." He added that
ignoring sacred canons shakes up the whole system of the church organism. Schismatics in other Local Churches are well aware that if autocephaly is given to the Ukrainian schismatics, it will be possible to repeat the same scenario anywhere. That is why we state that autocephaly in Ukraine will not be "the healing of the schism" but its legalization and encouragement.
On 11 October 2018 the synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate announced that it would grant autocephaly to the "Church of Ukraine".This decision led the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church to break communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 15 October 2018, which marked the beginning of the 2018 Moscow–Constantinople schism. Support for the grant of autocephaly had been expressed by the Ukrainian President and the Verkhovna Rada in June 2018.
On 15 December 2018, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) was formed after a unification council between the UAOC, the UOC-KP, and two bishops of the UOC-MP; Epiphanius was elected primate of the OCU during this unification council.. Most of the hierarchs of the UOC-MP ignored the council and over half of them had sent invites back to the Ecumenical Patriarch. On 5 January 2019, Bartholomew I, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, signed the official decree (tomos) that granted autocephaly (independence) to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and officially established the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. On 6 January, after a Liturgy celebrated by Metropolitan Epiphanius and Patriarch Bartholomew, Partriarch Bartholomew read the tomos of the OCU and then gave it to Metropolitan Epiphanius.
On 15 October 2018, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, meeting in Minsk, decided to cut all ties with the Constantinople Patriarchate. This decision forbade joint participation in all sacraments, including communion, baptism, and marriage, at any church worldwide controlled by Constantinople.At the time of the schism, the Russian Orthodox Church had over 150 million followers, more than half of all Eastern Orthodox Christians. The same day, after the synod, a briefing for journalists was given by Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, in which he declared that "the decision on complete cessation of the Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople was taken today."
The break of communion was done in response to a decision of the synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 11 October 2018which confirmed the intention of moving towards granting autocephaly (independence) to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, to reestablish a stauropegion (church body ruled directly by the Ecumenical Patriarch) in Kiev, to revoke the legal binding of the letter of 1686 which led to the Russian Orthodox Church establishing jurisdiction over the Ukrainian Church, and to lift the excommunications which affected clergy and faithful of two unrecognized Ukrainian Orthodox churches. Those two churches, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP), were competing with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) (UOC-MP) and were considered "schismatics" (illegally segregated groups) by the Patriarchate of Moscow, as well as by the other Orthodox churches.
Doctor in theology Cyrill Govorunof the UOC-MP argued that the break of communion between the churches of Moscow and Constantinople did not constitute a real schism (like the schism of 1054), but a "slit". The American Protestant magazine Christianity Today called the break of communion between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church the "biggest schism since 1054" and "the biggest Christian schism since the Protestant Reformation"
On 12 November the first priest was sent by Patriarch Kirill to Istanbul (Turkey) "at the request of Russian believers who live in Turkey".On 14 December the Ecumenical Patriarchate published an announce of Metropolitan Sotirios of Pisidia in which he condemned the plans of the ROC priest to celebrate a mass in Belek (Turkey) with the help of the Russian consulate and without the permission of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which has canonical jurisdiction over this territory.
On 26 November, Metropolitan Hilarion declared that the ROC would send a priest in South Korea and declared the plans "to create a full-fledged parish", because until the 1950s in Korea was a Russian Spiritual Mission whose faithful were in the 1950s transferred to the Ecumenical Patriarchate's jurisdiction. The priest was scheduled to be sent by the end of the year.
On 27 November 2018 the Ecumenical Patriarchate decided to dissolve the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe (AROCWE) "thereby entrusting its faithful to the Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne in Europe".This decision was made without any official requests from the hierarchs of the diocese and caused confusion. On 15 December Pastoral Assembly of AROCWE decided to call an extraordinary General Assembly, scheduled for 23 February 2019. This General Assembly will discuss the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to dissolve the AROCWE. ROC officials responded with a reminder of the 2003 proposal of Alexy II to move to the Moscow Patriarchate.
On 28 December 2018, in response to the Ecumenical Patriarchate's actions in Ukraine,the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church decided to create "a Patriarchal Exarchate in Western Europe with the center in Paris", "a diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church in Spain and Portugal with the center in Madrid" as well as "a Patriarchal Exarchate in South-East Asia with the center in Singapore." On the same day, in an interview with Russia-24 channel, Metropolitan Hilarion, spokesman of the ROC, declared the ROC "will now act as if they [ Constantinople] do not exist at all because our purpose is missionary, our task is to educate, we are creating these structures for ministerial care about our flock, there can be no such deterring factors here", and that the ROC will take charge of the Orthodox faithfuls of its diaspora instead of the Eumenical Patriarchate.
On 30 December, Interfax reported that the ROC was building a church on the territory of the embassy of Russia in Ankara.Turkey is part of the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
On 7 January 2019, during the festive Christmas liturgy in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Patriarch Kirill of the ROC did not mention a single name of the primates of other local Orthodox Churches, with whom the ROC is in canonical communion. Such commemoration (in Greek, it is called "diptych") is demanded by a church charter and is a centuries-old tradition. In contrast to this, the head of the newly created Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epiphanius, solemnly listed the names of all the primates, including the "Most Holy Patriarch of Russia Kirill".
On 13 February 2019, bishop Guedeon (Kharon) of the UOC-MP, who had went to the USA to complain about pressures made by the Ukrainian state against the UOC-MP, was arrested by the SBU when he came back to the Kiev airport for "promoting Russia’s military aggression against the country and holding a second passport, reportedly American."On 14 February, after having been interrogated during the night of 13 February, the bishop was sent back to the Frankfurt airport where he came from. Guedeon cannot enter on the territory of Ukraine for three years as he is being charged of "anti-Ukrainian activities". The bishop has also been stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship.
On 26 February, during the first 2019 session of the Holy synod of the Moscow Patriarchate,the Holy synod adopted a statement saying that the granting of the tomos by the Ecumenical Patriarchate "to the so-called "Orthodox church of Ukraine," created artificially by a merger of two schismatic organizations, deepened the division between Orthodox Christians in Ukraine and worsened ever more considerably the inter-confessional relations." The ROC also blamed the action of the Ukrainian parliament regarding the UOC-MP.
Numerous Orthodox churches took position concerning the question of the canonical jurisdiction over Ukraine, whether before or after this schism.
The schism has its root in a dispute over who between the Patriarchate of Moscow and the Patriarchate of Constantinople has canonical jurisdiction over the See of Kyiv (Kiev) and, therefore, which patriarchate has canonical jurisdiction over the territory of Ukraine. "[T]he principal argument proposed [concerning the granting of the ecclesiastical status of autocephaly to Ukraine by the Ecumenical Patriarchate] is that Ukraine "constitutes the canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Moscow" and that, consequently, such an act on the part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate would comprise an "intervention" into a foreign ecclesiastical jurisdiction."The Patriarchate of Moscow's claim of canonical jurisdiction is based mostly on two documents: the Patriarchal and Synodal “Act” or “Letter of Issue” of 1686, and a 1686 Patriarchal Letter to the Kings of Russia. Both those documents are reproduced in the "Appendix" section of a study published by the Ecumenical Patriarch called The Ecumenical Throne and the Ukrainian Church – The Documents Speak. The Church of Constantinople claims the Church of Constantinople has canonical jurisdiction over the See of Kyiv and that the documents upon which the Russian Orthodox Church bases its claim of jurisdiction over said See of Kyiv do not support the ROC's claim.
On 1 July 2018, the Patriarch Bartholomew said that Constantinople was the Mother church of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and declared that
Constantinople never ceded the territory of Ukraine to anyone by means of some ecclesiastical Act, but only granted to the Patriarch of Moscow the right of ordination or transfer of the Metropolitan of Kiev on the condition that the Metropolitan of Kiev should be elected by a Clergy-Laity Congress and commemorate the Ecumenical Patriarch. [It is written] in the Tomos of autocephaly, which was granted by the Mother Church [Constantinople] to the Church of Poland: "... original separation from our Throne of the Metropolis of Kiev and of the two Orthodox churches of Lithuania and Poland, which depend on it, and their annexation to the Holy Church of Moscow, in no way occurred according to the binding canonical regulations, nor was the agreement respected concerning the full ecclesial independence of the Metropolitan of Kiev, who bears the title of Exarch of the Ecumenical Throne..."
The ROC considers this argument "groundless".
The Ecumenical Patriarchate issued a document authored by various clerics and theologians called The Ecumenical Throne and the Ukrainian Church – The Documents Speak.This document analyzes canonical historic documents (namely the Patriarchal and Synodal "Act" or "Letter of Issue" of 1686 and the 1686 Patriarchal Letter to the Kings of Russia) to see if the claim over the See of Kyiv by the Patriarch of Moscow is canonical or not. The date of publication of this document is unknown, but the earliest online version can be found on 28 September 2018 on the website of the Greek Orthodox Archidiocese of America in PDF in English as well as in Greek. In September 2018, the Holy Orthodox Archdiocese of Italy and Malta issued a translation which was on 17 October published on the official Italian website of the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe. The Ecumenical Throne and the Ukrainian Church was translated in Ukrainian as of 6 October 2018.
TheEcumenical Throneand the Ukrainian Church concludes that:
Through the autocratic abolition of the commemoration of the Ecumenical Patriarch by each Metropolitan of Kyiv, the de jure dependence of the Metropolis of Kyiv (and the Church of Ukraine) on the Ecumenical Patriarchate was arbitrarily rendered an annexation and amalgamation of Ukraine to the Patriarchate of Moscow.
All these events took place in a period when the Ecumenical Throne was in deep turmoil and incapable "on account of the circumstances of the time to raise its voice against such capricious actions" ... The Church of Ukraine never ceased to constitute de jure canonical territory of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. ...
The Ecumenical Patriarchate was always aware of this despite the fact that, "on account of the circumstances of the time", it tolerated the arbitrary actions by the Patriarchate of Moscow. ...
The Ecumenical Patriarchate is entitled and obliged to assume the appropriate maternal care for the Church of Ukraine in every situation where this is deemed necessary.
Constantin Vetochnikov, two PhD in theology, PhD in history and member of the Collège de France,who participated in Augustus 2016 to the 23rd International Congress of Byzantine Studies in Belgrade where he made a report on the subject of the transfer of the See of Kyiv, and who helped the Ecumenical Patriarchate on The Ecumenical Throne and the Ukrainian Church, declared on 27 December 2016 that the transfer of the See of Kyiv from the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the authority of the Russian Orthodox Church "never took place".
Later, Vetoshnikov made an analysis of the arguments of the Russian Orthodox Church. He pointed out that, according to the strict dogmatic approach (akribeia, ἀκρίβεια), the whole territory of Russia was originally subjected to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. After the Muscovy had gone into the schism in the 15th century, it received autocephaly according to a more flexible approach (oikonomia, οἰκονομία) to heal this schism. The Metropolitan of Kiev at the same time remained within the jurisdiction of Constantinople. Then, also according to the oikonomia approach, the right to ordain Metropolitans of Kiev was transferred to the Patriarch of Moscow. This was not a change in the boundaries of the Moscow Patriarchate eparchy, as it was issued by a document of a lower level (ekdosis, ἐκδόσεως), which was used for various temporary solutions. For pastoral reasons, the Ecumenical Patriarchate subsequently did not assert its rights to this territory. But after the collapse of the Soviet Union there was a split among the Orthodox of Ukraine and the Russian Church for 30 years failed to overcome this split. And now, also for pastoral reasons, the Ecumenical Patriarchate was forced to act in accordance with the principle of akribeia, and so it decided to abolish the right to ordain Metropolitans of Kiev which had been earlier transferred to the Moscow Patriarchate in accordance with oikonomia.
On 20 August 2018, the pro-Moscow anonymous site Union of Orthodox Journalistsanalysed the Ecumenical Patriarchate's claim of jurisdiction over Ukraine and concluded the See of Kyiv had been transferred to the Patriarchate of Moscow. They added that even if the Ecumenical Patriarchate decided to abrogate the 1686 transfer, the territory covered in 1686 by the See of Kyiv's territory was "a far cry from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of today" and covered less than half of Ukraine's current territory.
In its 15 October 2018 official statement, the Russian Orthodox Church gave counterarguments to the Ecumenical Patriarch's arguments.
Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations, declared in an interview that Constantinople's plan to "grant Autocephaly to a part of the Russian Orthodox Church ... that once was subordinate to Constantinople ... runs counter to historic truth". His argument is that the entire territory of Ukraine has not been under Constantinople's jurisdiction for 300 years because the Kiev metropolis that was incorporated into the Moscow Patriarchate in 1686 was much smaller (it did not include Donbass, Odessa and some other regions) and therefore does not coincide with the present-day territory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. A similar argument was given on 13 November in a live phone interview to Radio Liberty by the Head of the Information and Education Department of the UOC-MP, Archbishop Clement.
Archbishop Clement of the UOC-MP considers that "to revoke the letter on the transfer of the Kiev Metropolis in 1686 is the same as to cancel the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils of the 4th or 7th centuries."
On 8 November Union of Orthodox Journalistsanalyzed the same documents as The Ecumenical Throne and the Ukrainian Church (the Patriarchal and Synodal "Act" or "Letter of Issue" of 1686 and the 1686 Patriarchal Letter to the Kings of Russia) and again concluded that the See of Kiev had been "completely transferred to the jurisdiction of the Russian Church in 1686".
The possibility of a pan-Orthodox synaxis (consultative assembly or conference) has been raised before and after the official break of communion.
On 29 September 2018, Alexander Volkov, the press secretary of the Patriarch of Moscow, declared that the local Orthodox churches may initiate a pan-Orthodox Synaxis on the issue of granting autocephaly to the Church in Ukraine, however the problem was that the convening such a synaxis is "a prerogative of the First among the Equals, that is, the Ecumenical Patriarch". Volkov noted that
Others[ sic ] forms [of pan-Orthodox synaxis] exist, too [...]
There are the elders of the Church who can take this task upon themselves. [...] If you look at the Diptychs [the table specifying the order of commemorating the Primates of Orthodox Churches – TASS], the next in line [after the Ecumenical Patriarch – TASS] is the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria. Or else, there is the so-called synaxis of the eldest Patriarchs – of Alexandria, Jerusalem and Antioch
On 7 November, answering the question "Who could, for instance, convene a Pan-Orthodox Council and chair it?", Metropolitan Hilarion declared in an interview, which was published on the official website of the ROC Department for External Church Relations, that it was "obvious" that the Ecumenical Patriarch could not chair a Pan-Orthodox Council since "the most important problems in the Orthodox world are linked with precisely his [Ecumenical Patriarch] anti-canonical activity".
On 4 December, in an interview, when asked about the fact that convoking a pan-Orthodox council was "according to the canons" a prerogative of the Ecumenical Patriarch, Metropolitan Hilarion replied:
which canons ? [...] I believe those canons do not exist, the Ecumenical councils were not convoked by the Ecumenical Patriarch, they were convoked by the emperor. The fact the Patriarch of Constantinople has been given the right to convey councils in the 20th century is the result of a consensus reached by the local Orthodox churches. It is not at a personal initiative that the council is convoked, but only with the consent of all the local churches. We had, until recently, the first among equals, that is the Patriarch of Constantinople, who convoked the councils in the name [...] of the local Orthodox churches. Now, the unifiying element is no more the Patriarchate of Constantinople which, so to speak, autodestroyed itself. It is its decision. [...] We have to think about the future: who will convoke the councils, will it be the Patriarch of Alexandria, or another Patriarch, or else we will generally not have a council? Whatever. The Patriarch of Constantinople, as long as he stays in schism, even if he convokes a council the Russian Orthodox Church will not take part in it.
In an interview published on 21 February 2019 in the Serbian magazine Politika,the Ecumenical Patriarch said: "As for the provision of autocephaly with the consent of other Orthodox Churches, this did not happen, because it is not a tradition in our Church. All the Tomoses of the autocephaly that were granted to the newly created autocephalous churches (Russia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Athens, Warsaw, Tirana and Presov) were provided by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and this was not preceded by any agreement or negotiation at the Pan-Orthodox level."
In 2019, the Ecumenical Patriarch declared, in a letter to Patriarch John X of Antioch, that he (the Ecumenical Patriarch) would not convene a pan-Orthodox council on the question of Ukraine.
Thus far, Patriarch John X of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch,Patriarch Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II of the Church of Cyprus, the Polish Orthodox Church primate Metropolitan Sawa (Hrycuniak), the Orthodox Church in America primate Metropolitan Tikhon, Archbishop Anastasios, primate of the Albanian Orthodox Church, three hierarchs of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church (Metropolitans Gabriel of Lovech, John of Varna and Veliki Preslav, and Daniel of Vedin), and the holy synod of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia have expressed their desire for a pan-Orthodox synaxis or pan-Orthodox council over the question of Ukraine in various statements. On 12 November 2018, the synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church published a communiqué in which they requested the convocation of a Pan-Orthodox Synod.
The Eastern Orthodox Church, like the Catholic Church, claims to be the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
The history of Christianity in Ukraine dates back to the earliest centuries of the history of Christianity, to the Apostolic Age, with mission trips along the Black Sea and a legend of Saint Andrew even ascending the hills of Kiev. It has remained the dominant religion in the country since its acceptance in 988 by Vladimir the Great, who brought it from Byzantine Crimea and instated it as the state religion of medieval Kievan Rus' (Ruthenia), with the metropolitan see in Kiev.
The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church was one of the three major Orthodox churches in Ukraine. It was reestablished for the third time in 1990, right before the fall of the Soviet Union. The UAOC, in its contemporary form, has its origins in the Sobor of 1921 in Kiev, shortly after Ukraine's newly found independence. On 15 December 2018, at the Unification Council, the UAOC and the UOC-KP, along with metropolitans from the UOC-MP, unified into the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Metropolitan Epiphany was elected as the new Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine.
The Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church, commonly known as the Polish Orthodox Church, or (Orthodox) Church of Poland is one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches in full communion. The church was established in 1924, to accommodate Orthodox Christians of Polish descent in the eastern part of the country, when Poland regained its independence after the First World War.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate was one of three major Orthodox churches in Ukraine, alongside the Ukrainian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC). On December 15, 2018 bishops and delegates from the three branches of Orthodoxy in Ukraine unified in a council. Metropolitan Epiphanius I was elected as “Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine” and became the primate of the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
Patriarch Filaret is the honorary Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. He was the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate (1995–2018), and the former Metropolitan of Kiev of the Russian Orthodox Church (1966–1992). He was defrocked and in 1997 excommunicated by the ROC. On 11 October 2018, the Patriarchate of Constantinople reinstaed him in church communion. However, while restored to the episcopate, the Ecumenical Patriarchate never recognised him as Patriarch and views him as the former Metroplitan of Kiev..
Ukrainian Orthodox Church may refer to:
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, commonly referred to as the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA is a jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the United States. It consists of two eparchies (dioceses), ruled by two bishops, including about 85 active parishes and missions. The Church's current leader is Metropolitan Antony. The Church's head offices and Consistory are based in South Bound Brook, New Jersey.
The Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), or Ukrainian Orthodox Church, also known as the Most Holy Church of Ukraine is a partially recognized autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church whose canonical territory is Ukraine.
Eparchy of Kiev is central eparchy of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the supreme ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Metropolitan of Kiev and all Rus' was a title of the Eastern Orthodox metropolitan bishops of the Kiev Metropolis under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople that existed in 988–1596 and later between 1620 and 1686.
The Moscow–Constantinople schism of 1996 was a schism which began on 23 February 1996, when the Russian Orthodox Church severed full communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and ended on 16 May 1996 when the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate reached an agreement. This excommunication by the Russian Orthodox Church was done in response to a decision of the synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to reestablish an Orthodox church in Estonia under the Ecumenical Patriarchate's canonical jurisdiction as an autonomous church on 20 February 1996. This schism has similarities with the Moscow–Constantinople schism of October 2018.
The Unification council of the Orthodox churches of Ukraine is a council which was held on 15 December 2018 in the St Sophia's Cathedral in Kiev. The council voted to unite the existing Ukrainian Orthodox churches through their representatives, on the basis of complete canonical independence. All the members of the UOC-KP and the UAOC, and two members of the UOC-MP, merged into the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the unification council elected Epiphanius I as its first primate.
On 5 January 2019, Bartholomew I, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, signed the tomos that officially recognized and established the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and granted it autocephaly (self-governorship). The events immediately leading to the grant of autocephaly were:
"Communiqué of the Polish Orthodox Church Assembly of Bishops on Ukrainian autocephaly". Orthodoxie.com. 2019-04-09. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
The Patriarchal Exarchate in South-East Asia is an exarchate created by the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) on 28 December 2018. The primate of the PESEA is Metropolitan Sergius (Chashin) who holds the title of "Metropolitan of Singapore and South-East Asia".
But both sides acknowledge the canonical dispute is a proxy for a wider battle over Kiev's independence from Moscow. ... Speaking in front of Kiev's oldest church on Sunday, Mr Poroshenko cast "autocephaly", or autonomy for the Ukrainian church, as part of Kiev's broader push for integration with the west through EU and Nato membership while withdrawing from agreements with Russia
On May 16 both Holy Synods formally adopted the recommendations made at the Zurich meeting. The agreement provided for parallel jurisdictions in Estonia, and allowed individual parishes and clergy to join either the Estonian autonomous church under Constantinople or the diocese that would remain dependent on Moscow. For its part, Constantinople agreed to a four-month suspension of its February 20th decision to re-establish the Estonian autonomous church. Moscow agreed to lift the penalties that had been imposed on clergy who had joined the autonomous church. Both Patriarchates agreed to work together with the Estonian government, so that all Estonian Orthodox might enjoy the same rights, including rights to property. As a result of this agreement, full communion was restored between Moscow and Constantinople, and the name of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was again included in the diptychs in Moscow.
The Holy Synod discussed in particular and at length the ecclesiastical matter of Ukraine, in the presence of His Excellency Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon and His Grace Bishop Hilarion of Edmonton, Patriarchal Exarchs to Ukraine, and following extensive deliberations decreed:
1) To renew the decision already made that the Ecumenical Patriarchate proceed to the granting of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine. [...]
4) To revoke the legal binding of the Synodal Letter of the year 1686 [...]
Vladimir Putin held an operational meeting with the permanent members of the Security Council. They discussed issues of the domestic Russian socio-economic agenda and international issues.
the Synod ... of the Ecumenical Patriarchate ... gave further confirmation that Ukraine is on the path to receiving church independence from Moscow. ... Although President Poroshenko triumphantly announced that in result of the meeting Ukraine had received the long-awaited Tomos, or decree of Church independence – a claim circulated in Ukraine with great enthusiasm, this is not true. ... Constantinople's decision will benefit other jurisdictions in Ukraine – the UOC KP and UAOC, which will have to effectively dismantle their own administrative structures and set up a new Church, which will receive the Tomos of autocephaly. ... Right now it's unclear which part of the UOC MP will join the new Church. 10 out of 90 UOC MP bishops signed the appeal for autocephaly to the Ecumenical Patriarch – only 11%. But separate priests could join even if their bishops don't, says Zuiev.
The Kyiv Orthodox Theological Academy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate translated into Ukrainian the study The Ecumenical Throne and the Ukrainian Church
'We are talking about the Kiev Metropolis of the XVII century, which occupied a third of the current territory of Ukraine. And then how can they claim entire Ukraine? And if we are talking only about the Kiev Metropolis of the XVII century, then they, obviously, suggest dividing our country into some kind of "old" and "new" territories. This is a clear appeal to separatism,' said the bishop.
"We are talking about the Kiev Metropolis of the XVII century, which occupied a third of the current territory of Ukraine. And then how can they claim entire Ukraine? And if we are talking only about the Kiev Metropolis of the XVII century, then they, obviously, suggest dividing our country into some kind of "old" and "new" territories. This is a clear appeal to separatism," said the bishop.
The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia held its session the day before yesterday, and members of the Synod charged me with a duty to appeal to representatives of all the Local Orthodox Churches with a request to convene a pan-Orthodox meeting over the Ukrainian issue. Until all the developments in the Ukrainian church life are discussed and a conciliar decision is taken, our position will remain unchanged.