By Rostislav Ishchenko
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard
cross posted with http://www.stalkerzone.org/rostislav-ishchenko-the-most-real-consequences-of-the-constantinople-patriarchates-schismatic-actions/
Bartholomew met our expectations. Instead of Tomos of Autocephaly, naive Kiev fighters against the Russian world and the Third Rome received the restoration of the stauropegion of the Constantinople Patriarchate in Ukraine.
I.e., anyone who doesn’t like the absolute autonomy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate – which is autonomous in cadre, financial, and property questions, completely self-governed, and also has considerable weight in the Holy synod of the Russian Orthodox Church (i.e., it’s not the ROC that governs the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, but the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that governs the ROC) – are welcome to be directly subordinated to Constantinople. Bartholomew will personally decide who is worthy of what dignity, who will be appointed to what diocese, and also he will superintend independently.
But Bartholomew and the Synod of the Constantinople Patriarchate that supported him in everything went much further. The anathema imposed by the Russian Orthodox Church was removed from the so-called patriarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP) Filaret, and the canonicity of both the UOC-KP and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church – schismatic Ukrainian pseudo-churches -was de facto recognised.
This is the main, most dangerous, and not at all obligatory step that was made by Constantinople. Bartholomew could work on creating in Ukraine a structure subordinated to the Constantinople Patriarchate that could be given autocephaly also without the removal of the anathema from Filaret and without the recognition of schismatics. It would be more reasonable for him to save this argument for later — both for negotiations with the Moscow Patriarchate and for influencing the internal situation in self-proclaimed churches. Nevertheless, Bartholomew laid it out on the table, depriving him of the chance to sort out relations with Moscow.
Constantinople hurries to rouse war. On the one hand, this testifies to the uncertainty that the window of opportunities that opened for him in Ukraine will be open for long. I will remind that Poroshenko for the first 3.5 years of his reign didn’t show an interest in autocephaly. It started to interest him only as a pre-election technology. There is no guarantee that after the election cycle ends, Ukrainian politicians will be so favorably intended in relation to the pretensions of Constantinople. I will remind that instead of the requested autocephaly, Bartholomew conceived the idea of establishing his rigid control over Ukrainian Orthodoxy.
On the other hand – and this is much more important – Bartholomew used the situation in order to go far beyond the borders of the Ukrainian crisis itself. He proclaimed (and was supported in it by the Constantinople Synod) his right to be the sole authority in the entire orthodox world, some kind of orthodox papacy. By initiating a rigid conflict with the ROC (and the removal of the anathema, which Bartholomew had no canonical right to do, and the acceptance of communication with an anathematised Filaret’s expands the anathema to Bartholomew himself), Constantinople takes away world Orthodoxy from the discussion about the ambitions of Bartholomew, forcing local churches to determine for themselves who they are with — Constantinople or Moscow. At the same time, there is a threat of split not only for world Orthodoxy – when one part of local churches will support Constantinople and another part will support Moscow, but also in each separately taken church, where some hierarches and priesthood can support Bartholomew, and others can support the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill.
These multiple splits are also dangerous because they will destabilise the situation in those states where these churches operate. I.e., this concerns the destabilisation of the situation and the provocation of religious conflicts not only in Ukraine, but also in Eastern Europe – in particular on the Balkans, in North Africa, in Asia Minor, and in the Levant. If civil religious armed conflicts will capture this region, a big war will practically immediately knock on the doors of mankind. After all, some will accuse Bartholomew and the US of destabilising the situation , and others will accuse the ROC and Moscow.
But the main crime of Bartholomew before mankind is that, having provoked a crisis fraught with civil and interstate military conflicts (including long ones of high intensity), the Constantinople Patriarchate deprived the political structures of Russia, the US, and the EU of control over the development of events. But he himself didn’t obtain such control either.
The escalation should accrue automatically, and in an explosive way. At the same time, a de-escalation mechanism is completely absent. Even if to imagine the impossible – the total and unconditional surrender of ROC before Bartholomew, even this move can’t lead to conflict de-escalation because certain hierarches, priests, monasteries, and laity will stand in opposition to Bartholomew and his “patriarchate”.
There are no more opportunities to avoid a conflict, which, having begun as a purely religious one, will quickly develop into military-political clashes between the corresponding states (and also inside of them). The only question is what scale it will assume, how many countries will it capture, and will it be possible to localise it within Ukraine’s borders.
It is necessary to understand that Bartholomew’s actions are deliberate — it wasn’t difficult to calculate possible answers, they were laying on the surface. I.e., he consciously opted to initiate bloodshed and to let the situation spiral out of control. He risked mankind for the sake of his ambitions, and the Synod of Constantinople Patriarchate supported him in this. This means that such a policy is long-term. The patriarch sometime – most likely rather soon – will be replaced, but the political principles laid down by Bartholomew and the Synod of the Constantinople Patriarchate between October 9th and 11th, 2018 are for decades, if not centuries.
World Orthodoxy will never be the same as it was before the latest decisions made by Constantinople. A new Great Split took place, and it’s not a fact that in one millennium it won’t poison religious and political in the same way. In the near future the wave of destabilisation awaits a vast region – from the Carpathians and the Danube, to the upper courses of the Nile and the coast of Euphrates.
But it is, of course, Ukraine, the UOC, and its leader the Most blessed Metropolitan Onufry – who is the main defender of canonical Orthodoxy in Kiev and on who the fragile unity of the UOC-MP rests – that will bear the first blow. Everything that has happened in Ukraine to date is child’s play in comparison with what is being prepared now. And it won’t be better for Poroshenko, who initiated all of this, it will be only worse. Only an extremely limited and absolutely inadequate person could throw the country into a crisis fraught with civil religious war, the development of which can’t be controlled.
However, as was said, this crisis is so considerable and dangerous and covers such a number of countries that soon nobody will have the time for Poroshenko and his problems.
Religions so many wars in your names….
Religion is Faith.
Church is Community.
Mankind is flawed.
Do you really believe that the removal of religion will end wars?
Well written article. Thanks for posting Saker. This action by the EP will bring much bloodshed, and it will be on his hands!
I pray that the prophecies of Saint Paisios will come true and Russia will invade an conquer Turkey, and Orthodoxy will flourish again replacing this current imposter on the Ecumenical Throne.
Could some knowledgable person explain why this will be a civil war with massive bloodshed as predicted by most “experts”?
How does a theological split require war?
And the Kremlin has already announced a hands-off military policy should the society begin tearing itself apart in Ukraine.
Larch, it’s really pretty simple. Imagine you are a monk at Kiev Pochaev Lavra, and Right Sector shows up with their fake priests to kick you out. What do you do? Now imagine you are a local parishoner watching this happen. What do you do? If you’re more into history, look at what actually happened during the Monothelite controversies and Iconoclasm in the Byzantine Church. There is no way this won’t result in thousands, or tens of thousands of deaths, almost all of whom will be unarmed monks and faithful who will be killed for refusing to submit to the local goons of whatever flavor.
In my haste I mistyped. I meant to say “Kiev Caves or Pochaev Lavra.”
pls read the WSJ opinion page on 10/1 for a counter opinion. (no dog in this fight)
Opinions are free I guess, but when one side is telling bald lies and the other side is telling simple truths that are objective facts, then it doesn’t really matter how you emotionally feel about your opinion. The “opinion” of Patriarch Bartholomew and his henchmen (I use that word advisedly) is objectively false, as any honest Orthodox will tell you (including a surprisingly large number of Greek hierarchs and faithful, which is an encouraging sign).
Is this Anonymous a paid troll for WSJ? I have seen you show up posting on several articles now touting this opinion piece!
As if the WSJ has any knowledge of internal affairs of the Orthodox Church. Fact: no Orthodox Bishops aside those on the Synod of Constantinople have agreed with Patriarch Bartholomew.
Fact 2: what the EP has done is clearly a violation of the canons of the Church.
Fact 3: the EP and his synod is justifying this canonical violation by rewriting history! They claim they only gave the Ukraine to Russia temporarily. Almost 400 years later and they are now taking it back! Anyone with half a brain won’t fall for such nonsense.
I could go on and on. Since the early 1900s the EP and his Church(Synod) have tried to introduce numerous divisions and heresies into the Church life: calendar change, ecumenism, modernism, etc. Secular rulers like the United States have taken advantage of this weak side of Orthodoxy. Now, he has crossed the line for the last time!
As Orthodox faithful we pray that the Church will convene a real Council and put an end to this heresy and schism!
here’s the link. Russia Wages a Religious War Against Ukraine(paywall) https://www.wsj.com/articles/russia-wages-a-religious-war-against-ukraine-1538329125
There’s a rather large error from StalkerZone in the second paragraph. It should be the UOC of Moscow, not Kiev.
Thank you for spotting that :)
I would be most appreciative if someone could give us some information concerning the possible reactions both of Patriarch Kirill and Metropolitan Onufry to this situation.
I am also wondering if the health of the Constantinople patriarch might be in question. He is indeed quite aged, as I understand. And to my mind, there could be some flexibility to the situation still possible, as the affairs of state ought to remain affairs of state, while those of churches reach an accomodation.
I realize this does not mean full parity and Mr. Ischenko is correct that this is a schismatic situation, especially in view of the removal of the anathema, which must have had some reason for being in place. However, there are peaceful relations if not unity with other Christian churches – the Russian church is not at war with them.
The politics of the situation will be painful, since so many historic Russian Orthodox sites are in Ukraine. I can see why this is serious stuff indeed. God help them all.
The Secular West can be excused as ignorant “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” but Bartholomew knows exactly what he has done and he is now Judas. He has sinned against innocent blood for thirty pieces of silver. The Great Orthodox Schism and the bloodshed that follows will be on his hands and he will answer for this on tge Dread Day of Judgement.
Amen! Very well stated. Woah to those who bring Schism!
Erdogan pays Bartholemew’s salary. The Abomination of Desolation.
Erdogan disavow’s the God of his forefathers. Erdogan is Georgian.
This following article spells out Erdogans role in the Abomination of Desolation.
Actually, no Erdogan is from totally Greek village in Pontus. Accordingly to some Greek specialist (who worked at Greek Consulate in Smyrni for number of years) on Turkish subject: “When Erdogan was teenager he supposedly asked his father: Who are we? His father answered: We are Muslim and this is all you need to know.”
The video if the TV interview with him is on the net. It’s in Greek and I don’t think I want to bother looking for it. You might find it if you search for it in Greek.
In the 1922 genocide of Pontic Greeks in Turkey the Orthodox Christians were sent to Greece, and Greek Muslims stayed in Turkey and are called today Turks.
Does this satisfy your comment?
Erdogan himself claims to be Georgian in this link.
This mess has greatly concerned me because it could reach right into North America and believers here. I have been a member of the Church for less than a year and I will not support or follow a man who is schismatic or heretic. If the little part of world Orthodoxy I inhabit was to support Bartholomew (God forbid) I would have a very difficult choice to make. I contacted my own priest who assured me they are well aware of what is happening and recommend a council to deal with this. He said at this council all the patriarchs will vote over the issue of the renegade church and Bartholomew will lose. He listed the various Patriarchs who have already come out in support of the UOC-MP and Metropolitan Onufry. Well, now it seems Bartholomew feels he doesn’t need such a council as he like a Roman Pope can act on his own. There needs to be a world council. It needs to be called to deal with Bartholomew.
I see this already having an effect here, and not for good. Here is an example from social media. A certain priest posted a very lengthy statement from the 1990’s. Clearly this was posted because of what is happening in Ukraine. So, I simply replied regarding Ukraine and how wrong it is of Bartholomew. The priest chastised me and said please restrict my comments to just the articles contents. This was soon followed by this priest posting another article, that the Orthodox Church Needs a Primate! I wasn’t the only one who was disturbed by such a suggestion but I was the only one in open forum who challenged him on this. I won’t go into all that was said, except he appears to think we should have someone who can make the final decision but we will finally do it right and not like Rome who failed. I told him it has never been this way and cannot ever be. And he blocked me so I can not see his posts or comment. You see, there is already this poison infecting some priests and if they go unchallenged they will infect those who are less aware. And then there is another priest who, I am sure, is friends with the priest mentioned above. His position currently is that he will not say anything about the Ukraine/Bartholomew problem because he can’t do anything about it. I don’t think I agree with this position either. By taking a bold, public stand against schism and heresy and supporting the canonical Church along with all the other Patriarchates would strengthen the unity of the Church. We cannot be neutral. These are very dark days. We all need to be alert. We need to strengthen our love of Christ and His Church without fear or wavering. As my priest said to me “Have no fear. Christ is near”.
Craig, what you said is correct, but it’s not just ruling hierarchs of local churches (you called them Patriarchs, but not all of them are) that get a vote at real Councils. Every Bishop of the Church votes, because as Saint Ignatius of Antioch said every Bishop has only Christ as his Bishop. This was another obvious sign of the falsity of the recent “council” of Crete where Bartholomew tried to create his own Cardinalate by only allowing ruling hierarchs to vote.
Dear Craig and Andrew! Beloved brothers- please pray for me and my family too. We, for several generations have been members of Greek Archdiocese of America which fully supports EP Bartholomew.
I pray for a council and quick resolution to this nonsense. If not, well…. we have a difficult decision to make. Do we stay in a diocese of the EP or shake the dust off our feet and leave the parish Church we have lived at for 90 years.
Terrible times indeed.
To my dear fellow Christians. The answer to our problems is Prayer,fasting and almsgiving.
Remember St Paul’s word with Christians in his time. We should focus on Christ and his commandments. Nothing else matters.
I have not followed the whole of this Saga. But Bartholomew did something like this to the Church of Greece. In order not to cause a schism,The Church of Greece submitted.
Someone should remind him what initially happened between Rome and Constantinople and that his actions are now similar to Rome’s
The sadness i feel over the betrayal of Constantinople i can not express in english, i pray we will manage to mend this in a council before it turns to bloodshed.
Didn’t bartholomew do the same thing with the Esphigmenou Monastery on Mount Athos several years ago? (Recognize an interloper group as being officially recognized, ignoring the actual members of the monastery and trying to drive them away after a thousand years?
I think now is the time for a REAL “Eighth Ecumenical Council” (not like the fake 8th Council bartholomew tried to run a couple years ago), to discuss and resolve the heresy of neo-papism that has sprung up.
After having witnessed the ‘Arab Spring’ and other colour revolutions play out and having spent some time reading the propaganda associated with them, I can’t help but associate articles like this as intentionally trying to create conflict. Words that ‘lay the groundwork’ in the mind. This is the second article from the same author in the last week or so I’ve read dealing with this topic using similar provocative and offensive language.
Is he playing the provocateur, or is he letting his emotions colour his writing? I’m leaning towards the latter, but I’ve become very sensitive to this sort of talk over the years because of the catastrophic outcome that it can lead to. People who write publicly have a responsibility to be truthful for this reason and should absolutely not pretend to know what someone’s intentions are or what has motivated them.
We can already see how these words have influenced some and painted this perspective as ‘truth’. This is propaganda, whether it is intentional or not. And whether it is intentional or not, outside forces will attempt to use any sort of strife for their own advantage. Readers here should have a better ‘eye’ for being able to recognise this, not be blind when it suits their position.
Please take a step back and look at this with ‘clean eyes’. We don’t know the motivations for the decisions that are made here. We can only make guesses. Only God knows what will happen. We can only pray.
If anyone wants to comment on this issue, they should first read this document (https://www.goarch.org/documents/32058/4830467/The+Ecumenical+Throne+and+the+Church+of+Ukraine+(ENGLISH).pdf) and if they want to dispute it, provide evidence for doing so. Otherwise it is better to say nothing.
I also strongly recommend that they read this (https://www.patriarchate.org/-/territorial-jurisdiction-according-to-orthodox-canon-law-the-phenomenon-of-ethnophyletism-in-recent-yea-1).
Lastly, it should not be necessary to point out that Washington supporting a position for obvious reasons does not invalidate that position. This sort of ‘with us or against us’ black and white thinking should not ba allowed to poison our thoughts. Instead, we should have faith in God. Pray that His plan will be revealed to us. Pray for all people. But above all, have faith in God.
Patriarch Bartholomew is in a very weak position. He is living in a hostile Turkish environment. The amount of church members is sufficent for a protopop(arch priest). His title is a surviver of a better past. To strengthen his own position he is weakening the position of the most important patriarch in the orthodox church, the patriarch of Russia.
Thanks for all comments here. In my own limited research, I did find a helpful and complete enunciation of this situation in the following, which I hope is not simply a repetition of an earlier discussion link – at any rate it can be helpful sometimes to revisit earlier statements and the historical facts described here were new to me:
But, is it to go with an intention of the schismatician to recognize Jerusalem.?
Is that not what is coming up next.?
Rome will recognize. Constantinople too. Throw in the children of Luther also.
“…..to recognize Jerusalem”???????
What are you talking about here?
What do you mean?
Please elaborate this!
The plan is to have all faiths subordinate to the so-called Third Temple in Jerusalem.
The Papist leader, the bishop of Canterbury, Dalai Lama…everything represented in the Ecumenical Council except true Orthodoxy will bow down to the High Priest in the Third Temple.
Bartholomew I think will prostrate himself in the Abomination of Desolation.
Ollie, do you think this may be ”the star of man” spoken of in the book of Revelations.?
Everything in the sky other than Helios was known as a ”star” in St Johns time, after all.