We hope this thinking will be useful to everybody interested in state and problems of Orthodoxy in this part of the world, but we address here at first, of course, to the faithful of the Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate and their affiliate UOC of MP. To put it mildly, these brothers and sisters of us do not share our views for Orthodoxy, calling us “separatist”, “ autoconcentrated”, etc. We are very sorry that things went so relations between us have been not Christian at all, we should like to have peace with the faithful of Moscow Patriarchate, but this desire doesn’t prevail over our longing for really fairy and, then, canonical formation of Ecumenical Church. We do not aim to get the faithful of Moscow Patriarchate to ourselves, we do only to clear our position. When you learn motivation of doing of even unsympathetic people offence and hate abate and if not forgiveness but at least understanding softens our hearts.
So, let’s begin from the Canon # 34 "Regulations of Saint Apostles" that accepts "for any people" right of self-government, i.e. Autocephality in Church affair. Sorry, our dear brothers and sisters, but regardless of all our shortcomings we, Ukrainian, are nation, so we cannot attached to all of its lacks we, ukrainians, all people, and that's why can not accept stateless and churchless status. Maybe someone thinks that Ukrainian is an "Untermensch", that Bulgaria, Georgia or Romania have rights of Autocephality their local Churches, and Ukraine, being nothing but a mutinous province of Russia, may not have such right, but we do not share the thought. If it is a sin, let God forgive us, let Him forgive our desire to have common human dignity. And you try to forgive us, too, you do pray “Our Father”, don’t you?
Unfortunately, we cannot take the “UOC” MP as a Ukrainian Church, and, in our view, it doesn’t want it at all. The Ukrainian are liable to speak their native language in general, moreover in most candid talk – prayer to God. In the UOC” MP Ukrainian language is a sign of “uncononicity”, i.e. wrong, and together with the language everything coming not from Moscow (ritual details, interpretation of historical events, spiritual custom, etc) becomes wrong. Sorry, but we see no sense in existence of such “Ukrainian Church”, where should be nothing Ukrainian.
That is why we do not think “UOC” MP is a canonical Ukrainian Church, moreover it has no canonical status at all: it is neither Autocephalous nor Autonomous, and it means it is just an exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church or Moscow Patriarchate recognized actually. But Exarchate of foreign local Church could not be at the same time canonical local Church of Ukrainian people. That’s why we put “UOC” into inverted commas.
As for another signs of canonicity, it would not be superfluous, in our view, the faithful of Moscow Patriarchate to recollect next facts from their not so old history:
“Abolishing Patriarchy by Peter I outraged holy Canons. Russian Church was deprived its head” prot. V. Tsypin writes in the book “The Canon Law”, Moscow, 1996.
“Emperor as Christian monarch is sovereign defender and guardian of the dogmata of dominant faith and keeper of Orthodoxy and any discipline in the Holy Church. It is intended Emperor to be named Head of Church in the act of throne inheritance of April, 5, 1797, – In managing Church the Autocratic Authority is doing through the agency of Holy Governmental Synod found by itself.” /The Fundamental Law, cc 42, 43, edition 1832 /, – prot. G. Florovskiy reminds in the book “The ways of the Russian Theology”, Paris, 1937, p. 203.
“In the conditions of monstrous persecutions and repressions effected by OGPY Metropolitan Sergiy (Stargorodskiy) used arrest of St. Martyr Peter, place-guardian of the Patriarche Throne in 1924 and declared himself contrary tothe Church Canon and Law “a substitute of the Patriarche place-guardian”, in spite of he was not in the list of candinates for legitimate place-guardian.” The intruder founded a pocket anti-canonical “temporary Synod”, that was recognized with Soviet rules surprisingly quickly and registered by the main persecutor of the faithful – GPU”.
" In Stalin’s house in the country on September, 4, 1943 a meeting took place with participation of Beriya and other high-ranked officials of NKGB. Metropolitan Sergiy /Stargorodskiy/ was invited to the secret meeting. That night since 4 to 5th September, after adjustment of basic principles of the new pseudo-church foundation acting, the stood activists of Sergian schismatic group Metropolitans Sergiy, Alexiy /Symanskiy/ and Nykolay /Yarushevich/ were received with Stalin and Molotov. Development of new-born Moscow Patriarchy went with bolshevik’s speed.” /Priest Gleb Yakunin, “The real face of the Moscow Patriarchy”, Moscow, 1995, pp. 4,6/
As for us it is evident, that a Local Church with such history should pay more attention to its own purging from its yesterday mistakes, filling its formal canonicity with truthful substance, and not to defend imperial ambitions of the young Slavic-Turkic-Mongol nation by the agency of Christian Church. There is no “Holy Russia” for an Orthodox Christian, see, we pray to our heavenly Father: “Hallowed be Thy Name ”, and Russia, as you known, is not God’s name at all. And there is no “Third Rome”, let everything has its own name.
Finally, some figures, explaining Moscow look at Ukraine:
There are about 13,000 parishes of ROC through all Russia and only “UOC” MP has 9,000 parishes (the figure shows the best how much Ukrainian officials love Moscow), plus 3,000 UOC KP, plus 3,000 UGCC, plus over 1,000 parishes of UAOC, so, not counting the new Christian Churches (baptist, Adventist, etc) there are 16,000 Christian parishes, compare with 13,000 for the all “Great and Holy Russia”! Take into account three times difference of population, so what right they have to call themselves then and again “the state most Christian”? In some printings Russian churchmen in articles about Ukraine let out, calling it frankly the “titbit”!
So, we are not a titbit, but an independance state, the same in spiritual life – we believe God keeps our side and nearest future we will have the Ukrainian National Orthodox Church, recognized canonically by our Church-Mother – Constantinople Patriarchate in spite of all efforts of Moscow.
Dear Canonical brothers and sisters, welcome to discuss very actual theme "Estimate of Our Chances to Obtain Salvation"
Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!
Contact authors of the Web-site:
Dean of the church Father Ihor (Lytvyn) tel. 00380 (532) 586025 (Ukrainian, Russian)
Web-master, co-author of the site, translator Volodymyr tel 00380 (532) 586777