The attempt of the Verkhovna Rada to legislatively restrict the activity of the ROC in Ukraine will not be able to achieve the sought – canonical Kiev Patriarchate. But it will deepen the split in society and opposed to the Kiev hundreds of thousands of Orthodox. However, the nationalists are willing to go to the end – the bill the deputies have recommended to approve in the first reading.
The initiative to officially limit the rights of a number of faithful appeared in the Parliament on April 22. It was then registered the bill “About the special status of religious organizations, senior centers are in a state that recognized by the Supreme Rada of Ukraine by the aggressor state”. And it was immediately obvious that we are talking about the “special status” of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. What drew the attention of the Chairman of the Department for external Church relations of the UOC-MP, Metropolitan of Luhansk and Alchevsk Mitrophan in his address to the representatives of the European human rights organizations. Now the Verkhovna Rada Committee on culture and spirituality recommended the controversial bill to take.
“The notorious head of the Committee Mykola kniazhytskyi last year declared by the Interpol wanted list for rape which he allegedly committed in Cambodia”
The notorious “special status” implies that these religious organizations will be obliged “to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and laws of Ukraine, and also to respect other religious organizations, which conduct their activities on the territory of Ukraine”. Registration will be possible only after the “positive expert opinion”. To invite foreign guests or to assign its Central or regional management with the special status only after coordination with the “Central Executive authority that implements the state policy of Ukraine in the sphere of religion.” In the case of repeated violations of stated rules, the law provides for the termination of activities of religious organizations.
In its restraining and controlling part of the bill is rigid even in comparison with Soviet legal norms of the period of Nikita Khrushchev’s persecution of believers took systematic. Then, at least not officially stipulated that the process of appointment of clergy and the invitation to their guests, and other “canonical activity” must be approved by the Commissioner for religious Affairs. Such coordination took place, but behind the scenes, it was sometimes possible to find a compromise. The Ukrainian draft law no compromise is not intended in principle.
It’s not even the fact that the UOC-MP has long advocated the “integrity of the country” in numerous sermons and public prayers “for peace in Ukraine”. For example, on 11 October, the Archbishop of Severodonetsk and Starobelsk Nicodemus celebrated the divine Liturgy in the city of gold 5, that is, on the line of differentiation of fire. The problem is in the interpretations, such as “Supervisory authorities” will be interpreted certain statements of the hierarchs and clergy of the UOC-MP. Because even such a “peace prayer” in a combat zone can be regarded as “pandering to separatism”, for “pandering to separatism” is all that is not a call for a “war to the bitter end.”
Problems can arise with “respect for other religious organizations that operate in Ukraine.” On the one hand, we can talk about different kinds of totalitarian sects and cults – now the officials have the legal possibility to require them to “respect”, determining “by eye” (among the sects, by the way, many “national-Patriotic”). On the other, there is the self-proclaimed “Kiev Patriarchate”, which official Kyiv has big plans attempts to implement are not stopped – and is unlikely to stop. In this context, the bill can be interpreted as an attempt are Pleased to further “disarm” and “immobilize” the canonical Orthodox Church in favor of the development of their own, “independent”, since the loyalty of self-proclaimed Patriarch Filaret (Denysenko) the new Ukrainian authorities is not in doubt. Here follows automatically very bad precedent.
The fact that the UOC-KP, there are many activists who like to seize churches of the UOC-MP. If the law is adopted, the canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine will actually be forbidden even to say “the Filaret’s churchmen” – the protests against the seizure can be regarded as “disrespect”. But regardless of the practical aspects of the “Kiev Patriarchate” to the canonical Church are considered “filaretovtsev” schismatics and can’t stop counting them as such just “on request”, as can’t be called sectarian sectarian. The point here is not the specifics of Ukrainian politics, and the notorious Christian morality. God commanded to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in all circumstances. This is the truth, the current law allows to use against Orthodox Ukrainians, who had not gone into the schism together with Filaret.
The Committee on culture and spirituality had already taken a number of measures to help the creation of a “legitimate and canonical” Ukrainian Church – for example, through the involvement of Constantinople. It is this structure considered and approved the appeal of the Verkhovna Rada to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of granting autocephaly to the UOC-KP. Naturally, such attempts to involve themselves in the conflict of the Ecumenical Patriarchate refused, citing the fact that Ukraine is a canonical territory of the ROC, so that the reference to Bartholomew is incompetent. After that from Ukraine, an attempt was made to remove the anathema from the “Patriarch Filaret” – and again through Fanaro (a quarter in Istanbul, where is located the residence of Patriarch Bartholomew). These actions have already caused Frank irritation of the phanariotes of “theological ignorance” of the Ukrainians.
However, back to the bill. Such an obvious attempt to put religion in dependence on a policy, more like an attempt on the principle of freedom of conscience, quickly reached the international level. At the annual meeting of the Committee of representatives of Orthodox churches to the EU on the topic of “Freedom of religion and belief of Orthodox Christians in the world”, held in Cyprus, from 8 to 11 October, was cited numerous violations of the rights of believers of the UOC-MP, the forcible seizure of churches, of fomenting sectarian strife in the media, and the discriminatory bills before the Parliament was mentioned.
However, you need to understand that neither Parliament itself nor its Committee on culture and spirituality concerns (including international organizations) are not concerned. As they say, they cope with more “negative factors”. For example, the notorious head of the Committee Mykola kniazhytskyi last year declared by the Interpol wanted list for rape which he allegedly committed in Cambodia. And nothing continues to work. Engaged in spiritual and cultural issues “for the good of Ukraine”.
The bottom line zlopoluchnyj the bill has two purposes. The first comprehensive, integrated and systematic infringement of the rights of the parishioners and clergy of the UOC-MP. The second is the creation of “alternative Orthodoxy” for the whole of Ukraine on the basis of the “Kiev Patriarchate”. In these endeavors, the Ukrainian authorities did not help Fanara, but they found separate legislative mechanisms to accelerate the process of weakening the canonical Church and the schismatics gain at her expense. But there is theory and there is practice. And yet in practice get not the results expected by the Parliament.
All of these initiatives only deepen the split in Ukrainian society according to another, the fundamental line – line of religion. UOC is a social and religious force that brings together a vast part of the Ukrainian society. Suffice it to recall what took place all-Ukrainian procession of peace, love and prayer for Ukraine, which, despite the active opposition and threats from the side of Ukrainian radicals, took part to one hundred thousand people. This part of society now Parliament is trying to put in the position of the marginal strata. From the position of not even religion, but of sociology there is a suspicion that such methods would be extremely difficult to achieve the religious world, and even more – unity in Ukraine. It remains to understand whether the Parliament decided to implement a shaky plan for the creation of its own alternative Orthodoxy at any cost. That is, to wait for consideration of the bill.