President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said that he was able to reach a new stage of struggle for the establishment of the local Church in the Republic. In particular, according to him, he appealed to the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew with a request to grant Ukrainian Church autocephaly. According to him, this should occur until 28 July, when will mark 1030 anniversary of the baptism of Kievan Rus. Can Poroshenko keep his promise in time, or we’ll have to watch the next Saga “bezveza”, “MK” has found out from the experts.
photo: a frame from the video
The head of Ukraine claims that he held long talks with Bartholomew and the members of the Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and those supposedly already agreed and now waiting for an official request. The corresponding document supposedly signed by the representatives of the Kyiv Patriarchate and the unrecognized Autocephalous Church. Now they were to join the President and Parliament of Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian media claim that among the ruling elite of Ukraine Poroshenko words perceived merely as political PR. The fact that Parliament in 2016, has taken an appeal to the throne of Constantinople, however, without the support of the UOC-MP it failed no matter what affect.
It is no coincidence that the Deputy head of the Department for external Church relations of the UOC Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich said that this whole Saga will end with “a big zilch”. According to him, if the authorities really wanted to achieve autocephaly, they would have started negotiations with the official Church, and not with the separatists. In addition Danilevich has compared the current situation with the as if the Metropolitan of the UOC-MP Onufriy held a Synod to discuss Ukraine’s accession to NATO.
“MK” has found out from the experts why Poroshenko decided to appeal to the religious problem of Ukraine:
Andrew BUZAROV, a member of the public Council under the MFA of Ukraine:
– It is unlikely that Poroshenko decided popiaritsya religious issues ahead of the presidential elections, as it is very dangerous to him. First, our society and the already severely divided. Second, not all Ukrainians support the Kiev Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. This will be new ground for serious conflict, which would essentially be meaningless, since Constantinople never in history has expressed its willingness to recognize the self-proclaimed Ukrainian Church.
Most likely, Poroshenko decided to go down in history as the President who will give rise to the recognition process. At the same time, it would be more logical if with the appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch addressed not by politicians, and priests. Apparently, as the self-proclaimed representatives of churches in the eyes of Constantinople means nothing, the weight of their words decided to give the President of Ukraine, at the same time trying to neutralize the importance of the UOC-MP. But it is unlikely he will succeed. Even if some political issues Bartholomew decides not to refuse to Kiev, he can not just give the answer.
Kirill MOLCHANOV, Deputy Director of the Ukrainian Institute of policy analysis and management:
The idea, voiced by Poroshenko is not new. In particular, he tried to do the presidents Leonid Kravchuk and Viktor Yushchenko and the Verkhovna Rada periodically receives such treatment since 2004. In addition, according to the Constitution, the separation of Church and state, so 17 APR Poroshenko announced that he had violated the basic law of the country, appealed on behalf of the Ukrainian clergy to the Ecumenical Patriarch. Obviously he wanted to score points before the presidential election, since in addition to “bizwise” he boasts more than nothing. But with the Church it will not work, as the official Constantinople not even going to consider creating national Church in Ukraine.
At the same time, Poroshenko announced a proposal could easily lead to a new round of sectarian conflict in the country. The hot head of the Kiev Patriarchate might decide that they were given the go-ahead for new wave of takeovers of churches. In the highly divided Ukrainian society, it can lead to irreparable consequences.