The situation with Orthodoxy in Ukraine today is a consequence of the split of the 1990s caused by the ambitions of the church and political leadership of the country, the employee of the news agency Vestnik Kavkaza, Ekaterina Vinnik said in the National Question program on Vest FM.
First of all, the expert specified that the only canonical church in Ukraine, corresponding to the canons of the global Orthodoxy, is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate and the Autocephalous Orthodox Church are not recognized by the churches of other countries.
The employee of Vestnik Kavkaza spoke in detail about the origins of the split in the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. "Already in the late 1980s, as a result of the perestroika policy, in the western Ukrainian regions, the revival of Greek Catholicism (the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church) and autocephalic religious communities began on the territory of the Ukrainian SSR, as a result of which the part of the clergy and laity from the canonical Orthodox Church left for the two above mentioned. In addition, there were spontaneous seizures of the ROC property in Western Ukraine, and Orthodox dioceses were subjected to routs, " she said.
"To prevent the split of Orthodoxy in Ukraine, in January 1990, the ROC decided to grant a wider autonomy to the Ukrainian Patriarchate, but this decision only exacerbated the split. Metropolitan of Kyiv and Galicia Filaret Danilenko, who ruled the Ukrainian diocese for 25 years got out of control and his rash actions led to the discrediting of Orthodoxy in the western regions of Ukraine, " Ekaterina Vinnik said.
In addition, in June 1990, Filaret was defeated in the struggle for the patriarchal throne at the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church. This happened simultaneously with the emergence of a tendency to separate from the Moscow Patriarchate, which was exacerbated with the collapse of the USSR and the attainment of independence by Ukraine. ‘’First President Leonid Kravchuk decided to seek the establishment of an independent local UOC outside Moscow's jurisdiction. He was supported by Filaret, who introduced a new concept of Ukrainian Orthodoxy, but the Ukrainian bishops spoke out against the possible separation of the UOC. As a result of the Bishops' Council, Filaret was resigned, and in June 1992, deprived of church dignity and all degrees of priesthood for his actions, " the expert said.
However, Filaret refused to recognize the resignation. He was taken under the protection of the Ukrainian authorities and retained control over the money of the UOC. "Being isolated from canonical Orthodoxy, the former metropolitan united with the UAOC, which he had previously denounced as a schismatic, and created a new organization - the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate. The delegation of the new church went to Constantinople to recognize the canonical status of the newly formed religious organization. Patriarch Bartholomew officially declared that he recognized only one canonical church of the Moscow Patriarchate. In 1993, the autocephalous church withdrew from the Union with the Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate, " the employee of Vestnik Kavkaza said.
"Thus, today's situation is nothing more than the continuation of the 1990s split, the cause of which was the personal ambitions of the church and political leadership of the country," Ekaterina Vinnik concluded.