A split in the Orthodox Church of Ukraine is possible, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate still exists, the status of the metropolis is insufficient for the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the charter of it is also unsatisfactory.
All this are the thesises of the honorable patriarch Filaret. Who, it seems, began a kind of "chess game" against Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Epifaniy, with the aim of regaining real power. And he still has influential supporters within the church structure, and the opposition to Epifaniy has not disappeared (one of the most influential oppositionists is the Metropolitan of Lutsk, Mykhailo, who was considered one of the main rivals of Epifaniy in the struggle for the post of the Primate).
Debut (fr. début - beginning) - the initial stage of a chess game, characterized by the mobilization of forces playing
So, what is planned today, i.e. on May 14?
A traditional prayer celebration in honor of the holy martyr Makariy will be held in the Volodymyrsky Cathedral.
On the eve, Filaret sent out invitations to church officials. But there are two interesting details:
1) He missed some officials sending his invitations. Including initially ignoring Epiphany (and inviting him only after the situation got buzz in the media).
2)Invitations were printed with the Kyiv Patriarchate letterhead – the church which is allegedly eliminated.
The media claim that at this meeting, Filaret plans to make a kind of "force inspection", that is, to assess the level of his current support. They can also discuss the liquidated Kyiv Patriarchate.
Is it true that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate was liquidated?
It seems to be a pretty simple question. Especially for those who closely followed the events around getting the Tomos.
Moreover, the decision about the liquidation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate can be read right now on the web. And there is a Filaret's signature.
Moreover, the Ministry of Culture also stated that this church no longer exists.
Firstly - Filaret himself says that no one has eliminated anything.
In an interview with TSN, he said the following:
"The fact is that the Kyiv Patriarchate is not liquidated. It is NOT liquidated. They want to imagine that it has been liquidated. The one who created it can liquidate the Kyiv Patriarchate. And who created it? The Kyiv Patriarchate was created by the local council of 1991, when there was no unification yet, and the autocephalous church created the patriarchy and the first patriarch was Mstyslav. The second patriarch was Volodymyr (Romanyuk), and I was already the third patriarch. Therefore, only the council can eliminate the patriarchy created by the cathedral ".
Secondly. If you look into the Unified Register of Legal Entities right now, the Kyiv Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is still there.
So what about the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church? Was it also liquidated?
What was it then?
It looks like a kind of memorandum. Moreover, it is worth recalling another document. In which Filaret promised in writing to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew that he does not plan to apply for position in the new church.
The game plan - a definite strategy that a player works out by analyzing the expediency of certain moves
“Patriarch Filaret really sent out invitations to the celebration of Makariy’s Day to the bishops of the former Kyiv Patriarchate. I did not receive such an invitation. Like a few other bishops from the same Kyiv Patriarchate.
“Not quite clear things are happening now. Apparently, Patriarch Filaret wants to hold a new constituent assembly and announce the reanimation of the Kyiv Patriarchate. I do not understand how he imagines it.”
These are the words of the Metropolitan of Orthodox Church of Ukraine Olexandr (Drabynko).
And here we should try to understand whether Filaret can make some serious legal actions. In particular, can he assemble a Council in order to change the status of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
Here are the words of Primate Epifaniy:
“Indeed, there are opinions that the Council will be convened to change the Charter - but this is not true, since the Primate, Holy Synod or Bishops' Council has the right to convene the Council. Only the Local Council has the right to change the charter. And to convene it, you need to go through a certain procedure. "
But Filaret still believes that he has such a right. At least in an interview with TSN answering the question about the Council, he said the following:
" I can convene it, and the primate can."
What is the purpose of Filaret? There is the following opinion of Sonya Koshkina, the chief editor of LB.ua:
"What is the final goal of Filaret? To convene a Council that would displace Epifaniy.
Are there legal mechanisms for this? In an amicable way, no, they are not.
But if you look closer....
If you search for them, then - according to the Statute - it turns out: one third of the bishops (20 out of 60 people) may require the convocation of a Council in writing. And at the Council itself you will need two-thirds of the votes in favor.
Therefore, the "task minimum" of the Patriarch on Tuesday is to find 20 people who want to displace Epifaniy."
What does Epifaniy say?
Key theses are as follows:
- There is no need for the Council at the moment.
- Filaret did a lot to make the Ukrainian church independent.
- He did and does his best to have good and friendly relations with Filaret.
Filaret previously stated quite simple about his relations with Epifaniy. They are no relations.
“He should cooperate with me as a patriarch. I have such complaints about him, and he has never served and does not communicate with me for four or five months,” he said in an interview with TSN.
- Returning to the previous structure of the Kyiv Patriarchate means returning back to isolation and the loss of Tomos.
Orthodox Church of Ukraine may lose Tomos? Is it true?
Yes, this could happen.
The return of the Kyiv Patriarchate, change of the Charter or other cardinal decisions - in fact, are a violation of the terms of Tomos. And the basis for the withdrawal of this document.
Similar precedents have already happened.
In the 19th century, Romania, after gaining independence, unilaterally proclaimed autocephaly. Constantinople did not recognize it, and this led to a split. The country managed to get Tomos only 13 years later. With a number of conditions.
Romanians violated conditions. Constantinople withdrew Tomos. They managed to return the autocephaly only after 7 years.
In 1872, Bulgaria also unilaterally proclaimed the autocephaly. Constantinople did not recognize this decision. The conflict lasted more than 70 years.
So, some intermediate results:
- Filaret wants to convene the Council. Although, according to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine charter, only the Primate Epifaniy can do this.
- At the Cathedral, Filaret wants to raise the issue of changing the Charter of the church.
- This may be the basis for the withdrawal of Tomos (especially if it concerns the proclamation of autocephaly unilaterally or the resumption of the Kyiv Patriarchate).
- Filaret admits the split of the church because of this.
"I admit it, but we will create a single church - the Kyiv Patriarchate."