Religious Landscape Of Ukraine May Be Reshaped
The death of Metropolitan Methodius, the head of Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, may drastically influence the shape of Ukraine’s religious landscape – states the expert of Religious Informational Service of Ukraine Anatolij Babinskyj in his commentary for KRYNICA.INFO.
According to the expert, “UAOC not playing an important role in the Ukrainian spiritual life (that was caused by its head’s illness) its role was always a symbolic one”.
“It seems like this church is placed between UOC of Kyiv Patriarchate and UOC (of Moscow Patriarchate). To which church the UAOC allegiance shifts the advantage of this church increases. It is not about the number of parishes UAOC has, the advantage is of a symbolic nature”, – notes Anatolij Babinskyj.
The Patriarch of Kyiv and all Rus’-Ukraine of UOC (KP) has already called the UAOC episcopate to renew the dialog of a church unity. According to the expert, it is connected with the fact that Constantinople has already named the merger of UAO and CUOC (KP) as a condition of recognition of the latter, because there are no deep ideologic contradictions between. But if it was one of the most important strategic goals for Metropolitan Filaret, the archpriests of UAOC had never reached a unanimous position: some of them want to join Moscow Patriarchate, some of them want to join Kyiv Patriarchate and some of them try to uphold status quo.
“The Metropolitan Methodius had adhered to different political vectors during his primacy except of joining Patriarch Filaret. Can this merger take place today? Chances are great. First of all, there is a great demand for such union. People got tired of the fraction, that is why such measures will be welcomed. Of course, there might be an opposition. The probability of retaining of status quo also exists, but this is a path of a UAOC slow decay. Without looking for way out, for the ways of legitimization in the global context this structure is doomed. I also suppose that UAOC today is not able of escaping the isolation by, let us say, diaspore churches in the US and Canada, but this way still exists. But I think that Kyiv Patriarchate today is a very powerful structure, the dialog between Constantinople and UAOC without including Kyiv Patriarchate seems hardly probable”, – mentioned the expert.
Babinskyj: Constantinople “tests the waters” in Ukraine
Commenting recent announcement of Metropolitan Yuri, the head of Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada (that is under Constantinople jurisdiction), that Constantinople patriarchate will assist Orthodox Ukrainians to join the united Church in case the church representatives and the President of Ukraine will ask for that, Anatolij Babinskyj underlined that such statements could not be made without consent of Constantinople.
“This confirms the fact that Constantinople “test the waters” trying to find out how to act what is the climate in Ukraine. Of course, it does not mean that tomorrow we will see any dynamic actions, but this can be an impulse for Kyiv Patriarchate and UAOC finally to begin the negotiations, because their merger is supposed to be a prerequisute for a legitimization process. It should also be understood that Moscow Patriarchy will definitely oppose this initiative” – concluded the expert.
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