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Ukraine’s leader orders Orthodox Church to change its name

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaking to the media during his news conference in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s president on Saturday signed a bill that orders the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to change its name to reflect its ties to Moscow.

The Ukrainian church has been part of the Russian Orthodox Church for centuries, but some Ukrainian orthodox clerics, with government support, have moved to set up a separate independent Orthodox church in Ukraine. The move comes amid Ukraine’s disputes with Moscow after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Saturday signed the bill ordering the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to explicitly indicate its link to the Moscow Patriarchate in its name.

He said that would make it easier for Orthodox believers to choose between the new independent church or an Orthodox church that is still tied to Moscow.

“It is easier to make a choice when all things are called by their names,” Poroshenko said.

He insisted that the law doesn’t infringe on the religious freedom. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, however, has strongly protested the bill, denouncing it as an unconstitutional attempt by the government to meddle in the religious sphere.

When the Ukrainian parliament passed the bill Thursday, over 1,000 priests and parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church rallied outside the parliament building in Kiev to protest the move.

The Moscow Patriarchate also strongly condemned the creation of the new Ukrainian church, warning that it could trigger sectarian violence.

Metropolitan Hilarion at the Moscow Patriarchate said in televised comments Saturday that the Ukrainian authorities’ actions would encourage Ukrainian ultranationalists to try to grab the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s assets.

“They incite nationalist forces to continue their attempts to seize churches,” Hilarion said.

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  • “The Moscow Patriarchate also strongly condemned the creation of the new Ukrainian church, warning that it could trigger sectarian violence.”

    Oh, boy. More violence from theists in store. /s.

  • Strictly speaking, these are dogmatic religious institutions pretending to be spiritual when they are in fact very secular. Much like the Roman Catholic Church in the West. Sectarian violence has more to do with the very human competition for power than with theism as such, although the violence is frequently waged with “God’s Truth” as the phony excuse.

  • Strictly speaking the Orthodox Communion is expressed in regional terms of churchly jurisdiction often drawn along national lines. Many Orthodox churches adopt a national title (Albanian Orthodox, Bulgarian Orthodox, Antiochian Orthodox, Georgian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Montenegrin Orthodox, Romanian Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, Ukrainian Orthodox, etc.) and this title can identify which language is used in services, which bishops preside, and which of the typica is followed by specific congregations.

    Also the Western notion of “separation of church and state” is foreign to Orthodoxy, which had no counterpart to the “Reformation” and the religious wars which stemmed from it.

    Since Orthodox Christians, like Roman Catholics, and native Americans, are human beings, from time-to-time they act badly.

  • Damn! That was the sentence that caught my eye. And I was going to say something really snarky, and you ruined it for me.

  • Poroshenko working with US State Department to interfere in Church life there.

    Not a good thing when the Church tells the State what to do.

    Just as bad when the State tells the Church what to do.

  • When church people make mistakes, it casts doubt on the credibility of religion.

    When non-believers make mistakes, opps.

    ——————-
    “Perhaps as remarkable as anything else is Jesus’ ability to withstand the failings of his followers”

    Six Surprising ways Jesus Changed the World
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-ortberg/six-surprising-ways-jesus_b_1773225.html
    “the unpredictable influence of an unelected carpenter continues to endure and spread across the world”

  • Strictly speaking when Vladimir the Great converts the people of Ukraine to Christianity, Russia did not yet exist and a wood was there where it is now Moscow. And so it remained for another 300 years.

  • “They incite nationalist forces to continue their attempts to seize churches.”

    Like Russia did when it seized the Crimean peninsula?

  • Vlad did not actually convert anybody. He informed his subjects that they were Christians, and that was that. On Vlad’s part it was political, and on his subjects part it was involuntary.

  • The Old Believers are not comparable to the Reformation.

    The Reformation ejected the sacramental system, apostolic succession, and the preceding teaching on justification, among other things.

    The Old Believers maintain the liturgical and ritual practices existing to the reforms of the Patriarch Nikon between 1652 and 1666.

    A much closer analog would be the Society of Saint Pius X founded by Catholic bishop Marcel Lefebvre which rejected the liturgical changes after the Vatican II Council.

  • You’re obviously more educated in this topic than me. But I have always wondered about the similarities between the two, such as: the Old Believers rejected the central religious authority, even the authority of different Old Believers’ schisms, emphasized hard work (protestant work ethic) even on Sundays, being prudent with money (some of the richest merchants were Old Believers, like the Tretyakovs), etc. etc.

  • From the standpoint of the pre-Reformation Church the Reformation was a heresy, a break in doctrine.

    The break in authority came with the break in belief.

    The Old Believers are more accurately described as a schism, a break in authority.

    It is true that over time schisms often become heresies as the splinter group moves away from the parent.

    A good example would be the continental Old Catholics of 1900 compared to their progeny of 2018.

  • It is good for the Church to try to be an influence for good on a society and it’s leaders.

    It is not good for the government to dictate to the Church, as Poroshenko is doing.

    Your photo shows the Patriarch at a meeting; it tells us nothing about his spirituality, one way or the other.

    But we know about the clergy Poroshenko was chummy with. The so-called Patriarch (Denysenko) of the Kyiv Patriarchate kept a secret wife and children on the side; the so-called Bishops of the other group – the Ukrainian Orthodox Autocephalous Church – were not even validly consecrated Bishops. Two bogus, uncanonical groups.

  • The “unconstitutional attempt by the government [of Ukraine] to meddle in the religious sphere [in Ukraine]”, is actually LESS EVIL & HYPOCRITICAL than the “unconstitutional attempt by the government [of the United States] to meddle in the religious sphere [in Ukraine]”. Here’s why:

    (1) “With an apparent nod from the U.S. … Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, …on Oct. 11 stripped away the canonical authority of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church—Moscow Patriarchate (MP), sparking a crisis with Russia … even further … after the U.S.-backed 2014 coup in Kiev that overthrew an elected president who tilted towards Moscow…. In the past year [2018], discussions were held by U.S. officials with [the anti-Russian president Petro] Poroshenko and [the self-styled leader of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kiev Patriarchate, Mikhail] Denisenko. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell met with Denisenko in September. Then on Oct. 17, a press release in the name of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for religion in Ukraine to be ‘without outside interference.'”

    None of which is true, of course, WHICH, THEREFORE, MAKES FOR THE GREATER EVIL & HYPOCRISY. It’s all a propaganda Made in U.S.A.:

    (2) “The United States reiterates its strong support for religious freedom and the freedom of members of religious groups, including Ukraine’s Orthodox community, to govern their religion according to their beliefs, free of outside interference. … We urge Church and government officials to actively promote these values in connection with the move towards the establishment of an autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”

    Source: (1) “Ukraine-Russia Tensions Rise in Church Row”, Consortium News, November 7, 2018. (2) U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, Press Statement, October 19, 2018.

  • “The U.S.-backed 2014 coup in Kiev that overthrew an elected president who tilted towards Moscow” – happened under Obama & Clinton’s watch. No “violence from theists” there but from your Deep State B.F.F.! Got that thru your air head yet, Spin The Word, you?!

  • The right comparison is not to that but to what these “nationalist forces” did during “the U.S.-backed 2014 coup in Kiev [under Obama’s watch] that overthrew an elected president who tilted towards Moscow”. Wanna know how many fellow Ukrainians they ended up murdering?!

    You don’t know your Ukrainian history.

  • Re: “The Moscow Patriarchate also strongly condemned the creation of the new Ukrainian church, warning that it could trigger sectarian violence.” 

    Whenever someone needs to back up his/her made-up crap with threats like this one, they’ve revealed they know their made-up crap to be the made-up crap it is and they have nothing else, other than threats of violence, in order to support it. 

  • CORRECTION: It’s EggnogSticks like PsiCo here “[who]’ve revealed they know their made-up cr*p to be the made-up cr*p [that] it is”. Take a look:

    “PsiCo … [writing on] November 6, 2018 … October 4, 2018 … May 6, 2015 … I’m not deluded at all. … I’m neither an ‘atheist’ nor ‘progressive.’ … The label of ‘Agnostic’ best describes my thinking. … An Agnostic really … can find rewarding … Buddhism, but there are others, such as some forms of Pantheism and Neopaganism.”

    Wholly cr*p! Right?

  • Poroshenko’s bill casts the Ukranians’ religious choice, not as one between established church & schismatics, but as one between nationalists & foreigners. That’s clever enough as a political strategy, but the underlying effort to sway the Ukranians’ choice is a little too obvious an interference in the religious affairs of the nation to pass muster.

  • That’s one way of looking at it.

    As the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church illustrate, the baby may have been thrown out with the bath water.

  • “He informed his subjects that they were Christians, and that was that.”

    A citation to go along with that would make it smell better.

    “On Vlad’s part it was political ….”

    Ditto

  • Your quote (1) is an accurate description of what is going on. The Ecumenical Patriarch has been a State Department “asset” (stooge) for years, now being deployed to destroy the canonical Church as part of its Necon anti-Russa-all-the-time policies.

    Your quote (2) is totally hypocritic drivel from the Pompeo State Department, since it hardly supports “religious freedom” when the Ukrainian government meddles in Church affairs issuing diktats to the Church, even demanding it change its name. .90 out of 92 canonical Bishops, along with their flocks, oppose Poroshenko’s plan. “Religious freedom” by butt!

  • How did that work out? We now have thousands of denominations, sects and branches all claiming to be right. It also drives this forum, which I enjoy.

  • Means so much to me, fellow brother in Christ!

    Mark Connelly once said, ALL traditional, conservative Christianities are under attack by Liberals, Progressives, Nones, Atheists, Agnostics & LGBT. Not just against Catholics & Evangelicals.

    And now they’re attacking against Russian Orthodox, too.

    I read your comment last night. I’ll upvote it now.

  • Mark Connelly, or whatever names he likes to post under, doesn’t often tell the truth.

    Hyper conservative Catholics are attacking anyone in the church to the left of Attila the Hun. Especially the pope.

    Conservative Christians are constantly attacking other Christians. Just look at the postings in These Very Pages. And atheists. And liberal Christians. And gay people.

    We’ve had a number of virulently anti Semitic Christians attacking Jews on These Very Pages. Muslims are a favorite target. Hindus are d3mon worshippers, so we’ve been informed.

    Sandi thinks that Mormons, JW’s, SDA’s are all cults— her words.

    Conservatives like Baptists are constantly attacking Mormons.

    And many of the people you accuse of attacking conservatives are simply defending themselves.

  • When the Russians invaded Crimea there were 46 parishes there affiliated with the Kiev Patriarchate. 38 of them ceased to exist, and three churches were seized by the Russians.

  • BiO doesn’t know the truth.

    Everyone – gay, straight, Catholic, non-Catholic – are opposed to someone or another.

    However “anyone in the church to the left of Attila the Hun” is not hyperbole, it’s a falsehood.

    If you really want to see some ugly attacks:

    https://disqus.com/home/forum/joemygod/

  • The clergy of the Kyiv Patriarchate refused to recognize Russian political sovereignty and to register their parishes in accordance with Russian laws. They were not required to switch from KP to MP.

  • Because of enslaving unbelief, Missed-his Drained Mess-pit, YOU’LL NEVER KNOW THIS: that Romans 15:11 in the original Greek is “Αινειτε τον Κύριον” – transliterated and pronounced as “Aineite ton Kyrion”. But plainly & uncomplicatedly, though, it means, NOT as you’re mocking, “PRAISE YE THE LORD!” – but “Praise The Owning Master”! Only God & Jesus’ Spirit-captive slaves can do that. You, not much.

  • Which, according to a majority of the world’s nations, was the correct action since Russia’s annexation of Crimea is illegitimate. If the annexation is illegitimate, then so would be any cooperation with the conquering government. If the UOC (MP) refuses to change its name to accurately reflected its subordinate status to Moscow, as Ukrainian law now requires, should Ukraine dissolve its parishes and seize churches?

  • My historiography as an RNS Disqus-ist is as follows, actually:

    (1) I attacked Pre-Mark Connelly.
    (2) I attacked Pre-Sandinwinsor & Edward Borges-Silva.
    (3) I befriended Atheists & LGBTs.
    (4) I repented of (1) and (2) – forgive me, Mark, Sandi & Edward – because Atheists & LGBTs can’t get enough of hating Trump, Conservatives, Catholics, Evangelicals and, as in this article, Orthodox’s – and HATING FOR HATING’S SAKE.
    (5) Now I defend Trump, Conservatives, Catholics, Evangelicals and, as in this article, Orthodox’s – BECAUSE ATHEISTS & LGBTs HATE THEM FOR HATING’S SAKE.

  • From Wikipedia on the Russian Patriarchate. “Abolished in 1721 by Peter the Great, the patriarchate was restored on October 28 (November 10), 1917, by decision of the All-Russian Local Council.” The Russian atriarchate of today is not all that ancient and it has always been a servant of the Russian state.

  • Separation of church/religion and state is also not the practice in Canada. in fact the state provvides many supports to all incorporated religious bodies and also exercises certain control over them in order to protect the universality of citizen rights.

  • The canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church MP should in no way kow tow to the Ukrainian government’s violations of Orthodox canon law. It has always been, and remains, the canonical Orthodox Church in the Ukraine.

    The clergy of the KP in Crimea abandoned their flocks for political reasons. The clergy of the UOC/MP are remaining with their flocks despite extreme political pressure and the likelihood of violence, because they have always been, and remain, the true Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

  • Except that whatever its official title the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) isn’t really the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, it’s the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine and has been since 1686, when its independence was voided and it was placed under the authority of the Moscow Patriarchate.

  • It’s play (and a spin) on the phonetic sequence of your handle — as “Spin The Word” was a play and spin on “Thin The Herd.” As to the body of his comment, his meaning should be obvious enough: the real violence in this volatile situation wasn’t committed by believers, it was committed against believers, to advance an agenda directed by the U.S. foreign policy establishment under Obama’s watch.

    I hope that clears things up. It helps to review the comment he’s responding to before you comment on his response.

  • In general separation of church and state is not a feature of the Commonwealth countries.

    The United States had a particular aversion due to its history to an established church.

  • I’m sorry. I thought you were a better man than that, to believe, let alone speak, such nonsense. I guess I was wrong.

  • I believe the members of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church MP have a different take on who is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and care little for your opinion.

    Constituting the Church along strictly ethnic/nationalist lines – as the Ukrainians and EP are doing here – is basically the heresy of Phyletism. Ironically, Bartholomew himself condemned it – until, that is, Poroshenko and the US State Department got its claws into him to promote their political agendas.

  • What does it matter how old the Patriarchate is?

    Funny that you should promote the tired idea that the Patriarchate of today “has always been a servant of the Russian state”, when in the previous sentence you referred to its self-restoration in 1917 (something the state had long opposed), and then spent the next 75 years in a bloody struggle for survival in the Soviet Socialist state.

  • If that is what you see, it’s time to see the optometrist for a new prescription! Or maybe laser corrective surgery.

    Merry Christmas!

  • I would say that the Ukrainian government cares little for the opinion of the UOC (MP), any more than Russia cared for the opinions of the church leaders of the parishes it shut down and the churches it seized when they refused to accept its illegal seizure of the Crimean peninsula.

    As for that heresy, would that be the same that the Russian Orthodox Church fell prey to when the Russian government engineered that the Ukranian Orthodox Church be merged with it? Sounds to me like the UOC is simply undoing that long ago bit of Russian imperialism.

  • No, it is the exact opposite of what the Russian Orthodox Church did when it took over supervision of the Ukrainian Church. The Ukrainians are ethnically different than the Russians, whereas the heresy of phyletism promotes constituting the Church along strictly ethnic lines – as Poroshenko and his State Department masters are doing. You really need to bone up on your heresies before writing about them.

    As for the Crimean KP parishes, they shut down when they were abandoned by their Priests.

  • Wow, that was convincing!

    Would you care to elaborate, or do you have no real content behind your invective?

    Christ is born! Glorify Him!

  • Kindly be more specific about the nature of my deceit, good Mrs. Nesbitt.

    Maybe you can turn me from my deceitful ways, and make me as enlightened as yourself.

    Christ is born! Glorify Him!

  • Donald TRump: Pootie Baby my love, soon we make great Russiamerica together. Getting really hot over here on me with Mueller going to impeach my ass. I need trip to Moscow and be safe there.

    Vlad: No problem DonnieBoy. Soon I take over Ukraine and more. We make apartment in Siberia for you next to Eddie Snowden and big babushkas keep you warm and your small hands busy yes and Mark Connelly and Rick Brant service you as usual. I handle Melanoma divorce for you and no problem Russia-style with my big bare chest on hers.

  • Your not speaking to me you HEATHEN. You most resemble SATAN who you are and you cry not decry when you reach End Times

  • You are so convinced of HIM but wrong HIM as SATAN, and you stop invection of drugs or one more sin for Christ to PUNISH YOU FOR!!!!!

  • We’re already IN the End Times, sleepyhead. And –strange to recount — YOU’RE the one doing the “crying” on this board.

  • “…invection of drugs…”

    Bwahahaha! What does that even mean? In English, that is!

    Take another ESL class before you post here again!

  • First you tell me to speak for myself.
    Then you try to tell me I can’t actually do it
    Make up your mind (assuming you’ve actually got one).
    You can’t have it both ways.

  • …or to forgive him for. Just out of curiosity…is forgiveness even on the radar screen in your version of “Christ?”

  • You can drink all you want then but You are a DECEIVER and God will PUNISH you and you know why in the End Times

  • No you spoke SATANS words and you can’t have it your way with God. HE will PUNISH you for this SIN

  • When I first visited Patheos Nonreligious blogs, my head and heart told me, Yeah, I’ll be okay commenting there. And I have been ever since. But over the Holidays, upon my 1st visit at JMG – OMG mercy Jesus! My head and heart couldn’t take in the spirit of the age there. Didn’t know that LGBT is more overwhelming than Atheists! Now I know.

  • Until you’ve had a 65 year old woman detail what does with her 18-year-old girlfriend in an effort to shock you, you haven’t experienced JMG.

    Of course nothing shocks me.

  • You are the incompetent and HEATHEN. Play with yourself with words again is just more your work for SATAN and you will burn in HELL!!!

  • Not yet OttoZeit you HEATHEN. You most resemble SATAN who you are and you cry not decry when you reach End Times but you have not done work to get you End Times yet.

  • Rickie, little boy like you only get marbles but me and Donnie, we get big money rubles and dollars presently.

    Love,
    Vlad

  • Sounds like I a hit a nerve, Mr. Hasbara Troll.

    Yom tov!

    Don’t spend all your shekels in one place!

  • Donald TRump: Pootie Baby my love, soon we make great Russiamerica together. Getting really HOT over here on me with Mueller going to impeach my ass.I need trip to Moscow and be safe there.

    Vlad: No problem DonnieBoy. Soon I take over Ukraine again and more. We make apartment in Siberia for you next to Eddie Snowden and big babushkas keep you warm and your small hands busy yes and Rick Brant service you on his knees as usual. I handle Melanoma divorce for you and no problem Russia-style with my big bare chest on hers.

  • You ran through those shekels already, so now you post again to make some more?

    Those little boy “escorts” must be charging you double for you to “spend time” with them, putz head.

  • Vlad: great work as get government shut down Donnie Orange1. You great work at break democracy. Some day Russia give you big award -ha ha and because I say so.

    Donald TRump: Pootie Baby my love, soon we can make great Russiamerica together. Getting really HOT over here on me with bad press of shutdown and I need a wall and Mueller is going to impeach my ass.I need trip to Moscow and be safe there.

    Vlad: No problem DonnieBoy. Soon I take over Ukraine again and more. We make apartment in Siberia for you next to Eddie Snowden and big babushkas keep you warm and your small hands busy yes and Rick Brant service you on his knees as usual but we no allow him get at little boys so much here as he did in your state. I handle Melanoma divorce for you and no problem Russia-style with my big bare chest on hers.

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