Putin assails Ukraine Orthodox church reform

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a Cabinet meeting in Moscow on Dec. 26, 2018. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin has criticized Ukraine’s move to set up a new Orthodox church independent from Moscow and promised to defend religious freedom.

Earlier this month, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople granted independence to a new Orthodox Church of Ukraine, formally severing its centuries-long ties with the Russian Orthodox Church. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who runs for re-election in March, has spearheaded the move that forced clergy and believers to choose between belonging to the old Moscow-affiliated church or the new Ukrainian one.

Putin said the push for the new church was rooted in “the struggle for power” and provoked “animosity and intolerance.” He warned Thursday that “we reserve the right to react and will do everything to protect human rights, including freedom of conscience.”

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  • “Putin said the push for the new church was rooted in “the struggle for power” and provoked “animosity and intolerance.”
    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and a mirror is not required to see it.
    “He warned Thursday that “we reserve the right to react and will do everything to protect human rights, including freedom of conscience.” And you can prove it on any street in Russia just by saying loudly, in front of others, on any street in Russia, three magic words: “I AM GAY.”

  • And people will come along telling you that it is a sin that you need to repent of to get to Heaven.

  • A totally misleading title.

    The was no Church “reform”.

    All that happened was that the Ecumenical Patriarch granted recognition to two schismatic groups by granting them a semi-autocephaly – which he did by invading the territory of a different Autocephalous Church , which he had no recognized right to due.

    The main and canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine (UOC-MP) rejected the EP’s move, and would not join.

    The most ludicrous part of the EP’s deal – not reported in the Western media – is that the new church under the EP has significantly less independence from the EP than the UOC-MP has from Moscow.

  • The Russians I know tell me that if you do that on the average street on Russia, you will probably get one of two reactions:

    1. People will give you an odd look and shy away from you.


    2. They will do what Sandi in EL says below.

  • Interesting that you dehumanize those you disagree with by putting the word people in quotes, clearly implying that to you they are not really human beings.

    So you are following the example of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who was recently vilified for having written in “Little House on the Prairie”: “There were no people there, only Indians”.

    Do you also follow the state of New York and the Governor of Virginia in dehumanizing babies in the womb up to the nanosecond of birth, and maybe even afterwards? Sounds like your style.

  • If it takes on the form of an unauthorized demonstration,you might be detained, same as any unauthorized demonstration. An example of equal treatment for gays.

  • Nope people are being locked up for being gay. It is precisely what American evangelicals lobbied for in Russia and other countries. They want pogroms if gays world wide. It is why you are supporting them here.

  • Your first link deals with someone who violated”well vetted sources” = “sources that agee with Spuddie’s slant”

    Your first link tells of a young guy who willfully and foolishly violated his country’s laws. Not like he didn’t know.

    Your second link deals with the predominantly Muslim (95%) Republic of Chechnya, whose dynamics are quite different from properly Russian regions. Not only gays, but Christians also are in danger there, with worshipers sometimes attacked by Muslim radicals.

  • I can’t help it if lying and making cheap denials is the only rebuttal you have. By all means give me articles which refute the ones I provided or show they were factually incorrect.

    But frankly if you weren’t lying, you would have nothing to say. A conservative bleating “fake news” just means “I have no rebuttal to obvious facts presented”.

  • Your comment makes no sense. Not that I find that unusual.

    My comment on your first link was based on information contained in that news article. Perhaps you should actually read the articles you provide links to, and not just the headlines.

    My comment on your second link is based on common knowledge about the Republic of Chechnya – though I guess it is news to you. Enlighten yourself by doing a simple search on the subject. Try say, Wikipedia for some basic facts about Chechnya.

  • Its more legitimate than the means by which the Russian Church declared its own separation from Constantinople way back when. It is also necessary when the Russian Church lets itself be used as a weapon of the Russian government in Ukraine.

  • “Try say, Wikipedia for some basic facts about Chechnya.”

    Why try Wikipedia? It was YOU who denigrated Wikipedia as a source of information about sexual orientation (on the American Bible Society thread the other day).

    Your rudeness undercuts your supposed attempts to refute what others share. You are thus your own worst enemy.

  • I reply by paragraph:

    + It was not my attempt to “dehumanize” anyone.. I was pointing our the connection between the “people” and their message. Repentance *follows* God’s forgiveness. Without the latter, the former cannot happen.

    + No, not at all.

    + No, not at all. I’ve shared my condemnation of abortion on other threads. I approve it only to save a woman’s life.

    You’re quick to judge, slow to think. (Just more feedback for your benefit.)

  • Your comment was a ridiculous dismissal. Typical “fake news” bleat when one reads a news article they don’t like and have nothing of value to say in response. The Republic of Chechnya is Russian sovereign territory.

  • No. The Russian Church severed its ties to Constantinople when the later fell into heresy at the Council of Florence. They rejected the uniate Metropolitan Isidore, and in 1448 elected Bishop Jonas as the primate. They were effectively autocephalous from that time. A century later, after Constantinople had rejected its uniate heresy and returned to Orthodoxy, Russia applied for formal recognition of its autocephalous Patriarchate, and received it in 1589.

    In all this, Russia acted properly, unlike the EP today, which has invaded the canonical territory of another independent autocephalous Church (acting as if it were an Eastern Pope), and entered into communion with schismatics.

    The UOC-MP is Ukrainian to its core, and prefers not to involve itself in politics – unlike Poroshenko’s lapdog “autocephalous” group.

  • 1. They did not have the authority to sever ties
    2. “effectively autocephalous” is not official or necessarily legal under canon law
    3. A part of obtaining official autocephalous status and a patriarch was the tacit admission that they were not autocephalous before-hand.

    If abuses by a patriarch is license to declare autocephalacy, then Ukraine is in the clear.

  • 1. They had full authority to do so, as the necessity of breaking communion with heretics is attested to all the way back to Apostolic Canon 45, and numerous canons in the following centuries.

    2. “effectively autocephalous” is indeed an anomolous situation, one necessitated by the EP’s acceptance of uniate heresy at Florence. After Constantinople returned to Orthodoxy, the situation was finally regularized in 1589.

    3. That is why I used the term “effectively autocephalous”. There is usually a period of time between when a local Church claims autocephaly, and when it is finally legally recognized by the mother Church. For example, the Bulgarian Church parted ways with Constantinople in 1872; its autocephaly was recognized by C-ple in 1945, and the Russian Metropolia in America parted ways with the Russian Orthodox Church in 1924; its autocephaly (as the “Orthodox Church in America”) was granted by Moscow in 1970.

    4. The only abuses by a Patriarch in the Ukraine are by Constantinople, who invaded the canonical territory of another independent autocephalous Church and entered into communion with two schismatic groups, neither of which things he had any recognized authority to do.

  • 1. They did not have the authority to determine who is heretical, as they were under the EP.

    2. You say “regularized,” I say it was only made licit for the first time.

    3. The two cases you cite are specious. The Orthodox Church in America was given autonomy and then autocephaly. The Bulgarian Church hosted the first Patriarch after the original Pentarchy, which was vacated by the Ottoman invasions. But they had autocephaly for the majority of the church’s history.

    4. The Russian Church has given support to ethnic Russian rebels in Ukraine. They chose a side in a national (and international) conflict. Moscow tried to walk it back later, but the abuse was already done. Its actually similar to the EP’s reason for recognizing the Bulgaria Patriarch after the Greek Church spent a century involved in the political affairs of the Balkans on Greece’s behalf.

  • Even though restrictive political ties have been severed to better serve the parishioners inside their specific cultural context; nevertheless, for the sincere Christians of either Ukraine or Russia, they are all ONE within the sovereignty of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • 1. When one’s bishop or primate falls into heresy, it is necessary to sever contact with them. The example of St.Mark of Ephesus and St. Maximus the Confessor make this abundantly clear, as do the Holy Canons: “One must not join in prayer with heretics or schismatics” (Laodicea Canon 33). It is clear that Constantinople fell under these strictures by entering into communion with the Roman Catholics.

    2. A pedantic quibbling over words with no real difference.

    3. The Russian Metropolia in America was never given Autonomy by the Russian Church. It severed its relations due to the chaos of the revolution and the recognition of the “Living Renovated Church” as the legal Orthodox Church in the Soviet Union. Autocephaly was only obtained by the Metropolia in 1970. As to Bulgaria, I was only referring to the period between 1872 and 1945 as an example of a period between a Church’s assertion of autocephaly and the actual granting of it; I was not talking about that Church’s earlier history.

    4. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church under Metropolitan Onuphrii has been very careful to not involve itself in the civil conflict, unlike both the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and the Kyiv Patriarchate, which have been rabidly nationalistic. The canonical UOC did not ask for autocephaly, and the EP has no recognized right to interfere in the internal affairs of another autocephalous Church.

  • 1. A blanket statement about avoiding heretics does not give a metropolitan greater authority than a patriarch.

    2. Official status matters, or else the entire debate about the Ukrainian Church’s independence is moot.

    3. The American Church was given autonomy by the Russian Patriarch Tikhon. They did not just claim their own autocephaly or autonomy.

    4. The canonical Moscow Metropolitate did not ask for autocephaly either, only gaining it when secular representatives asked for it. Ukraine is under attack, and has had its lands invaded and annexed: that its clerics should be dismayed is only right.

  • 1. You can take that up with St. Mark of Ephesus and St. Maximus the Confessor, neither of whom were Patriarchs.

    2. Reality matters, and the reality in the Ukraine is that the EP is invading the canonical territory of another autocephalous Church, without the permission of that Church and in violation of Orthodox canonical standards. He is acting like he is an Eastern Pope, and the other Churches are so far having none of it. At today’s enthronement of the EP’s newly minted “Metropolitan” Epiphanii, ALL the other Autocephalous Churches refused to send delegates or participate in any way.

    3. The Ukaz of Patriarch Tikhon was a temporary expedient relating to all dioceses outside the reach of the Soviet authorities, not a normal granting of autonomy to the Metropolia specificall.

    4. The Russian Church was in full agreement with the efforts of Prince Boris Gudonov in obtaining autocephaly. This was not the case in Ukraine, where the Ukrainian Church opposed autocephaly, and still does. The majority of the Church there – clerics and people – want nothing to do with it.

  • No, I vary my responses according to the kind of poster I am replying to, following the principle in the verse:

    “With the loyal thou dost show they self loyal;
    with the blameless man thou dost show thyself blameless;
    with the pure thou dost show thyself pure;
    and with the crooked thou dost show thyself perverse.” (Psalm 18:25-6)

    And with the [email protected]$$ I …

  • Your comments tend strongly to demonstrate you do not regard opponents as “loyal”, “blameless”, or “pure”.

    If “perverse” is how you’d describe yourself, so be it.

    As for the description of you as a “[email protected]$$”, that’s appropriate, too.

    Take your pick.

  • I pick regarding those (like yourself) who choose to dehumanize their opponents (see your response to Sandi) as in no way “loyal”, “blameless”, or “pure”. To dehumanize anyone is certainly “perverse”, and puts one in the same class as others who dehumanize their fellow human beings – such as abortionists and slavers. If you choose to be in the same class as they by acting like them,don’t expect me to applaud you for that.

    As for those who post like [email protected], I adopt the practice of replying to them in a manner they will understand.

    And so I leave you with: “Hee haw, hee haw!”

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