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Can the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate (UOC KP) be recognized as canonical? And what is the price to pay?

For 23 years the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchat has been trying to achieve the recognition and to consolidate the Ukrainan believers. Finally, in September the Convocation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople gave the hope for soon resolution of this issue.  During the meeting, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew discussed with Metropolitan Anthony (Szczerba) and Yuri (Kalischuk), Bishops Daniel (Zelinsky), Hilarion (Rudyk) and Andrew (Peshko) the position of Orthodoxy in Ukraine and clearly indicated that the division can be overcome only under the patronage and mediation of Constantinople.

Besides, American billionaire and philanthropist G.Soros met the head of information division and the permanent member of the Holy Synod of the UOC KP Eustratius (Zorya) during his visit to Kiev. Many users of social networks and forums assumed that the subject of their conversation could be the attitude to LGBTI in Ukraine. It was noted that Mr. Soros could suggest assistance in obtaining the canonical status of the UOC KP in a response to mitigation of the church's position regarding sexual minorities and legal protection of their rights. Indeed, archbishop Eustratius hadn't spoken a word about the "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" as legal concepts since the meeting till assumptions became viral!

Moreover, some Ukrainian Orthodox Christians have apprehension of Eustratius Zorya's possible appointment as Kiev Patriarch instead of Filaret. And the validity of these concerns was confirmed by the fact that the meeting with the representative of the UOC KP was appointed by Soros not by chance, but on the recommendation of Constantinople Patriarchate Metropolitan of Prussia (Constantinople Patriarchate) Elpidofor Lambriniadis. This is the reason why I appeal to all believers with the question: can the church which hierarchs are ready to bargain on the commandments be canonically recognized?

Me as a parishioner of the UOC KP concerns that the cost of making my church under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople may be accommodation to the spread of ungodly way of life and the destruction of the traditional values of our society. Where is the good of such the canonicity if Constantinople Patriarch or his clerics go with the sponsors of sodomist communities?


A very important question, though MY concern is how the EC "seems" to pick and choose who will be "in communion" and who won't. Politics seems to play too large a role in such decisions. Yet, for me, it seems the greatest challenge is to be obedient to the bishop, whether he be last among equals or first among equals. Lord have mercy!

"And the Lord God said, "It is not good for man to be alone. I will make him a helper comparable to him." Genesis 2:18 Saint Athanasius Academy Septuagint (SAAS)

Thank you for your reply!
Personally, I wouldn't question any hierarch's authority in general since it descends from the God... But politics really "seems to play too large a role in such decisions"! IMO, It's their free will., but Christian community may have its own and should pray for them at least...

I'm certainly no expert on these matters, but it seems to me due to church lineage, if Kiev wishes no more to be with Moscow's synod, no longer with Moscow's patriarch, then first step is to seek permission to revert to her original status as member of Constantinople's synod, under Constantinople's patriarch. Anything more than that would be a next step to think about only after achieving the first one.

"Tact: the ability to describe others as they see themselves." (Abraham Lincoln)

I'm certainly no expert on these matters, but it seems to me due to church lineage, if Kiev wishes no more to be with Moscow's synod, no longer with Moscow's patriarch, then first step is to seek permission to revert to her original status as member of Constantinople's synod, under Constantinople's patriarch. Anything more than that would be a next step to think about only after achieving the first one.

"Tact: the ability to describe others as they see themselves." (Abraham Lincoln)

Of course, if bishops more firmly exercised their ancient right to be sovereign within their own dioceses, I suppose de facto it wouldn't matter whether Kiev is with Constantinople or Moscow because the local bishops would handle their own affairs locally. Oh well, in these confused times, God only knows what comes next. Lord have mercy. Unhappy

"Tact: the ability to describe others as they see themselves." (Abraham Lincoln)

Not a long time ago I've talked to my friends from Italy. During our conversation a lot of interesting details about the self-styled Kyivan Patriarchate. Its European believers appear to be concerned about the admission of sectarian "archpriest" Petru Parvu to the "Orthodox Diocese of Paris and All France".
I've checked the facts and they seemed for me to be of great importance, especially in the context of Ukrainian schism and current efforts to create so-called "One Local Ukrainian Orthodox Church". I humbly ask you all to see the details in my post:

It's really worrying me how schismatics support each other against the canonical Church and thus lead unwary people from Christ...

If I may interject and momentarily change the subject:

As regards origins, I've written a book about origins, which has the great merit that it should not inspire fanatical devotion or questioning whether people who disagree are really full-fledged Orthodox. You have my invitation to read it, but my purpose here is to mention it in passing as there is something much bigger than the fossil record at play.

What we have discovered is that with physical constants and the size of the universe (I'm not trying to settle age), the physical constants (the speed of light, for instance) appear to be remarkably fine-tuned to support life. The uncontested opinion of scientists I have read discussing the physical constants of the world we live in is that if you perturb the balance by almost the faintest bit, the possibility of life collapses. The chance of constants happening to support life by chance are a bit difficult to describe without using scientific notation, but one explanation is that the chances of random physical constants supporting life are much more exacting than a sniper hitting a proton (smaller than any atom) at the other side of the universe.

One detail of that discussion is to ask, "Why is the universe so vast?" And what turns up is that just as it would be impossible for us to live under the faintest perturbation of physical constants, the question, "How much leg room do we need?" is answered, "Pretty much a universe's worth." We couldn't come close to living in a universe where the earth was the largest object, and we couldn't come close to living in a universe where the sun or solar system was the largest object either.

Now to get on to a patristic point. God uses evil people as essentially "leg room", essential to the formation of saints (by which I do not here mean only canonized saints, but all who receive a good answer before the Dread Judgment Seat of Christ). If I may be excused a C.S. Lewis quote, Satan is without doubt nothing else than a hammer in the hand of a benevolent and severe God. For all, either willingly or unwillingly, do the will of God: Satan and Judas as instruments, John and Peter as sons.

A note to Nadia in particular: The issues you mention are significant, and there is possibility for great evil. But the biggest thing you can do is not activism or its kin, worry; St. Isaac of Syria(?) said, "Find peace with yourself, and ten thousand around you will be saved." All that we need to do is attend to our own sanctification and repent of our sins.

(Written as I am seeking to enter monasticism as an arena for the repentance of my many sins.)

C.J.S. Hayward

Last update on November 1, 4:48 pm by Christos Jonathan Hayward.
Christos Jonathan Seth Hayward,

Thank you, Christos!

May God save you!

You are very welcome. Please continue to pray for me as I try to approach monasticism.

Christos Jonathan Seth Hayward,

And one other thing:

There have been various errors floating around, such as Arianism or gnosticism; the question at a particular point in time is not really whether there are common errors, but which errors there are, and how prevalent. The Church Councils were not convened for bishops to congratulate themselves on how smoothly things were going under their care; they were a kind of a last measure taken when the problems were particularly bad. (Orthodoxy may see the councils as golden, but I have not heard of an Orthodox suggesting that the problems the councils were responding to were golden.) And history has born certain things out: Arius gets it harder in the Liturgy than Judas Iscariot, and now, well over a millenium later, we have not only the (Anglican) Archdruid of Canterbury Rowan Williams writing a rehabilitation of Arius, but Protestant friends have told me essentially that in their neck of the woods Arianism is the preferred "brand" of Christianity.

I have had extended contact with what my spiritual father called "LGBTs, or whatever they are called this week." I knew a gay man who called himself my friend without consulting me, and felt free to answer every new posting to my website with criticism that delivered pain, took me down quite a few notches, and clearly placed him even more notches socially. After I had enough, I asked him to stop criticizing me about my writing. He responded by brutal criticism about my person. I asked him not to send me any further criticism at all; he said "I will not send any further criticism, but I will take emails from you as a solicitation for response," and responded with more brutal criticism. He told me very judgmentally that I do not have the right to post works publicly without receiving anything he wished to post in my inbox; the situation stopped only when I copied email administrators, at which point he abruptly stopped his stream of criticism.

I think of one professor, a bisexual Jesuit, who seemed to enjoy making me sexually uncomfortable in front of the class, on top of a drainingly lewd environs of humor: hence the only way to explain that one philosopher owed a debt to another by saying he "s___ed at [Martin] Heidegger's t__s."

And I think of my extended formation in the "theology" of feminism-which-morphed-or-rebranded-into-gender-studies, with concepts such as sexual minority front and center. In one text I read, from what is called "Radical Orthodoxy" (to which I would mainly say, "They have some things right but save your money and ask your parish priest for reading recommendations;" part of a parish priest's job is to offer hand-picked books to bookworms), spoke of "the incestuous, homosexual union of the Father and the Son".

And I've seen some dirty tricks on the way. There is a "tar baby" effect to almost any attempt I've made to have a rational conversation.

I've had extended contact with the LGBT Zeitgeist that is simply in the air today, and just as I believe the Orthodox Church was right in her response to Arianism, I believe the Orthodox Church was and is right in her response, crystal-clear, to questions of sexuality. And that trying to make her more politically correct is not an improvement.

Christos Jonathan Seth Hayward,

One P.S.

If you don't see that there is a dark side to what might be called "advances in sexual diversity," I seriously suggest that you listen to an Ancient Faith podcast after the recent rainbow-colored decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Last update on November 2, 6:58 am by Christos Jonathan Hayward.
Christos Jonathan Seth Hayward,

One other detail that came to mind:

At UIUC, I heard the worst sermon in my life. It said, essentially, "You have your own life and your own decisions, and I have mine, and I can't tell you much of anything." At that point, still a Protestant, I realized that every previous sermon in my life, without exception, assumed three tenets:

  • There is real Truth.
  • I know something of that Truth.
  • I can share some of that Truth to you.

Previous sermons occasionally contained royal mistakes after that point, but in my perhaps spoiled experience with Protestantism, pastors almost always got those three points down cold before they (potentially) started making mistakes.

That was the one time I left a "Christian" worship service in literal nausea because the sermon was so bad.

I don't know if Orthodoxy was then represented on my college campus; I believe it may have been, but I was not aware of it. However, in my searching of a dozen plus "Christian" groups, the one group I found that was in any sense alive was the vibrant Koinonia.

One or two homilies (I think this was hit on more than once) said, "Catholics have the best sex lives". What went into that was that study after study done in advocacy of alternative approaches to sexuality researched which sexual mavericks had it best, and to the consistent surprise and consternation of the people in charge, people living within marriage in the traditional Christian sense were found to have much better, more enjoyable, and more satisfying sexuality than any stripe of maverick.

Turning to another source, The Friendship Factor may be the most liberal title I've endorsed, but at one point, relatively briefly, the author states that working as a counselor in California he has seen people in almost every living arrangement you would imagine, and possibly a few that you would not, and he said that the more he has seen of creative living arrangements, the more he has concluded that God's guidelines were intended not to hurt us but to help us.

Last update on November 2, 7:46 am by Christos Jonathan Hayward.
Christos Jonathan Seth Hayward,

One other long, science-fictionary piece that may (or may not at all) be your cup of tea:

I watched an Anime cartoon, and I was trying to put a finger on what profoundly disturbed me about a thread in science fiction and how it treated spirit and body.

The title "Ghost in the Shell", which in my opinion had the heart of the series nailed, was a reference to Cartesian discussion of the "ghost in the machine," which is essentially a philosophical question that arises when you reach a philosophical conclusion that body and spirit inhabit watertight compartments that simply shouldn't be able to mix, but yet we are able to do things with our bodies out of what is in the mind. (Most people who try to address this question do not seem to consider that we might be unities with a single nature, so that mind and matter should naturally have some interaction with influence over each other.)

Out of that irritation, and one Lenten ascesis later, I wrote "Yonder" (read it on the web; or buy an ebook where it is the final work).

My intent wasn't to establish anything about sex, or anything about marriage. That its inner story focused on marriage arose by the way of trying to find something pure with which to answer something very unhealthy in much science fiction, but the event that odd science fiction tendencies were answered by talking about marriage says a lot.

Christos Jonathan Seth Hayward,
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