Russian patriarch visits Ukraine

Coverage of the visit of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill in Ukraine including Live Broadcast feeds

BBC

Why do I get the feeling that this event will not be a cause for dancing in the streets of Lviv?

I’m sorry malphono, but I don’t understand. Would you mind explaining your comment?

He is trying to make joke of situation of churches of Ukraina. We have Ukraino-Greko Catolics in Lviv and far Western Ukraina along polish border. We have then a schism in Orthodox church with three calling themselves Orthodox - Ukrainian Orthodox, Ukrainian Kiev Metropolate, and Ukrainian autocephalic orthodox. Patriarch Kirill is Patriarch of ukrainian orthodox church.

However, people in Lviv are not too interested in such problems, I would not believe. Schism in Orthodox is more important in Kiev, Central and Eastern Ukraina.

You correctly point out that Greek Catholicism in Ukraine is (for the most part) largely a regional phenomenon, although that could change.

L’viv is at the far western edge of the country, it was rather late in coming into union with Rome compared to the other dioceses in the Union of Brest, but it was controlled by the kingdom of Poland, then the Austrian empire, and then the republic of Poland, (two Catholic countries) for a long time. Greek Catholics became concentrated in the region.

Today the Greek Catholics represent about seven or eight percent of the Ukrainian population of about 65,000,000 people.

Wiki has a good diocesan map for the whole country here.

As I understand it, the split in Orthodox is because the breakaway churches do not want Ukraine to be part of Russia’s canonical territory. They want their own independent patriarchate. Four hundred years ago, they turned to the Bishop of Rome through the Union of Brest, but over time Russia got its canonical territory back, with the Greek Catholics largely confined to Western-controlled territory such as Galicia. Under communism, all church’s non-affiliated with the Moscow Patriarchate were driven underground, including I think at least one predecessor church of the current breakaways. The current leader of the “Kiev Patriarchate” actually was a mouthpiece for Moscow Patriarch years ago in calling for non-affiliated churches to return to Moscow. He has since changed his tune, since he now leads one of his own. If there is a Ukraine patriarch - an academic question at this point - where do the Byzantine Catholics fit in this puzzle? The current Ukraine president (member of the KP) has been saying nice things about the Greek Catholics and even showed up at a Marian shrine.

My gut feeling is that the Vatican will avoid gestures seen as provocative to Moscow as part of groundwork for a papal visit there. So they’d likely stay out of the inter-Orthodox spat. And we’re not likely to see a Ukrainian Catholic patriarch either.

PATRIARCH KIRILL SCHEDULE UKRAINA

27 July Kyiv
Moleben at Vladimirskij Hill
Meeting of Holy Synod
Meeting with President Ukraina VA Iushenko
Visit to War monument
Visit to memorial of victims of Mass Hunger
Allnigtht Waking Service on the Place in front of the Uspenski Sobor at the Cave monastery

28 July Tuesday

Day of memory of Holy Equal to Apostle Great Prince Vladimir
Divine Liturgy on Place in front Uspenskij Sobor
Procession to Distant Caves; Cave Monastery
Meeting at construction site of Cathedral Sobor city Kyiv
Teleivisin broadcast on kanal Inter in studio

29 July, Wednesday

Meeting with Bishops, spiritual persons, monatics, laity, students of the Kyiv Spiritual academy and intellectausl in the Trapeznij temple of the Caves Monastery

30 July, Thursday
Donetsk
Divine Liturgy in the Holy Mountain Monastery, procession
Meeting in the Cathedral Sobor
31 July, Friday
Meeting at Holy Nicholas Basil monastery
Prayer service

Simferopol

Meeting at construction of Cathedrfal Sobor
Blessing Sobor crosses.

2 August, Sunday

**Sevastopol’
**
Divine Liturgy in Holy Vladimir Sobor, Khersones
Procession on the Place of Nakimof

Rovno

Meeting at Holy Ressurectin Sobor in Rovno

Ровно

3August, Monda
Meeting at Holy Nicholas Monastery

***Lutsk
Meeting at Cathedral Sobor, city Lutsk

***4 August, Tuesday

Volyn Vladimir
Meeting at Holy Uspensij Cathedral Sobor, city Vladimir/Vlyn

Pochaev***

All night Waking Service in Pochaev monastery

5 August, Wednesday

Divine Liturgy, Place of Pochaev monastery


guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/jul/28/kirill-ukraine-russia-orthodox

“Kirill is not the Kremlin’s man”. The article claims that his main interest is pan-Orthodox unity.

At 62, Kirill is relatively young and his patriarchal rule could last for a generation. Together with the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople and others, he will seek to strengthen Orthodoxy against the forces of aggressive secularism and atheism and to affirm the autonomy of the church vis-à-vis the state without divorcing religion from politics.

One of his right hand man has openly called for an alliance with the Catholic Church to combat the same forces. It is ecumenism in the best sense of the word.

+Kyrill is generally trying to engage in damage control since the latest statistics show that Ukrainians who claim to be religious and who claim the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kyivan Patriarchate are now a full 10% higher than the Moscow Patriarchate.

My son just got back from L’viv and indicated Kyrill’s visit was not welcomed at all by either the Ukrainian Orthodox - Kyivan Patriarchate or the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox or even the local or oblast (roughly equivalent to a State over here) governments.

I’m not sure what dreamland the Guardian writer is describing, but it is certainly not the Muscovite Orthodox Church. +Kyrill seems to be stepping according to the pace set by +Pimen and +Alexei before him.

We’ll take this misinformation one step at a time.

As I understand it, the split in Orthodox is because the breakaway churches do not want Ukraine to be part of Russia’s canonical territory. They want their own independent patriarchate. Four hundred years ago, they turned to the Bishop of Rome through the Union of Brest, but over time Russia got its canonical territory back, with the Greek Catholics largely confined to Western-controlled territory such as Galicia.

You apparently do not understand. The Church of Kyiv predates Moscow by a significant number of centuries. The Church of Kyiv always had close ties with Constantinople, and secondarily Antioch until well into the seventeenth century and the expansion of Muscovy. Even St. Peter Mohyla had a plan for a suggested reintegration of the Kyivan Metropolia with Rome and Constantinople based on a dual-communion. His untimetly death and Muscovite expansion did not see that through. Ukrainians are Ukrainians, and not Russians. That goes for the ecclesiological provenance as well as the ethnic.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church was suppressed sometimes violently until the 20th century. Like Bulgaria or other Churches which deserved and eventually received autocephally, the Kyivan Church also is realizing its growing pains with overt pressure from Moscow not to do so. Remember the Bulgarian Orthodox Church was actually declared to be “without grace” by Constantinople for almost 75 years and thus all of her priests and sacraments invalid (at least in the eyes of Constantinople).

Most recent statistics as I cited above show the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate gaining ground at a more rapid pace in the last five years. +Kyrill’s visit seems much more to avert any further movement towards autocephaly than anything else. Why shouldn’t the Church who is the precursor of Moscow be granted autocephaly?

The Greek Catholics in Tsarist areas were forceably reintegrated either into the Polish Latin parishes or the Orthodox (or in the case of Pratulyn, just executed).

Under communism, all church’s non-affiliated with the Moscow Patriarchate were driven underground, including I think at least one predecessor church of the current breakaways. The current leader of the “Kiev Patriarchate” actually was a mouthpiece for Moscow Patriarch years ago in calling for non-affiliated churches to return to Moscow. He has since changed his tune, since he now leads one of his own.

Unlike Agent Drozdov, the former Patriarch +Alexei, the current Patriarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate, +Filaret, has publically asked for forgiveness for his acts while in the Moscow Patriarchate. He essentially threw away all of his political clout, his financial future of salary, benefits, etc. with the Moscow Patriarchate to lead a fledgling Church who was just coming out of the catacombs in many ways, and a very unsure prospect. I certainly do not condone many things that +Filaret likely did in his past; realistically every Soviet-era hierarch of the MP, including the current Patriarch, has baggage associated with the outfall from the Sergian capitulation of the MP during the Stalin era. Compromise was part and parcel of obtaining an episcopal appointment.

If there is a Ukraine patriarch - an academic question at this point - where do the Byzantine Catholics fit in this puzzle? The current Ukraine president (member of the KP) has been saying nice things about the Greek Catholics and even showed up at a Marian shrine.

We already have a Patriarch; like the Maronites we elected one and sooner or later it will be recognized outside of our Church (the Melkite Patriarch addresses our Patriarch as such). Regarding President Yushchenko, his personal religion is his business, but if he chooses to support Churches that actually represent an historic Kyivan ecclesiological identity, all the better in my book rather than continuing to support the political and religious suppression coming from the MP.

Considering the abortion rate in Russia is the highest in the entire world, and has been for probably a decade (certainly since the Church has been able to operate freely) I am not sure what attraction there is, anyway, at least on a level of moral teachings.

My gut feeling is that the Vatican will avoid gestures seen as provocative to Moscow as part of groundwork for a papal visit there. So they’d likely stay out of the inter-Orthodox spat. And we’re not likely to see a Ukrainian Catholic patriarch either.

Ostpolitik is still present; it just now takes more subtle forms.

Regarding the Patriarchate, those of us in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church commemorate our leader as Patriarch; for Eastern Christians once we realize something liturgically the lex orandi reinforces the lex credeni. My bishop actually directed all clergy to commemorate His Beatitude as Patriarch; he does so every Pontifical Liturgy as well. In Eastern Christianity, if something is not recognized on the level of the local or particular Church, it doesn’t exist.

Hello Father Deacon,

Do you happen to have a link, or something? I have not seen any reliable statistics at all.

For the most part the return to Orthodoxy seems to have gone rather smoothly in the Czarist era. The descendants of these people still celebrate their return to Orthodoxy. Clearly numerous clerics committed to the Unia went west at the time, concentrating in the Sees of Chelm and Lvyv.

Concerning Pratulyn, of the Chelm diocese, that even one person should die is too many, and here were have thirteen, clearly a tragedy. I think it was mostly a political mistake, certainly no priest ordered the shooting at the demonstrators. An indefensible act, still it was not a formal execution, even if people refused to disburse as ordered. I think it was more of a “Kent State” type of debacle. Totally regrettable.

But what has any of this to do with the Orthodox Patriarch visiting his flock in Ukraine?

That’s nice.

I suppose then, it is your opinion that the Pope’s position on this title and office is irrelevant?

Is the Ukrainian Greek Catholic church on a drive toward autocephaly in the same manner as Metropolitan Filaret?

There’s some interesting historical discussion here:
expat.ru/analitics.php?item=445

PATRIARCH IN UKRAINA

Патриарх in Kyiv at the Pokrov Feminine Monastery:

Patriarch at the Trapeznij Sobor of Cave monastery speaking to clergy and members of Kyivan Spiritual Academy, where he was given Doctor of Theology, Honoris Causa.:

Jumping in, well, what I have so far.
“Of the two main churches, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate has more followers, by most accounts. But Kirill’s church is the one that is recognized as having full canonical standing in Eastern Orthodoxy.” rferl.org/content/Russian_Patriarch_Kirill_Visits_Ukraine_But_Motives_Questioned_/1786362.html

"The mainstream, Moscow-aligned church claims about 28 million believers, while the separatist Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kiev Patriarchate claims about 14 million followers. Opinion polls show the splinter church’s popularity is growing."
news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090727/ap_on_re_eu/eu_ukraine_russia_orthodox_church;_ylt=Arv5Hc_JVlM.M5XcUOA7Y7Q7Xs8F;_ylu=X3oDMTM3amluc3RsBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkwNzI3L2V1X3VrcmFpbmVfcnVzc2lhX29ydGhvZG94X2NodXJjaARwb3MDMwRzZWMDeW5fcGFnaW5hdGVfc3VtbWFyeV9saXN0BHNsawNwYXRyaWFyY2hraXI-

So hard to get at tight numbers, but hearsay has it UOC (Moscow) has more real estate in Ukraine, UOC (Kyiv) more faithful. Who knows? :shrug:

That’s possible, especially if the MP has a lot of rural parishes toward the east.

Rural parishes may have smaller congregations than urban parishes.

I don’t know who can read Ukrainian but this article describes the Moscow Patriarch as calling his meeting with President Yushchenko as “undiplomatic”.

The Moscow Patriarch said that while the Czechs and Albanians can have their own autocephelous churches, Ukraine could not because: “Kyiv is our Jerusalem and Constantinople: the heart of our life”.

Oleh Medvedev, a political analyst quoted in the BBC article writes: "Moscow will never recognize an independent Ukrainian Church because were Ukraine to form such a Church, it would be in numbers of parishes, faithful, eparchies, equal to the Russian Orthodox Church and because the ROC is an element in the rebirth of Russian neo-imperialism and keeps Ukraine…in Russia’s sphere."
bbc.co.uk/ukrainian/domestic/story/2009/07/090729_kiril_wednesday_oh.shtml

Please NOTE, I am quoting from an article from a reputable source, and am not advertising my own personal views.

God Bless.

Yes, true.

A note from a priest friend of the UOC-KP:

I hope that no one will be swayed by this story, which appears to attempt to paint the Kyiv Patriarchate as a creation of unpopular Ukrainian President Victor Yuschenko, and frame the choice as one between “unity” as championed by Patriarch Kyrill or the “politics” of President Yuschenko.

First, the UOC-KP was established in 1990, long before Victor Yuschenko entered politics, and is today supported by the majority of the Orthodox in Ukraine. Second, the only option for unity offered by Patriarch Kyrill is administrative unity under the Patriarch of Moscow, a separate matter from unity of faith and worship as enjoyed by all of world Orthdoxy.

The story does not mention that Patriarch Kyrill has refused every request from the UOC-KP for direct discussions at any level, nor does it ask why the Patriarch is unwilling to consider discussing a path towards autocephaly of the UOC-MP, which many in the UOC-MP, including a few bishops and at least one Metropolitan, have suggested as the proper and most direct solution to the greatest issue which divides the churches.

Regarding images, it also might be worthwhile to note that on the same day that the 1,500 to 2,000 faithful (including a large number of Patriarch Kyrill’s entourage from Moscow) were worshiping at the Pchersk Lavra, an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 faithful were participating in the Divine Liturgy and Holy Procession celebrated by Patriarch Filaret. A short video of those events can be watched by clicking on the little video camera icon found above the photo here:

5.ua/newsline/254//61126/

Regarding the credibility of the source of the rt.tv report, I see that among the other “top stories” listed on the rt.tv website are “Russian Navy UFO records say aliens love oceans”, “Crisis slashes appetites for paid sex”, and “Obama only looks different”.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Paul Koroluk in Tokyo

FDRLB

Regarding Michael’s asking about statistics, while RISU can have some innaccuracy of its statistics, other international intelligence sources like the CIA as well as the UN “Tandem Project” all indicate the KP in the majority and of which collected data independently.

The UN and CIA/State Department numbers are nearly identical having been collected separately. Gallup was showing a UOC-KP majority as early as 2003-2004. Wilson in 1997 in his country-wide survey already had the UOC-KP in the majority. The State Department numbers between 2007 and 2008 indicated a change in majority between the UOC-MP and UOC-KP.

As a scientist in my secular employment, when I see the same trends and observations independently from several sources I can’t ignore that, especially when nearly all of the non-MP people I talk to from Ukraine (even Armenians and non-Christians) outside of Donbas all say the same thing, that the KP is in growth and the MP is in decline. Certainly some of the KP growth can be attributed to the amalgamation of some UAOC parishes, but not all.

Because of the difficulties in registering as non-MP in some areas like Odessa and Donbas, some of those apartments and “non-traditional” locations are where the congregations are meeting and at least some of these are legitimate. We have the same problem with our UGCC missions in Eastern Ukraine. The people petition, we send a priest, and we can’t register as a community so we gather in an apartment or some other building. I have a friend who has built a sort of kit barn-type building in Donetsk oblast for his temporary chapel and his UGCC parish address is his apartment number.

I also am all for Kyivan Orthodox autocephaly, but it will frankly be impossible with the MP (the response to the 2007 Sobor is a case in point). As recent history has shown with Bulgaria, sometimes the movement towards autocephaly can sometimes be painful in the beginning and fractious in the eyes of “world orthodoxy” but in the end the Bulgarian church is united, autocephalous and ackowledged by other Orthodox Churches.

With such moral excesses in Russia such as the leading abortion and sterilization rates in the world (and those only the legally obtained ones), again I can’t see much attraction to ape Russia if it is “the most Orthodox country in the world”.

O yes, since photos seem to be enjoyed here, some of the photos from the recent commemoration of Rus’ by +Filaret:http://www.cerkva.info/uploads/posts/1248860935_IMG_8416.jpg
http://www.cerkva.info/uploads/posts/1248860977_IMG_8421.jpg
http://www.cerkva.info/uploads/posts/1248861010_IMG_8428.jpg
http://www.cerkva.info/uploads/posts/1248864053_8.jpg
http://www.cerkva.info/uploads/posts/1248864077_9.jpg
http://www.cerkva.info/uploads/posts/1248864027_7.jpg

Our UGCC Patriarch and Auxiliary to the Patriarch +Bohdan also were invited to this celebration in Kyiv; that’s more like the kind of ecumenism I have in mind (we were invited to none of the MP functions).

Diak, I would like to thank you for the pictures you posted. Nice to see!

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