The Baptism of Russia
EP Patriarch Bartholomew wishes to visit the Ukraine so that he can participate in the celebrations honouring the 1,020th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia that shall take place in July and August. Previously, Patriarch Aleksei of Moscow and all the Russias invited a delegation from the EP to join the festivities. In turn, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko personally invited Bartholomew “to head the celebrations”, according to a posting on the official website of the EP. (It should be noted that since Yushchenko did not clear his proposal with Patriarch Aleksei, the canonical hierarch of the Ukraine, his invitation is null and void: editor’s note)
The Holy Synod of the EP, at its most recent session on 23 to 25 June, “after examining this invitation from the Church, state, and people of the Ukraine, in all due respect for their feelings towards their Mother Church that led the Ukrainian people to baptism, shall in response to this invitation send a patriarchal delegation headed by his ‘All Holiness’ himself”, the internet posting noted. (Bartholomew was not invited by the Church and people. That would require an explicit invitation from Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev: editor’s note)
“This agreement is a sign of the importance and significance that the EP gives to the proposals of the Ukrainian President in connection with the celebrations of the 1,020th anniversary of the Baptism of Kievan Russia”, stated Yuri Bogutsky, assistant head of the presidential secretariat of Yushchenko. He pointed out that Mr Yushchenko had sent invitations to participate in the celebrations of the 1,020th anniversary of the Baptism of Kievan Russia to all the heads of the Local Orthodox Churches. “Soon, we expect that many delegations shall confirm their participation in the holiday festivities”, Mr Bogutsky said. (Again, the parvenu Yushchenko has no right issuing invites to other Local Churches without the permission of the canonical hierarch. Anathema!: editor’s note)
Earlier, Patriarch Aleksei had indicated his willingness to head the church celebrations of this anniversary. His Holiness has not been in the Ukraine since 1997. Some time ago, after the MP learned of the invitation tendered by the Ukrainian President to Patriarch Bartholomew to take part in the celebration of the 1,020th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia, they reminded all concerned that according to canonical requirements, any valid invitation must proceed from the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia.
“According to the ancient and universal church tradition, the First Hierarch of a Local Church does not enter the canonical territory of another Local Church without the permission of the First Hierarch of that Church”, said Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, the secretary of the MP Department of External Church Relations. He also noted that “nothing is known of this agreement (the invitation of Bartholomew: Interfax) of the Ukrainian government in either the MP or the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the MP”.
The MP Archpastoral Council, which concluded its business last week, was preoccupied with the interference of the EP on its canonical territory in several countries, including the Ukraine. The participants in the Council reminded the EP that it was inadmissible to alter the firm guideposts of inter-Church relations, noting that ignoring the canons would lead to “dangerous consequences for the unity of Orthodoxy”.
3 July 2008
Yushchenko and his schismatic and Uniate cronies truly stepped in it this time. Bartholomew of Istanbul, better known as Black Bart to most of us, is trying to hijack a celebration that has been wholly planned by the MP. This is a church festivity, not a state affair; therefore, Yushchenko should have kept his nose out of this business.
Black Bart is attempting to set foot on the soil of Holy Russia without the permission of its rightful hierarch. What hubris! What arrogance! How many faithful are on his territory? 10,000 at best. He is the head of nothing, and he is certainly not the “first amongst equals”, let alone the Eastern Pope, as his apologists constantly reiterate. Who is Yushchenko going to invite next? The Pope? God help us. Thankfully, Benedict Ratzinger has the brains not to get involved (one hopes). However, expect Yushchenko to invite Uniates. That is insulting and quite beyond the pale.
In short, the wonderful festivities planned by Moscow have been ruined by Yushchenko and his Galician Uniate cronies. May they be thrown out soon, and may the godly banner of Holy Russia fly over Kiev again, the “Mother of all Russian cities”.
Rossiya, Ukraina, Byelorossiya, tri bogatyryam! (Russia, the Ukraine, Byelorussia, three (united) epic heroes!)