Voices from Russia

Thursday, 4 August 2016

MP is Going to Point Up Uniate Misbehaviour in its Dialogue with the Vatican

00 Uniate blasphemy. 12.03.15

This is a blasphemous Uniate “icon”… I need say nothing more… it’s depraved and utterly repulsive…


The MP shall insist that dialogue with Roman Catholics include the problem of the Unia, especially, in light of harsh Uniate criticism of those taking part in the all-Ukrainian religious procession for peace and national reconciliation. On Tuesday, in Moscow, the MP Synodal Department for External Church Relations (OVTsS) released a statement saying (in part):

In view of the unprecedented belligerent rhetoric of S Yu Shevchuk (Major Archbishop of the UGKTs) and L Ya Guzar (former Uniate head) in relation to the canonical UPTs/MP and the MP as a whole, the OVTsS believes that its most urgent for us to bring up the subject of the canonical and pastoral implications of the Unia at the next plenary session of the Joint Commission for Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue.

The next session of the Commission will be on 15-22 September in Chieti (Italy). The all-Ukrainian religious procession for peace and national reconciliation took place from 3-27 July, with columns coming from both the east and west, ending in Kiev on the eve of the feastday of the Baptism of Rus (28 July). In all, about 100,000 Orthodox believers took part in the procession. Meanwhile, the opponents of the peace march claimed that it was really a political action. In particular, Shevchuk likened the procession to a “human shield made up of civilians”. He blustered, “If the marchers utter anti-Ukrainian slogans and provocations, it’d mark the end of the MP in the Ukraine”. In turn, former Uniate head Guzar said, “[The UPTs/MP march] is a vile trick. It’s cynical; you really can’t imagine anything worse”.

The OVTsS statement said:

From these hateful statements, it’s clear that canonical Orthodoxy remains the target of fierce attacks by Uniate leaders. For centuries, when possible, the Uniates tried to oppose Orthodoxy with assistance from friendly civil authorities, or, if not, they used various insinuations, frauds, and deceit. Today, once again, with their politicised statements, the Uniate leadership is trying to drive a wedge between Orthodox and Catholics. We wonder whether it’s possible to conduct a dialogue with Roman Catholics on other theological subjects at a time when the Unia remains a bleeding wound, and when the Uniate leadership won’t stop blasphemous and politicised rhetoric against the canonical UPTs/MP. Thus, immediately, we must resume dialogue on the canonical and pastoral implications of the Unia, stopped because of Uniate complaints.

2 August 2016




Thursday, 30 October 2014

Uniate Chieftain Shevchuk Sez “UPTs/MP is the Only Canonical Orthodox Church in the Ukraine”

01 This Ship is Sinking

Is Shevchuk bolting the junta? Is he making his peace with a future pro-Russian reality? It’s a possibility… but we’d have to see developments to be sure, no? The Uniates DO speak with forked tongue…


S Yu Shevchuk, the head of the UGKTs, said on-air on American radio station SiriusXM, speaking with Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, the head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Today, there’s no mystery that the only canonical Orthodox Church in the Ukraine, the only one in full communion with world Orthodoxy, is the UPTs/MP. Other Orthodox groups separated from the UPTs/MP after Ukrainian independence at different times for various reasons, but the other Orthodox Churches consider them uncanonical. For us as Eastern Catholics, these divisions in Ukrainian Orthodoxy are painful, but we respect the canons and internal order of the Orthodox side. On our part, we never attempted to interfere in the internal life of the Orthodox Church; we never took part in the debates about its canonical legitimacy, nor did we incite any group to initiate a schism. You can’t solve existing problems with new schisms, divisions, or amalgamations”. He hoped that these schisms would end in the near future, noting, “We interact with the ‘Kiev Patriarchate’ as a part of the ‘All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organisations’. Therefore, I’d say that these relations are more in the realm of public relations, not inter-church contacts. I have deep respect for the Russian people and the MP. In fact, over half the Maidan participants were Russian-speakers and members of the UPTs/MP”.

Earlier, the MP repeatedly criticised the UGKTs for its involvement in politics and for its support of Ukrainian schismatical groups. In particular, recently, Metropolitan Ilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, head of the MP Synodal Department for External Church Relations (OVTsS), spoke at the Vatican during the General Assembly of the Synod of Catholic Bishops. He appealed to the UGKTs delegation, “You should renounce all political statements and end all visible forms of support of the schism, as well as to put a stop to calls to create ‘a single Local Ukrainian Church’. From the beginning, unfortunately, the conflict in the Ukraine, which has already taken thousands of lives, had a religious dimension. In this, the UGKTs played a significant role in its origin and development. From the very first days of the conflict, the Greek Catholics unequivocally stood for only one side of the conflict. Contrary to the respect for canonical norms prevailing in relations between Catholics and the Orthodox Church, the Greek Catholics entered into active collaboration with Orthodox schismatics”.

21 October 2014




This is fascinating. If Shevchuk is on the up-and-square (a rather iffy proposition, I’d say, but let’s take it as is, for now), it means that the UGKTs is backing away from its support of Orthodox schismatical groups. Indeed, it appears that Shevchuk is saying that the UGKTs recognises only the UPTs/MP… that it wants NOTHING to do with Ukrainian nationalist schismatical groups. Is this a sign that the Uniate junta is sinking and that Shevchuk wants to conform himself to a new reality? Of course, it could just be bullshit to blow smoke into our eyes. The Uniates have lied all too often in the past… the Uniates DID bless the SS collaborators and the UPA terrorists, after all. We’ll have to see what happens.

Interesting… IF true…


Saturday, 27 October 2012

Church and State Collide in the Ukraine: Calls for Clergy to Stay Out of Politics Go Largely Ignored


Sometimes, the separation of church and state is not as simple as it sounds, particularly in a country as religious as the Ukraine. Despite calls from church leaders for congregations to stay out of upcoming elections, such a scenario seems unlikely. Recent polls conducted by the Razumkov sociological centre indicate about 71 percent of Ukrainians are religious, with almost 52 percent associated with the Orthodox Church and about 11 percent Greek Catholic. Recently, both churches issued statements forbidding clergy to campaign for any candidates.

The statement issued by the Holy Synod of the UOC/MP read, “The church must unite people with different political views; therefore, political campaigns must stay outside of the church”. The Greek Catholic Church took a similar position, “A priest has no right to praise anyone but God”. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich also chimed in, “We have to agree for it not to happen, for the church not to participate in the political process. It’ll only work to split society”. Still, in a country where religion is so intertwined with politics, largely, most people ignore such calls.

Taras Antoshevsky, head of the Religious Information Service of the Ukraine, said, “It’s a tradition in the Ukraine for the church to be involved in the political life of the country in one way or another. Nowadays, the church is dependent on politics, and politicians often use the church for their own purposes”. So far, clergymen from both major groups have been actively involved in countless political campaigns. Yanukovich said the reason is simple, “Politicians have one of the lowest rates of trust in society, while the church has one of the highest”.

The Ukrainian media highlighted instances of priests actively campaigning for politicians. Recently, three deans from different deaneries along with several priests attended a meeting of voters to show their support for a candidate. When asked to explain why, the press secretary of the local diocese said the clergymen weren’t in fact supporting the candidate as a political figure, but simply thanking him for his patronage. Another candidate used the same tactic when he had Greek Catholic, UOC/MP, and Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox representatives speak at a rally.

In a village in the Western Ukraine, a priest campaigned for a candidate during a church service, saying, “You all know that [he] helps your community. The church doesn’t take part in state affairs, but you see there are people who actually do help the church and everybody else, too. So, give your vote to good people”. Fr Grigori Bolshakov, a dean of a Kiev church and a local candidate, has gone so far as to use his position to campaign for himself. A banner hangs on his church with his picture which reads, “Vote with your heart, vote with your soul!” According to church rules, a clergyman can only be involved in politics with a blessing from the head of the church. According to a UOC/MP archbishop, the church has granted no priest such permission, saying, “If you want to be a Rada deputy, quit the church, and stand for election as a private person”.

Still, Antoshevsky said that the church rarely punishes priests who do get involved in politics, noting, “There’s no specific punishment for such actions”. He added, however, that he thinks the importance of the church in politics is overstated, observing, “I don’t believe that church influences elections that much. We have so many religious people, yet such a high rate of corruption. Well, where are all the religious people then?”

24 October 2012

Anna Shamanska

Prague Post



Friday, 11 May 2012

The First Hierarch of the UOC/MP Returned to His Duties

Metropolitan Vladimir Sabodan (1935- ) of Kiev and all the Ukraine


The Holy Synod of the UOC/MP reported that Metropolitan Vladimir Sabodan of Kiev and all the Ukraine resumed his duties after a long illness. Metropolitan Vladimir headed the 8 May meeting, so, it decided to suspend the decrees in force during the First Hierarch’s hospitalisation. In particular, it suspended its decision of 23 December 2011 concerning the temporary presiding officer of the Synod, Metropolitan Agafangel Savvin of Odessa and Izmail. In addition, it suspended the decision of 26 January 2012 on the temporary management of the Diocese of Kiev (assigning these functions to the superior of the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra, Metropolitan Pavel Lebed of Vishgorod and Chernobyl). The Synod appointed Archbishop Antony Pakanich of Borispol as Chancellor of the UOC/MP, relieving him of his post as head of the Department for External Church Relations. His replacement was Archbishop Mitrofan Yurchuk of Belaya Tserkov and Boguslav, the previous Chancellor. Along with his main responsibilities, he’ll represent the First Hierarch of the UOC/MP in state, public, and church activities, and be responsible for inter-Christian and interreligious relations.

That same day, the official website of the UOC/MP reported that Metropolitan Vladimir and Patriarch Kirill Gundayev of Moscow and all the Russias chatted over the phone. Metropolitan Vladimir gave Easter and Victory Day greetings to Patriarch Kirill, and they discussed Church affairs and the latest Holy Synod meeting. Patriarch Kirill wished Metropolitan Vladimir health and success in all his forthcoming endeavours, saying, “You’re a peacemaker; more than ever, the Church needs you”.


The official website of the UOC/MP reported that Metropolitan Vladimir Sabodan of Kiev and all the Ukraine left Oberig Universal Clinic, where he underwent treatment and rehabilitation. His health is stable, allowing him to return to work, participate in church activities, meetings, and public affairs. An official statement noted, “For some time after discharge, Metropolitan Vladimir will be under a doctor’s care, and he will periodically undergo further stages of physical rehabilitation in a rehabilitation centre”. Metropolitan Vladimir entered hospital on 30 October 2011 in serious condition due to complications arising from Parkinson’s disease. Leading Ukrainian and foreign specialists participated in his care. On 8 May, for the first time since his hospitalisation, a UOC/MP Holy Synod took place under Metropolitan Vladimir’s chairmanship.

10/11 May 2012




Editor’s Note:

It’s clear from the above that Vladyki Vladimir’s still quite frail. The arrangements for a temporary chairman of the Synod are merely “suspended”, not “annulled”, and it’s clear that Archbishop Mitrofan Yurchuk will be taking over most of his public duties. In sort, Vladyki’s still physically-weak, much as Metropolitan Laurus Škurla was in his last years… in this case, the UOC/MP WILL see to it that he rests, so, God willing, Vladyki will be with us for some time yet.


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