What's Going On Within the Orthodox Church?
  • What's Going On Within the Russian - Ukrainian et al Orthodox Churches? What's with this "excommunication" stuff? Any enlightenment would be helpful. Thanks!
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  • I read somewhere in the last month or so about the Ukrainian Church becoming independent of the Russian patriarchate, and that Patriarch Kiril of Moscow was, to say the very least, quite upset about it and was tossing excommunications about. The current climate in that part of the world being what it is, one can but sympathise with the Unkrainians. The independence of the Ukrainian Church from its historical subjection to the Russian Church had the blessing of the senior patriarch of all Orthodox (in Athens?, Constantinople?).

    Perhaps CharlesW can shed some light on this.
  • Thanks MJO! I thought that was the situation. Bartholemew I (whom I like), is in Constantinople. I feel for the man because he is in a lamentable situation. I too sympathize with the Ukrainian church. What little I know of Kiril, I seem to like but have heard some disturbing rumor of late how he is a puppet of Putin. I pray that is not so.
  • Kiril is no different from his predecessors.
    The Russian Church from czarist times has been an arm of the state.
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  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,346
    The head of the ROC Dept for External Relations gave an interview recently. Metropolitan Hilarion is a very clever and learned theologian, but seems to be difficult to work with. I don't know whether there is a word for it, but I suspect he thinks of Moscow as 'The Third Rome', and wants it to have supremacy above both Constantinople and Rome.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,955
    They do think of Moscow as the Third Rome and act accordingly. They state that Bartholomew no longer has much of a church and has few followers. The Ukrainians, who have suffered much from Russian domination, want to be free of the Russian church. They see it as an arm of the government, which it has been since Peter the Great. It has been said that the darker elements in the ROC have taken over the church and in reality, Putin is in charge. It's all about territory and not losing it, not about religion.

    Here are some bodies that exist in Ukraine.

    Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kyiv Patriarchate.
    Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)
    Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.
    Old Believers.
    Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
    Catholic Church (Latin-Rite)
    Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church.
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  • Charles -
    Do you know (even roughly)?
    What percentage of Ukrainians are Roman Catholic?
    Ruthenian?
  • Well, I think Bartholomew has many many admirers worldwide and much political influence in a very quiet prudent way. I also think he is truly a very devout man and sincere; not arrogant or egocentric - very humble!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,955
    Ukraine is majority Orthodox. As you may have guessed, the push for separation from Russia is coming from all Orthodox except those under the Moscow Patriarchate.

    I am unable to verify any of this, but here is what I consider a guess as to numbers. Catholics for the most part belong to the non-Latin Rite churches.

    http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Ukraine/Religion
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  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,346
    The survey was conducted by GfK Ukraine on behalf of the
    Center for Insights in Survey Research from June 9 to July 7, 2017
    Orthodox (Kyiv Patriarchate)44%
    Orthodox (Moscow Patriarchate)18%
    Greek Catholic6%
    Catholic1%
    Protestant1%
    Atheist4%
    I believe in God, but do not belong to any religion22%
    Other2%
    Difficult to answer3%

    I think, without proof, that the Autocephalous numbers (7% ?) have been bundled in with Kyif. My understanding is that both Metropolitan Filaret's Kyif group and the Autocephalous group have been received into communion by the Ecumenical Patriarch. I read that the Autocephalous group have no Patriarch currently, because they are hoping for reunion with Filaret.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,955
    It is really difficult to get accurate numbers. Record keeping is poor and there are so many divisions, I think some don't even know how many their group has. Take Ukrainian numbers with a bit of salt.