Really, are the Ukrainians this gullible? What did they expect would happen when they began treating with the Phanar? Are they unaware of the history of that long-ago, storied capital, a “New Rome” which hasn’t existed for half a millennium?
Or, did they decide to play along with the fake autocephaly in order to mutiny afterward?
Both are good questions. Regardless, it looks like the mutiny-after-the-mutiny is spreading (many thanks to Greatly Saddened):
As grieved as I am for the Orthodox Ukrainians who are having to witness the division of both their Church and their country, I am particularly concerned as to the geopolitical ramifications of the chaos that is engulfing Ukraine at present. As a non-interventionist (who voted for Donald Trump as a peace candidate vis-a-vis Russia), I am not at all happy to see Mike Pompeo and John Bolton trot out the old NATO, neoconservative line. That, however, is a story for another day.
As an Orthodox Christian, I am very concerned as to what this all means as far as Orthodox unity in the Diaspora. Clearly, Patriarch Bartholomew’s hyper-papalism is not sitting well with the other local Churches. As reported here yesterday, Moscow proceeds apace creating new dioceses throughout Asia. And it is on the verge of accepting the “dissolved” Russian Exarchate of Western Europe under its omorphor. I have no quarrel with any of this, in fact, I say “Godspeed” in full-throated fashion.
As an Orthodox Christian in America, I am anxious to see how this slow-motion schism is going to play out here. Indeed, the word “schism” may be too strong a word in that insofar as the Russians are concerned, Constantinople doesn’t seem to exist. Thus, it doesn’t seem to me that the present regime of Episcopal Assemblies (which was set up by Bartholomew) is realistic given the present situation.
So what will happen here in the United States? I imagine that those bishops who are not in the GOA will quietly remove themselves and either coalesce around Antioch, the OCA or some such concatenation, or simply go their own way for as long as they can. Basically waiting another decade or two to see which way the cookie crumbles. Either way, Istanbul’s way of doing things is untenable. Moscow –whatever its faults–can provide cover to those Churches in the Diaspora who will not be hoodwinked (as were the Ukrainians).
Indeed, we can thank the Ukrainians for removing the scales from our eyes. As a Greek-American born and raised in the See of Constantinople, it grieves me to say this, but the Phanariotes are not to be trusted. It was twenty-five years ago that the rug was pulled out from under us –all of us–at Ligonier. Since then decrepitude has been the order of the day for Orthodoxy here in America. I rather doubt we have another generation under the present way of doing things. The Episcopal Assembly has certainly provided no hope for anything better.
Still, despair is a sin. And yes, I do see rays of light, as things continue to spiral out of Poroshenko’s control in Ukraine, thereby frustrating his and Bartholomew’s plans. The Kyiv District Administrative Court has ruled it is unlawful for Rada to adopt legislation obliging the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church to change its name. Bartholomew’s plans are thus becoming undone. Our hope lies with the Third Rome, not that Islamic city which sits on the Bosphorus. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/578888.html
P.S. You may wonder why we chose this particular graphic. I will tell you: until the situation is resolved in a canonical fashion (and not how the Phanar defines canonical in its typical fluid fashion) it may be incumbent upon us here in America to worship in private.