Sorry, this entry is only available in Bulgarian.
On December 15, 2018, a church council was held in Kiev chaired by Emmanuel, the Metropolitan of France (Ecumenical Patriarchate), which brought together bishops from three church jurisdictions – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP), the Ukrainian Autonomous Orthodox Church (UAOC) and Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP). All bishops from the first two jurisdictions (churches) joined the council, while the third one was presented only by two bishops – Vinnytsky Metropolitan Simeon and Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky and Vishnevsky Metropolitan Alexander (Drabinko), although 11 bishops from around hundred bishops from Moscow Patriarchate declared participation. The Council elected Metropolitan Epiphanius (Domenko) as the chief of the new Orthodox Church in Ukraine and Metropolitan of Kiev, who was before the Metropolitan bishop of Pereyaslav-Khmellnutsky. He is 39 years old, born in the
As I mentioned in my previous text, the “Great Schism” in the Orthodox world did not take place. In fact, none of the local Orthodox churches expressed an ultimate opinion and did not suspend communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate because of the Moscow one. Even the highly dependent Antioch Patriarchate has not done it and probably will not do it in future. However, what certainly will happen is that Kiev Archbishopric (the new ecclesiastical body in Ukraine) will still remain unrecognized as an autocephalous by a number of close to Moscow orthodox churches such as the Serbian, Bulgarian and Orthodox Church of the Czech and Slovak Lands. Their bishops, for sure, are not willing to annoy the Council of the bishops (Holy Synod) of the Russian Orthodox
Over the last two months there have been some remarkable developments in the Orthodox world. The Ecumenical Patriarchate, which has a leading role among the Orthodox local churches, undertook the task of unifying the Orthodox population in Ukraine and granting them the status of an autocephalous church, independent from the Russian Orthodox Church. For this purpose, the Ecumenical Patriarchate referred to two of its ancient rights – the first is the right of arbitration among the Orthodoxy, coming from an ancient rule (canon) from the 5th century; the second one is the historical truth reflected in the Patriarchy’s preserved documentation – namely that the Ukrainian lands were in its canonical territory and were taken away after the war in the late 17th century. The main argument of the congregation
When, not so long ago, I was invited to comment on the political dimensions of ecclesiastical affairs, I was not inclined to think of such relationships as particularly important. It has been my belief, until recently, that the Church has no place in politics and vice versa. However it has turned out that with the latest developments in the Orthodox world, this relationship cannot be so easily overlooked. A week ago, it was announced that the Russian Patriarch, His Holiness Cyril, had asked His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for an audience on August 31st, 2018. The visit was arranged right before the start of the meetings of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the beginning of the church year (1 September) and before the probable
Two weeks ago the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople announced that His All Holiness Bartholomew had received an invitation from the Russian Patriarch Cyril to participate in the celebrations of the 1030th Anniversary since the Christianization of Russia, to be held in Moscow. The Ecumenical Patriarchate responded, to the effect that Moscow has no reason to celebrate this anniversary as it is related to the adoption of Christianity in Kievan Rus and not in the Principate of Moscow. According to the statement of the Patriarchate made in July, its representatives will visit Kiev but not Moscow. This brief message went largely unnoticed in Bulgaria. Nevertheless, it contains the core of the dispute about the independence of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The Russian position in this debate is well
A month ago the analogy between the case of the Orthodox Church in Skopje and the Church in Kiev came to light, as well as the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s favourable attitude towards their autocephaly. Immediately there were objections voiced, not necessarily only from supporters of the Russian propaganda on this issue. The argument was that the Ecumenical Patriarch was going too far as he had no right to grant autocephaly to these churches. Here I will try to explain why the two churches appealed to His Holiness and what would be the most feasible solutions to both cases. In the Orthodox world, the Patriarch of Constantinople is first by honor. He is in charge of arbitration among the local Orthodox Churches and this capacity of his appears very
Who does the Bulgarian Orthodox Church serve – Orthodox Christians in Bulgaria or foreign geopolitical interests? This issue has once again come to the fore after the actions by the Holy Synod of the BOC in recent months. Through its leadership, the BOC has taken an unacceptable stance in a regional political conflict. On June 13th this year, in a letter by Patriarch Neophyte to the President of Ukraine Poroshenko, it is requested of the Ukrainian Parliament not to vote on tabled draft bills on the introduction of general state requirements to the religious denominations in the country (Letter to His Excellency Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, June 13th, 2017). The requirements to be voted on are intended to ensure that religion cannot be used for political purposes