The unifying council of Ukrainian Orthodox churches is held in Kiev. The nuances of the event give reason to believe that intrigue is just beginning.
Unofficially it was assumed that Bartholomew would arrive at the cathedral. In this case, it would be appropriate to arrive at the event President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. However, the Ecumenical Patriarch sent his comrade in arms.
The status of the event has been reduced from the start. And the solemnly furnished arrival of Petro Poroshenko, with the sound of bells on St. Sophia caused a natural bewilderment even among some active supporters of the new church. However, if it were not for Poroshenko, the level of attention to the cathedral would be several orders of magnitude lower.
Even more questions appeared after a brief report from the press center of the Kyiv Patriarchate about the beginning of the work of the cathedral. Proceeding from it, all three churches are represented at the cathedral: the UOC-KP, the UAOC and the UOC-MP. At the same time, the UOC-MP is represented by «individual members of the episcopate, clergy and laity». This means that officially the UOC-MP does not participate in the council. Indeed, even in this informational message, it is said that two other churches sent church hierarchs, priests and laity.
If the persons at the council associated with the UOC-MP are not authorized by Onuphrius to be there, then they cannot vote for the election of the primate of the new church. Therefore, in the message of the UOC-KP press center, despite the morning comments of some members of the council, there is no mention of 10 bishops of the UOC-MP. Present from the UOC-MP, “laity” and “representatives of the episcopate, the clergy” cannot vote, since they were not authorized to do so.
And if they still vote (subject to the nomination of Simeon Vinnitsky), at any moment the Ecumenical Patriarchate can challenge the results of its own initiative and dismiss the hierarch.
Thus, a mine is already being laid under the new church, and the elected primate becomes even more dependent on Phanar, even under the condition of declarative autocephaly and the introduction of amendments to the charter to please Philaret.
According to some reports, on the eve of the cathedral, Bankaya could not reach a firm agreement on the voting for Simeon. Bidding continued on the morning of December 15, the day of the cathedral.
Petro Poroshenko’s personal interest in this church process is too obvious. Judging by the maneuvers with Simeon, under the circumstances, the new church could be considered by him not only as an instrument of agitation, but also as a spare springboard in case of loss in the presidential race or other unforeseen situations.
Suppose Petro Poroshenko loses the presidential election. He has a party that can theoretically be promoted to parliamentary elections, but in practice this is hardly possible, given the plume. Therefore, a new structure is needed. And preferably unsinkable, with a high — I emphasize this! _ level of trust. Such a structure in our state, according to the latest opinion polls, is the church.
The new church was initially highly dependent on Petro Poroshenko as a tyazhim and (so far) possessor of many levers of strong influence, and dependence on Phanar is mediated. Bartholomew can not understand this. He is well aware of the real, rather than sham, support of the new church.
Suppose Bartholomew has his own interest. Until now, the Ecumenical Patriarchate led foreign policy in disguise, in contrast to the Roman Curia (Pope of Rome). Bartholomew decided to try to become an «Orthodox Pope.» He introduces managerial verticalism and openly conducts active foreign policy activities. Ukraine in this sense is a fertile beachhead. It is no accident unifying the cathedral and in the crowd on the square in front of St.. Sofia, and in the comments were compared with the elections of the Pope. So far, the interests of Bartholomew and Poroshenko are the same. The Ecumenical Patriarch deeply does not care what will be called, who will unite and how the new church will be established (or not) in Ukraine. The point is important to him, pushing away from which, you can, like Francis, enter into direct relations with secular rulers. Poroshenko guaranteed this opportunity thanks to his connections.
And yet, the Greeks did not take into account the nuances. It only seems that the new church is required by the current president for campaigning. In fact, plans for the church can be much broader.
Suffice it to assume that Petro Poroshenko has established (or is ready to mend) relations with Onufry to the detriment of Philaret, to whom he swiftly lost interest on the eve of the cathedral. Onuphrius will provide a certain number of parishes so that Poroshenko’s private church will gain visibility to the current one. In return, Onuphrius will receive the immunity of financial flows and a kind of indulgence on the pressing of parishes from the UAOC and the UOC-KP, as well as the expansion or re-enlistment of priests. This may explain the arrival at the cathedral of some persons associated with the UOC-MP.
Further, the options are possible (for Poroshenko and Onufriya). For example, the president of Ukraine will be a woman Yulia Timoshenko. Her supporters are called a “sect” for believing in their leader.
Petro Poroshenko, unsuccessfully seeking this from the people for five years, may well oppose her such priest Sylvester. And — to win the parliamentary elections, retaining its majority. This is an extreme option for him, and yet, an option: physical survival, safety of property and business, as well as political perspectives.
Therefore, although it was Simenon who initially was simply the head of the new church, it is now vital.
And, since Fanar needs, at least at first, a rapid strengthening of the new church, which really is possible in Ukraine exclusively at the expense of the administrative resource, it is possible that Bartholomew, for his part, will not impede Simeon Vinnitsky’s promotion to the post of primate, reserving shift it in a year. And more Petro Poroshenko yet is not required.
Lilia Brudnitskaya, expert of the VSP “VYBOR”
Photo by Svyatoslav Tsegolko Святослав Цеголко)