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Could Ukrainian Orthodox seek independence from Moscow patriarchate?

Catholic World News - July 08, 2014

The secretary of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church- Moscow patriarchate has issued new statements underlining questioning Russian hegemony, raising new speculation that the Orthodox could seek independence from the Russian Orthodox Church.

With the death of Metropolitan Vladimir, the leader of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church- Moscow patriarchate, public statements by Metropolitan Alexander (Drabinko) take on new significance. Metropolitan Alexander has criticized Russian policy in Ukraine in general and Crimea in particular, and decried attempts to exploit the Orthodox faith for religious purposes, such as the alleged restoration of an “Orthodox civilization” spanning Ukraine and Russia.

Metropolitan Alexander observed that in the history of the Orthodox Church, “the creation of politically and culturally complete statehood, as a rule, leads to for the formation on its territory of a canonically self-sufficient church structure." That observation would seem to suggest that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church should be self-governing.

One group of Ukrainian Orthodox prelates has already broken away from Moscow’s orbit. In 1992, after Ukraine won its political independence, Metropolitan Filaret-- who had been the head of the Russian-backed Ukrainian Orthodox Church-- broke with Moscow to establish an independent Kiev patriarchate. The Russian Orthodox Church has refused to recognize that group.

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  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Jul. 08, 2014 7:50 PM ET USA

    Great news! Ukrainians will not get very far linked to their "Russian brothers" politically, religiously or in any other way! Mother Russia is a mean mother! Russia has only impoverished Ukraine. It was Russian incompetence that allowed Ukraine to be nuked at Chernobyl. The sooner Ukrainians escape from their Russian brothers the better! With brothers like them, who needs persecutors! A good start has already been made by Metropolitan Filaret. Time to bring the break to completion!

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