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How Ukrainian autocephaly affects the future of Hellenism

How Ukrainian autocephaly affects the future of Hellenism

8 октября 2019
Теги: Религия, Православие, Греция, Украина

If the CoG establishes communion with the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, it will be a precedent for any church or pseudo-church group to be recognized as an “autocephalous” but in fact controlled by the Ecumenical patriarchate. In particular, the role of the New Lands as a lever of pressure on the CoG will increase. Not only the canonical foundations of the church will be undermined, but also the Ecumenical Patriarch will be brought one step closer to “Eastern papism”.

The Autocephalous Church of Ukraine will enter the Unia first. With new levers of pressure on the Local Churches, Constantinople will ensure the recognition of this step, and then His All-Holiness Bartholomew himself will enter into communion with the Pope.

With the official recognition of the Ukrainian schismatics by the Synod of Hierarchy, the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) will cease communion with us. As a ROC faithful, Russian President may change his view of Greek-Russian relations. The possibility of extending the Turkish Stream to Greece then will have to be completely forgotten.

The Orthodox world will split into the Greek and the “Russian” groups, with the Antioch and Jerusalem Patriarchates on the Russian side. Greece will lose its advantageous status of the real guarantor of the Orthodox unity. Relations with our closest neighbors, Serbia and Bulgaria, will be at risk.

The Church of Cyprus will cease its role as arbiter and moderator of inter-church conflicts. Its relations with Russian will be ruined too.

Support of the Greek Churches by conservative believers will decline. Old calendarists will strengthen. The clergymen may join the schism too, and as a recently published letter shows, their numbers are big.

Similarly to Turkey, ROC parishes can be opened for the Russian-speaking diaspora in Greece. Hierarchs, clergy and believers of the CoG will also find a refuge there. In the future, contacts of the old calendarists with the Russians may emerge.

All this will make Greek Churches dependent on American patrons. Being unable to question them, the church will lose its ability to defend Christian values and mitigate conflicts. But at a time when American and Turkish interests may clash over new discoveries in the Mediterranean, it is important not to worsen relations with Russia. For example, the Ukrainian church issue might be used as a bargain with Moscow to limit Turkey’s military support.

Without believers, means, being divided in itself, the church will lose its authority. In turn, this will lead the nation to decline. So, having communion with the Autocephalous Church of Ukraine will benefit neither the CoG nor the nation. Not deciding or just abstaining from decision for a while will benefit a lot.