Collection on reunification of Kiev Metropolis with ROC presented in Moscow
The publication, prepared by the "Orthodox Encyclopedia" Center, is a historical and canonical response to the actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine.
On September 16, 2021, within the framework of the conference "World Orthodoxy: Primacy and Conciliarity in the Light of the Orthodox Doctrine" in Moscow, a presentation of the collection "Reunification of the Kiev Metropolis with the Russian Orthodox Church. 1676-1686. Research and documents,” the website of the DECR MP reports.
The collection, prepared by the Orthodox Encyclopedia Church Scientific Center, became a historical and canonical response to the events related to the decisions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine, which “canceled” the synodal decision of 1686 on the transfer of the Kiev Metropolis to the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church and granted autocephaly to Ukrainian schismatics.
The publication includes 246 documents, 200 of which have not been previously published.
According to the Chairman of the DECR MP, Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk, who headed the presentation of the collection, this is the most complete collection of documents on the history of the reunification of the Kiev Metropolis with the ROC, which also contains testimonies of hierarchs, clergy, monastics and laity of that time. The hierarch emphasized that "these are the living voices of eyewitnesses, about which one can say in the words of the Gospel: ‘If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out’ (Luke 19:40)."
“The corpus of documents we have published proves once again that neither in the negotiations of Russian diplomats with the Patriarchate of Constantinople on the transfer of the Kiev Metropolis, nor in the correspondence with the Clergy and the political leadership of the Left Bank, nor in the documents of Constantinople that confirming this transfer, there was no talk of its supposedly temporary or limited character,” stated Metropolitan Hilarion. “Only in 2018, on the eve of its illegal invasion of Ukraine, Constantinople made an attempt, given the extreme necessity, to revise the act of 1686 and to declare that the permission of the Moscow Patriarchto ordain Metropolitans of Kiev was supposedly temporarily. At the same time, the modern historical arguments of Phanar cause bewilderment, to say the least."
According to the head of the DECR MP, the possibility of a free and objective scientific and historical discussion, which Constantinople explicitly rejected in 2018, still exists today, and “we know that a similar publication, albeit less fundamental and representative, is being prepared with the support of the Constantinople Patriarchy. I am glad that our publication gave impetus to the discussion – no matter how biased the reaction of our opponents may be – to the most important issue not only for the history of the Russian Church, but also for the unity of the entire World Orthodoxy."
Further, at the presentation, the head of the Orthodox Encyclopedia Church Research Center, Sergei Kravets, spoke about the work on the publication and recalled the difficult historical conditions in which the decision was made to return the Kyiv Metropolis to the Russian Orthodox Church.
Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich, Deputy Chairman of the DECR UOC, also addressed the participants of the presentation via video link, who noted the importance of the publication and the enormous amount of work involved in its preparation. The spokesman of the UOC said that the collection had already been presented in Kyiv and aroused great interest not only at the level of specialists, but also at the level of the church people.
“More than two years have passed since the tragic events for us. Now, when the passions have calmed down and subsided, the time has come to quietly address ‘bottle-necks’ in inter-Orthodox relations, ecclesiological issues, to go exactly along the ecclesiastic, rather than the political path. This is really crucial. <...> Church history continues, therefore it is necessary to solve the pending problems," said the priest of the UOC.
The UOJ wrote that on September 16, 2021, a conference on the topic of primacy and conciliarity in the Church began its work in Moscow. At the opening, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church emphasized that the Head of the Church is Christ, not the Patriarch of Constantinople, and called for a theological assessment of the actions of the head of Phanar.