How much longer will Phanar head “tolerate” His Beatitude Onuphry?
Recently, Patriarch Bartholomew has made a series of striking statements about Ukraine. A simple insight shows that his words are at odds with reality. Why?
Patriarch Bartholomew continues to amaze with his statements, which hardly have to do with both truth and Christian love.
Has His Beatitude Onuphry suddenly ceased to be the Metropolitan of Kyiv?
In October 2020, the Phanar head announced that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church no longer exists, that he “temporarily tolerates” His Beatitude Onuphry and other hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, and that the creation of the OCU is favorable for church life in Ukraine.
"In the spirit of pastoral sensitivity, we temporarily tolerate the existence of Ukrainian hierarchs (UOC - Ed.) not as local ruling bishops, but only as titular or those who are based (have a residence) in Ukraine."
For this reason, writes the head of the Phanar, "His Eminence Onuphry is no longer regarded as the canonical Metropolitan of Kyiv, but as a hierarch residing in Kyiv."
Consequently, for Patriarch Bartholomew, His Beatitude Onuphry is no longer the Metropolitan of Kyiv, but just a certain hierarch living in Kyiv. What to say?
Let's give the floor to Patriarch Bartholomew himself of the 2014 sample, when he greeted Onuphry just like this – His Beatitude Metropolitan of Kyiv:
“Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople - New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch to His Eminence Onuphry, His Beatitude Metropolitan of Kyiv. On the eve of the bright holiday of the Transfiguration, we pray to the Lord Jesus Christ that He would grant your Beatitude the spiritual power to lead believers to contemplation of His Divine grace. We convey to you our fraternal congratulations from the Ecumenical Patriarchate,” these are the words of the head of Phanar voiced by Metropolitan Emmanuel of Gaul at the enthronement of His Beatitude Onuphry in 2014.
At the same time, Patriarch Bartholomew gave His Beatitude Onuphry a gift – a bishop's crosier as a symbol of the power of the legitimate Metropolitan of Kyiv. In 2016, he greeted His Beatitude as Metropolitan of Kyiv at the Pan-Orthodox Conference in Chambesy.
But even this is not the main thing. His Beatitude Onuphry more than worthily carries out the obedience of the Primate of the Ukrainian Church. He is a truly people's bishop, loved and revered by his flock immensely, it being millions of Orthodox Christians throughout Ukraine. It is enough to watch the video from the cross processions of the UOC in recent years. 250,000 participated in 2018 in Kiev, 300,000 – in 2019. These are all members of the UOC communities, of which there are about 12,500 in Ukraine. They are spiritually guided by 12,400 priests. Do these people not exist, according to Patriarch Bartholomew? Nor their ruling bishops?
Propriest Nikolai Danilevich, deputy head of the UOC DECR of the UOC: “It looks simply ridiculous, Patriarch Bartholomew is compromising himself. Should we care about what he writes down there in his notebooks, that is, the Diptychs? We are the true Church. They seem not to see it or unwilling to see that the UOC is a huge Church, one of the largest Churches in the Orthodox world. More than 100 bishops, 12,500 parishes. Does it turn out that so called OCU "bishop" in the East-Ukrainian, South-Ukrainian, Central-Ukrainian region has 10-20 parishes, while our bishop in the same region runs 300-400 communities and is no longer a bishop?! He is only titular?"
In other words, the head of Phanar denies the obvious reality and invents an alternative reality instead. It means he is simply telling a lie. Nobody wants to offend the Ecumenical Patriarch, but Christ, using the example of His communication with the Pharisees, told us who the father of lies is. Let's trace how the views of Patriarch Bartholomew have changed regarding Ukraine in recent years.
The head of Phanar denies the obvious reality and invents an alternative reality instead. It means he is simply telling a lie.
Evolution of Patriarch Bartholomew’s perspectives on the "Ukrainian issue"
In 1992, he fully recognized and supported the ban on Filaret by the Russian Church, in 1997 he recognized him as anathematized, while in 2018 he suddenly named Filaret canonical bishop.
In 1997, Patriarch Bartholomew officially announced to Metropolitan Vladimir (Sabodan) that he "recognizes the only jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine", but in 2018 he decided that Ukraine is the jurisdiction of Phanar.
In 2014, Patriarch Bartholomew congratulated His Beatitude Onuphry as the legitimate Metropolitan of Kyiv, while in 2020 he calls him simply a hierarch based in Kyiv.
Even in ordinary secular life, if a person first says one thing, and then for no reason changes his mind to the exact opposite, everybody knows such a person should not be trusted. And if this person is the Ecumenical Patriarch?
How did Patriarch Bartholomew benefit Orthodox Ukrainians?
The head of Phanar claims he haschanged his position for the sake of the believing Ukrainians: “This happened with the absolute certainty that this is how normal order is restored and that ecclesiastical life in Ukraine is beneficially affected”.
But let's see what positive Patriarch Bartholomew did to Orthodox Ukrainians. Perhaps the unification of the country's believers took place, as Phanar had assured of? No! Of the 100 bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, only two left for the OCU. In two years, only 84 communities of the UOC voluntarily joined the OCU – half a percent of all parishes at the backdrop of the most rampant media propaganda and pressure from Poroshenko's government.
Another 340 churches were seized by raiders of the OCU or illegally re-registered by deception. In all these cases, the UOC communities were expelled from their churches. Nevertheless, they continue to exist, divine services are held, believers pray. Some in garages, others in huts. And many have already built new churches to replace the ones taken away by Patriarch Bartholomew’s chicks.
Bishop Pimen of Dubno, vicar of the Rivne Diocese of the UOC: “People who have remained faithful to the Church, those who are now building temples or have already built them, are increasingly uniting into their community. Only in our (Rivne diocese – Ed.) there are already up to ten churches that have been built (to replace the forcefully seized ones – Ed.). On the site of the seized churches we now have new ones, which, through the efforts of people, now raise crosses over the whole world and call for prayer."
But what is the benefit that affected Ukraine, according to the head of Phanar?
As already mentioned, these are 340 temples of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which were seized or deceitfully re-registered in favor of the OCU. In these churches, locks were cut down with a grinder, doors were broken with a crowbar.
The parishioners who tried to defend their churches then looked like this.
The priests with their families were thrown out of their homes into the street, the communion tables were carried out from the churches by the raiders of the OCU directly onto the road.
Still, there is a blessing for the Ukrainian Church, though not what Patriarch Bartholomew spoke about.
Bishop Pimen of Dubno, vicar of the Rivne Diocese of the UOC: “Even people who didn’t use to go to church before began to come. I know dozens of such people who came up to me and said, “I’ve never been a church-goer, but now I feel like going here. Because our rebuilt temple is based on our love, erected by our labors, and we want only good, good feelings to dwell in it. Therefore, can we say categorically that we have been deprived of something by this (seizure – Ed.)? No. Probably, we acquired the souls of those people who had never been to the church before, but now they are in the Church."
Note that these people did not come to the OCU, but the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – the Church of His Beatitude Onuphry, the one that no longer exists, according to Phanar.
For Phanar, the OCU is only a step on the path to absolute power in Orthodoxy
On November 8, 2020, Phanar ordained Bishop of Koman for its exarchate in Ukraine. After the ceremony, Patriarch Bartholomew criticized the ROC, the Amman meeting, but most importantly, he clarified this whole venture with the OCU: “The care of the Ecumenical Throne was the motive and firm criterion for its decision to grant autocephaly to the Church in Ukraine… The Ecumenical Patriarchate was and remains the First Throne in the Orthodox Church. Disputing the role of the Great Church of Christ brings instability and disrupts the unity of Orthodoxy."
In other words, Patriarch Bartholomew, in fact, frankly admitted that all his actions to legitimize the Ukrainian schismatics, which caused a shockwave both in Ukraine and throughout World Orthodoxy, pursue one goal – to become a supreme dictator in the Orthodox World.
In fact, Patriarch Bartholomew frankly admitted that all his actions to legitimize the Ukrainian schismatics, which caused a shockwave both in Ukraine and throughout World Orthodoxy, pursue one goal – to become a supreme dictator in the Orthodox world.
The UOC, according to Patriarch Bartholomew, violates the unity of Orthodoxy.
And a few days later, in an interview with the National Herald, the head of Phanar said that ecclesiology must be reconsidered unless the Orthodox want to become a federation of Protestant Churches.
According to the head of the Phanar, the problem of unity can be solved if it is recognized that there is a bishop in the Orthodox Church who is higher than other bishops and has exclusive power.
"Since in our ordination to a Bishop we swear to obey the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils, we must admit that in an indivisible Ecumenical Orthodoxy there is a ‘First’ not only by honour, but a ‘First’ with special responsibilities and regular powers."
But let's remember what Christ said about the primacy: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave” (Matt. 20:25-27).
Thus, Patriarch Bartholomew persecutes the canonical Church in Ukraine and tells lies about it, changes his position to the opposite and strives for undivided power. What can one say about this?
That the Orthodox World hardly needs such a primate of the Ecumenical Church, but this primate definitely needs the prayers of the Orthodox World.