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17690Reps of UOC-MP Deny Validity of Anathema Declared on Ivan Mazepa

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    Mar 24, 2013

      Reps of UOC-MP Deny Validity of Anathema Declared on Ivan Mazepa
      22 March 2013

      On 20 March, 2013, the Rector of the Uzhhorod St. Cyrill and Methodius
      Theological Academy and Avhustyn Voloshyn Carpathian University,
      Commissioner of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate on
      matters of higher education and science, Professor, Archimandrite Viktor
      Bed' served a memorial litia for the repose of the soul of Ukraine's
      Hetman Ivan Mazepa, reported Religion.in.ua
      <http://www.religion.in.ua/> with reference to the website
      <http://www.uuba.org.ua/> of the Uzhhorod St. Cyrill and Methodius
      Theological Academy.

      The memorial litia was served on occasion of the 374^th anniversary of
      birth of Ivan Mazepa. The memorial prayer service ended at the monument
      to the victims of political repressions in Uzhhorod because Hetman
      Mazepa was anathemized by church hierarchs due to the political will of
      Czar Peter I of Moscow for his support of the Swedish army of Charles
      XII. It was noted that Ivan Mazepa was a great sponsor and patron of the
      Kyiv Metropolitanate and defender of the state independence of Ukraine.

      According to the report of the academy, in 1918, upon the proclamation
      of the Ukrainian People's Republic, representatives of the Ukrainian
      authorities asked Metropolitan Antonii of Kyiv to serve a memorial
      service for Hetman Ivan Mazepa. Metropolitan Antonii sent a telegram to
      Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow and All Russia with the request to cancel the
      anathema as one imposed for political reasons. The Head of the Russian
      Orthodox Church sent a response saying that on the basis of the
      decisions of the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church of
      1917-1918, which condemned the practice of declaring anathemas for
      political faults, the anathema on the hetman is to be considered
      cancelled. The decision of the Local Council of ROC gave Metropolitan
      Antonii of Kyiv the canonical right to give his blessing for serving the
      memorial service for Hetman Ivan Mazepa of Ukraine which was completed
      by his Vicar, Bishop Nazarii.

      According to Professor Archimandrite Viktor Bed', the anathema on Ivan
      Mazepa "even if it was declared, has not been valid since the moment of
      declaration thereof as it was declared contrary to Church canons,
      namely, out of political motives without observation of the unity of the
      fullness of the Church and under the pressure of the Moscow Emperor Czar
      Peter I. Therefore, under such conditions, even the question of lifting
      thereof is not to be considered from the canonical point of view."

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]