Crises Within UOC-MP May Spread To Russia
Politologist: Crises Within UOC-MP May Spread To Russia
29 February 2012
A Russian political studies expert, Andrii Okara said in an interview to
Rosbalt.ru that the crises within the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow
Patriarchate (UOC-MP) can indirectly affect Russia.
According to the expert, the actions of Metropolitan Agafangel and his
adherents, which are associated with complete ignoring of the Head of
UOC, Metroolitan Volodymyr, create grounds for a Church schism and
discredit UOC in the eyes of the society. “Such an organization begins
to seem to lay people to be a totalitarian sect. And the recent
statements of Agafangel regarding USSR, Russian presidential election
and “Russian world” have surprised many people,” noted the expert.
“It makes possible a scenario of developments which is catastrophic for
the whole Moscow Patriarchate. It is obvious that if UOC-MP is to elect
a new head in the near future, it will be Agafangel himself or someone
of his entourage, with the tacit consent and support of the Clean Lane.
If the election or seizure of the power is successful, many of the
“dissentients,” who are numerous among the bishops of UOC-MP, may
consider impossible to stay in the same jurisdiction with the supporters
of Agafangel. They will have to join someone else, but the non-canonical
UAOC and UOC-KP and the canonical UGCC are not an option for them.
Therefore, the situation may make more active the factor of the
ecumenical Orthodoxy: the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew can get the
support of Patriarch Theophilus of Jerusalem and make a step towards the
“dissenting” Ukrainian hierarchs, which will allow to legalize the
Patriarchate of Constantinople in Ukraine, like it was before 1686,
through one of the existing non-canonical denominations,” added the expert.
He stressed that such a scenario can sharpen the relations between the
Moscow and Constantinople Patriarchates. “And in Ukraine, there will be
open competition between two canonical Orthodox Churches, which may
spread to Russia, where there are clergymen who are dissatisfied with
Patriarch Kirill. Therefore, the indulgence of the Clean Lane with
respect to its imaginary Ukrainian allies, Metropolitan Agafangel and
his supporters, may make the Moscow Patriarchate face serious
challenges, to which no one has solutions,” concluded A. Okara.
According to the expert, there are two groups of influence now within
UOC-MP, one of which is aimed to obtain wider autonomy and the other one
is aimed to bring the Church closer to Moscow.