Tag: Ukraine

Which Orthodox Church in Ukraine is the Largest?
Inter-Orthodox Relations, Orthodoxy and Modernity

Which Orthodox Church in Ukraine is the Largest?

From the moment the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) was granted autocephaly by the Ecumenical Patriarch early in 2019, it has competed with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) not only over canonicity but also about the number of parishes and the number of faithful. Each claims to be the only canonical church in the country,…

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Four Months Later:  The Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s New Modus Vivendi
Inter-Orthodox Relations, Orthodoxy and Modernity

Four Months Later:  The Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s New Modus Vivendi

Four months ago, a UOC (Ukrainian Orthodox Church) Council in the Feofaniya monastery in Kyiv introduced fundamental changes into the Church’s statutes. That Council has already become a historic event—with possible implications for world Orthodoxy. But properly understanding the logic of its decisions means understanding what happened in the UOC after the Russian army’s full-scale…

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Patriarch Kirill’s Crusade
Religion and Conflict

Patriarch Kirill’s Crusade

български | ქართული | ελληνικά | Română | Русский | Српски In 1095, Pope Urban II told a large gathering of knights in Southern France that it was their responsibility to avenge the Islamic conquest of the Holy Land (he did not mention that the conquest had occurred nearly 500 years earlier). Urban’s sermon led to…

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Should the WCC Expel Patriarch Kirill?
Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Religion and Conflict

Should the WCC Expel Patriarch Kirill?

The Christian world as a whole—and the Orthodox world, in particular—has been horrified by the invasion of Ukraine by the armed forces of Russia. It seems to be a distressingly indiscriminate campaign, in which thousands have been killed—young soldiers, men, women, and children—as well as hospitals, schools, homes, monasteries, churches destroyed, with millions of refugees…

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Foreign Diplomats Assess the Vatican’s Ostpolitik
Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Religion and Politics

Foreign Diplomats Assess the Vatican’s Ostpolitik

Image: iStock.com/PhotoBeto It was a great opportunity to express solidarity to Ukraine by taking part in a panel discussion at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv on July 1. Four ex-ambassadors to the Holy See—Ukrainian,  Lithuanian, EU (originally from Poland), Georgian—were invited to speak about the history and contemporary challenges of the Vatican’s Ostpolitik. Ostpolitik…

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Orthodoxy, Russia’s Manifest Destiny, and the Russia-Ukraine War
Religion and Conflict

Orthodoxy, Russia’s Manifest Destiny, and the Russia-Ukraine War

Русский Also available in Ukrainian (pdf) Several times Russian church and state leaders have been enraptured by the idea that the Russian people and its political expression have a special mission or “manifest destiny” to accomplish. Successive iterations of this “Russian idea” reflect a growing convergence of religion, ethnicity, and nationalism with state power into…

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Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi? Ukraine and the Second Sunday of Pentecost in UOC and OCU Liturgies
Inter-Orthodox Relations, Religion and Politics

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi? Ukraine and the Second Sunday of Pentecost in UOC and OCU Liturgies

Most people who have written about the tensions between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) after the Russian invasion tend to focus on one thing: who is commemorated. This is not surprising. Accepting the authority of this bishop, but not that one, is an easy shorthand for where one…

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Will Orthodoxy in Ukraine Miss a Chance?
Inter-Orthodox Relations

Will Orthodoxy in Ukraine Miss a Chance?

Image: iStock.com/Haidamac On May 27, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) declared its independence from the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), of which it had until then been a branch. The reason is very clear: it disagrees with its (former) supreme hierarch, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, who has supported the Russian war against Ukraine. The UOC did…

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The OCA Holy Synod on the Russian War in Ukraine
Inter-Orthodox Relations, Orthodoxy and Modernity, Religion and Politics

The OCA Holy Synod on the Russian War in Ukraine On the Dubious Silence of the Shepherds

American Orthodox leaders, inevitably on one or other side of the widening Greek–Slavic divide in world Orthodoxy, typically echo the voice of the peculiar foreign “Mother–Church” to which each hierarch is canonically bound. So Archbishop Elpidophoros, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (GOA) in the USA, although expressing his sympathy for the hapless Russians being…

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The Orthodox Church in Ukraine: War and “Another Autocephaly”
Inter-Orthodox Relations

The Orthodox Church in Ukraine: War and “Another Autocephaly”

War changes many things, primarily people’s minds, but also the usual flow of time. What takes years or even decades in peacetime takes a few months, or sometimes even days, during war.  On May 27, the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), the highest governing body of the church, after much debate, expressed its…

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The Moral Defeat of the Russian World: Putin, Kirill, and the Tribunal of History
Religion and Conflict

The Moral Defeat of the Russian World: Putin, Kirill, and the Tribunal of History

български | ქართული | ελληνικά | Română | Русский | Српски In Mariupol, Russian rockets destroy a maternity ward, wounding dozens. Meanwhile, in Moscow, Patriarch Kirill (Gundiaev) blesses the Russian troops. In the same town of Mariupol, Russian bombs kill hundreds of children and elderly in the Drama Theater. Putin’s Patriarch has the gall to…

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Have We Hit Rock Bottom?
Public Life

Have We Hit Rock Bottom? Reflections of a Not-So-Innocent Bystander

There are very few occasions in our lives—critical, pivotal events—that are truly life-shattering. We Orthodox describe them as kairos moments. World War II was one of these. In my lifetime, there was 9/11. Institutions and individuals are defined by such moments. We might recall how the Roman Catholic Church failed to stand up to Mussolini…

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To Leave or Not to Leave One’s Church
Church Life and Pastoral Care

To Leave or Not to Leave One’s Church

“…For there must be also heresies/divisions among you, that they which are approved/tested-and-proved-reliable may be made manifest among you.” (1 Cor 11: 19) In this “Time of Troubles” of the Orthodox Church, many Orthodox Christians, particularly those in the Moscow Patriarchate, are contemplating either changing “jurisdictions” or taking a time out from the whole church…

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Sunday, May 8, 2022: The Global Orthodox Laypeople’s Demonstration Against the War in Ukraine
Public Life, Religion and Conflict

Sunday, May 8, 2022: The Global Orthodox Laypeople’s Demonstration Against the War in Ukraine

In these paschal days when we sing and greet each other with “Christ is risen,” the people of Ukraine suffer hunger, cold, injury, and death. While individually we help through IOCC and other charities, at the level of the global Church we are too often passing them by on the other side of the road….

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Choice as the New Reality: Obstacles for Consensus between the UOC and the OCU
Inter-Orthodox Relations

Choice as the New Reality: Obstacles for Consensus between the UOC and the OCU

The military actions of Russia against the sovereign nation of Ukraine, the lack of archpastoral support for Ukrainian Orthodox Christians by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and the Russian Orthodox (ROC) ecclesial community, and their simultaneous approval of the military aggression against the Ukrainian state and Ukrainian people by the political leadership of Russia—all these have…

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Open Appeal of the Priests of the UOC-MP to the Primates of Local Orthodox Churches
Inter-Orthodox Relations, Orthodoxy and Modernity, Religion and Conflict

Open Appeal of the Priests of the UOC-MP to the Primates of Local Orthodox Churches

After Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, the question of the further existence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate became critical. Patriarch Kirill did not condemn the aggression and did not call the aggressor by name. He did not express any condolences to the families of the dead Ukrainians. Most of…

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Rebuild Ukraine: The Long March to Becoming Fully Human
Christian Practice, Religion and Conflict

Rebuild Ukraine: The Long March to Becoming Fully Human

The quiet cadence of prayer and fasting as Lent began was shattered with the invasion of Ukraine. Forgiveness Vespers was ridden with sorrow and disbelief. There was no escaping the sadness and helplessness as we prayed. As I quietly mouthed the words to “Open to Me the Gates of Repentance,” the full meaning of the…

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Some Reflections on the Declaration on the “Russian World” Teaching
Orthodoxy and Modernity, Religion and Conflict

Some Reflections on the Declaration on the “Russian World” Teaching

Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine is a turning point in European history, comparable to the beginning of both world wars. Therefore, it is completely understandable that theologians and ordinary believers would respond to it, first, with gestures of solidarity with the victims of the aggression, and second, with condemnation of the aggressors and those who…

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Russian World or Holy World War?
Religion and Conflict

Russian World or Holy World War? The Real Ideology of the Invasion of Ukraine

Kremlinology is back in a big way. Thinkers and pundits of every stripe, throughout the world, are once again seeking to uncover the secret motives and exotic ideologies of the Russian political elite. Only this time around, unlike in the days of Soviet atheism, the smoke signals coming from the Kremlin are increasingly linked with…

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A Church at War: Heresies, History, and a Russian Orthodoxy Otherwise
Orthodoxy and Modernity, Religion and Politics

A Church at War: Heresies, History, and a Russian Orthodoxy Otherwise

Much of the criticism currently directed at the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church for supporting Russia’s war against Ukraine is organized around the idea that the Moscow Patriarchate is ideologically compromised and theologically unsound. With few exceptions, scholars, journalists, and opinion writers condemn leaders of the Russian Church as apologists for the Kremlin’s “Russian…

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A Statement of Solidarity with the Orthodox Declaration on the “Russian World” (Russkii Mir) Teaching, and against Christian Nationalism and New Totalitarianism
Documents, Religion and Conflict, Religion and Politics

A Statement of Solidarity with the Orthodox Declaration on the “Russian World” (Russkii Mir) Teaching, and against Christian Nationalism and New Totalitarianism

This statement was originally posted at Religion in Praxis and is reposted here with permission. Also available in Russian and Ukrainian (pdf). Following the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation in February 2022, Orthodox voices have thoroughly rebutted the use of the “Russian World” (russkii mir) teaching, which claims that there is an organically…

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Archpastoral Exhortation Regarding the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Religion and Conflict

Archpastoral Exhortation Regarding the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

This is a slightly edited version of the public address Archbishop Elpidophoros delivered on Monday, April 4th, at Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church in Port Washington, NY, at the beginning of an event entitled “Understanding the Role of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Russian Invasion of Ukraine.” The event was sponsored by the Order of…

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Lessons From the American Revolution for the Orthodox Churches in Ukraine
Church History, Inter-Orthodox Relations

Lessons From the American Revolution for the Orthodox Churches in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine is still uncoiling, but the destruction he is inflicting on the people of Ukraine has already succeeded in uniting the fractious Orthodox churches in Ukraine around defense of their homeland. He has also ensured that the Patriarchate of Moscow—so closely aligned with Vladimir Putin—has no future in Ukraine, whatever…

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The UOC-MP at the Crossroads
Inter-Orthodox Relations, Orthodoxy and Modernity

The UOC-MP at the Crossroads

Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has caught the attention of the public for multiple reasons. The humanitarian catastrophe, the sheer horror of ceaseless shelling, the shooting of protesters in the streets, the attacks on nuclear plants, the threats to assassinate President Zelensky and other leaders, and the war on democracy. One of the underreported consequences…

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Will There Be a Confessing Church in the ROC?
Orthodoxy and Modernity, Religion and Politics

Will There Be a Confessing Church in the ROC?

Русский For centuries, the Orthodox Church has taken the side of its state leadership in times of war, and the further it departed from the pacifism of the first centuries of Christianity, the more militant the rhetoric of the Church became. But the tragic events of the twentieth century posed questions for the Church to…

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Open Letter to the Synod of the Orthodox Church in America on the War in Ukraine
Documents, Orthodoxy and Modernity, Public Life, Religion and Politics

Open Letter to the Synod of the Orthodox Church in America on the War in Ukraine

His Beatitude, Metropolitan TikhonMembers of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America Dear Archpastors: We[1] write as painfully concerned, truth–seeking, and truth–committed Orthodox Christians: we are chagrined clergy and lay members of the Orthodox Church in America, who as American citizens value religious and political freedom. Conscience compels us to speak. The unprovoked…

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The Liturgical Consent to War
Religion and Conflict

The Liturgical Consent to War

In a famous scene from A Man for All Seasons, Thomas More defended his silence on the Act of Supremacy by citing a maxim of the law, “Qui tacet consentire videtur” (Silence betokens consent). His argument was that by saying nothing, the court must assume he agreed with the Act regardless of whatever his private…

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Ukrainian Nationhood, “Russkii Mir,” and the Abuse of History
Orthodoxy and Modernity, Religion and Conflict

Ukrainian Nationhood, “Russkii Mir,” and the Abuse of History

Many observers of the current war in Ukraine who try to analyze its deeper reasons refer to the idea of a “Russian World,” “Russkii Mir.” This idea, they claim, is the key concept behind the Russian aggression, and shows the tight connection between religion and politics in Russia. A glance at the website of the…

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Blessed are the Peacemakers: Thinking Historically About Russian Orthodox Soft Diplomacy
Church History, Religion and Politics

Blessed are the Peacemakers: Thinking Historically About Russian Orthodox Soft Diplomacy

If you stand before the iconostasis of St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Manhattan, the representation church of the Moscow Patriarchate to the Orthodox Church in America, you will see an old and ornate cross perched behind the altar table. First placed there nearly 120 years ago, it is an artifact of another moment in…

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Patriarch Kirill, the “Russian World” Myth, and Genocide
Religion and Politics

Patriarch Kirill, the “Russian World” Myth, and Genocide

ελληνικά | Română | Русский | Српски Also available in Ukrainian (pdf) Suggestively linking a Russian Orthodox primate, an ideology, and genocide may seem provocative or sensationalist. For me, given the current unjustified Russian war on Ukraine, the connections between them are far from that. In this moment in our common history as a human…

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Public Orthodoxy seeks to promote conversation by providing a forum for diverse perspectives on contemporary issues related to Orthodox Christianity. The positions expressed in the articles on this website are solely the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or the Orthodox Christian Studies Center.

Attribution

Public Orthodoxy is a publication of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University