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What does it mean for Ukrainians obtaining Thomas

Что означает для украинцев получения томосаWhat is Tomos for religion.

The Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on November 29 in Istanbul approved the text of the Tomos for Ukraine, as well as the draft Statute of the Unified local Church. What is Tomos and autocephaly in religion, what changes will bring Ukrainian believers this initiative and when it can become a reality – found the channel 24.

As Ukraine received the Tomos?

First, let’s clarify how it all happened.

In April 2018, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko appealed to the Ecumenical Patriarch (of Constantinople Orthodox Church in the world Orthodox community, the Church and the jurisdiction of the “first honor”, the first of the abbots of 14 independent (Autocephalous) local churches) on the granting of autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church.

In September in Ukraine the messengers of the Patriarch Bartholomew (the Exarch), which is almost a month spent in here. In particular, the clergy went on the Ukrainian churches, talked with priests.

9 October in Istanbul began a three-day meeting of the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. At this Assembly the clergy heard a report of the exarchs, which was taken a resolution on the establishment of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

From 27 to 29 November in Istanbul held Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The members of the Synod finally agreed on the text of the Tomos for the Orthodox Church of Ukraine this document will not be changed. Based on Thomas also adopted the draft of the Charter of the Ukrainian Church. Text Thomas decided not to publish prior to the transfer.

15 December, during the Unification Cathedral in Kiev Orthodox bishops announced the unification of the Ukrainian churches in the United Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Its head became the Metropolitan of Pereiaslav and Belotserkovsky Epiphanius. Cathedral of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine was the St. Michael’s Cathedral.

January 5, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew signed the Tomos of autocephaly of the United Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The ceremony of signing the Tomos was held in the Patriarchal Church of St. George in the territory of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul.

And already the 6th of January during the Liturgy in the same Church Bartholomew gave the Primate of the newly established Orthodox Church in Ukraine Epiphanius staff and Tomos, which proclaimed autocephaly.

The procedure of Ukraine’s independence the Church was officially completed. However, the creation of the Church itself, in practice it may take several years – convinced the religious scholars. After all, more will need to resolve the issue of distribution of property, and Russia will continue to put spokes in the wheel.

What does the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine?

In fact, the autocephaly means “superiority” of the DNC, what was until now, equality with the other Autocephalous Orthodox Church.

The Director of the center for public informational technologies “Forum” Valery Smokes in comments to the website “24” recalled that in 1686 the Kyiv Metropolitanate of the Patriarchate of Constantinople annexed to the Moscow Patriarchate, when the Ecumenical Patriarch Dionysius IV and the Holy Synod of the Church of Constantinople issued a Tomos contradictory on the transfer of the Kyiv Metropolitanate to the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate. According to Valeria Dimova, this process was illegal, and the center of Orthodoxy from Kiev to Moscow moved for the money.

What is Tomos?

This is a unique Church document, the decree. Release it when the Church wants to provide the actual independence – autocephaly. Occasionally Tomos issued on matters relating to the provisions of the Christian faith, most often it concerns Church order.

Who and why need a single Ukrainian Church

According to the President of Petro Poroshenko – a private Church in the state attribute of independence of both the state and the Church. Therefore, the Church in Ukraine is separated from the state, but this question is primarily political. Especially given the fact that the Ukrainian Church with the addition of the “Moscow Patriarchate”, in fact is a subdivision of the Russian Church.

On the other hand, as explained in the comment to “24” the expert on religious matters, a former priest of the Roman Melnichenko, for people who are not too close to the Church, with the granting of autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church, little will change. For more religious people who somehow enjoys the Church service – life will be easier. For example, it is now not uncommon for the clergy of the various Orthodox denominations do not recognize the rites of each other, thinking “not his own “baptism or funeral service of the deceased “wrong”. After the Ukrainian Church will be unified, canonical, the fear is that somehow “wrong” christened or buried – will disappear.

Analyst Serhiy Fursa said that, in his opinion, various religious organizations refer to believers as “a big market”. And as in Ukraine, 70% of people consider themselves believers and at the same time participate in elections, the results of which, through them, influenced by the “men in robes”, so “it is absolutely normal that a large part of the market religion controls office, which is headed by the KGB, and which is directly subordinate to the Kremlin.”

What will happen to the existing Church

For the clergy of the Kyiv Patriarchate United Church is a great joy. The Kyiv Patriarchate has received canonical status, which means that all their sacraments, all their priests, the legitimate and fertile. Therefore, everything will remain as it was, explained Roman Melnichenko. Nothing to renew, no additional procedures. Just the whole structure of the Kiev Patriarchate will be recognized by the Orthodox world.

As for the clergy of the UOC-MP, then they should go to the subordination of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, or to change the name of their churches to the Russian Orthodox Church. They have three months, otherwise, they cancel the registration.

Note, the ROC announced the complete suspension of the Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Believers of the Russian Orthodox Church cannot receive communion in churches of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the priests and bishops will not be able to carry out joint worship. This step is a measure of the institutional Church sanctions.

What will happen to the property of the churches

All will remain as it was. Melnichenko said – at the state level there is no difference, the canonical Church or not, it was legitimately was: should the Statute of a religious organization, then the organization can act. Therefore, state-level internal stuff affect neither the Charter nor to register, nor on the property of a religious organization.

Why the UOC-MP against a Single Ukrainian Church

For the same reason all Russia against independent Ukraine. “Megabrutal” occupied Crimea and Donbas, Russian language as the second state and Russia’s control over the Church in Ukraine – all different faces of the “Russian world”, and in fact the desire of the Kremlin leadership to keep Ukraine under control.

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