KIEV – Published on: Mar 18, 2019 @ 07:29 – On March 17th, a procession of worshipers of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate took place in Kiev.
According to Strana.ua, the procession was in honor of a holiday of Orthodoxy, which ends the first week of Great Lent, more than two thousand Kyivans took part.
But the critical feature of this years holiday procession was the public re-declaration of the anathema against the Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, his moves against the Church which have resulted in the present schism.
From Lavra to the monument to Prince Vladimir, the head of the Union of Orthodox Brotherhoods, Valentin Lukiyanik, led the march .
The lay ministry gave a public prayer for the Triumph of Orthodoxy with the traditional proclamation of anathema to Hetman Mazepa , Mikhail Ragoz (founder of the Union of Brest) and Mikhail Denisenko (“honorary patriarch of the Most Holy Church of Ukraine Philaret”).
This year, the anathema against the Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, was also read separately as a “split of the ecumenical Orthodox church to the teacher”.
As the deputy head of the Union of Orthodox Brotherhoods, Vladislav Pustovoy, explained, this procedure is the first step to bring it to the official church excommunication.
Earlier Bartholomew refused to discuss the Ukrainian church question at the pan-Orthodox level, as suggested by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Kirill.
The growing schism in eastern Orthodoxy reached a critical point last year when the U.S and NATO backed Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, moved against his own canonical church to work directly with U.S installed Ukrainian leader Poroshenko, to create a new Ukrainian Orthodox church.
According to eastern Orthodoxy, this move is beyond the legitimate powers invested in Bartholomew, as such powers are considered ‘Papal’ and centralized – a critical feature which has long distinguished Roman Catholicism from Eastern Orthodoxy (the later technically the ‘Orthodox Catholic Church’).
Theological and church history debates aside, the west views Eastern Orthodoxy as a soft-power instrument of the Kremlin, and so the development of Atlanticist power vectors within Orthodoxy, primarily through the Greek church and expressed through Bartholomew, have been critical in undermining this ostensible Kremlin soft-power within Orthodoxy.