Ukrainian Orthodox Church Officially Severs All Ties With Moscow

It’s official, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has taken strides to cut all ties with the Moscow Patriarchate this past Friday, which is just the most recent response to the still ongoing full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Orthodox Christianity does not possess a single organized and unified structure for the church but is instead is composed of well over a dozen autocephalous, or ‘self-headed’ churches, which most commonly follow national lines. Of all of these, the Russian Orthodox Church is by far the largest of these churches which sports almost 100 million members and has traditionally governed all Orthodox Churches across the entire old Russian Empire, including Ukraine, at least up until now.

“We fully understand how the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is suffering today,” stated Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church in a recently released statement from Moscow, going on to add that the “spirits of malice” seek to divide the believers of both Russia and Ukraine but claimed that the spirits were bound to fail.

{atriarch Kirill has been a close friend and ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin for quite some time, and has on many occasions set himself up to be a strong defender of Russian Orthodox Civilization, and has given his endorsement of the invasion of Ukraine, claiming the conflict was a “metaphysical” battle and “a fundamental rejection of the so-called values ​​that are offered today by those who claim world power.” This stance has sparked a large wave of condemnation from many other Orthodox leaders, even a few that sit within his own so-called flock.

“Not only did he fail to condemn Russia’s military aggression but he also failed to find words for the suffering Ukrainian people,” stated OUC Archbishop Kliment while speaking for the leadership of the church.

A few analysts seem to think tha the split marks a massive strike against the geopolitical ambitions of Putin. “The idea of Putin unifying the Russian world, including Ukraine and other post-Soviet states, hinges on the idea that Russia is the center of Christianity and the center of the unique Eurasian civilization that the Russians believe is exceptional just like Americans think America is exceptional,” claimed Rebekah Koffler, a former intelligence officer, in a report to Fox News. “Once the church splits, it takes the whole divinity idea out of it.”

This split takes place after a similar schism event back in 2018 which happened because of the Russian annexation of Crimea and the support of separatists in the Donbas area, and created a formal split of the Ukrainian Orthodox community between any of those who stayed loyal to Moscow and anyone sits as part of the semi-recognized Patriarchate of Kyiv, sometimes called the Orthodox Church of Ukraine or the OCU to avoid confusion. Roughly 68% of Ukraine’s people classify as Orthodox, and before the war, almost one-quarter of the orthodox population was affiliated with Moscow.

Since the inception of this war, roughly 100 churches from the UOC have chosen to defect over to the OCU.

 

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