Do they demonstrate de facto “independence” or, unlike Moscow, disobedience to the authorities? Either way, there are legitimate possibilities to put them back in their place.
As the primate of UOC (MP) Onufriy has already managed to declare, there will be an Easter service in the churches. And this despite the fact that now in the largest shrines of the Moscow Patriarchate – Kiev-Pechersk and Pochaev Lavra – an epidemic of coronavirus. “… I inform you, dear brothers and sisters, that in Easter churches, Easter services will be performed (…) Believers who come to worship will get up and pray in the street, respecting health standards” , says the call of Metropolitan Onufry. Well, how they “adhered” to health standards on Palm Sunday in the same Rivne or Dnipro – we know, have seen, read …
It was not without reason that the Minister of the Interior’s adviser, Yuri Tandit, said that the police would not allow provocations and mass crowds near churches during Easter services. “Within the framework of our agreements and the Cabinet decree, in the event of a crowd near the churches, the police will act in several stages. The first is a clarification. In the event of repeated violations, the police will draw up reports. We will not allow provocateurs to organize mass events near churches, ”said Tandit. He pointed out that during church services, a maximum of 10 people may be present, and not parishioners: “But only those who provide the service and help conduct it, as well as those who provide the online broadcast . And of course, they should all be hidden. The flock itself can enter the temple after the service, if it is a small parish – one person each, if a large – two people.
We hope it will be so. But, we recall that on the eve of Palm Sunday, the Ministry of the Interior also reported an agreement with priests, which was however violated: despite the ban, some churches of the UOC (MP) still sanctified from the willow in the courtyards, throwing the faithful “in the arms of the coronavirus”. “
Meanwhile, Patriarch Kirill, Onufry’s “head” of the Russian Orthodox Church, urges the Russians to stay at home for Easter. To quote from Cyril’s appeal (in the original language): “In this difficult period, under the conditions in which the government is taking all possible measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection (… ) Many of us are forced to assume the feat of staying with us (…) We will bear, brothers and sisters, temporary trials in order to preserve the life and health of our neighbors. “
It turns out that the Russian Orthodox Church – don’t go to church at Easter, and its branch – the UOC (MP) – says the opposite? Perhaps this is a demonstration of their own “independence”, “de facto autocephaly”? Perhaps there are still reasons for the differences in behavior of Cyril and Onufriy? Is the behavior of the head of the UOC (MP) consistent with Moscow?
It is not independence, but a demonstration of tyranny
Religious scholar Dmitry Gorevoy is convinced of this, stressing that there is no need to speak of the “independence” of the Moscow Patriarchate. And he adds that the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia, unlike the UOC (MP) in Ukraine, curiously, is still a little more modern. “After all, the UOC (MP) is irreconcilable with the modern world, in its essence – it is a fundamentalist church. But it hasn’t always been like that, ”says Gorevoy.
Until 2014, there were two groups within the UOC (MP): the first – the conservatives, the second – modern, open to priests of the world. And between them there was a certain balance. But then … “The balance was violated. The conflict began between the UOC (MP) and the state and society. The modern clergy were supplanted, the conservatives became” at the head “, and the church received a turn towards fundamentalism. An important role was played by Onufry – originally from the Pochayiv group. When he came to power, he changed everything: what was once considered marginal has become common, “notes the religious scholar.
But in the Russian Orthodox Church the situation is somewhat different. “In the Russian Orthodox Church, conservatives and modernists coexist. They simply have nowhere to go. There is no alternative jurisdiction in Russia, unlike Ukraine. And the Russian Orthodox Church is afraid of angering the authorities, afraid of critics and especially of Putin. And our people are not afraid to come into conflict with the state, allowing themselves what the bishops of the Russian Federation cannot afford, ”says Gorevoy.
“I do not think that the Patriarchate of Moscow in Ukraine demonstrates any kind of independence, a kind of” originality “, an otherness,” declared Victor Yelensky, doctor of philosophy, deputy of the people of Ukraine in the summons VIII – there is nothing like the UOC (MP) is not perceived and has done nothing to say in Moscow. Even if this decision is harmful.
And there is no “feat of faith”, no “abnegation” in the fact that the UOC (MP), unlike the Russian Orthodox Church, calls to go to church – no. “It is simply irresponsibility, which in itself has no evangelical principle. So I understand the manifestation of Christian self-denial, when a priest in Italy is connected to a fan, and he refuses, and says there is a guy nearby – plug him in better and die. And to urge believers to go to church during an epidemic, to put them in danger, while being sick themselves, well, such actions have nothing to do with Christianity and self-denial ”, explains Mr. Yelensky. – We are dealing with deep fundamentalism, which, in my opinion, is selective. After all, when it is necessary to show the “conditional nevermind to society”, the UOC-MP immediately becomes a “fundamentalist”, but when it comes to protecting property, denying luxury and the like, they hide immediately this “fundamentalism” in the pocket. “
The orthodox theologian and philosopher Yuri Chernomorets also ensures that the UOC (MP) does not in any way demonstrate its own independence from the Russian Orthodox Church. In fact, he said, when, in March, the synods of Moscow and Kiev decided on the security measures to be taken in the context of the pandemic, the two synods set themselves the objective of defending the interests of the Church and hierarchy, not the lives of believers. “But in Russia, there was a lot of pressure from the state in the center and in the localities, which led to a radical change of position. In Russia and Ukraine too – there are many religious fanatics who have not heard this call. They continue to operate in the previous paradigm of ROC and UOC (MP) Synod decisions – that is, to claim that certain measures are introduced, but in reality to conduct all rituals with the most great fellowship possible of believers in each particular locality, ” said Chernomorets.
All this, says the theologian, the irresponsible position differs greatly from the positions of the other churches of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Hellas, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the Romanians, the Bulgarians and others. “These churches themselves went to the service behind closed doors or took these measures at the request of the state. Separate violations in these local churches have always been exceptions, while the situation in UOC (Palm Sunday) Palm Sunday has shown that the health risk of parishioners is a common practice for them. Two realities collide here. For open orthodoxy, which is preached by Patriarch Bartholomew, the Church and the State exist for the good of believers, and they should not be a source of danger, but should exercise great responsibility for the good from their neighbor. For Russian orthodoxy, a simple person exists as a “screw” for the state and the church, and therefore his life costs nothing in comparison with the institutions of secular and spiritual authority. It is clear that the Russian position is contrary to the Gospel and is now criticized by any thoughtful person, ”notes Chernomorets.
And religious scholar Ilya Bey thinks it is nothing more than an attempt to act “despite” for absolutely everyone. “First, to show state bodies which, in effect, introduce quarantine measures, that” we have beckoned you to censor yourself. ” Second, to show their “strong” faith in the context of BCPs and “hesitant” Catholics who “gave in” under the quarantine. Third, the UOC (MP) cannot simply abandon the image of the “persecuted” church, on which its elite has been working for the second year in a row, “said Mr. Bey.
Is Onufriy’s behavior consistent with that of Moscow
When asked if Onufriy’s behavior was coordinated with Moscow, Ilya Bey replied that any weakening of Ukraine, in particular due to an increase in the number of patients, is in the hands of Moscow. “I hope the UOC (MP) summit will do it without knowing it. Moscow now has enough of its own problems and, as you know, “the house cat – the dancing mouse”. As soon as the pandemic is over, the “free men” will end, “says the religious scholar.
“As for quarantine, I think not, they do not coordinate policies. Because the situation in Ukraine and Russia, in fact, like in any other country, has its specificities. They coordinate behavior only on certain issues, I don’t think for everyone. Nevertheless, the UOC (MP) has a kind of “autonomy”, “explains Dmitry Gorevoy. With regard, for example, to relations with other local churches or allegations of persecution by the Ukrainian authorities, of discrimination or persecution on the international scene – the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament … “It is not only 100% consistent, the Church Russian Orthodox and the Moscow Patriarchate here speak of a united front, ”says Gorevoy.
A similar opinion was expressed by Yuri Chernomorets. Onufry and his entourage decided in early September 2014 to abandon the journey of the late Metropolitan Vladimir to the independence of the UOC (MP). Since then, all UOC (MP) policies concerning the Ukrainian state and society have been coordinated from Moscow. “Everything around is valued as bad, and they see themselves as absolute good, like infallible angels. It’s hard to say how spontaneous such a strange strategy is and how much it is inspired by Moscow, “says Chernomorets.
Only two at church and after worship
Do they think of Easter, listen to warnings and requests – a question that the mayor of Dnipro Boris Filatov did not seem to answer.
At first, his calls to “stay at home” sounded at the warning: “Do you want to sit without water or light, doors closed and roads dug?” We will provide it all. And no one will help you. “And then, seeing the absolute ignorance of the parishes of the UOC-MP (MP), where Dnepr communicated with a spoon on Palm Sunday, Filatov proved the words in practice, and always widened the road towards l one of the churches. And his deputy Mikhail Lysenko wrote on Facebook that a World War II shell had been found in a trench.
In the Dnieper blocked the road to one of the churches
So we asked our experts what they generally think about it, how should the state and society resist such provocative actions? In fact, how is the further development of events planned?
“We see how the UGCC and the PTsU easily found the opportunity for believers to touch on the secret of Easter. They have shown that under current conditions, it can be done. In addition, the church has used similar measures before, that is, under less favorable conditions, without the latest technology at hand. And now, browsing Facebook, I see that people are not only watching divine service shows, but are directly involved. It creates a feeling, albeit virtual, but of being in the church, ”explains Victor Yelensky.
Therefore, he thinks, the government should apply all available mechanisms to avoid putting people at risk. “There have been many cases in history where the government has banned large gatherings of people. And if this is done for epidemiological reasons, it is not a restriction of religious freedoms. It is clear that this is a temporary measure, says Yelensky. – Here Mayor Filatov acts rather radically. It may seem shocking to cross the entrance to the church, but it is absolutely justified. And the temples don’t close as well. Priests can perform the service online. What is stopping them from doing this? “
At the same time, the religious scholar notes: if the UOC (MP) tries to provoke, to confront on this basis, it will not receive wide support from society, except in a very narrow segment. “If these people are believers, if they are Christians, then they should distinguish the signs. We show them very clearly that this should not be done. And the only way out for them is to ask their believers to stay at home. Of course, there are always those who do not want to obey. Well, in this case, the authorities, as stated in the Bible – “the rulers do not carry their swords in vain”, must apply the relevant standards of the law. And this is completely normal. It is just that we are so used to it that when it is a member of the clergy, then for him no “worldly” law has been written. Recently, there was a case where an official politely called on Father Paul (Lebed) to comply with quarantine standards. And he in response – curses, statements that he survived hundreds of thousands of people he did not intend to listen to, again cursed and hung up. Again, if Father Pavel could tell the signs … They passed, now he’s not talking about him anymore, he’s in the hospital now – let him recover. But we are talking about others, about the leadership of this church, ”says Yelensky.
Dmitry Gorevoy, in turn, notes that it would be fair for the state to oppose the violations exclusively in a legal manner. And recalls article 325 of the Penal Code, which provides that violation of the rules and regulations established with the aim of preventing epidemics and other infectious diseases, as well as mass noncommunicable diseases (poisoning) and of combating them, if such actions resulted or knowingly could cause the spread of these diseases, – are liable to a fine of up to one hundred minimum income taxable to citizens or to arrest for a maximum of six months, or to a restriction of freedom for a maximum of three years. “I think someone fits in perfectly with this article. In the end, there is also article 181 of the Criminal Code – an encroachment on the health of people under the pretext of preaching religious teachings or practicing religious rites is punishable by up to freedom three years or a term of imprisonment for the same duration, ”explains Mr. Gorevoy. – However, we note that our law enforcement authorities do not always respond. And when there is no such reaction, it will be like in the Dnieper. Perhaps reproach: what is it? Well, too bad, but it is an effective mechanism. We dug the entrance, people could not enter the church and therefore did not violate the quarantine requirements. “
Already several countries where the Orthodox predominate numerically, recalls Ilya Byu, have imposed a curfew on the Easter holidays. As for the actions of society, he says, the best call that has been used in some elections would be to “keep your parents and grandfathers at home”: that they are better alive and at home than dead and at the cemetery. “The state withdrew from the interference, abandoning everything to local initiative. I salute the actions of the administration of the Dnieper, but only insofar as they are of the nature of a very provocative mob, but always flash. Because they made many members of the clergy think. I really hope this will be the end, because such actions by the city government can very easily turn into persecution against any group of people, either on religious grounds or for any other. And then it will be extremely sad. If we are talking about an information campaign, I think the types of graves and freshly dug bags for the dead affect consciousness much more. And I pray that this deadly epidemic will take as few lives as possible, ”said Mr. Bey.
The fact that the police force churches to organize closed-door services is okay, says Yury Chernomorets, but … “The ROC and UOC (MP) do not introduce safer methods of fellowship, although this be some of the bishops of the UOC (MP) who proposed them first, then This was accepted by the UCP as the standard. In addition, the practice of general confession was not introduced in order to avoid contact in the individual confession. The UOC (MP) does not want to be a model of society, does not want to be an example of moral responsibility, but in its rhetoric, it actually emphasizes that it should have the same rights as … supermarkets. Так что: они сами себя оценивают как супермаркеты по предоставлению религиозных услуг, а не как морально-религиозные объединения верующих “- спрашивает религиовед?.
Что касается последствий, то, по его мнению, они могут стать такими же, как для РПЦ в России. «РПЦ стремительно теряет прихожан, критика обществом руководства РПЦ приобрела признаки устойгимирогогов What is the best for you? К ш ш ш ш Даже в ситуациях когда они будут не виноваты. Активных прихожан в России или в Украине меньше, чем футбольных фанатов. Каковы их шансы быть услышанными обществом? What is the best? Если же этот актив ведет себя хуже футбольных фанатов, то общество будет вполне право, когда не будет считаться с их потребностями “, – говорит Черноморец.
И добавляет “Чтобы не было в Украине конфликта общества и религиозного фанатизма, важно, чтобы общество видело примеры высоких этических стандартов со стороны всех религиозных организаций, которые на них способны – ПЦУ, УГКЦ, римо-католиков, протестантов, мусульман и иудеев. Слава Богу, в Украине это есть, и имею надежду, что все видят: украинские религиозные организации – ответственные и родные для Украины, и лишь кое-кто демонстрирует безответственность “.
Мирослав Лискович. Kiev
According to the materials: ukrinform.ru