Saturday, December 23, 2006

In the Ukraine: this reminds me of the Henrician schism
Even though the Orthodox are decentralised and it’s not a matter of breaking with one special patriarch. ISTM the uncanonical/schismatic ‘Kyiv Patriarchate’ is jockeying to be the state church; that the president is a member doesn’t hurt! (I understand the US favours both Mr Yushchenko and the KP in all this as they want to play Ukrainian nationalism and pro-Westernism to weaken Russia. Imagine the reaction if Mr Putin tried this in Canada or Mexico, or got the American Southwest to secede!) They broke with their lawful patriarch, the one in Moscow that most of the churchgoing minority of Ukrainians are still under BTW. (The KP ‘patriarch’ is the deposed former Russian metropolitan of Kiev.) One of the faults of RISU is they don’t make clear the distinction between who’s actually Orthodox and who’s not; the KP are friendly with the Ukrainian Catholics because it helps themselves (playing the same Ukrainian-nationalist card the Ukrainian Catholics do). Nationalist schisms are nothing new in this ecclesiastical scene (Moscow and Bulgaria broke from Constantinople the same way) and in time this group might be recognised as legitimate but again as most Ukrainian churchmen still belong to the Russian Church probably not.

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