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The Ukrainian Orthodox Church's stance on the revolution and war. OSW Commentary No. 151, 27.10.2014

Olszanski, Tadeusz A. (2014) The Ukrainian Orthodox Church's stance on the revolution and war. OSW Commentary No. 151, 27.10.2014. [Policy Paper]

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    Volodymyr (secular name Viktor Sabodan), the Metropolitan of Kyiv and All-Ukraine, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), which recognises the honorary primacy of the Moscow Patriarchate, died on 5 July 2014 at the age of 79. He was replaced by Metropolitan Onufry (secular name Orest Berezovsky), aged 70. The fact that this representative of the moderate trend, far from politics, was elected signifies that the UOC’s previous policy will be continued in the coming years: strengthening the Church’s independence without questioning its canonical bonds with Moscow. Metropolitan Onufry’s task is to wait out the hard times, rather than to embark upon an active policy. The political developments this year have significantly weakened pro-Russian views and sentiments among the Ukrainian public, including members of the UOC. On the other hand, they have also contributed to the radicalisation of views within firmly pro-Russian circles. The hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have distanced themselves from these developments. The reasons for this included a lack of unity among them as regards this issue, as well as the leadership crisis linked to Metropolitan Volodymyr’sillness. The main problems the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is facing today are as follows: meeting the expectations of those of its members who hold patriotic views (mainly the younger generation) without at the same time antagonising its numerous members who are pro-Russian; and also continuing to disregard the Kyiv Patriarchate and maintaining bonds with the Russian Orthodox Church. Therefore, we may expect the UOC to continue avoiding taking a clear stance on the present conflict, instead focusing on charity.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Russia
    Countries > Ukraine
    Other > religion-general (also see EU-Islam)
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2014 17:03
    Number of Pages: 8
    Last Modified: 06 Dec 2014 17:03

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