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“An independent state needs an independent Church“ The fight for canonical independence for Ukrainian Orthodoxy. OSW COMMENTARY NUMBER 272 | 11.06.2018

Olszański, Tadeusz A. (2018) “An independent state needs an independent Church“ The fight for canonical independence for Ukrainian Orthodoxy. OSW COMMENTARY NUMBER 272 | 11.06.2018. [Policy Paper]

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    The Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) have submitted a request to the Ecumenical Patriarch (i.e. the patriarch of Constantinople, the supreme head of all Orthodox Churches) to grant autocephaly to Ukrainian Orthodoxy. On 19 April the Ukrainian parliament, at the request of President Petro Poroshenko, expressed its support for this measure. The President himself expressed his support on 22 April. There are numerous indications that a positive decision regarding this issue has already been made, and a relevant thomos (patriarch’s decree) will be announced any time this year Proclamation of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Particular Orthodox Church (Ukrayinska Pomisna Avtokefalna Pravoslavna Tserkva, UAPOC) will likely trigger a new wave of confessional conflicts across Ukraine, including a likely schism in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which recognizes the primacy of the patriarch of Moscow (UOC). It is beyond any doubt that a certain portion of believers and clergy, which today is difficult to estimate, will remain loyal to Moscow and that the Moscow Patriarchate will make every effort to support Ukrainian structures of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). The government of Ukraine, for its part, will try to prevent the development of these structures. From the political point of view, both the expected granting of autocephaly to Ukrainian Orthodoxy and the likely conflicts resulting from this are favourable to President Poroshenko because they increase both his and his party’s chances of re-election in the elections planned for 2019. On the one hand, he will gain new trust from patriotically minded voters, on the other hand, opponents of autocephaly will coalesce around pro-Russian parties. This in turn may help promote a pro-Russian politician to compete with Poroshenko in the second round of presidential voting as a weak counter-candidate whom the current president would defeat relatively easily.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Ukraine
    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: 03 Aug 2018 09:02
    Number of Pages: 6
    Last Modified: 03 Aug 2018 11:18

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