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18 Dec, 2018 15:24

US Orthodox priest blasts splitting of Ukrainian Church from Moscow as Poroshenko’s election ploy

US Orthodox priest blasts splitting of Ukrainian Church from Moscow as Poroshenko’s election ploy

A US priest who joined the Russian Orthodox Church told RT the creation of Ukraine’s own church was done against any canonic rules and came conspicuously close to the 2019 presidential elections in the country.

Father Nectarios Trevino just recently moved from the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese (ACROD) to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

“My principal reason was because of my belief that the actions of the ecumenical patriarch [of Constantinople]… did not proceed in accordance with canonic law in order to create a national church [of Ukraine],” Father Nectarios told RT.

Also on rt.com Kiev proclaims its own Orthodox church, hails ‘unification’ after holding ‘schismatic’ council

There are certain procedures that must be followed historically, he explained, adding that over the last centuries the Constantinople patriarch “acted very much unilaterally, establishing his own rules and doing what he wants and disregarding the wishes of other 14 autocephalous churches.”

There wasn’t a single autocephalous church that supported his desire to back creation of the Ukrainian Church, the priest said, “even the church of Greece did not support him.”

At the end of the day, if Orthodox churches don’t play by established set of rules “then we basically have created our own Pope who can do what he wants whenever he wants.”

And that’s the Western way of thinking and Western way of doing things. That’s not the way the Orthodox way is supposed to act.

Ukraine created an Orthodox church of its own on December 15, proclaiming “independence from Moscow.” Russian Orthodox Church dubbed the entity ‘non-canonical.’ The head of the schismatic church – self-styled ‘patriarch’ Filaret – has received the lifetime title of ‘Honorary Patriarch’ within the new structure.

Also on rt.com Ukrainian far-right MP declares ‘hunt’ for Moscow-loyal priests after split

But the move has more to do with politics than faith, Father Nectarios believes. “I think [Ukraine’s President Petro] Poroshenko is exploiting a political narrative, he is up for reelection, his popularity is very poor.”

Right now it does not look like he [Poroshenko] will get reelected; maybe this will change things for him. He is changing the focus of the people from other areas of concern.

Just two hierarchs from the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchy participated in event, namely metropolitan bishops Simeon and Aleksandr. The Church as a whole refused to take part in the gathering preceding the Ukrainian Church’s creation, denouncing it as schismatic.

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