Skip to comments.Ukrainian Crisis May Split Russian Orthodox Church
Posted on 03/18/2014 8:37:09 AM PDT by marshmallow
MOSCOW (RNS) As Russian troops massed on Ukraines border and a controversial secession vote in Crimea approaches Sunday (March 16), Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church called for prayers that brothers of one faith and one blood never bring destruction to one another.
Russia has prided itself on its revival of Orthodox Christianity after decades of Soviet persecution, but a war with the Ukraine could splinter the Russian Orthodox Church.
That church has its roots in Kiev, where Prince Vladimir baptized his people as Christians in 988, an event viewed as a cornerstone of Russian and Ukrainian identity. It has even deeper roots in Crimea, where, according to legend, Vladimir was himself baptized by Byzantine emissaries.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, which has 12,500 congregations, is the largest of three Orthodox churches in Ukraine.
But while it has some degree of autonomy, with a Synod of Bishops that elects its own members, the churchs leader, Metropolitan Onufry of Chernovtsy and Bukovina, has to be approved by Moscow.
In his sermon at the end of the service at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow on Friday (March 14), Kirill, who has been known for his support of Russian President Vladimir Putin, suggested that Ukraine has a right to self-determination.
But he also stressed that it must not be trapped into a spiritual division from Russia.
(Excerpt) Read more at religionnews.com ...
Putin, the former KGB officer, has been using the Russian Orthodox Church for political purposes all along. The fact that there has been a recent period in which they have gotten along is purely for Putin’s purposes.
Yet he allowed for the Orothdox to have the churches rebuilt...........Hmmm.
This is a KGB department, not any church.
The Russian Orthodox Church leadership has historically been only too willing to serve as the handmaiden of the Russian state, for czar, commissar, or president.
[shrug] Cheap accommodation. Not necessarily a permanent arrangement.
Most likely rebuilt to gain their support.