What did Ukrainian schismatics from Kiev Patriarchate and nationalists from “Right Sector” agree on?

25 June 2017 15:53
What did Ukrainian schismatics from Kiev Patriarchate and nationalists from “Right Sector” agree on?
As you know, on May 4 of this year the Synodal Directorate of the Military Clergy (SUVD) of the Kyiv Patriarchate and the Right Sector signed an agreement on cooperation. Nobody hid this event, even in spite of the fact that it, quite expected, was to become another reason for criticism of both sides of the treaty. However, nobody has yet seen the documents regulating their interaction. Meanwhile, these texts contain rather eloquent expressions about the aims and format of the proclaimed collaboration between Filaret adherents and the nationalists.

First of all, it is noteworthy that the agreement explicitly indicates that one of the goals of cooperation between the "Right Sector" and the schismatics is the creation of the United Local Church in the "Ukrainian Independent State" (which, apparently, must fully meet the political expectations of "right-wingers"). It should also be noted that Vasil Labaychuk, who signed the document as the head of the Central Headquarters of the NOD (People’s Liberation Movement) "Right Sector", has long been working in this direction, in his own words, defeating the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (called the "Moscow Patriarchate") "by all possible methods.”

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In particular, "fellow Krivozub", as his collaborators-nationalists call Labaychuk, has extensive experience in organizing power actions to seize the religious buildings of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and put pressure on local authorities. So, on September 29, 2015, the head of the "Right Sector" announced plans for a self-imposed "settlement" of the situation with the church in the village of Kolosovaya. "If the government does not give permission to serve, then the community will take the temple, because this is their church," said the head of the Central Staff of the organization, commenting on his claims to the temple of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. And on June 10, 2016, "fellow Krivozub" fulfilled his threat.

"We appear every time when a new community of the Kyiv Patriarchate is formed," Labaychuk said in the same interview. Or, perhaps, on the contrary, schismatic communities are created as a result of such raids of the "Right Sector"? It is no coincidence that 19 out of 70 cases of "the transition of communities to the Kiev Patriarchate", displayed on the interactive map of RISU, occurred precisely in Ternopil region, where "fellow Krivozub" comes from, who was born in Zbarazh region.

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However, now in the Kyiv Patriarchate they cannot justify themselves by saying that they are cooperating with Bandera proponents only on issues of assistance to the ATO participants, fighting corruption, reviving spirituality and patriotic education, without sharing the political tasks of the national revolution. "The parties cooperate on the basis of common objectives of the religious and moral worldview of nationalism – Orthodox Christianity and operate within the rights and obligations set forth in the Regulations on the Department of the Chaplain Service of the " Right Sector,” explicitly states paragraph 1.4. of the Agreement. Very curious identification of Orthodox Christianity with the ideology of nationalism is professed by the "Kyiv Patriarchate"!
What rights and obligations will the representatives of the Kyiv Patriarchate, who wished to become chaplains within the “Right Sector", assume under this Statute?

According to the normative documents of the "Right Sector" approved by the Kyiv Patriarchate, clergymen receiving material support from the leadership of this organization provide information, methodological and reference support to the members of the NOD (People’s Liberation Movement), coordinate their activities with the Ideological Education Department (Section 2 of the Agreement), and in the absence of the line manager have the right to give "expedient" orders to subordinated militants (Paragraph 7.4 of the Regulations).

Obviously, this means attracting "priests" as experts in the development of propaganda materials, as well as in the role of "informers" and "gunners", indicating goals for attacks – both information and physical. In a word, if a Filaret’s priest, whom you are confessing to, believes that your behavior is liberal or not patriotic enough, you can get a "soul-saving punishment" from the hands of Stepan Bandera's follower as a "bonus".

Such, if I may say so, "Orthodox clergymen", now empowered to give orders to fighters, undertake "to be guided in their activities by the foundations of the ideology of Ukrainian Nationalism" (1.2) and, moreover, to disseminate the main ideological principles of Ukrainian nationalism and its creators (Paragraph 7.5.). They must be ready at any time of day and night to receive the members of the "Right Sector" (ibid.), and "in extreme conditions" even perform worships without putting on the epitrachel (Paragraph 7.3.) – a symbol of priesthood's grace. At the same time, the Orthodox tradition explicitly forbids the performance of liturgical activities without wearing a epitrachel, and for the observance of this rule in prison, during persecutions and in other cases of emergency, it foresees the use of specially blessed improvised items as substitutes for this element of vestment.

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The following points of Bandera’s Regulations should also attract the attention of believers:

"2.1. A visible sign of the presence of God among the Ukrainian people is the Church of Christ, and a chaplain priest is a clear evidence of Christian values among patriotic nationalists," – Para 2.1;

"2.3. The main and fundamental doctrine of the religious and moral worldview of nationalism is Christianity, which is represented by traditional Ukrainian churches," – Para 2.3;

Perhaps, the self-styled Orthodox supporters of Filaret should ask themselves what kind of One Local Church they want to create with the help of the "Kyiv Patriarchate" nationalists. Is it Orthodox? By his own admission, the same Vasil Labaychuk actively cooperates with Greek Catholics. Curious if the "Right Sector" also wants to include the latter into the "United Local Church" scenario, designed by radical politicians?

Obviously, the recognition of the multiplicity of churches is a natural consequence of the distorted attitude towards the Church of Christ, according to which God is present in the Ukrainian people automatically, and without the Church this presence just will not have a visible expression.

The formulation of one of the main tasks of Chaplain Service Department of the NOD "Right Sector", is not indisputable from the theological point of view: "To educate a Christian nationalist, i.e. the one who proves love for God through love for his Nation" (Para 3.2. of the Regulations). "Their" love is not for their neighbor, as the Lord commanded, but only for their own Nation, which ideologists of Ukrainian nationalism put on one level with God. A glaring contradiction with the Gospel of Christ does not require any comments.

It's hard to believe that by signing the Agreement on Cooperation with Radicals, Filaret adherents did not foresee another wave of questions about how they managed to combine the ideas of revolutionary nationalism with the teachings of Christ. However, the theologians of the Kiev Patriarchate, so artily defending its claims to autocephaly, did not stop head of the Synodal Department of Military Clergy of the UOC-KP John (Yaremenko) from signing such dubious documents Nor did they offer any corrections thereto.

In turn, cooperation with the organization sponsored by Andrey Matsola, who has business interests in the "aggressor country" had to become a dark spot on the reputation of radicals from the "Right Sector". Why did the parties of the Agreement, signed on 4 May, who were aware of inevitable criticism, were still not ashamed to tell about the official proclamation of their cooperation to the press?

Apparently, realizing that truly faithful Orthodox Ukrainians reject the non-canonical status of the Kyiv Patriarchate, Filaret proponents decided to change their priorities and seek new supporters among the followers of Stepan Bandera. And with this approach, indeed, "bothering" with theological issues is not only unnecessary, but also directly contraindicative.

Furthermore, even purely political supporters of One Local Church do not harbor any illusions about the pace of repression of the canonical church. This is eloquently evidenced by the comments in Evstratiy Zoria’s report on the results of the next survey of confessional preferences of Ukrainians held by Razumkov Center.

So, it seems, the bet on brute force is really the only thing left for schismatics. Thus, open signing by the Kiev Patriarchate of an agreement with radicals, whose participation in illegal seizures of the temples of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been previously denied, does not only bear witness to theological nihilism of Filaret’s campaigners, but also to a signal of their readiness to unleash a real religious war in Ukraine, which might be triggered by scandalous bills Nos. 4128 and 4511.


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