Tuesday, 22 September

In Ukraine, the Christianization of Rus was celebrated and united in the procession of the cross and in prayer for the Single Local Orthodox Church. Now our state is waiting for a decree from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I about autocephaly of Ukrainian Orthodoxy. And the Internet space discusses the prospects of this religious event: someone does not agree with possible autocephaly for Ukraine, some criticize the work of the leading media, while others – express a great support to the believers. Reactions from different parts are collected in the material from Opinion.

On his official page, Petro Poroshenko thanked the Ecumenical Patriarch and other representatives of the UOC-Kyiv and Moscow Patriarchate, who are ready to support the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. He noted, that society is waiting for the decision of the Ecumenical Council. And, of course, that it will be in Ukraine’s favor.

Not everyone agrees with the opinion of the President of Ukraine, that autocephaly is a fair decision regarding Ukraine. For example, political scientist Dmytro Korneichuk emphasizes, that Poroshenko himself is a parishioner of the Moscow Patriarchate. And suggests, that the idea of the Ukrainian autocephalous church can be coordinated with the Kremlin. Like, the church split in Ukraine can be overcome: “To unite the two largest Orthodox churches into one de-jure autocephalous, but de facto oriented on ROC.”

Clerics have also joined the Internet discussion. The Archpriest, priest of the UOC Yevhen Zapletnyuk‘s reaction is quite arbitrary – he compares people from two “competing” religious processions of the Cross. In his opinion, the religious procession for the Single Local Orthodox Church united the people of good (“holding sacred, rejoice, live”), but on the Day of  Christianization of Rus, walked unhappy people (“eternally wicked, intimidated, desperate, old and hateful” ).

And here the priest of the Russian Orthodox Church, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, as it was expected and once again turn to the favourite theme of Russian propagandists about the unity of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. He believes, that Day of  Christianization of Rus should unite these nations, because they are not only tried to be divided but also to be enemies.

In addition to the discussion of “for” and “against”  of the tomos and the possession of the Cross in the network there is a media-critical issue in the full play. A journalist, chief operating officer of the community organization Detective Media, Diana Dutsyk, posted on her page a reaction to robota.UA : The First. To her surprise. The public did not broadcast the procession for the Single Local Orthodox Church. She believes, that this event relates to many processes in the country and is linked to the establishment of independence in Ukraine, and should be shown.

Director General of the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine Zurab Alasaniia replied in a commentary to a journalist’s post, that Ukraine is a secular state, and therefore the church should be removed from it. In addition, there are dozens of registered churches and denominations. The third reason Zurab Alasaniia has made is that most Ukrainians are not believers. And, fourthly, in the opinion of General Director UA: the First, the broadcast of the “first couple” (Poroshenko and his wife) would mean a frank PR of the president. And the last argument concerned the linguistic and religious themes – in his point of view, such topics cannot be the subjects of discussion, because they are too sensitive.

Pavlo Potseluev, a blogger and public activist, says that he “cannot stand the church,” but understands the value of autocephaly for Ukraine. In his opinion, there are millions of believers in Ukraine, the arm of governance of has the government of Russia. He does not agree with Zurab Alasaniia, that Ukraine is, in fact, a secular state, and criticizes him and calls him an incompetent manager.

Entrepreneur Valerii Pekar discusses the importance of religious events of this magnitude. He notes, that the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church is “the most important factor in the formation of a modern Ukrainian nation.” Valerii believes, that Ukrainian history, language and culture have been severely affected by the rule of the empires, and now it is time to restore them.

The blogger and journalist Olena Dobrovolska also says, that in fact, the affairs of the churches in Ukraine are not separated from the state, and it is a part of Russian aggression. Also, Olena Dobrovolska stresses, that when disbelief in Ukrainian society reaches a high level, people will go to the priests.

Reactions were collected by Leila Tserkovnyuk


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