Ten years ago we were not ready to autocephaly, but now we are – Ukrainian religious scholar
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew can sign the Tomos in the near future - it is most likely to be solemnly presented at the celebration of the 1030th anniversary of the baptism of Ukraine-Russia. Such an opinion was broadcast by the religious scientist Professor Lyudmila Fylypovych on the air of the Public Radio, reports Religiyna Pravda.
When asked whether the President’s appeal and his request of the parliament’s support constitute state interference in religious affairs, professor responded that it was “no intervention but assistance from the government in addressing such a complex issue as obtaining autocephaly”.
“Let's go back into the past and remember that Orthodoxy is based on such a principle like Caesaropapism, and for some reason we forget about this principle. This means that in the Orthodox Church, the power of secular power and the power of the spiritual authority were always in the symphony. All questions related to the approval and establishment of the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches were resolved with the help of the state,” says Lyudmila Fylypovych.
She believes there are political implications.
“Especially in the current circumstances. To declare: “We do not interfere in politics,” as the representatives of some Churches do, is completely non-patriotic. If there were peacetime and the Church in this peacetime performed an exclusively ecclesial function – saved the souls of people - this is one situation. And in the situation of war, when there are so many conflicts to be resolved, how can the state not interfere with these issues?” - the religious scientist answers.
In addition, the professor told about the procedure for obtaining the Tomos.
“Following the appeal of our state in 2016, a special commission was established at the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. For two years they have been studying this question thoroughly. Now all historical grounds are prepared, all members of the Synod are convinced that they are doing right. At the Synod, this issue will be discussed, a decision will be made – it is not an individual decision of the Patriarch. And he will probably sign the Tomos and present it to us in a solemn ceremony at the celebration of the 1030th anniversary of the baptism of Ukraine-Rus,” says Fylypovych.
The religious scholar also expressed an opinion on how this process would evolve in the country.
“It is expected that the Orthodox All-Ukrainian Council will be convened, which, on the basis of this Tomos, will solve exclusively organizational issues. I think it will be wise and reasonable to avoid losing any priest, because the work will be enough for everyone,” the professor continues.
Asked why the specialist is so affirmatively about the final positive result for Ukraine, Lyudmila Fylypovych replied that “now the internal and non-Ukrainian situations have come together.”
“Inside Ukraine there is a peculiar final stage in the self-identification of Ukrainians” the religious scholar answered. It is not for the first time that we are appealing to Bartholomew with a request for autocephaly - he was watching us, he realized that perhaps ten years ago we were not ready, now we are absolutely ready. And these events were urged by the Maidan, the war that continues between Ukraine and Russia, and its completion is scarcely in sight. And the external factor - we see that the authority of Russia has plummeted, and Patriarch Bartholomew I, being very knowledgeable in geopolitical terms, understands the tendencies in Europe and America; and failing to grant Ukraine autocephaly is to stand on the side of Russia and support the idea of Kyiv as “our Jerusalem” and “our Constantinople”.