The OCU's letter to Patriarch Bartholomew to prompt other Churches to investigate the heresies of the the ROC, - religious scholar

The OCU's letter to Patriarch Bartholomew to prompt other Churches to investigate the heresies of the the ROC, - religious scholar - фото 1
The Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) wrote a letter to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, requesting him to call upon Kirill Gundyaev to publicly renounce the ideology of the "Russian world," condemn, and retract the decree of the so-called council, which contains elements of heresy.

FACTS ICTV discussed the impact of this letter with religious scholar and Doctor of Historical Sciences Andriy Smirnov.

Andriy Smirnov stated that the current version of the "Russian world" ideology has surpassed even the boundaries of ethnophyletic heresy and is rapidly distancing itself from Christian doctrine. This system, in essence, leans towards dualistic religions like Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, or quasi-Christian Gnostic movements, where the dominant role is played by the same "single evil principle" in its eternal struggle with good.

Smirnov believes that the letter from the OCU to Patriarch Bartholomew can draw the attention of the global church community to the criminal activities of Moscow Patriarch Kirill.

"The letter from the Council of Bishops of the OCU has been translated into Greek and English. It has already drawn the attention of international organizations, experts, and theologians. The criminal nature of the neo-imperial doctrine of the 'Russian world,' which requires theological evaluation, is being actively discussed. If this is a heretical doctrine, it must be condemned by global Orthodoxy," emphasized the expert.

According to him, with this letter, the OCU has declared a certain position—the decision to condemn the ideology of the "Russian world" and its response to the corresponding decree of the so-called World Russian People's Council, which essentially justifies the genocide of the Ukrainian people.

However, as Smirnov notes, unfortunately, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is very limited in his means of influencing the Russian Orthodox Church and, personally, Moscow Patriarch Kirill. Despite his special status in global Orthodoxy, his primacy is not recognized by the Russian Church. Any attempts by Bartholomew to convene either a Pan-Orthodox Council or a Council of Primates of Local Churches will be blocked by the Moscow Patriarchate. Thus, there are no effective mechanisms within the Orthodox Church to punish a specific primate, including Patriarch Kirill.

He pointed out that some churches support the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, while others are very pro-Russian. Thus, there is currently no pan-Orthodox consensus on what to do with the Russian Church, and there is still no full recognition of the OCU and the Tomos issued by the Ecumenical Patriarch.

"Global Orthodoxy is experiencing a crisis. If the OCU dares to officially condemn the ROC, Kirill, and the 'Russian world,' other churches do not. This is because no church, except the OCU, has an official document that does this, despite the personal position of the Ecumenical Patriarch, who condemns the war," noted the religious expert.

Moreover, as Smirnov emphasized, not only do the primates of local churches continue to commemorate the Moscow Patriarch in the diptych, but also the clergy of the UOC-MP during the Divine Liturgy. Although Metropolitan Epiphanius stopped doing this immediately after the full-scale war began, the Council of the UOC-MP in Feofania allowed only the name of Metropolitan Onufriy to be mentioned during services.

According to the religious scholar, such a letter and calls to condemn the ideology of the "Russian world" may encourage UOC-MP priests to at least stop commemorating the Moscow Patriarch during the Liturgy, as he is a war criminal.

This letter may also prompt local Orthodox Churches worldwide to begin investigating the heresies of the Moscow Patriarch.