Τρίτη, 18 Δεκεμβρίου 2018

CYRIL HOVORUN: "IF THE CHARTER IS REVISED, TOMOS WILL BE REVIEWED - THE COUNCIL IS JUST THE BEGINNING OF THE BEGINNING


 
In interview on December 18, 2018, 11:44 of a well-known theologian, scholar, professor at the University of Loyola-Maryomount in Los Angeles, in the past, a researcher at Yale and Columbia University, an archimandrite, a clergyman of the UOC MP Cyril Hovorun, on Sunday after the Council of the Local Church was held. It was important, through "hot pursuit", to analyze the historical event; new realities, formed by it, set points over "i". Father Cyril listened to his fame both in Ukraine and far beyond its borders, as he himself is a figure of a global scale.
So, in an interview with LB.ua we discussed the process of forming a new Local Church, the peculiarities of its Charter, internal conflicts of the pre-assembly period, the prospects of reformatting parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate, etc. "I would call it the beginning of the beginning", - summarizes Hovorun.(Interviewed by Sonia Koshkina and Oleg Bazar)

Archimandrite Cyril Hovorun:"We have witnessed attempts to manipulate the election procedures of the Council"

Sonya Koshkina: Our main topic today is the historical unifying Council of the Local Ukrainian Church . What are your impressions of it in general?

As you know, I did not take part in it. Although I was supposed to.

SK: We wrote that you received an invitation, but could not get on the Council itself . Why?

I received an invitation from the exarchs of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The main steward and moderator of the Council was the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which he invited delegates. By the way, this is the difference from the original scenario, which presupposed that the Council should be convened on the initiative of Ukrainian churches. And this was supposed to be the constituent council. But since the Ukrainian churches failed to convene it on their own initiative, the Constantinople Patriarchate took this mission on its own and sent a letter to each potential delegate with a personal invitation to take part in the Council .

SK: The invitations were addressed to the bishops?

Yes, the letter with an invitation was sent to every bishop of the Kyivan Patriarchate, the UAOC and the Moscow Patriarchate.

SK: Did the bishops have to ensure the participation of one priest and a faithful from the diocese?

True. And any attempts by the Kyivan Patriarchate to somehow limit the participation of priests or faithful went against the invitation of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Indeed, Constantinople took over the Council and prevented the monopolization of this process by the Kyiv Patriarchate and made the Council inclusive - equal to the participation of all Orthodox churches in Ukraine. I want to emphasize: for Constantinople it was very important that the maximum number of participants from all Ukrainian churches took part in this Council.

Oleg Bazar: Why, in your opinion, the Council did not manage to organize the Ukrainian Council?

Because Orthodox churches in the country are guided by external factors, in particular political and state. They live in a paradigm of the Byzantine symphony with the state. The paternalistic paradigm of the Byzantine symphony of relations manifests itself in the fact that the state itself acts as the main partner and initiator of events for the Orthodox Church. But Constantinople, we must give it the due credit, does not live in this paradigm, at least because of the fact that in Turkey the state cannot be a partner of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

OB: Does the Turkish government have any influence on it?

They may be trying to influence processes somewhere.

OB: At the same time there is a stereotype that the question with Constantinople needs to be resolved through Erdogan.

This is a false stereotype. The Turkish state does not affect the extent to which it is attributed to it. You will be surprised that, in fact, the municipality of Istanbul has a greater influence on the affairs of the Constantinople Patriarchate than the central government of Turkey.

SK: Let's return to the Council.

So. Constantinople Patriarchate therefore proposed such a model (unifying Council, - LB.ua): the church acts as the initiator of the Council. And initially, on the principle of subsidiarity, this initiative was delegated to Ukrainian churches. They did not manage the task, failed to summon it without a partner in the person of the state. Then it was forced to do the Ecumenical Patriarch, inviting the participants. Including representatives of the Ukrainian state. Returning to your question about my invitation - it was ignored by the Ukrainian state.

SK: You were not at the Council, but you have a lot of insights and probably already made some impression of this event.

First, this historic event, which gave an impetus, laid the foundation for a new church. I would call it the beginning of the beginning. On the one hand, this event was the completion of the process that began in 1917, since the birth of the Ukrainian autocephalous movement. But under this period a risk has been put in place and the beginning of a new one is laid.
The period until December 2018 was a period of quantitative autocephaly, which fought simply as an opportunity for Ukraine's independence. After December 2018 it is a period of high-quality autocephaly, the filling of autocephalous form with a certain content. And this content from the beginning is not set, is not programmed. Now everything will depend on the Ukrainian churches themselves. And on the Ukrainian society.
I must say that the starting conditions for this process are not very positive. They could be as if, in my opinion, the Ukrainian churches, the Kyivan Patriarchate in particular, clearly adhered to the foundations of unity. In secular language - democratic procedures. Particularly those that include respect for the choice of the members of the Council.
Such respect for the choices and the views of each of the members of the Council could lay the foundations for qualitative changes in the church in the future. As in the state: if the elections are democratic and transparent, then the political process is more or less healthy. If the manipulations begin with the right to choose, political life will develop incorrectly. In church life everything works in the same way.
From the very beginning we have witnessed some attempts to manipulate election procedures (Sobor, - LB.ua). For example, attempts to hold elections through open voting, which is a violation of democratic and canonical procedures; restriction of the right to nominate candidates for the presidency. I would like to say once again: the position of Constantinople came from the generally accepted rules that procedures should be transparent, democratic, universal for all. And the Constantinople delegation very consistently defended these principles.
The original scenario assumed that the Ukrainian side will prepare its own Charter. This was not done. From the electoral point of view, so to speak, Tomos is much more important than the Charter. And that is why the charter was not engaged.

"From the point of view of the representatives of the Kyivan Patriarchate," signal exchange "was, conventionally, a bargain"

OB: Within a few weeks before the Council, an exchange was made of not too friendly signals between Constantinople and Ukrainian churches. In particular, the UOC-KP made an apparent demarche, holding the Synod of Bishops on the eve of the Council of the new church . On the other hand, some of your posts on Facebook, for example, could be taken as a warning from Constantinople. What was that? Game of nerves, trying to bargain the best positions?

There may be several interpretations in this process. I would say that some representatives of the Ukrainian side interpreted this in their own way, and Constantinople in its own way. The most influential part of the establishment of the Kyivan Patriarchate was to preserve the status quo in the new church. That is, it was in fact to remain the fact of the Kievan Patriarchate, simply with a different name that would receive an approval from Constantinople.

SK: But the UOC-KP self-dismissed, right?
Yes. It was a condition of Constantinople. They had to do it by December 15th. And it happened on December 15th. In the last, so to speak, moment.

OB: What about the UAOC?

They did it (self-dissolution - LB.ua) with much greater ease. UAOC generally behaved very correctly in relation to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. I want to explain this by ending the previous opinion.
From the point of view of representatives of the Kyivan Patriarchate, "signal exchange", which you are talking about, was, conventionally speaking, a bargain. Indeed, from Constantinople it was only a canonical position. The Patriarchate of Constantinople understands: in order for a Ukrainian church project to be launched, it must be legal, transparent and meet certain criteria: transparency, equality before the law on the one hand, and canonicality on the other. Maybe it's funny for some, but it's important for Constantinople. And when I described some things in my posts on Facebook, I described the vision of Constantinople.

OB: And it was through the messages that you were not allowed to the Council?

Perhaps. To conclude the thesis on the auction, I would like to note how personally heard from the exarchs that the interest of Constantinople was to give Ukrainians the maximum opportunity to show themselves and to agree with each other. Since Ukrainians, I can say frankly about this, on most issues could not agree with each other, Constantinople took the initiative in its own hands. Including such a crucial issue as the Charter for a new church.

SK: About the Charter, let's talk, yes. Why so few representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate - only two - took part in the Council.

This is due to three factors. The first is the actions of Moscow and individual politicians. In the spring/summer, within the UOC MP there was a fairly widespread support for the unifying council and the process of granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian church. But due to the activity of separate politicians from the "Opposition Bloc", as well as Moscow and pro-Moscow forces, the pro-autocephalous movement was minimized.
The second factor is the position of the Ukrainian state. It undertook to protect the choice of those (hierarchs of the MP, - LB.ua), who determined in favor of the autocephalous church. Protect, including, from the negative influence and pressure that they felt on the part of certain political forces and leadership of the UOC MP. This protection was not enough. It appeared at the last moment and was rather nasty and ineffective.
And the third one is the factor of the Kyivan Patriarchate. Its leaders, in my opinion, were not interested in this (in the broad representation of the MP at the Council, - LB.ua).

SK: And how was the state to defend this choice? This is the same interference in church affairs.

State intervention would encourage or encourage somehow to influence the choice of hierarchs. And when it has to protect the made choice, if it is any, it is the fulfillment of its direct functions.

OB: You said that there was a certain number of hierarchs of the Moscow Patriarchate, loyal to the creation of an autocephalous church.

About 10 in the Spring.
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OB: It was possible to interfere with their intentions to participate in the work of the Council - money, pressure, compromise, etc. But here they return to their eparchies, where a significant portion of priests and laity support the local church. And the bishop again faces a choice.

Some bishops were sensitive to this factor - the pressure from their communities. This pressure is legitimate and bishops must listen to it. Although not everyone is ready for this. It's always an individual case - I cannot generalize anything here.

"Even during the Council for the Charter voted, but they were not discussed"

OB .: In a previous interview for LB.ua you talked about the fact that the Greek church has a tradition of electing the bishops. Will this tradition somehow come to Ukraine?

This is most characteristic of the Church of Cyprus, in particular. And partly of the Church of Greece. The answer to this question must begin with the importance of the Charter of the new church, as I said earlier. The charter has more significance for the Ukrainian church than the leader. Because sooner or later there will be a new Primate, and will have to live for many years with the Charter. Much more years.

OB: In the Orthodox tradition, the primate has only nominal functions, he is only the first among the equal.

Absolutely so. His activities are limited by the Charter. And, unfortunately, I must say that the Charter was given the least attention. Even during the Council when the Charter was voted, but it were not discussed.

OB: That is very good. As the members of the Council adopted a document written in Constantinople - in keeping with the principles of openness, democracy ...

The original scenario assumed that the Ukrainian side was preparing its own Charter. This was not done. From the electoral point of view, so to speak, Tomos is much more important than the Charter. And that is why the charter was not discussed. And Ukrainian churches also failed to work out a charter for themselves. So eventually Constantinople took the initiative again and wrote the charter. I red also the Greek version of the Charter, and the Ukrainian translation. This is a very well written document. Moreover, this is a very democratic document, it just corresponds to and strengthens the traditions of the unity that are characteristic of Ukrainian Orthodoxy.
But to the culture of cohesiveness, or democracy, embodied in this document, none of the Ukrainian churches has yet grown up. Therefore, the question is already discussed that the Charter may be revised. There is a risk in my opinion. The risk of changing democratic principles to more authoritarian ones.

OB: In the interests of the leadership of the new church?

Yes.

OB: It seems that changes to the Charter must be agreed with Constantinople one way or another.

Not a fact. From the point of view of some representatives of the new church, they can do it without the consent of the Constantinople Patriarchate. But I also want to say that during my discussions with Constantinople on this issue, I heard the following point: if the Charter is revised, Tomos will be reviewed.

SK: Stop, right now, we understand: even if the Local Church will receive Tomos on January 6 without problems, Constantinople alone reserves the right - under certain conditions - to revise it, and at any time?

Yes. Because it was from the outset that the Charter and Tomos are one set of documents. And if one document changes in this package, then the other document may change accordingly.

OB: Was this told to the Ukrainian side?

Yes.
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OB: The Charter as currently approved allows bishops to be more independent in their activities.

Exactly. First, the bishops will be more independent of the church's leadership. Secondly, communities will be more independent of bishops.

OB: In fact, the bishopric, including the former UOC-KP, should have an interest in this Charter.

Yes. And they began to realize it. I saw on Saturday awareness of the fact that the bishops are subject to the new church. And what they should become part of what is called a system of balances and counterbalances in the new church.

OB: It can become a very serious incentive for the episcopate of the UOC-MP to move to a new church.

Yes.

"Bartholomew will accompany the Ukrainian church for a long time"

SK: On the eve of the Council, a lot of discussions took place regarding the status of the new church. In particular. Why was the decline in status - from patriarchate to metropolitanate.

I said several times about changing scenarios. The fact that the Council was to be convened by the bishops, and in the end called the Ecumenical Patriarchate. That the Charter should have been written by bishops of the Ukrainian church, and in the end it was written by Constantinople. The same applies to the status of the Ukrainian church. From the outset it was supposed that this should be a patriarchate, and in the end we have a metropolitan. And I want to emphasize once again that, as in the previous cases, the culprit is disorganization, the inability to consolidate and act without an external partner on the part of Ukrainian bishops.

OB: How serious was the constitution for the Ukrainian church in Constantinople in this Charter? How new church is independent?

In my opinion, it is more likely that there are preventive measures against the tyranny of certain people within this church. That is, it is a sound document that creates the basis for the healthy existence of the church.
By the way, I want to emphasize once more: the Charter emphasizes the polyethnic nature of the church. And this polyethnicism lies in its very name. There were disputes as to how to call it: the Ukrainian Orthodox Church or the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The Kyivan Patriarchate insisted on calling it the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. For Constantinople this is the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, because it is for all citizens of Ukraine, regardless of nationality. This is an important point that is also laid down by Constantinople in the Charter. That is, this is an inclusive document.

OB: But at the same time, the Ukrainian church is losing parishes outside Ukraine.

This is said. And it was decided that all Ukrainian parishes belonging to the Kyivan Patriarchate should become subordinate to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. And it is agreed, including with the Patriarchate of Kiev. The question is how much it will be executed.

OB: Status of a metropolitanate, and not a patriarchate, will somehow affect the recognition of the Ukrainian church by other Orthodox churches?

It will help to the recognition. Because it is much easier to recognize the Metropolitan than the patriarchy. It is also necessary to achieve recognition from those churches that themselves would like to become patriarchates, but they did not. And just because of envy may not recognize the status of patriarchy in the Ukrainian church.

SK: How did the Council and those processes accompanied by it be carried out, can affect the speed of recognition of Ukrainian autocephaly by local churches?

Yesterday (on Friday, December 14, before the Council, - LB.ua), I could say that the process will go faster. Today, I would say that the process may be slower.

SK: Why?

For a number of reasons. How would this diplomatically say? For many churches, what has happened is, in fact, the re-establishment of the Kyiv Patriarchate for a new structure. Recognizing the Kyiv patriarchy even under a new name is much more difficult than recognizing a new church, the creation of which insisted the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
It will be difficult to quickly reach the recognition of such a structure by the churches that do not mind it. But even more difficult it will be for those churches that will be against it in advance.

SK: Has Patriarch Bartholomew understood all the risks associated with the provision of autocephaly to the Ukrainian church?

He declared his determination on this case. He really decided to resolve the Ukrainian church problem - a split. And he solved this problem and put an end to the Ukrainian split. Aware of all this complex of risks.

OB: After the Council, the desire of Patriarch Bartholomew to take an active part in Ukrainian affairs will increase or decrease?

He took up this issue and could not step aside, even if he wanted to do it. I think he will bring this matter to the end. And he will accompany the Ukrainian church for a long time.

About the "Moscow response": "from the lack of an answer to, for example, the anathema of Bartholomew"

SK: Let's talk about Epiphanios. What can you say about him?

I do not know him personally. I hope that he will become, firstly, an independent figure, able to distance himself from those with whom he is associated. Secondly, he will establish relations with all factions within the former Kyivan Patriarchate. If he succeeds in establishing a dialogue with groups of those who were against him within the Kyiv Patriarchate and in other churches that joined the new church, dialogue with the Greek Catholics and other religious communities in Ukraine, he will become a successful speaker.

OB: What needs to be done in order to establish a dialogue with that part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, which could potentially become part of a local church?

I would recommend that the new presenter speak out with openness and invitation invitations to the dialogue. And not just invite to dialogue, but confirm the willingness to engage in dialogue and maintain dialogue, as well as demonstrate a result.

OB: Was it discussed at the Council or on the eve of the question of what to do with the Lavras of Pochaev and Kiev-Pecherska? We exclude Svyatogorsk for obvious reasons.

This question has not risen, it was not during the pre-assembly and the Council process. This is a sensitive issue that can lead to a religious war in Ukraine. In general, the question of Laurus, as well as all questions concerning Ukrainian churches, must be resolved purely within the framework of the current legislation.

SK: If at least half of the parishes of the MP go to the new church, will this be a disaster for the Russian Orthodox Church in general, in the global sense?

I would have left an assessment of whether this catastrophe or not, this church itself. From my point of view, this is not a catastrophe. On the contrary - good. Because it will refocus the church's attention on other issues. Not about how many parishes we have in us, but about what is in our parish, what is their quality.

SK: What will happen to the UOC MP in the future? What fate she expects here in Ukraine?

It's hard to talk about everyone. It is a huge church, with very different positions among the bishopric, clergy and laity. Everyone will respond differently, it will be the Brownian movement.

OB: One way or another, the UOC-MP will become even more Russian in its essence.

It will be a more conservative church, definitely. To some extent, even more fundamentalist.

SK: From Moscow, there are threats to give some sort of answer to the Ukrainian situation. It's just a threat, or ...

I do not know. We'll wait for the answer.

SK: And what can it be? What is Cyril's real tool?

From lack of response to - for example - anathemas against Patriarch Bartholomew.

SK: Obviously, they will try to slow down the process of recognizing the Ukrainian church. What position may the local Orthodox structures affect Russia?

I do not know. Nobody knows that.

OB: But there are some obvious things?

There are no obvious things.

OB: For example, the Polish Orthodox Church?

\It has become a very unexplained example. Because the grounds for granting autocephaly for the Ukrainian church are the same as for the Polish Orthodox Church. And despite this, the Polish Church opposed the step of Constantinople . This is actually the self-denial of the Polish Church.
And there is, for example, another obvious thing for many - the position of the Antiochian Church, which is considered a pro-Moscow one. But this is also an obscure position, because the very hasty steps of Ukrainian politicians, who, just after the news from Constantinople about the independence of the Ukrainian Church, went to agree with the patriarch of Jerusalem in the spring, provoked the Antiochian Church for rejection of Ukrainian autocephaly.

Sonya Koshkina, Chief Editor of LB.ua
Oleg Bazar, Editor-in-chief of LB.ua

Draft English translation of the lb.ua/society/2018/12/18/415253