Response to Inept Remarks from Archbishop Job (Getcha) of Telmessos

His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and His Eminence Archbishop Job (Getcha) of Telmessos His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and His Eminence Archbishop Job (Getcha) of Telmessos

On September 17, 2018, the representative of the Orthodox Church of Constantinople to the World Council of Churches, Archbishop Job (Getcha) of Telmessos gave an interview to Ukrainian media[1] where he states that Ukraine has always been the canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Note that Archishop Job of Telmessos was dismissed from the administration of the Archdiocese of Western Europe in 2015 after numerous requests from the Orthodox faithful and the professorial-teaching staff of the St. Sergius Institute in connection with his authoritarian ways and his inability to build a dialogue with his flock. Now he is calling on the leadership of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate to enter into a dialogue of love with the schismatics.

Archbishop Job does his best to convince his readers that Ukraine always remained a diocese of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, beginning from the Baptism of Rus’, and even after the formal transfer of all rights to the Kiev Metropolia to Patriarch Joachim of Moscow by Patriarch Dionysius of Constantinople.

This is what he says in his interview:

That’s right. Ukraine was and remained, even after 1686, the canonical territory only of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. After Left-Bank Ukraine joined the Moscow State in the middle of the seventeenth century, the Kievan Church was divided into parts between different rival countries (Russia, Poland, and Turkey), which is why they could not choose a single metropolitan for a long time in Kiev. In this difficult situation, the Ecumenical Patriarch, in order not to leave the entire Ukrainian flock without archpastoral care, transferred the part of the Kievan Church in the territories subordinate to Russia to the Moscow Patriarchate in 1686 for temporary guardianship, in order to help him put a Metropolitan in Kiev and bishops in the other dioceses of Left-Bank Ukraine (Cossack Hetmanate). At the same time, the principle requirement was that the Metropolitans of Kiev continued to remain autonomous from Moscow as exarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarch and that they would commemorate his name without exception at all Divine services. This was in no way the transfer of the Metropolia of Kiev under the authority of the Moscow Patriarchs.[2]

His Eminence Job, to put it mildly, is being disingenuous. Indeed, after the Kiev Council that chose Metropolitan Gideon (Chetvertinsky), as the great Russian Church historian Metropolitan Makary (Bulgakov) notes, Hetman Samoylovich and Gideon (Chetvertinsky) wrote to the Tsar and the Patriarch, asking to send envoys[3] from Moscow to Constantinople to receive consent from the Patriarch of Constantinople to subject the Kiev Metropolia to the Patriarch of Moscow, and they asked that the rights and privileges of the Kiev Metropolia be respected. However, the response to them consisted of an abstract from the Chronicles that substantiated the rights of the Patriarchs of Moscow to the Kiev Metropolia.[4] The gramotas sent in response spoke about how the rights and privileges of the Metropolitan of Kiev would be preserved, but he was denied to keep the title of Exarch of the Patriarch of Constantinople.[5]

The Russian ambassadors to Constantinople Alekseev and Lisitsa stood firmly on this position, being met with resistance from Patriarch Dositheus of Jerusalem (who believed that the Patriarch of Constantinople should not relinquish the Kiev Metropolia to the Patriarch of Moscow and that the matter concerned all the Eastern Patriarchs) and the elusive persistence of the Patriarch Dionysius of Constantinople. The question is, would they have resisted so much if they were just talking about a temporary vicariate?

Nevertheless, after the Grand Vizier’s consent to transfer the Kiev Metropolia under the authority of the Patriarch of Moscow, Dionysius became more compliant, because he needed his confirmation of his election to the patriarchate. Patriarch Dionysius sent several gramotas with Alekseev (to the Tsar, the Patriarch of Moscow, the Hetman, and the Metropolitan of Kiev), the essence of which is that he was ceding the Kiev Metropolia to the Patriarch of Moscow.[6]

These gramotas say nothing about the Metropolitan’s status as an exarch, or about the requirement for the Metropolitan of Kiev to commemorate the Patriarch of Constantinople, which would be, from a canonical point of view, incompatible with his consecration by the hand of the Patriarch of Moscow. Moreover, knowing the canonical scrupulosity of the rulers of the Tsardom of Moscow, there is no doubt that they besought a full and unconditional transfer of the Kiev Metropolia.

Constantinople publicists love to speculate that after receiving the gramota, Ambassador Nikita Alekseev presented Patriarch Dionysius with a gift of 200 pieces of gold and three soroks[7] of sable. However, as it happened soon after the patriarch had expressed his will, it should be looked upon as the free gift of a fraternal Church, and not as a bribe. Besides, it wasn’t worth it for them to degrade the Patriarch of Constantinople this way.

To convince his readers of the legitimacy of claims to Ukraine, Archbishop Job is ready to rely on whomever he can, including the Turkish slave and traitor to the interests of Little Russia Petro Doroshenko. This is what Archbishop Job triumphantly asserts:

In addition, the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate was invariably extended to Ukrainian Bukovina and the southern (the so-called “Khan”) part of Ukraine, which was officially then under the protectorate of the Crimean Khanate and the Ottoman Empire. Even Hetman Petro Doroshenko tried to form a Ukrainian state under the protectorate of the Ottoman sultans, as it was in Moldovo-Wallachia. His associate was Metropolitan Joseph (neliubovich-Tukalsky), who advocated the preservation of the Kievan Metropolia in the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. As a result of Hetman Doroshenko’s attempts at the Treaty of Buchach in 1672, the entire territory of Eastern and Western Podolye (from Buchach to Bratslav) withdrew from Poland. In the territory of Ukrainian Podolye, from 1672 to 1699 there existed the Podolsky or Kamenetsky Eyalet (from the Ottoman Turkish for province or governate) within the Ottoman Empire with an administrative center in Kamenets (now Kamenets-Podolsky). After the death of Metropolitan Joseph (neliubovich-Tukalsky), Ecumenical Patriarch Jacob nominated Metropolitan Pankraty for the city of Kamenets in August 1681, thus establishing the Metropolia of Kamenets as part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (which existed until 1699).

Here Vladyka Job has touched upon one of the most sorrowful and shameful pages in the history of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and Little Russia.

Indeed, a few years after the death of Metropolitan Joseph (Nelyuboich-Tukalsky, †1675) of Kiev, in 1681, a Metropolia of the Patriarchate of Constantinople was created in Podolye, headed by Pankraty, “Metropoiltan of Kamenets and Podolsk and All Little Russia, Exarch of Constantinople.” His authority extended only to that part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that had been captured by the Ottoman Empire—the remaining part of the Kiev Metropolia was under the administration of Bishop Joseph (Shumlyansky) of Lvov, a secret Uniate, whom the Polish king appointed as administrator of the See of Kiev in 1679.

The Ottoman Empire was directly involved in Ukrainian affairs after Right-Bank Hetman Petro Doroshenko became a citizen in 1669.[8] In 1672, after slight resistance, Sultan Mehmed IV took the mighty Kamenets-Podolsky Fortress. The inhabitants were spared, but the most beautiful girls were sent to the Sultan’s harem, and nearly all the churches were converted into mosques. Only one Orthodox, one Catholic, and one Armenian Church were left. Thus, in the capital of the Kamenets Metropolia, which His Eminence Job is so proud of, there was only one (!) Orthodox church. The Porte’s[9] successful military campaign against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in in Ukraine 1672-1676 led to the transfer of Podolye with its center in Kamenets-Podolsky into the Ottoman Empire and to the formation of the Kamenets-Podolsky Eyalet. The sovereignty of the Ottomans over the Kiev Region and the Bratslav Region was recognized. Petro Doroshenko’s holding thus kept a rather illusory autonomy.[10]

The Treaty of Żurawno of 1676 between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire finally secured most of the territory of Right-Bank Ukraine for the Ottomans. At the same time, the transfer of Podolye to the jurisdiction of the Ottoman Empire led to the establishment of Ottoman orders on these territories. According to information from the Ottoman statesmen Sari Mehmed Paşa, a significant part of the population left the region after the concluding of the Polish-Turkish Treaty of 1672.[11] In this regard, Istanbul had a project of settling these territories by the Lipka Tatars.[12] At the same time, the remaining part of the non-Muslim population was subjected to high taxes,[13] and the so-called blood tax (devshirme) was introduced—the practice of forcibly recruiting the children of Christian subjects of the Empire into the Janissary corps (the Sultan’s personal guards). In 1673 alone, about 800 boys were recruited as Janissaries from the territory of the newly-formed Eyalet, later being forcibly circumcised and converted to Islam.[14]

In the territories subjected to the Ottoman authorities, the building of new Orthodox churches was prohibited and part of the existing churches were closed and turned into mosques.[15] On the territory of the so-called Hetmanate itself, the Ottoman forces behaved such that Doroshenko had to petition for a gramota in early 1673 that would protect Christian churches on the territory of the “Ukrainian Vilayet” from attack. However, they didn’t give the gramotas much thought. The Ottomans destroyed the entire male population of the city of Uman. In Chigirin, a representative of the sultan demanded to tear the mitre off the metropolitan’s head during a cross procession because the Greeks were not allowed to be so vested in Istanbul. The union with the Ottomans compromised Doroshenko and cost him his support from Ukrainian society. The arrival of the Ottoman forces (and with them the Patriarchal Exarch), which Doroshenko and Metroplitan Joseph had pressed for, led to most of the Hetmanate ceasing to obey Doroshenko. A mass exodus began from the Right Bank of the Dnieper, and from 1675 not only the simple people, but those close to the hetman also began to leave. Thus, the Ottoman occupation of Podolye, where the Kamenets and Podolsk Metropolias were created, separate from the See of Kiev, resulted in the near complete disappearance of Christianity from this territory.

The Ottomans’ expansionist plans in the second half of the 1760s were broader and extended to Kiev and Left-Bank Ukraine.[16] Had it succeeded, the entire Orthodox population of Ukraine would have been in the same situation, as the Orthodox already occupied part of the Right Bank. It is precisely with these plans that some historians associate a conscious delay in establishing the new head of the Kiev Metropolia by the Patriarch of Constantinople.

Thus, Doroshenko’s and Metropolitan Joseph’s desire to protect the independence of the Hetmanate without Russia and against Russia in alliance with the Ottomans brought nothing good for the Orthodox Church on Ukrainian lands, but led to a significant weakening of the Ukrainian Hetmanate, to the destruction of churches, to the Islamization of many Little Russians, to the death of thousands, and to the flight of tens of thousands of Ukrainian residents. Declarations of the defense of the faith turned into a betrayal of Orthodoxy. The real history of the Kamanets-Podolsky Metropolia is one of the most shameful pages in the history of the Church of Constantinople exercising its jurisdiction over the future Ukrainian lands.

However, the subsequent military action between Russian-Ukrainian forces and the Ottoman army in 1677-1681 led to the Ottomans being forced to renounce further expansionist policies.[17] The Right Bank of the Dnieper was decimated and abandoned by the majority of the local population.[18] For example, after Kanev was taken by Ottoman troops in early fall 1678, the city was still devastated in January 1679, and “the Church of the Most Holy Theotokos was full of dead bodies.”[19] That’s what would have been coming to all of Ukraine.

As we see, Archbishop Job is not above anything in his argumentation, including using wild vagrant priests as an argument that Constantinople and Ukraine did not really recognize the authority of the Patriarch of Moscow. This is what he tells his inexperienced audience:

… within the limits of the Left Bank of Ukraine (Hetmanate), just after the events of 1686, an internal ecclesiastical movement gained new force, known as the “wandering” or “wild priests.” Its essence was that Ukrainian Orthodox parishes on the Left Bank, not wanting to recognize the authority of the Moscow Patriarchate, invited priests ordained in the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to serve them in Right-Bank Ukraine or in Moldovo-Wallachia. Throughout the entire eighteenth century, the Russian secular and ecclesiastical administration brutally persecuted this movement and its representatives, capturing and imprisoning the so called “non-canonical” priests. But despite this, until the end of the eighteenth century, believers from the Left Bank of Ukraine went to Moldovo-Wallachia for priestly ordinations from bishops of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, escaping the Russian Synodal administration at risk to their lives. And the hierarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarchate did not actually deny the Orthodox faithful from Left-Bank Ukraine in such requests.

Well, it wasn’t just “wandering priests” that appeared frequently in the Ukrainian lands after 1686, but also wandering hierarchs, as a rule Greeks or Serbians, and often ruling bishops, though absent from their dioceses without authorization. In 1694, Patriarch Adrian of Moscow wrote to the Metropolitan of Kiev and Hetman Mazepa about the Greek and Serbian hierarchs wandering in Little Russia, noting their self-appointed ministries and demanding from the ecclesiastical and secular authorities of Little Russia a more careful monitoring of their activities.[20] As a result of Patriarch Adrian’s correspondence, a decree was published to forbid the numerous “unknown Greek hierarchs” traveling throughout Ukraine from serving in churches and they were appointed to live in monasteries. Patriarch Dositheus of Jerusalem supported Patriarch Adrian’s decision. Moreover, after Patriarch Adrian’s death, Patriarch Dositheus wrote to Tsar Peter in 1702 so that he wouldn’t trust the wandering clergy: “But the wanderers, and others, who move from place to place, could introduce some innovations into the Church,” and warned:

If either Serbs, or Greeks, or persons of another nation arrive there from here, may your sovereign and God-protected Kingdom never make neither a Serb, nor a Greek, nor a Rusyn into a Metropolitan or Patriarch, but only a Muscovite, and not only a Muscovite, but a native Muscovite, for the sake of many and great merits.[21][22]

Obviously, the Eastern Patriarchs recognized the right of the Patriarch of Moscow alone to resolve the issue of the “wandering” clergy on the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church. As for the activity of the clergy of Wallachia in the Ukrainian lands, in Podolye, in the condition of a small number of Orthodox clergy and the restriction by the Polish authorities of any connection with the Kiev Metropolia, clergy from Wallachia often served, who, as a rule, were also wanderers. Such clergy were often under ban in the dioceses of Wallachia.

One of these colorful personalities was Bishop Epiphanios of Chigirin, whom hierarchs of the Ecumenical throne allegedly consecrated for Ukraine in violation of the Act of 1686. In fact, he forged his documents; he was actually ordained for good money in Iași; he was active in Ukraine for a while, then they caught him and took him to St. Petersburg where he was defrocked and imprisoned in Solovki. He escaped and found himself in the ranks of the Russian (not Ukrainian!) Old Believers, whom he initially had nothing to do with. These are the kinds of opportunists that Archbishop Job offers as evidence of his supposed rightness. By the way, the “bright” example of Bishop Epiphanios brings us to another problem—the role of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in fanning the Russian schism of the seventeenth century, beginning with the Tomos in 1654 through the pledges of the Council of 1667, and, finally, ending with the consecrations celebrated by Ambrose of Belaya Krinitsa, who died in communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Archbishop Job cannot not know that the canons of the Ecumenical and Local Councils harshly condemn wandering priests and monks, instructing that they be subjected to various punishments up to excommunication and expulsion from their orders (Canons 4, 5, 6, and 8 of the Council of Chalcedon). Why don’t “wild priests” meet any condemnation from him? Because they are against Moscow? Or because so many Constantinople clergy are in the position of “wild priests,” having no permanent place of service?

We read further:

In Constantinople, it was not possible to think that in the Moscow Church the daughter would violate the agreements and try to force the abolition of the canonical jurisdiction of the Constantinople-Mother of the Church in Ukraine. Because of this, after the collapse of the Russian Empire, the Ecumenical Patriarchate was forced to declare the act of 1686 non-canonical and ineffective, with a separate Tomos in order to provide autocephaly to the Church of Poland on November 13, 1924.

On the basis of this historical and canonical right concerning the Orthodox dioceses on the territory of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus occupied by Poland, the Ecumenical Patriarchate issued a Tomos on November 13, 1924, granting autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Poland. This Tomos overturned the act of 1686, which transferred the Kievan throne for temporary responsibility (administration) to the Moscow Patriarch. The Tomos of the Ecumenical Patriarch of 1924 states that this annexation contradicted the canons and that the Moscow Patriarchate did not comply with the requirements stipulated in the Act of 1686, according to which the Metropolia of Kiev was to maintain its rights of autonomy and its canonical link with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Thus, the autocephalous Orthodox Church in Poland (and, in fact, in Western Ukraine and in Western Belarus) was proclaimed as the successor to the historic autonomous Metropolia of Kiev-Galicia under the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Incidentally, the head of the autocephalous Orthodox Church in Poland, the Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland, was considered as the superior of the Holy Dormition Pochaev Lavra. During the German occupation, already in 1941, starting from the Western Ukrainian dioceses under the Orthodox Church in Poland, with the blessing of its primate, Metropolitan Dionysius (Waledyński) of Warsaw, according to the decree of December 24, 1941, an “administration of the Orthodox Church on the liberated Ukrainian lands” was created, headed by its administrator, Metropolitan Polycarp (Sikorsky) of Lutsk, who was a canonical bishop of the autocephalous Orthodox Church in Poland. This administration is often called the “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church” (UAOC), but this label is not correct, because it was an extension of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the autocephalous Orthodox Church in Poland in the German-occupied parts of the Ukrainian lands, on the assumption that the Church of Poland had received its autocephaly on the basis of the Kievan Metropolia. The locum tenens of the Metropolitan throne of Kiev at the time was considered to be Metropolitan Dionysius (Waledyński) of Warsaw, who was declared as the canonical primate of the autocephalous Orthodox Church in the territories of Poland, Ukraine and Belarus, recognized by the Ecumenical Throne and other Local Orthodox Churches.

Again, that in which Archbishop Job thinks to boast is a sad and shameful chronicle of lawlessness—both of the secular and ecclesiastical authorities. First, Archbishop Job forgets to mention that Patriarch Gregory VII, who promulgated this Tomos, created the most recent schism in the Orthodox world, introducing the new calendar in the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and that it was he who supported the soviet renovationists and advised the legitimate holy Patriarch Tikhon to give up administrating. But even he didn’t dare to declare the Act of 1686 legally null and void. The exact wording in the Tomos of November 13, 1924 is as follows:

The initial separation of the Kiev Metropolia and the Orthodox Churches of Lithuania and Poland dependent upon it from our Throne and their accession to the Holy Church of Moscow was completely out of step with canonical regulations.

That is, the Tomos expressed the opinion that the transfer of the Kiev Metropolia to the Moscow Patriarchate was not completely canonical, but it says nothing about confessing the transfer of the See of Kiev to the Russian Church in 1686 by Constantinople as invalid. The only legal basis in the 1924 Tomos for adopting the autocephaly of the Polish Church was the recent change in state borders:

The rights relating to Church affairs… must correspond to political and administrative changes.

However, if Constantinople would strictly observe the relevant canons of the Council of Chalcedon, then it would have to part with its Thracian, Macedonian, and Cretan Dioceses, which would be part of the Church of Greece.

The sole basis for the Tomos was the execution of the well-paid order of the Polish government, headed by the former socialist and terrorist Józef Piłsudski, the cruel persecutor of the Orthodox Church. In Piłsudski’s interwar Poland, more than 700 Orthodox churches were destroyed, among them the architectural masterpiece, the majestic Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky, blown up in 1922.

Immediately after the 1921 Treaty of Riga, the Polish authorities were determined to resolve the Orthodox Church issue by creating an autocephalous Church dependent upon the national government. Nationalistic sentiments played an important role in this, including the Russophobia, Ukrainophobia, and Belarusophobia of the most influential political figures, expressing itself in the battle against the Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian languages, and the persecution of the Orthodox faith and the Russian people. The authorities enticed the bishops of the Warsaw Diocese—first George (Yaroshevsky) and then Dionysius (Waledyński)—towards attaining at first full autonomy and then autocephaly for the Orthodox Church in Poland. The bishops who were opposed to Polish autocephaly (and what’s more, the dozens of ordinary priests) were either isolated and placed under house arrest in monasteries or exiled from Poland. During this, they didn’t put forth any claims to the parishes remaining in Ukraine. Moreover, George Yaroshevsky was forced to solve the problem of the canonical status of the pre-revolutionary Vohlynia-Zhytomyr Diocese which had been divided between Poland and the USSR, and obtained from Archbishop Averky (Kedrov) of Volhynia-Zhytomyr a written consent to the transfer of the western part of the Volhynia-Zhytomyr Diocese with the Pochaev Lavra to the jurisdiction of the Metropolitans of Warsaw.

At the same time, the Patriarchate of Constantinople took advantage of the situation in 1924 to strengthen its own influence.

The autocephaly granted to the Orthodox Church in Poland was quite different from the usual autocephaly. Thus, the Orthodox Church in Poland was to introduce the obligatory lifting up of the name of the Patriarch of Constantinople in all of its churches, it was obliged to receive the holy Chrism from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and it was deprived of the rights of direct relations with the other autocephalous Churches, which were to be realized through the Ecumenical Patriarchate as well. Constantinople appointed a special episcopal apocrisiarius to oversee Church affairs in Poland, and so on. These liturgical, inter-Church, judicial, and administrative restrictions speak to the fact that the Orthodox Church in Poland received an un-canonical, so-called “partial autocephaly;” in other words—it was transferred to the jurisdiction and disposal of the Throne of Constantinople. Encroaching again upon the integrity of the Russian Church, Constantinople did not limit itself to the Orthodox dioceses of the Polish state, but the Tomos of November 13, 1924, unambiguously expressed the point of view that the entirety of the Southern Russian Metropolia, at one time alienated from its unity with the Russian Church by Constantinople and later reunited with the Moscow Patriarchate in 1687, should be again subjected to Constantinople.[23]

With the beginning of the war against the USSR, Metropolitan Dionysius (Waledyński) ordered the Polish Synodal printing house to print forms with the title, “Humble Dionysius, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia” (!), which were kept sealed until the fall of 1941 but were later destroyed. In other words, Metropolitan Dionysius of Warsaw had decided on canonical robbery, with the support of the nazis—evil enemies of mankind in general, and of the Slavs and Poland in particular. In late September 1941, “the All-Ukrainian Orthodox Church Council” invited Metropolitan Dionysius to head the restored “Ukrainian Autocephalous Church” and he was prepared to accept the invitation. However, the German authorities banned him from entering the territory of occupied Ukraine. On December 24, 1941, Metropolitan Dionysius appointed Archbishop Polycarp (Sikorsky) as the “temporary administrator of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church in the liberated lands of Ukraine.” The autocephalists referred to the authority of Metropolitan Dionysius, very high in the eyes of the German authorities, who in turn successfully petitioned for them before the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Vladyka Dionysius sought to truly become the Patriarch of All Russia and to spread the UAOC to as many territories occupied by the Germans as possible: Thus, parishes of the UAOC were created in 1942-1943 even on the borders with Ukraine of the occupied territories of the RSFSR,[24] in the Kursk Province (in the jurisdiction of Theophil (Buldovsky), received into the UAOC), although the latter never had any relation to the Kiev Metropolia. By the way, this is what happened in the Kursk and neighboring Oryol Provinces during the German occupation. Here is the testimony of Alexander Vert from his famous book Russia in the War of 1941-1945:

They dug corpses out of the pit at the large brick building of the Oryol prison. From a distance they seemed like soft greenish-brown rag dolls—they were piled up near the pit, from where they were removed. Two representatives of the soviet authorities sorted the skulls—several had bullet holes in the back of the head, while others had no such holes. An acrid and stale stench was coming from the pit. They dug up 200 bodies, but judging by the length and depth of the pit, there were at least another 5,000. Several of the “specimens” were the skulls of women, but the majority were of men. Half were soviet prisoners of war who died from hunger and various diseases. The rest were soldiers or civilians who had been shot in the back of the head. The executions took place at 10 AM on Tuesdays and Fridays. The Gestapo platoon that carried out the executions systematically showed up at the prison twice a week. And many others were killed in Oryol aside from these. Some were publicly hanged as “partisans” in the city square.[25]

Of the 114,000 Oryol city citizens, 30,000 remained: The rest were either killed by the Germans or died from hunger, or were exiled to Germany, or fled.

After the evacuation of the hierarchs of the UAOC before the soviet troops advancing towards Warsaw, they presented Metropolitan Dionysius with the title of “Patriarch of All Ukraine” on Palm Sunday, 1944. Receiving a gramota and the new title, Metropolitan Dionysius gave a speech of gratitude in the Ukrainian language. For several months, the name of Metropolitan Dionysius as the “Patriarch of All Ukraine” was lifted up in the services in the churches of the UAOC. Of course, there was no recognition of his self-proclaimed patriarchate by the canonical Churches. After World War II, in June 1948, Metropolitan Dionysius, by that time removed from the administration of the Polish Church, turned to Patriarch Alexei I of Moscow, offering “sincere repentance for all his sinful deeds in relation to the Mother Church.”

We could touch upon other aspects of Archbishop Job’s interview, in particular, his fervent desire to rehabilitate Ivan Mazepa—the oath-breaker and incestor—and to present him together with his accomplice Philip of Oryol, who fought for a Ukrainian constitution (which was not even a thought at that time). However, what we have said above is sufficient to evaluate Archbishop Job’s competence.

Protodeacon Vladimir Vasilik
Translated by Jesse Dominick


[1] Archbishop Job (Getcha) of Telmessos, Ukraine Has Always Been the Canonical Territory of the Ecumenical Patriarchate,

[2] English translations of the selections from Abp. Job’s interview are taken from the site Panorthodox Synod, with minor editing.—Trans.

[3] Metropolitan Makary (Bulgakov). History of the Russian Church, Part 5, (Moscow, 1996), 8:400.

[4] Acts of Southwestern Russia, Part 1, 5: 120

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid., pp. 142-143.

[7] An ancient Russian unit used for counting animal skins—Trans.

[8] Ayverdi S. Türk – Rus Münâsebetleri ve Muhârebeleri. İstanbul, 2012. S. 169–170; S.F. Oreshkova, “The Ottoman Empire in the Second Half of the 17th Century: Internal Problems and Foreign Policy Challenges,” The Ottoman Empire and the Countries of Central, Eastern, and South-Eastern Europe in the 17th Century (Moscow, 2001), 2:19.

[9] The central government of the Ottoman Empire—Trans.

[10] According to Turkish researcher M. İnbaṣı, it was important for the Ottomans to fix their presence in Ukraine, which allowed them to openly interfere in the political affairs of the region, including directly controlling their vassal territories, by which the Ottoman government sought to create a convenient base for the participation of Crimean forces in Turkish campaigns in Europe (cf. İnbaṣı M. Ukrayna’da Osmanlılar: Kamaniçe seferi ve organizasyonu (1672). İstanbul, 2003. S. 18–19).

[11] Defterdâr Sarı Mehmed Paşa. Zübde-i Vekaiyat: Tahlil ve Metin (1066 – 1116/ 1656 – 1704) / Hazirlayan A. Özcan. Ankara, 1995. S. 28.

[12] İnbaṣı M. Op. cit. S. 18–19.

[13] Kołodziejczyk D. Podole pod panowaniem tureckim: Ejalet Kamieniecki 1672–1699. Warszawa, 1994. S. 88.

[14] Defterdar Sarı Mehmed Paşa… S. 28. Also cf.: Acts Relating to the History of Southern and Western Russia, Collected and Published by the Archaeological Commission (St. Petersburg, 1879) 11:242; B. N. Florya, “Wars of the Ottoman Empire With the Countries of Eastern Europe (1672-1681),” The Ottoman Empire and the Countries of Central, Eastern, and South-Eastern Europe in the 17th Century, Part 2 (Moscow, 2001), 114-115.

[15] Defterdar Sarı Mehmed Paşa. Op. cit. S. 28–29; Florya, Wars…, 114.

[16] Karaköse H. Çehrin Seferi ve Osmanlı’nın Ukrayna Politikası // Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Paşa Uluslararası Sempozyumu (08–11 Haziran 2000). Merzifon, 2000. S. 155–171.

Vasily Daudov, sent to Istanbul in late 1678, reported to Moscow in the summer of 1679 the information being spread in Ottoman military circles, that the Sultan wanted to subdue “all of Little Russia along the Seym River, which the Cossacks held.” (РГАДА. Ф. 89. Оп. 1. Кн. 19. Л. 99 об.).

[17] M.R. Yafarova, The Russian-Ottoman Confrontation in 1677-1681. (D. M., 2017).

[18] Kostomarov, N. I., Ruins // Kostomarov N. I., Collected Works: Historical Monographs and Studies (St. Petersburg, 1905) 15: 322; B.N. Florya, “Russia, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and Right-Bank Ukraine in the Last Years of the Hetmanate of P. Doroshenko (1673-1676),” Ancient Rus’. Issues of Medieval Studies (2016), 3:86-90.

[19] РГАДА. Ф. 89. Оп. 1. Кн. 19. Л. 87 об.

[20] AYZR, Part 1, Vol. 5, Acts Relating to the Case of the Subordination of the Kiev Metropolia to the Moscow Patriarchate (1620-1694) (Kiev, 1872), 129: 406-413.

[21] Cf. N.F. Kapterev, Relations of Patriarch Dositheos of Jerusalem With the Russian Government (1669-1700). (Moscow, 1891), Appendix no. 8.

[22] Rusyns here being the people of Southwestern Russia—the Russian-Lithuanian Principality, and Muscovites here being citizens not just of the city of Moscow, but of the greater Muscovy. “Merits” here can also be “advantages” or “dignities.”—Trans.

[23] Alexei Buevsky, “Patriarch Gregory VII of Constantinople and the Russian Orthodox Church, Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate (1953), 4:33-38;

[24] Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic—Trans.

[25] Alexander Vert, Russia in the War of 1941-1945. (Moscow: Boenizdat, 2001).

Paok10/12/2018 8:40 am
Anna: have you by any chance read how St. John Chrysostom speaks to the people of Constantinople, about letting idolators, blasphemers and heretics roam freely within the city? He shames the faithful, for not doing anything while the heretics and godless blaspheme Christ, and His Holy Faith, and encourages the faithful to remove such people from their midst. Repentance is importance, but so is a removal of the cause/s of those things which cause us to sin or lead us into temptation. Christ teaches us this in the "Our Father" and also when he says " if your eye causes you to sin pluck it out". The USA has led many Orthodox nations into sin! This is a fact that can not be denied.
John10/12/2018 8:34 am
Anna, you should also remember that God wanted the Israelites to cleanse themselves of the idolatry of the nations around them, and to separate themselves from the immorality of those nations. Unfortunately, the United States has become our modern day Babylon, Sodom and Gomorrah all in one, which means that any nation that wishes to maintain a level of Christian purity, and the high standard that Christ gives us should not align itself with the morality and worldview of contemporary America. The Orthodox Christian nations, are the new and true Israel if they abide in, and glory in their citizenship in the new Jerusalem through the Church. Geronda's words are very true, patristic and biblical
Anna10/10/2018 5:04 am
If anyone wants blessings on their country then they must take responsibility for their own situation and repent rather than blaming other nationalities and countries. This is the only path to healing.
Anthony10/9/2018 10:56 pm
''Every Ukrainian must understand that if he wants blessings on his country, then, you must kick out the Americans. Let Ukrainians rely on their brothers in the faith and in blood, the Russians. If you allow American interference in Ukrainian affairs, then, your country will never recover. There’s no need to kill your neighbour… how is this possible, brother killing brother? Today, we watch these developments with great pain. Docheiariou Monastery sends up many prayers to succour the Ukrainian people, to whom we, as a monastery, owe much gratitude.'' Geronda Gregorios, Docheiarou, Oros
Here you can leave your comment on the present article, not exceeding 4000 characters. All comments will be read by the editors of OrthoChristian.Com.
Enter through FaceBook
Your name:
Your e-mail:
Enter the digits, seen on picture:

Characters remaining: 4000

to our mailing list

* indicates required