Ternopil is one of the most difficult dioceses for Orthodox Christians who have not joined the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate”. The region has also been dominated by Uniates. Therefore Metr. Sergius and his flock could well be called a diocese of confessors of the faith.
The Sacred Bishops’ Council is now forced to note with sorrow that Monk Philaret did not heed the call to repentance addressed to him on behalf of the Mother-Church, but in the inter-Council period continued his schismatic activity, which he extended beyond the bounds of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Now your flock is scattered all across the world, like nestlings without a nest, like children without shelter. You know well what the grief and sorrow of separation feels like, the pain of cutting children off from their mother. Why do you bring this same pain on others?
Ukrainians are in general a religious people, but this writer perceives a direct correlation between the violence done to the Ukrainian Orthodox people over many centuries by the Latin West and the violent nature of Ukrainian nationalism, an idea that has been taken to its present extreme in Greek Catholic Galicia.
The 1686 тomos concerning the transfer of the Kievan Metropolia from the Church of Constantinople to the Moscow Patriarchate and the circumstances of this transfer have recently become the subject of heightened discussion. The Patriarchate of Constantinople has now suddenly begun to categorically challenge the validity of this transfer.
And our holy hierarchs of the Fourth Ecumenical Council left us a brilliant example: That suffering for Christ is our spiritual compass, and a pure, virgin martyr whose soul is with Christ is more to be trusted than hundreds of scholars.
These tragic events have therefore once again focused attention on the extraordinary universalist and meddling pretensions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Where did these strange and novel ideas originate?
We have made this statement today in the hope that they will reconsider their decision, that no exarchs will go to Kiev. However, in the event that the decision is not reconsidered, we will be forced to think of retaliatory measures. At the moment, such measures are being discussed by our Holy Synod.
The 1030th anniversary celebration of the Baptism of Rus’ revealed new tendencies in the church life of Ukraine, made manifest in the hidden attitudes of society towards the church. What were the spiritual results of this anniversary? Has the danger of the non-canonical legalization of the schism ceased? What is the spiritual status of the Ukrainian flock? When will peace finally come to Ukraine?
The History of the Russian Church, as well as that of the Kievan Metropolis, separated between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, can be characterized mainly in the light of: a) The weakness at the center of the Patriarchate of Constantinople; and b) The strong influence of Catholicism on the Ukrainian lands controlled by Poland.