The Orthodox churches are in a state of serious disarray right now as the Russian Orthodox Church has been effectively isolated from the rest of the “orthodox world.” The seriousness of this cannot be understated per our analysis (which you can read here), for the very same nationalism that defined the eastern churches and which brought about their schism with the Catholic Church and still continues to define the eastern churches has not abated, except this time their own nationalism is now consuming their own churches in a way that they may not be able to recover from, as it is leading to outright heresy.
The first sign of these heretical inclinations came with the release of an icon promoting National Socialism, which you can read about here. This is not an icon, but a display of blasphemy that the majority orthodox world has supported by vote or silence in the same way that they did for the creation of the Ukrainian churchand the disenfranchisement of the Russian Orthodox from one of the holiest sites in eastern Orthodoxy, the shrine at Mt. Athos. The only voices who have spoken against them are the Russian Orthodox, who have been effectively isolated from the Orthodox world, and the minority who support them.
The granting of autocephaly to the Ukrainians is not the major issue here, but rather nationalism because nationalism was the reason for the separation from the Catholic Church- it is not a defining quality, but the defining reason. Having formally rejected the authority of St. Peter, the patriarchs of the orthodox churches struggled for power with each other, and autocephaly is often granted for a combination of population and political reasons. It is not rooted in theology, but rather that if there are a bunch of people who are orthodox of the same ethnic group and they have some political leverage, they get to have their own patriarch.
The situation with the Ukrainians is that the Ukrainians constitute the second largest body of persons in the Orthodox churches, yet they are under the dominion of the Russians for political reasons. This is because, as the Orthodox Churches are rooted in nationalism, Ukraine is the land out of which Russia was born. However, Ukraine views herself as a separate nation and in her historical desire for autonomy will desire with Russia’s adversaries or outright enemies in an attempt to assert herself, of which the most significant enemy is Germany. Russia’s consistent abuses of Ukraine throughout history, which are genuine and must not be denied, only further drive Ukraine to seek alliances against Russia and to assert her independence.
The Russian opposition to the separation of Ukraine from the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Ukrainian desire to have her own patriarch is not related to religion at all, but is the use of religion to justify a political position, which when taken to its logical extent results in the same subjugation of the Church as a vassal of the government which was the error of Luther’s heresy and of all Protestantism.
Ukraine is the second most populous “orthodox” nation at approximately 30 million people, with the next largest body in that of Romanian at no more than half that number, followed by Greece at a third and Serbia at a quarter. From a question of simple logic, and noting that the orthodox churches are granted ethno-nationalist patriarchs based on group and size, if the Russians, Greeks, Serbians, and even the Bulgarians and Georgians can have their own patriarch, why outside of Russia’s ethno-nationalist sentiments cannot Ukraine, as separate nation, culture, and people, have their own patriarch? This is not to say that one should support what is clearly a joint US-German-Turkish attempt to politically destabilize Russia, but rather to note that Russia’s opposition to Ukraine receiving a patriarch can be easily refuted with a simple review of history.
Because the Orthodox Church is synonymous with the nation, the “church” makes herself a willing vassal of the state and in hiding her opposition to union with the Catholic Church using “traditionalism” and “theology” as a veil, she willingly submits to the zeitgeist promoted by the government or she remains silent on moral issues when she should speak as is demonstrated by history. However, because the Church herself has already placed herself into a state of schism and has followed in the same path as Luther did by subjecting the church to the power of the state, it only requires a small move to embrace full heresy.
The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, the support of which metastized first in the US, then spread to the Anglosphere, then the Western World, and increasingly the entire world, has now moved directly into the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as the patriarch has declared his support of the LGBT and saying they should not be treated like they are in Russia:
The newly-created Ukrainian Church needs to work on softening its views towards the LGBT community and supporting the gay community in Ukraine in order to not be like the conservative Russian Church, “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko, the head of Ukraine’s new nationalist church said in a recent phone conversation.
Epiphany was called by Russian pranksters claiming to be David McAllister, a German member of the European Parliament, calling to offer congratulations on his election and support for the future of the new Ukrainian church. Interestingly, the callers spoke in English and Epiphany responded in Russian.
Epiphany told the callers that he was ready for immediate reforms in the church and for working towards softening the church’s stance towards the LGBT community in order to be more like Europe and less like Russia.
“Unfortunately, not all Ukrainians share western tolerance, but without this, you cannot be part of the European family, and the church usually has a conservative position. But you have the opportunity to lead this movement—making Ukraine part of Europe. This is not a question for today, but it should not be delayed,” the pranksters said.
Of course, I am for starting reforms in the church, so there wouldn’t be conservatism, so we would depart from Russian tradition and so the church would be open and a spiritual guide for the Ukrainian people. Because we are moving towards Europe, and therefore we should depart from the Russian conservative tradition. The church should be more open, because Russian Orthodoxy is very conservative and far from the people. I have the position that we should be with the people. We should understand their problems.
“I know that the Church has a conservative position, and if the new church will soften its position regarding the LGBT community, the gays of Ukraine, and it will take liberal values, it will be a great stimulus to develop European values. We spoke with Secretary Pompeo and he agrees that you should the increase your LGBT and gay values in the future,” the callers responded.
The new Ukrainian primate replied that the church needs to work on the Ukrainian people to adopt European values: “This is a difficult issue that we should not raise at the beginning of our journey, because, you know how Ukrainian society perceives this question. Now we need to work on it, so Ukrainian society would accept it. It’s a long path. Of we will discuss and seek for answers to these complex questions.”
The Ukrainian nationalist church’s press service later acknowledged that the call had taken place and stated: “During the conversation, Metropolitan Epiphany got a feeling that it was a provocation, so he ended it,” but not before he spoke with the pranksters for at least 15 minutes. (source, source)
Now in fairness to the Ukrainians, it is not just the Ukrainian Orthodox who are supporting them. Kallistos Ware, who is one of the most famous figures in the Orthodox Church today, declared his love of Sodom in June 2018:
Likewise, I also wrote in December 2018 that even the Russians and by extension Russian Orthodox Church, which publicly presents a face of being in opposition to homosexuality, has a tremendous amount of homosexuality that is supported among the population:
The situation of the LGBT in Russia is of interest because it is a known fact that most of the anti-LGBT actions are associated with a larger anti-Russian propaganda scheme in accordance with US foreign policy. However, what is not discussed is the growing support of the LGBT within Russia.
I say this on the basis of a contact who reached out to me from the region around the city of Yaroslavl, who claimed he holds a minor position in city governance (he is under 30) and said that the image Russia presents to the world on the LGBT versus reality is different. According to him, he acknowledged the reality of the anti-LGBT, but asserted these people were a minority that Russia embraces as a way to differentiate itself from the West while, according to him, there is a tremendous acceptance of homosexuality throughout many parts of Russia (including his own) that stretches from the common people to the high ranks of government. He said the support of the LGBT among the youth was very high (he said he was against homosexuality, as a note) but that he would not be surprised if within the next decade or two homosexuality was granted a sort of legal status because of this.
While this is the opinion of one person, his views align with those of others who I have either read, spoken with, or reached out to me. It is something to be watched for the future.
Homosexuality in Russia will be important to watch because the opposition to it, including from the orthodox church, will not be rooted in theology (although that will be stated as the cover), but in the traditional nationalistic bickering and politicking that has poisoned the spread of Christianity among most of the Slavs for centuries just as the support of homosexuality in the Ukrainian church is being used for in the same way.
In this way, while it is good to support the opposition to homosexuality in Russia, one should not get the idea that this suggests the Russian Orthodox Church is going to be a bastion of morality in any way opposing the spread of the LGBT for anything other than political reasons. One must criticize, and there has been much deserved criticism of the open, manifest, and unable-to-be-hidden scandals within the Catholic Church over theology and morality as of recent as it pertains to the western social and political situation, but one cannot say they are hidden or that the Catholic Church is wholly subjugated to a particular nation or state, for indeed, much of the fight of the Church in the Western world has been against governments wanting to subjugate her for their use, as in the case of the French under Philip IV, England under Henry VIII, or Germany under any number of revolutionaries and emperors since the time of Charlemagne.
However, the words of the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Anthony IV spoken in 1395 that:
Therefore, my son, you are wrong to affirm that we have the church without an Emperors for it is impossible for Christians to have a church and no empire. The Baslleia[empire] and the church have a great unity and community – indeed they cannot be separated. (source)
…means the Orthodox, as in the past, will continue to elevate national politics and goals first either by declaration or silence, and will ignore or embrace theological opposition as it suits their politicking against the West. This is only confirmed by the fact that Patriarch Alexey II was KGB, that the current Patriarch Kirill was even criticized by the Bulgarians for being KGB, the evil atheist Communist Party is telling Russians that they must be Russian Orthodox, and considering how 50% of Russian Orthodox clergy were on the KGB payroll, they will do nothing other than continue as the vassal of the government. The divide currently taking place will not heal, but will worsen on the path to war, which is the reason why it was allowed to happen.