The current canonical and social statuses as well as the relationship of the largest Orthodox churches in Ukraine are considered: the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine emerged on December 15, 2018, as a result of the unification of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, and a small number of representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. On January 6, 2019, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, in accordance with the decision of the Synod of the Constantinopolitan Patriarchate, together with the Synodals, signed the Tomos on the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. This Church identifies itself with World Orthodoxy, admits the Constantinopolitan church as its mother church and is recognized by it. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate was formally proclaimed on the eve of the collapse of the Soviet Union on October 25-27, 1990, on the basis of the Ukrainian Exarchate of the Moscow Patriarchate, which existed before. It has the status of a self-governing church within the Russian Orthodox Church, which it recognizes as the mothe r church, and within which it has been part of various state institutions since the 17th century and up to the present. The civilizational nature of the confrontation between these churches in Ukraine is substantiated. This confrontation goes beyond modern history and concerns the interpretation of almost every event (often ecclesiastical) from the individual or common past of Ukraine and Russia. The confrontation has intensified in connection with efforts by the current Russian authorities to impose a common civilizational future on Ukraine, using and including for this purpose a religious factor. The newly established Orthodox Church of Ukraine supports the Orthodox-Ukrainophile and European integrational aspirations of the overwhelming majority of the Ukrainian citizens. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is focused on cooperation with Russia and upholds the idea of “Eastern European Orthodoxy” as part of the “Orthodox-Moscow civilization component.” Among the causes concerning the current stage of confrontation are the following: the fundamentally different attitudes regarding the events of the Revolution of Dignity, the occupation of the Crimea and the war in the eastern part of Ukraine, and Ukraine’s geopolitical future. It is reasonable to expect that in the near future, the internal Orthodox confrontation in Ukraine will continue because of the severity of the conflict situation and the unpreparedness for the dialogue of these churches. However, in the long run, the independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and the development of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and also changing generations of priesthood and believers of these churches, cooperation and, as a result, reconciliation between them are inevitable.
Ishchuk, Nataliia and Sagan, Oleksandr
"Confrontation of Orthodox Churches in Modern Ukraine: Reasons, Trends and Prospects of Reconciliation,"
Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe: Vol. 40
, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/ree/vol40/iss3/4