19-09-2018

Andriy Yurash: Ecumenical Patriarchate's non-recognition of Mazepa’s anathema poses a serious problem for ROC

The statement about the non-recognition of the anathema imposed on Ivan Mazepa is now one of the biggest issues for the Russian Orthodox Church. Religious expert Andriy Yurash said this in an interview for gazeta.ua.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate did not recognize as canonical the anathema that was imposed on the Ukrainian Hetman Ivan Mazepa by the Russian Orthodox Church.

The representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Archbishop Job (Getcha) of Telmessos, explained that after the first destruction by the Russian forces of the Zaporozhian Sich in 1709, the Ukrainian Cossacks, which passed under the protectorate of the Crimean Khan, returned to the jurisdiction of the Constantinople Patriarchate, and Mazepa, together with Pylyp Orlyk, were among the first to do so.

“His Eminence Job is an official spokesman. He is speaking on behalf of the Ecumenical Patriarchate who explained that Mazepa was in full contact with the Orthodox priests and died as a believer of the canonical Orthodox Church. Thus, Moscow’s anathema was never valid for the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The statement can be the basis for the next important step, namely the non-recognition of the anathema of the Moscow Patriarchate imposed on Patriarch Filaret,” said the religious scholar.

According to him, the Russians imposed the anathema on Mazepa for political reasons “Anathema is excommunication because of violation of certain church canons. Mazepa did not do this. Similarly, Patriarch Filaret did not do anything that would violate Orthodox dogmas. In any of his decisions he did not infringe on the Orthodox doctrine. Thus, the anathema, which was imposed on him in 1997, is unfair. The statement about Mazepa is now one of the biggest issues for the Russian Orthodox Church. It shows Ukraine and the whole Orthodox world that the decisions taken by Moscow may not be supported by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which is first in dignity,” said Andriy Yurash.

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