Pro-Russian metropolitan of the UOC arbitrarily changes his title

25 September 2017, 10:59 | Religion and policy | 5 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

Renaming the two regional centers of Ukraine - the city of Dnipropetrovsk (into Dnipro) and Kirovohrad (to Kropyvnytskyy) within the framework of the law on decommunization of 2015 did not entail any corresponding changes either in the names of the dioceses of the UOC (MP) or in the titles of the ruling bishops, which leads to confusion in the Church itself, according to the website ‘Religion in Ukraine’.

On September 7, the Primate of the UOC-MP, Metropolitan Onufriy visited Kropyvnytsky (formerly Kirovograd). On the official site of the Kirovohrad diocese, it is stated that he “visited the land of Yelisavethrad.” The electronic resource of the diocese itself is called the site of the Kirovohrad diocese, created with the blessing of “Archbishop Ioasaf of Kirovohrad and Novomyrgorod”. And the report about the visit of Metropolitan Onufriy already said that he was co-celebrating with “Metropolitan Ioasaf of Yelisavethrad and Novomyrgorod.”

At the same time, the decision of the Holy Synod of the UOC (MP) did not change the title of Metropolitan Ioasaf. From church sources it became known that Metropolitan Joasaf (Guben) changed the title arbitrarily.

From the canonical point of view, mismatch of the bishop’s title with the official name of his diocese is nonsense. Despite this, even the official site of the UOC-MP repeats this self-styled title. To date, two dioceses of the UOC MP – of Dnipropetrovsk and Kirovograd - keep their old Soviet names, contrary to the law on decommunization and the new name of the cities where the diocesan centers are located.

In total within the framework of de-communization in Ukraine three cities were renamed, of which there are diocesan centers of the UOC-MP. In addition to the two aforementioned, in May 2016 the historical name - Kamensk was returned to Dniprodzerzhynsk. In the latter case, the leadership of the UOC-MP reacted promptly - the decision to rename the Dniprodzerzhynsk Diocese in Kamensk was adopted at a regular meeting of the Synod of the UOC-MP of July 20, 2016 (journal No. 26). Despite the fact that Dniprodzerzhinsk was renamed Dnipropetrovsk simultaneously with Dnipropetrovsk, and two months later (in July) and Kirovograd, the local diocesan centers of the UOC-MP continue to carry the old names - they are still Dnipropetrovsk and Kirovohrad dioceses. Although since then seven sessions of the Synod have already taken place.

In this case, the smaller and minor renaming of church-administrative units, in particular of the monasteries, were implemented by the Synod. Metropolitan Onufriy, Head of the UOC-MP, proved to be rather pedantic in these matters. Already at the first session of the Synod, led by him (as a locum tenens), on June 19, 2014, a number of decisions were taken on the renaming of several monasteries. For example, the Holy Trinity Monastery of Kyiv was renamed as the Holy Trinity St Jonah’s Monastery, the Holy Protection Monastery of the Diocese of Kharkiv – to the Holy Protection Monastery, the Holy Assumption Convent of the Diocese of Mukachevo and Uzhhorod - to the Holy Assumption Convent Monastery of the Diocese of Mukachevo.”

Although the renaming of these monasteries almost did not affect their former names, the names of such large dioceses as Dnipropetrovsk and Kirovograd are a remnants of the Soviet era, jarring on the ear of religious and non-religious people. In fact, the nomenclature of the UOC-MP officially preserved the names of Gregory Petrovsky and Sergiy Kirov - the famous Russian revolutionaries and Communist party figures. In essence, this means ignoring the ecclesiastical guidelines of the laws on decommunization, signed by the president of Ukraine in 2015

Interestingly, in Russia, the Diocese of Leningrad and Sverdlovsk were renamed to those of St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg on September 25, 1991, three weeks after the return of cities to historical names. Simultaneously with the renaming of the city of Gorky to Nizhny Novgorod the local diocese was renamed. Many years ago the Diocese of Ivanovo, Kirov and Ulyanovsk were renamed (into Ivanovo-Voznesensk, Vyatka and Simbirsk Dioceses, respectively), despite the fact that the cities themselves did not return their historical names.

It should be noted that Metropolitan Ioasaf (Guben) actively advocated the return to Kirovohrad of one of its pre-revolutionary names - Yelisavetgrad, which is associated with the name of the Russian Empress Elizabeth. The Metropolitan is known for his pro-Russian views. According to Archpriest Andriy Shimanovich, Metropolitan Ioasaf expelled him from the Diocese of Kirovohrad for public criticism of the ideology of the “Russian world”.

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  • romand | 5 October 2017, 01:52
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    The inability and/or unwillingness of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine (aka Ukrainian Orthodox Church [Moscow Patriarchate]) to reform itself in conjunction with the new political and moral reality in Ukraine has clearly demonstrated that it will for the most part become redundant in the not too distant future. Furthermore, the evidence of this redundancy has been shown in the increasing number of former parishioners from the UOC(MP) who have switched their loyalties to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate). The only issue that has not yet been resolved would be the formal recognition from the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople that the UOC(KP) be the true canonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

  • Оленка | 26 September 2017, 00:56
    comment comment

    Враження таке, наче цьому автору робити вже немає чого. А те, що Церква від держави відділена - він знає? Та хоч би Піднебесною єпархією себе назвали - вам яке діло?

  • mischa | 25 September 2017, 18:40
    comment comment

    Якщо РПЦ тіно співпрацює з путіннським режимом то яке там служіння Богу.

    • netoy_gaidamak | 26 September 2017, 13:13
      comment comment

      А денисенко з порошенком) та ти привий як ніколи! Краще б як БМО - служили Богу та людям.

  • enzian | 25 September 2017, 13:24
    comment comment

    Та там, мабуть, на своєму місці ще й партбілєт.

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