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 Russian secret services plot provocations in Ukrainian cities during church unification council, - SBU

Russian special services and occupation leadership of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic" discussed holding of religious processions in various cities of Ukraine on the day of the church's unification council and provocations in order to trigger clashes with the law enforcers.

This was said by First Deputy Head of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine, Viktor Kononenko, as he was peaking at a Kyiv briefing on Thursday, Censor.NET reports citing UNIAN.

He said the SBU had received information on holding a meeting in the premises of the former SBU office in the now-occupied city of Donetsk. It was chaired by representatives of Russian special services and occupation leadership of the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic," who had discussed the issue of Ukraine being granted a tomos of autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, as well as measures that could prevent this from happening.

"The participants decided to organize on the day of the unification council religious processions in the cities of Kyiv, Odesa, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Kherson and Mykolayiv, during which violent clashes with law enforcement officers would be provoked, to create for the Russian media a picture of bloody confrontation," Kononenko said.

In addition, the perpetrators are planning to attract to the processions a number of elderly and disabled people, in a cynical hope to ensure that the number of those injured in clashes increases.

Kononenko also stated that the plan involves employing sabotage groups from "DPR," already deployed in the above-mentioned Ukrainian cities to engage in violence.

On April 17, 2018, President Poroshenko said Ukraine was closer than ever before to creating an autocephalous united local church.

On Sept. 2, hierarchs held meetings (Synaxis) of the Hierarchy of the Ecumenical Throne Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey) to confirm that the Church of Constantinople is authorized, without the consent of other churches, to grant autonomy, or autocephaly, to a church that has requested it. This paves the way for autocephality of Ukraine's church. Further measures, such as the adoption of documents at the Synod, are expected to be taken in October.

Subsequently, on Sept. 7, Ecumenical Patriarchate has appointed two Exarchs in Kyiv as part of preparations for granting autocephaly to Ukraine's Orthodox church. "Within the framework of the preparations for the granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has appointed as its Exarchs in Kyiv His Excellency Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon from the United States, and His Grace Bishop Hilarion of Edmonton from Canada, both of whom are serving the Ukrainian Orthodox faithful in their respective countries under the Ecumenical Patriarchate," the Ecumenical Patriarchate said in an announcement.

On Sept. 25, the UOC-MP declared that it was demanding that the Patriarchate of Constantinople withdraw its exarchs from Ukraine. In particular, the Holy Synod of the UOC-MP at a meeting held in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra September 25, expressed its attitude regarding the appointment of the Exarchs of the Constantinople Patriarchate to Kyiv.

On Oct.11, 2018, Ecumenical Patriarchate has decided to proceed to the granting of autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine. In addition, the legal binding of Synod’s Letter of 1686 was abolished, thus pulling the Kyiv Metropolis from under Moscow jurisdiction. The Ecumenical Patriarchate also reinstated head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Philarchate Filaret and head of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church Makariy in their canonical status.

On Oct. 12, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate (UOC-KP) called for the episcopate, clergy and believers of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) to begin preparations for a unifying Council.

On Oct. 15, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church decided to break the eucharistic communication with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

On Oct. 18, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed the law on the transfer of the St. Andrew's Church to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople for perpetual free of charge usage.

On Nov. 13, Poroshenko was to meet with the episcopate of the UOC-MP at the "Ukrainian House" downtown Kyiv. At the same time, the episcopate of the UOC-MP on this day held in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra an emergency meeting of the synod, which decided to convene a council, where all bishops' attendance is obligatory. Following the meeting, the council of bishops of the UOC-MP confirmed its readiness to meet with Poroshenko, but on the church territory.

On Nov. 13, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) announced it did not recognize a decision by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to continue the process of granting autocephaly to the church in Ukraine and is going to sever Eucharistic communion with Constantinople. The Moscow Patriarchate also said they would not take part in the creation of a new, autocephalous church in Ukraine, as their Council of bishops considers that granting the tomos of autocephaly is "artificial" and "forced from outside."

The Unification Council will be held in Kyiv on Dec. 15 to announce the creation of a new local Orthodox Church, approve its charter, and select its leader.

Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3102164