DOI: https://doi.org/10.18523/kmhj219645.2020-7.1-25

War and Autocephaly in Ukraine

Cyril Hovorun

Abstract


A series of conflicts that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union culminated in the war in Ukraine waged by Russia in 2014. The international community was taken by surprise, and its reactions to the Russian aggression were often confused and inadequate. Even more confused and inadequate were the responses from global Christianity. Russian propaganda often renders the aggression against Ukraine as a quasi-religious conflict: a “holy war” against the “godless” or “heterodox” West. It would be natural, therefore, for the Christian churches worldwide to loudly condemn both propaganda and aggression. However, in most cases, their response was silence. Such reactions came from most local Orthodox churches, the Roman Catholic church, and international ecumenical organizations such as the World Council of Churches. An exception was the reaction from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which decided to grant autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The article argues that the Tomos for autocephaly was, among other reasons, a reaction to the war in Ukraine. The responses of other local Orthodox churches to the Tomos also indicate their attitude to the war in Ukraine. These reactions have demonstrated a profound crisis in inter-Orthodox solidarity and social ethics.

Keywords


war; church diplomacy; Tomos; autocephaly; the Ecumenical Patriarchate; the Orthodox Church of Ukraine

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References


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