"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, September 10, 2018

Some Background to the Ukrainian Situation

I have said privately to friends for some time now that I never expected to see movement on the Ukrainian Orthodox situation, least of all in the form of the clear direction now emanating from Constantinople towards the granting of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. For those who want some background into what autocephaly is, and what the historical basis is for Constantinople's claims today, you could do worse than see my review of the literature in Orthodoxy and the Roman Papacy, pp. 86-87 and 195-97.

Having reviewed that literature, as well as the Russian claims (which, though reiterated recently in far more violent and apocalyptic terms than in the recent past, are totally unchanged for the Russians are perpetual broken records that never advance any creative arguments: they just endlessly repeat their claims, all of which are the clearest examples I have seen of what Vamik Volkan calls "chosen trauma"), it is clear, and has been for a long time, to reputable historians that the historical claims and canons Russia musters in Metropolitan Hilarious's statement are totally tendentious and cannot be seen as anything other than self-serving.

For those who want the most comprehensive, fair-minded, detailed, and theologically literate treatment full of good pastoral sense, they will only have to wait a few more weeks until my dear friend, the Orthodox scholar Nicholas Denysenko, publishes his newest book, The Orthodox Church in Ukraine: A Century of Separation (Northern Illinois University Press, 2018), 316pp.

In the meantime, you may find some of his wisdom distilled into this post, which I warmly commend to your attention.

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