30 June 2020, 14:35
The whole story with Tomos was based on fraud.
Archpriest Nikolay Balashov
The whole story with "receiving Tomos" which was presented as an outstanding page in the history of Ukrainian independence in political interests of Pyotr Poroshenko's election campaign was initially based on fraud. The fraud was in everything: in the promises of the Ukrainian president's administration to collect ten, twenty or even more signatures of canonical bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, who also could not help waiting for the long-awaited "Tomos"; in attempts to convince the Orthodox people of Ukraine that Tomos is exactly what they need for entire happiness; in Poroshenko's attempts to assure Constantinople "exarchs" that he will settle "the problem with Filaret," in the promises given to Filaret that nothing will change in his "Church" and he will remain the "Patriarch"; in the actions of Filaret, who pretended to renounce the post of the primate, but actually intended to retain control; in the successor's promises to be guided by the advice of his "spiritual father" whom he soon neglected; in the unfulfilled promises to former Metropolitan Simeon of Vinnitsa, who gained nothing, but lost almost all his diocese; in "scientific research" of experts attracted by Phanar who "proved" that Kiev Metropolitanate in 1686 was granted to Moscow "not forever" or even "not granted at all," but just temporarily allowed to consecrate metropolitans (for this lie, however, someone was rewarded with rich Australian Diocese, others received more modest royalty)...
Now the former metropolitan and exiled "Honorary Patriarch" Filaret says that it was a "wrong" Tomos. He is right, they cheated, but in fact all the participants of that action were cheating. And it is hard to believe that Filaret did not even read either Tomos or the enslaving charter of the "OCU" (the uncanonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine - IF) before he dissolved (also "not for real") his "Kiev Patriarchate" which he had to restore later. He just hoped that the fanfares would be cut off, the Greeks would leave and life would go on as before, as usual.
But it never comes out. Even such an experienced player was overplayed. May be, the age takes its toll, or political flair fails, or he just did manage to stand the hours of blackmail and pressure from then acting president, who spent long hours of the night before the "unification council" tete-a-tete with the "honorary patriarch". The old man scented that things went wrong, he didn't want to go to this council, he did not want to sign under the dissolution of the "patriarchate", but he had to do it - he was forced or persuaded. The Istanbul exarchs also did not want to humiliate themselves, they tried to leave for the airport more than once and more than twice, but they did not let them go and had to participate in a shameful event, which was ideologically backed up by the administration of the president of Ukraine while its organization was provided by the Ukrainian Security Service, whose officials surrounded and filled throughout the periphery the Church of St. Sophia of Kiev.
The city of Kiev, where you can never hide a stitch in a bag, is full of stories about it from the participants. The time will come when the whole truth about these deceptions will come out in full. "For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open," the Gospel says. The deceived will not keep silence for their whole lives, they don't need to. After the revelations of the offended former metropolitan of Kiev, others will appear.
However, the main interested person, the savior of the nation and the restorer of spirituality, Pyotr Poroshenko, who was in the presidium of that "council" in the manner of St. Constantine the Great, was also deceived by his political technologists, who lied to him that Tomos would guarantee him victory in the elections. And Patriarch Bartholomew, who believed that the whole Ukraine, tired of the "Moscow yoke" and ready to swallow any Tomos, just to be called so, would follow him, was also deceived. He neither received in property the promised list of "stauropegia," nor the glory of the unifier of Orthodoxy, but only the bitterness of defeat and schism in the world family of Orthodox Christians, where he recently was the first among equals.
The reputation is lost. All that remained is the need to keep telling yourself and others that everything will be okay, that soon other primates will recognize the Ukrainian "Tomos" and the local "autocephaly", and will do it with gratitude, and will even repent for thinking so long...
"The plan went down the drain," our Ukrainian brothers sometimes say in such cases.
Author is the deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations