#Commentary of Alexander Malkov on religious part of Poroshenko’s speech on occasion of Ukraine’s Independence Day
In his speech at the military parade in Kiev on the occasion of the Independence Day of Ukraine, Pyotr Poroshenko once again announced his plans for the creation of a unified autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
“The issue of Tomos about autocephaly for the Orthodox Church of Ukraine goes beyond the boundaries of religion. It is from the same series as the strengthening of the army, as is the protection of the Ukrainian language, as is the struggle for membership in the European Union and NATO. This is another strategic reference point on our historical path. This is a significant component of our independence,” the Ukrainian president said.
That is, Poroshenko openly declares that his interference in the affairs of the church is conditioned by politics. Thus, he rudely violates the Constitution of Ukraine, which clearly states that the church is separated from the state. In this case, Poroshenko’s actions are inadmissible both from the point of view of world legal practice in the sphere of religion, and from the point of view of Orthodox canon law.
The Orthodox Church has lived for many centuries according to its own internal law, which provides for, among other things, the principle of territorial division of the Ecumenical Orthodox Church into local churches, as well as the procedure for the formation of local churches.
And this procedure for the formation of a new local church, of course, envisages no political benefit to the president of whatever country chosen for a short time. This is an internal church process, which includes many canonical factors and components.
From the point of view of legal practice in the sphere of religion, Poroshenko’s statements are unequivocally qualified as a call to religious hatred and enmity. And the government intervention in the internal affairs of the church can lead to the emergence of social tension in society, which in turn can develop into an armed conflict.
It is obvious that Poroshenko perfectly understands the meaning of his actions and their consequences, but in the struggle for power he does not abhor anything. The creation of the so-called “united Ukrainian Orthodox Church” subordinate to him becomes his main goal and means of political survival and prosperity for the near future.
It should be noted that the split in Orthodoxy in Ukraine may result in a large-scale religious conflict between the Orthodox, as well as between Orthodox and Catholics. And this conflict may prove to be even more dangerous than the civil war in the Donbass.
Alexander Malkov, the deputy of the DPR People’s Council